God's voice

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." George Orwell

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Inconvenient Faith


There are many formerly professing Christians who have left the faith because it was inconvenient.  I think everyone knows someone like this.  At one time they believed that Jesus was God and through Him they had received eternal salvation.  Today they live their lives as any non Christian does and possibly even preach that there is no God.  It is inconvenient to live the life of a Christian.  It forces us to make choices that can be counter to society and to our own desires.

In today's world, it is not only common, but encouraged for two people who are dating to have sex.  Sex is seen as something pleasurable to be enjoyed with no consequences, and it is best to see if you are sexually compatible before you marry.  Many of us grew up in families where premarital sex was discouraged and called a sin.  Our parents, the church and society taught sexual abstinence, and we believed it was best to abstain. 
Today, if you're at work and during the break you let it slip that you think sex before marriage is wrong, people around your table might start to laugh and make fun of you.  They call you a virgin and ridicule your puritanical thinking.  They think you're some kind of prude who needs to move out of the 19th century and start living in the 21st.  Being called a Virgin is an insult? Being prudent is somehow wrong? In today's world, yes it is.

Many people find themselves in this type of situation and must make a decision to stand on what they believe or change their belief.  They must decide if they will stand for what they believe is right, or do they need to compromise their life?  Too often people will compromise.  The pleasures of life will cause our beliefs to change.
Even if they believe that something is wrong, they will move at least partially in the direction which opposes what they had previously trusted to be true.  Over time not only will they change their actions, but their hearts will follow.  Life will change what we believe, if what we believe is fragile with no firm foundation.   It is too inconvenient to stand for our faith without an anchor to hold onto.

Society pressures everyone to conform to the accepted norm.  The moral standards of those around us will have an effect upon us if we do not have anything solid to anchor our faith in.  We cannot simply believe in God, or what the Bible teaches, because our parents taught us to believe them.  Even basing our faith on what is taught in Sunday School or at Church is not firm enough.  Any teacher, no matter how good and charismatic they might be, is not solid enough to base your faith on.  There is no foundation to plant yourself on, which will be able to weather the storms of society crashing down upon you, except Jesus Christ.


We must let Jesus be the foundation of what we believe.  He is the truth upon which we can depend upon.  The world is at war against the truth of God and we must decide now before the battle begins who we will stand with.  You will never stand alone as a Christian against the world.  Jesus is always right beside you to encourage, strengthen and comfort you.  Whoever is on the Lord's side will not find a comfortable life but they will find a relationship with God that is closer then any on earth.  They will find a life that is full and rewarding.  A life with a purpose that is bigger than themselves.  Inconvenient? Yes, but its a life worth living.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Christian Rebels


