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The Beginning of Birth Pangs

I have been watching the downfall of the International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC) for some time. I do not wish to comment on whether or not the allegations against Mike Bickle are true or false. However, I will share a broader perspective of what this event may foreshadow for the Body of Christ during the coming move of Tabernacles.

First, during the return of Israel from Babylonian captivity, Israel decided to keep God’s law. After all, it was the neglect of His commandments that offended our Lord in the first place, resulting in their 70-year captivity. This desire to never give offense to YHWH again, though good and right at the beginning, gradually became something else entirely. In the end, the Jews’ quest to be righteous before God was perverted into an instrument used to persecute and kill their hoped-for Messiah. The Law of Moses, which they believed saved them, was used to destroy them and resulted in the terrible 70 AD slaughter.

Likewise, in our generation, a second law, i.e., New Testament codified into church doctrine, is now being used in like manner to destroy individual ministers and whole ministries of the Body of Christ. While Jesus said, “go and sin no more to a woman caught in the very act of adultery,” Christians are stoning an entire ministry for “indiscretions” as if they, themselves, have no sin.

A few things you need to know

What is happening at IHOPKC (International House of Prayer Kansas City) is strikingly parallel to what happened at CC&BTC (Community Chapel & Bible Training Center). I am amazed at how the message is similar and even how Mike Bickle presents similar to Donald Lee Barnett. I have also heard from those who have been involved in worship there, and they are experiencing similar things as spiritual connections in the move of Divine Love that took place at Chapel.

While I don’t know all the specifics, what you need to know is that the restoration of Tabernacles and the bringing of Divine Love to any established normative church will destroy its current church system. It is a misjudgement and a grave error to think that this new move of the Holy Spirit can be contained within the old wine skin of what constitutes established church doctrine.

God says,

“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:  And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.  And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.”

Revelation 12: 1-13 (KJV)

Scriptures often have first, second, and even third interpretations depending on the time and context you apply them into. Always, since Christ is the focus of God’s plan, the first interpretation belongs to him, if applicable. Secondly, the interpretation belongs to the physical nation of Israel, since they are our Lord’s chosen people. Thirdly, and often in a spiritual sense, we can apply scriptures to the church, which is spiritual Israel (because we have been grafted in to the natural olive tree for a time in the natural branch’s absence).

What we may be seeing is “birth pangs” at IHOPKC. The church, which can no longer hold the moving of God’s Spirit is “pained” being delivered of it. Therefore, what it can no longer hold, it pushes out in a messy and unpleasant way. Those around what is going on naturally feel uncomfortable with it, hoping that it will be over as quickly as possible, wishing to cast those they do not understand for His name’s sake, saying “let the Lord be glorified.”

Think it not strange when you are pushed out

For those being pushed out, it is equally traumatic. That which has accepted and nourished them no longer accepts them or wants them inside any longer and desires with all earnestness for them to be removed. When this happens to you as you are moved deeper into God’s Spirit, realize that what you are experiencing from your “brethren” is prophesied in the scriptures. Though unpleasant and uncomfortable, you must separate from the church at large to become the spiritual “man-child” of Revelation 12. It is you who must stand up to the devil, that old dragon, and protect those who have pushed you out. It is your calling and your destiny.

Church doctrine cannot abide true, Spirit-led intimacy

The reason for this is that we, as Christ’s body, are entering into a time of great intimacy with our Lord and Savior, Jesus. In this generation, we may fulfill the Song of Solomon and become the Bride of Christ. We will “Kiss Towards” God and dance as the Shunammite did before the son of David. Yet, in any church in our land, the very doctrine that they claim to believe cannot even allow for a “holy kiss,” much less the full expression of His love among His body. In fact, in most congregations, even frontal hugging is frowned upon between opposite sexes. In other words, the very intimacy that God is about to bring among His people is outlawed by the church and it’s clergy.

While Mike Bickle may be guilty of all the things he is accused of, it is also possible that, given his prophetic ministry, he may be a forerunner of Tabernacles and God’s Divine Love, just as Don Barnett was a forerunner of this same move of the Spirit 40 years ago.

Barnett was a gifted teacher and leader, but also a deeply flawed individual who took on a very powerful foe, namely the devil. While he did the best he could do, he did make mistakes and was unable to bring the move of God forward to where the Holy Spirit was leading it. However, he did try and was more faithful to God’s vision that most who participated.

Tabernacles is a radical and new move of God’s Spirit and as such, it’s birth into the established church is going to be messy. This is not because our Lord is wrong, but it is due to the fact that the church, as a whole, is very far from God, and breaking the legalism is difficult. It will not be a clean or pleasant process by any means.

Thus, instead of sexual sin, Mike Bickle’s demonstrations of love toward women, like Donald Barnett’s attempts to bring about Tabernacles, may be, in the main, led of the Spirit. Though no one knows for sure what happened, what I do know is that during the coming move of Divine Love men and women will love each other in ways that are considered even more outrageous and sinful sin by the conventional church.

Dare to love as God leads you

Doctrine, at this point, has become a tool of the devil meant to prevent the greatest move of love that the world has seen. This pseudo-law of New Testament church teaching will be used as a bludgeon to beat the people of God who dare to love as God leads, by those who reject the intimate advances of the Holy Spirit.

I urge all to be slow to judge others, for things may be far different than we imagine. It is possible that what is going on at IHOPKC is a lot more profound and Holy Spirit led than those who are speaking against it assert. The leadership and pastor’s wife who stood against Don Barnett were dead wrong and these ungodly people brought down one of the most profound moves of the Holy Spirit of the last century through their fear, vindictiveness, and selfish desires.

Lastly, I speak this to those with ears to hear. I understand that the knee jerk reaction of most people is to run for the hills and criticize what they may not understand. However, at some point we must mature into the Bride of Christ and accept his intimacy. There is no other way forward.


Michael King

Falling in Love by Phil Wickham