My daughter Christy and her husband Travis are rebels.  When they first met they went to a prayer group with other students their age. If it turned out they were the only ones present,  they would not pray together but leave.
When they started to go out together they would not kiss, cuddle, hold hands, or even touch.  They very much wanted to but they chose not to so that they would never go too far.  They would go to the home of an older couple who chaperoned them so they could talk, read and enjoy each others company.  The couple told us how they would sit as close to each other as possible and gaze into each other’s eyes without touching.
Their relationship became stronger over time, but they still wouldn’t touch.  When walking down the street together Travis would not hold her hand, but instead held onto the purse she was carrying.  One time the two of them were sitting outside on a cement step not touching, but gazing into each others eyes.  A guy walked by and rolled his eyes.  “Get a room!”  They laughed because that is what they were trying not to do.
The day they became engaged, they celebrated by holding hands for the day.  The day they got married was the first time they kissed.  These two people are true rebels.  They revolted against the modern accepted belief that a couple should have a physical relationship before marriage.  They rebelled against society norms. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines a rebel as: opposing or taking arms against a government or ruler.”
At one time what they did would have been seen as normal and accepted and anyone who lived and taught that premarital sex was acceptable would have been seen as counter to the culture of Judeo-Christian ethics.  Today the Bible-believing Christian is the minority and out of date.  We are the ones who are seen as going against the accepted beliefs of the nation.  We are not taking up arms or blowing things up, but we are in opposition of what is acceptable in today’s world.
Our nation sees same sex marriages as acceptable and the gay lifestyle is encouraged in our schools.  Killing an unborn child is encouraged if it makes life easier. Marriages are no longer seen as commitments, but as something to be cast aside whenever you want.  Even Christian marriages have no better divorce rate than non-Christian marriages. Witchcraft is simply another religion right along side any Protestant or Catholic Church.  Gambling is merely another form of entertainment and getting drunk is a normal thing to do when out with friends. Isaiah 5:20a says, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
We are a nation governed by a morality that is turned upside down.  We no longer are one nation under God, but one nation under self.  Whatever we want to do, we do it.  We no longer fear God and obey His word. Who is the ruler in the definition of a rebel (opposing or taking arms against a government or ruler)?  From our nation’s point of view Christians are the rebels because they are battling against the ruler of this world (Satan). From God’s point of view, most people in this nation, including many Christians, are rebelling against Him.  He is the true ruler of the universe.  He is King of Heaven and Earth.
Satan started a revolution against God and brought man into the revolution with him.  Adam gave him dominion over the earth, but soon Jesus, the rightful king, will return to take it all back again and cast Satan into the bottomless pit.  Anyone who follows the rebel leader Satan is a traitor against the rightful ruler of the universe.  We must rebel against the occupational government of Satan and place Jesus on the throne of this world and the throne of our lives.
Christians are seen by the US Government as potential terrorists.  The military sees Christians as religious extremists.  The United States seems to feel more threatened by true Christians than by Muslims.  Christians are some of the most patriotic citizens in this country, but spiritually we are a threat.  This is not a physical war but a spiritual one.  Satan will try to silence us any way he can.
- See more at: http://www.subversivetruth.com/christian-rebels/#sthash.yGEhSkGM.dpuf

Monday, June 16, 2014

Freedom in a World Without God

This is a good post about how many are deceived to think freedom comes when there is no God.
Click here to read this insightful post

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Cult of Mike Bickle and IHOP?

I have posted twice on the subject of Mike Bickle and International House of Prayer being a cult. Somehow I missed writing about the article which started this all off. I messed up but now I will answer it as well. To see that article go HERE.

  1. Cultic Origins and Goals.
    1. Author says, IHOP began when a man named Augustine told Mike Bickle about hearing an audible voice for Mike and his congregation I am inviting you to raise up a work that will touch the ends of the earth. I have invited many people to do this thing and many people have said yes, but very few have done my will.” Since many cults started with God telling people a special message this must be a cult as well. The goal of IHOP is to bring on the great tribulation and Mike Bickle proposes that the end time church defeats Gods Enemies.
      1. The examples of cults hearing from God all are cases of not being true to the Scripture. Hearing God is nothing new. Your pastor heard the call of God to the ministry. An audible voice is unusual but God can speak to us anyway He desires. He is at work in the world. The problem is not how God spoke but was what He said Biblical. I saw nothing counter to the scripture in what was God's message.
      2. I listened to what Mike actually said in a teaching about Revelations. From his teaching Mike believes that God will bring about the judgments as a result of the prayers of the church. God brings the tribulation not the Christians, but at the behest of the prayers of believers. He never says that IHOP people praying or even people praying as IHOP prays. I do think Mike is right saying that Christians do not pray as they should and hopefully he is right that Christians are changing in their prayers from just for salvation and being blessed to crying out for the lord, in the world and in their lives. The author is saying things Mike Bickle does not say. Some quotes from Mike Bickle on this subject:
  1. The prayers of all the saints during the tribulation will release the trumpet judgments
  2. The prayers of the martyrs in heaven will also be used to release God’s end-time judgments
  3. Jesus returns in answer to global concerts of prayer offered by the Church with a bridal identity. Every church will have a spirit of prayer in the End Times or they will cease to exist.
  4. Jesus will not release the seal judgments until the bowls of prayer around the throne are full. In other words, the end-time Church will be mature in prayer BEFORE the final 3½ years.
  5. Yes, Mike does believe The Church goes through the tribulation but that does not make him a cult.
  6. Mike believes that the Church will have victory over the Anti-Christ but that does not mean they won't die or will kill the Anti-Christ. Not turning from Christ to follow the Anti-Christ is victory.
  1. The Power of Emotionalism, Mysticism nad Gnosticism.
    1. Author says, IHOP practices contemplative pray. This is relaxing and letting youself find the presence of God within.
      1. This is basically what Andrew Murray calls “Waiting on the Lord” It is meditating on Christ and letting Him talk to you. Unless you don't believe a still small voice from God can talk to you, there should not be a problem.
    2. Author believes IHOP claims hidden knowledge by way of prophecies, visions and dreams. Too many people in IHOP rely upon experiences.
      1. Nothing hidden about this at IHOP. They simply believe that God works today through Prophecy, visions and dreams. You can agree or not but that does not make it a cult. Charismatic churches would agree with that. I do agree that people should not depend upon these kind of experiences and IHOP would agree as well which is why they have a teachings, school and internships to ground a person in scripture.
  2. The IHOP Dilemma.
    1. Is IHOP full of false prophets or true prophets?
      1. It is true that there are some false prophecies given by people who are training at IHOP but any prophecy given must align with scripture and people are told that if given a prophecy to test the spirit. Is it biblical? Is this the only person saying this? If it is then do not trust it unless others agree with it.
  3. A Sampling of the Prophecies
    1. Author gives examples of prophecies given.
      1. Back to point one. God speaks today and can speak anyway He wants. Nothing counter to the Bible here.
  4. The Denigration of the Bible and Sola Scriptura.
    1. Author claims IHOP does not see scripture as the revealed will of God and the only necessary thing for faith and practice of Christianity. For example when making a decision they do not use only the Bible but also as God for revelation concerning the decision.
      1. HOW HORRIBLE! Yes they do pray for God's guidance when making a decision.
  5. Indexed as a Cult by Multiple Ministries
    1. Short list of 6 ministries that believe IHOP is a cult
      1. So if I have 6 ministries that believe my church is a cult does that make it so? I can find a list of ministries that do not believe IHOP is a cult but to be honest that does not prove is it not a Cult.
In conclusion, the author does not believe God is alive and working in the world today in a powerful way by actually speaking to people through prophesy, visions and dreams. If he did then I don’t think he would have a problem with IHOP.

Many people do not think God is working in this way. That miracles and prophecy are all in the past. If that is so then God does not lead us or speak in a still small voice. Your prayers are heard by God but He does not work in the world today except through natural means. Miracles will never occur. God is powerless.


If that is true then why are the two witnesses in Revelation 11 able to do miracles and prophecy? Miracles, prophecy and healings happened in the past and will in the future. Why do we think that God does not still work powerfully today?

Read more on this subject from previous post.

To see for yourself what IHOP and Mike Bickle believe.  Check out these pages.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mike Bickle is Not a Cultist

This time I am looking at another post about International House of Prayer (IHOP) being a cult. To read the first post I published about IHOP being a cult go to here. I will look at what this second post has to say about the theology at IHOP. Click here to read the blog I am talking about in this post.

  1. Mike Bickle believes that the Church brings about the great tribulation. The church looses the judgments upon the world. It also claims that Mike “obviously refers to people who have adopted his movement” when talking about the people who pray during the tribulation for the judgments of God to come.
    1. I listened to what Mike actually said in a teaching about Revelations. From his teaching Mike believes that God will bring about the judgments as a result of the prayers of the church. God brings the tribulation not the Christians, but at the behest of the prayers of believers. He never says that IHOP people praying or even people praying as IHOP prays. I do think Mike is right saying that Christians do not pray as they should and hopefully he is right that Christians are changing in their prayers from just for salvation and being blessed to crying out for the lord, in the world and in their lives. The author is saying things Mike Bickle does not say. Some quotes from Mike Bickle on this subject:
      1. The prayers of all the saints during the tribulation will release the trumpet judgments
      2. The prayers of the martyrs in heaven will also be used to release God’s end-time judgments
      3. Jesus returns in answer to global concerts of prayer offered by the Church with a bridal identity. Every church will have a spirit of prayer in the End Times or they will cease to exist.
      4. Jesus will not release the seal judgments until the bowls of prayer around the throne are full. In other words, the end-time Church will be mature in prayer BEFORE the final 3½ years.
      5. Yes, Mike does believe The Church goes through the tribulation but that does not make him a cult.
      6. Mike believes that the Church will have victory over the Anti-Christ but that does not mean they won't die or will kill the Anti-Christ. Not turning from Christ to follow the Anti-Christ is victory.
  1. Mike teaches that there will be a great end time revival from Matthew 24 but the author sees no evidence of this in the chapter.
    1. Since Mike believes that Christians will be in the 7 year tribulation we can find these verses to support that there is a great mentioned in Mathew 24.
      1. Matthew 24: 14, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
      2. Matthew 24:30-31, “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.“
    2. Is Mike right about the Church going through the tribulation? I don't know. I don't think so but I know I can be wrong. Either way that does not make him a cultist.
  2. Mike Bickle allegorizes scripture wrongly. Specifically the 10 virgins is given as an example.
    1. The author does not agree with Mike Bickle on the meaning of these stories which Jesus tells. They disagree and I disagree with Mike on some of it but either way this is not a cultist issue. It is simply a Christian issue of interpretation.
  1. In the section Deeper Life Pietism the Author claims that there is not an “elite” christian but Mike Bickle says there is. Such as in the 10 virgins where the wise 5 virgins are Christians who have a close relationship with Jesus and the foolish virgins are Christians who do not have a close relationship. The author says the elite minded leaders of IHOP are imagining “passion for Jesus” along the lines of sensual intimacy that they have ascended into an elite class that will make them like Moses and able to call down plagues on the world.
    1. Yes, it is true that Mike Bickle wants everyone to have an intimate relationship with Jesus, but it is a spiritual intimacy and not a physical or sensual intimacy. Is there an elite Christian? Is Billy Graham an elite Christian? I would say he is an outstanding Christian because of his relationship with the Lord Jesus. If you agree with the definition of elite being “a select part of a group that is superior to the rest in terms of ability or qualities,“ then I would say Billy Graham is elite. I wish we all were elite and if we had an intimate relationship with Christ as we should, we would all be in that same category. Will that make us able to call down plagues? Only if we have a close enough relationship with Christ to hear Him tell us to call it down. Isn't that what intimacy is? Being close enough to someone to hear them and serve them? I never found anywhere where Mike said we would call down the plagues in Revelations but  our prayers would move God to send the plagues. Mike Bickle does not say people have to be with IHOP to be intimate with Jesus.
  2. The Marriage supper of the lamb section the author says Mike Bickle cannot know exactly what the Marriage supper means. He than goes on to tell about what we do know about it in relation to the Last Supper.
    1. The author did not say what wrong teaching Mike Bickle had but even if Mike Bickle was wrong in his interpretation of the marriage supper, that does not make him a cultist, only a Christian who is wrong on a minor point.
  3. Author's conclusion is he is right and Mike Bickle is wrong.
    1. Mike's stand is totally Christian and many people have twisted (accidentally or on purpose I do not know) what he has said. All Christians have disagreements but that does not make them cultist. A cult leader teaches that Jesus was not the only way to salvation.  The Bible is not the ultimate and inerrant word of God. They add to the scriptures because they do not see it as the final authority. IHOP does believe Jesus is God, salvation is through him alone and the Bible is inerrant and the final authority.  Here are some places to see what Mike Bickle and IHOP does believe. Read for yourself and decide.
      1. Teaching on Revelations

Monday, May 26, 2014

Is IHOP a Cult?

A friend of mine posted about International House of Prayer (IHOP) being a cult. I have been there and know people who have interned there and taken courses there. I am not an expert but from what I have seen and learned about them I do not believe they are a cult. There were two post from blogs given to show it was a cult. The first one I will discuss is “Why I believe IHOP is a Cult” from the blog THE GOSPEL MASQUERADE. I would copy and paste parts of it here but since I do not have the author's permission I can not do that. So please take a look at the post as I take each point.

The author was an intern at IHOP. Interns are there for 3 or 6 months to prepare individuals in serving the Lord. They have college level training and gain practical experience. The six month internship presently costs $4900. There are other options for internship but this one is the most expensive. See here for details. (This is for your info not to get you to become an intern.)

  1. The author says that a IHOP is a cult because it controls its members' behavior. She complains that as an intern she was restricted in where she could go (unless she got verbal permission), the hours required to be at prayer room, classes and attending services at night.
    1. When signing up for internship, she knew what the requirements were and didn't have to apply for internship. She could have left at any time if she so wanted. Compared to some colleges (such as Bob Jones University which once had two sidewalks with one for boys and one for girls) these restrictions were not that bad. Also it is very wise of IHOP to restrict where people go since it is not in a safe area of town.
  2. Cults have destructive ethical double standards. The author complains that interns were punished when they broke rules and didn't like being required to participate in sharing personal struggles and questions. They were required to keep a journal and turn it in weekly to a leader.
    1. IHOP has to have rules and breaking rules will have consequences. The journal keeping is a good practice and letting leaders see what you wrote so they can help you and pray for you should not be a problem. HOWEVER, I do think they were wrong to pray for someone from things in the journal when other are around.
  3. Destructive Cults have two basic purposes: recruiting and fund-raising The author did not like being pressured to recruit new interns. At conferences internship was promoted. She also did not like having to pay $4500 for 6 month intership.
    1.  As an intern she would be a great person to tells others what it is like so of course they wanted her to tell others about it.  That is pretty much normal.  The intern shares a fully furnished apartment for 6 months with 5 other girls. The upkeep and utilities come out of that tuition. She attends college level courses and is trained in Bible study, prayer, witnessing, and other Christian activities and gains practical experience in their use. $4500 is not a bad price and I am not sure where you could go to get that kind of training for less..
  1. Destructive cults appear innovation and exclusive. The leader, Mike Bickle, refered to us and them when talking about the people in IHOP verses people not in IHOP. Those in IHOP were cutting edge and ahead of the church in something new.
    1. They are cutting edge when it comes to some things. They were one of the first to have 24/7 prayer year around. They make disciples of people and not just bring them to Christ. Compared to almost every church I know, they are ahead of them.
  1. Destructive cults are authoritarian. Friends of the author were concerned about theology and the model of everything at IHOP. (never says what theology) Mike Bickle says, “This is how we do things here. This is how IHOP is. It's not for everyone.” IHOP has its own culture and you had to assimilate that culture. If you had problems with the culture you were told you just were not a good fit for it.
    1. The author was definitely not a good fit. We have different cultures everywhere. Each church is a different culture and we all look for a church culture we fit into. The IHOP culture was not a good culture for the author.
  1. Destructive cults have self appointed messianic persons claming to have a special mission in life. The author was required to listen to a 12 hour history IHOP. Prophetic words were spoken about Mike Bickle leading the next big thing God was doing. Mike was to lead a movement that would change the nature and expression of Christianity on Earth. Mike's mission was to capture the hearts of young people. This teaching put Mike on a pedestal and he has a “Messianic-like” following. If Mike says a book is good, all copies of that book would sell out. Mike is charismatic and people are drawn to him and follow him blindly. IHOP calls on young people, who do not think the church or their parents understand them, to come to IHOP where people are understanding. Some people who go to IHOP never want to leave.
    1. A pastor of a church is almost always held up on a pedestal. They were called by God to preach and lead that church. Mike Bickle is in the same boat. He is held up on a pedestal because he was called by God to lead IHOP. In both cases we should not hold anyone up as better then us but only with a different calling. However, that is often not how it turns out. God has called Mike to lead IHOP. He is charismatic and he does desire to capture the hearts of young people for Christ. Young people are often troubled and feel like outsiders in their families and churches. So what is wrong with calling on them to come to IHOP and train to serve God. Yes, it is true that some people might go and become afraid of going back to their previous home culture but that can be true of anything such as becoming so attached to your job you could never leave it.
  1. Cult leader centers veneration upon himself.
    1. Just because people hold Mike up on a peristalsis does not mean he wants them to. Does a pastor want it? They are there to simply serve God and the Church.
  1. Cult leaders tend to be determined, domineering and charsimatic.
    1. Mike Bickle is determined, domineering at times and charismatic. If that makes him a cult leader then we have a few million cults in our land.


Through out this blog post the author talks about what happened to her and how hard it was on her. She saw Mike Bickle as a charismatic, popular leader and IHOP as a culture which she did not fit into. Not once did she ever say what was taught which was counter to scripture. I admit some things at IHOP might not be as they should be but it is not a cult. This blog only shows how one person could not handle internship at IHOP. They could have left at anytime but decided not to. She was free the whole time to accept being a part of IHOP and or not. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

God in My Huge Box

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I find that I so often put God into a box.  I look at that box and I say to myself, “WOW! I really serve a big God.”  I look at other people’s God and the box they have Him in is always smaller (yeah I get delusional at times).

Not long ago I was reading about how Jesus has gone away to prepare a place for us in John 14:2 where it says “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”  I got to thinking about what does it say in the Greek about my fathers “house” and “mansions”. I got out my Strong’s Concordance and found pretty much what I expected.

“House” is a family dwelling and “mansion” is a residence.  So in God’s house we get a room to live in.  That really didn’t seem that great.  Nothing much to be excited about.  If I was a good little Christian boy I might even get a few rooms to live in.

I looked at the verse and asked God about it.  I didn’t really see much in this verse that God could tell me about but hey, maybe God was smarter then I was and could shine a small light on something new.  This is approximately how my conversation went with that still small voice:

God: Where is my house?

Me: In Heaven.  Its beautiful there with a huge throne room, lightning and thunder, angels everywhere and people worshipping you.

God: Where is my house?

Me: Oh! You mean inside me?

God: Where is my house?

A confused me: Um….what do you mean?

God: Where do I live?

Me: Well, you’re in my heart. (quiet) You’re in Heaven. (quiet) You’re um….everywhere.

God: Where is everywhere?

Me being dumb: Well, its everywhere. (quiet) You live here and in Heaven.  I guess you fill the whole Universe and every other dimension there is.

God: I live in all of existence and in all of time.  My house is far more then a simple building of wood or stone.  The place that is being prepared for you is far greater then a room or mansion.

Me in wonder: The universe is your home and you have a place for each Christian someplace in your universe.  Wow! You mean like I will get a world or maybe even a solar system in the Milky way as my own place to live in?  That is so cool Lord.

God: You think small, child.

Me stunned: But… Lord that’s huge.  How could you…?

Then it hit me.  God reminded me of a You Tube video I once saw (video here) which showed two pictures that the Hubble telescope had taken.  The pictures took 10 and 11 days each with the telescope pointing into a dark patch of space.  What they found were thousands of galaxies with millions of stars in each one.  There must be billions of galaxies out there.  Could each one of them be a residence that Jesus is preparing for us?

I don’t know for sure that this is what God has prepared for us.  I do know that we think to small when it comes to God.  I would not put it past him to have a galaxy for each of us, but with a God as big and as great as ours, He could prepare a whole universe for us if He wanted.  I did learn one thing for sure.  Don’t limit what God can do for you.

Photo Credit: God in box on shelf by Stan Connell