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A few months ago I stirred the pot with a post called “Why we aren’t going to Urbana 09.” I needed to hear the honest responses I got from leaders at Urbana. Even so, here is a plug for what I am fully behind during that same time slot– onething’09 – December 28-31.

This year onething’09 will focus on the theme “What is the Spirit saying to the Church?” I appreciate the consistent, unwavering message coming out of Kansas City and here’s why.  I recently heard of a US Senator who went to seven major ministries in America with the question, what is God saying right now to our nation? Sadly, he reports he got seven very different responses.

Maybe this letter from Lou Engle and Mike Bickle will fire you up as it does me. My initial comments on the IHOPU Student Awakening are here. Paragraph by paragraph, from the evangelism explosion on school campuses to the false justice movement embedded even in evangelicalism, I couldn’t agree more with what is written below.

Dear Friends,
 
We stand at a critical juncture in our nation’s history. It is time to encounter God and to take action. The Holy Spirit is visiting His people with power. At the same time, the powers of darkness are raging against the moral fabric of our nation. The light is getting brighter as the darkness gets darker.

Many of you will have heard of the spiritual awakening at our Bible school. On Wednesday, November 11, the Spirit fell on a class for more than 15 hours. The word spread quickly, and over 2,000 people spontaneously gathered in the auditorium from all over Kansas City, as deliverance and physical healings continued to increase. We canceled our classes for the next week so that each one of our 1,000 students and interns could receive from the Spirit in an extended way.

We decided to meet four nights a week from 6:00pm to midnight because His manifest presence continues to increase. Visitors are pouring in from many places across America to partake of this spiritual awakening.

We will continue these evening meetings until our onething conference, December 28-31, 2009, when we are expecting 20,000 young adults to gather to worship, hear teaching, and participate in the supernatural ministry of the Spirit.

Last year, over 16,000 young adults attended this conference. We are still hearing testimonies of lives that were changed. This year, we are expecting to receive even more from the Spirit. We believe that this will be a historic and important conference, and encourage you to attend.

The theme for onething’09 is “What is the Spirit saying to the Church?” Our team will proclaim what we believe the Spirit is prophetically speaking to the Church in this hour. We will also share practical ways in which we can “adopt” high schools and colleges across our nation as we envision young people impacting each sphere of society with works of justice and acts of compassion. At the conference, we will have extended ministry times to receive healing, renewal, and impartation from the Spirit. We believe that the Spirit will release His power at this conference, as evidenced by what He is currently doing in our evening meetings.

Mark Anderson, a senior international leader in YWAM (Youth With A Mission), who also works closely with Campus Crusade for Christ, will host forums for leaders to discuss how we can systematically evangelize entire cities and campuses in partnership with the houses of prayer in their area. Mark has remarkable insight that comes from his thirty years of successful ministry in evangelism. The Lord has given him some bold new strategies for this hour.

The crisis in our nation is real. The serpentine stranglehold of abortion continues to squeeze the life out of over 4,000 wombs daily. Sexual immorality, both heterosexual and homosexual, is reaching epic heights of perversion. The number of women and children being trafficked into the dark underbelly of the sex industry in our cities is growing at an alarming rate. Entire school systems are giving way to darkness. The sanctity of marriage is under siege, threatening to destroy the moral foundations of our nation.

We will also address the growing crisis that is emerging in many churches across America. A new wave of confusion is systematically seducing many young adults into deception. Sincere young people whose hearts were once ablaze for Jesus are being allured into compromise on foundational biblical truths and practices, while at the same time they are increasing in works of compassion and justice. No amount of increased ministry activity can “balance out” their profound spiritual compromises. In the name of tolerance, they are settling for a humanistic and “politically correct” theology that trivializes the glory of Jesus. Many young adult ministries are falling prey to this as they are seeking “relevance” that dulls the razor’s edge of truth for the sake of man’s approval. It is not enough to mention Jesus’ name if they deny foundational truths about Him. Our works of justice must flow from deep allegiance to Jesus and the Scripture.

Our nation has never stood on such a precarious footing as today. The onslaught of spiritual darkness is increasing in our classrooms, boardrooms, courtrooms, and bedrooms. We must confront the confusion that is pouring forth from many pulpits as well as from the halls of Washington. It is time to draw a line in the sand. We must hear what the Spirit is saying, and we must act on it. The Spirit will confirm the truth with demonstrations of power.

It is darkest before the dawn. Our hearts are full of faith. We know another historic “Great Awakening” is soon to sweep across our nation. We look with confidence to God’s promise: “In the last days . . . I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh” (Acts 2:17-21). All nations will receive the witness of the kingdom with power (Mt. 24:14; Rev. 7:9). What a privilege to live in this awesome hour of history.

At this very hour, Jesus is raising up young adults who are being mobilized to cry out in night and day prayer, win the lost, heal the sick, and do works of compassion and justice as they impact the very fabric of our society. Join us in Kansas City from December 28–31. The onething’09 conference is FREE. You can register at IHOP.org.

With passion for Jesus,
Mike Bickle and Lou Engle

Here’s a follow up post to the previous post on The Manhattan Project. Love seeing Mike Huckabee wearing a LIFE band.

I think way too early to put this declaration up there on par with Luther’s 95 Theses (as Huckabee states). But then again, Luther had no thought whatsoever that his stance would be so important. And, the Barmen Declaration was signed in 1934 and at that time many pastors didn’t sign on because things weren’t bad enough yet. I’ve always been an early adopter.

Thirty minutes from now, at noon at the National Press Club in Washington DC, one-hundred and twenty-five Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical leaders will be holding a press conference on their signing of what is being called “The Manhattan Declaration.”  (I see it as today equivalent of the Barmen Declaration which was penned by Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the early days of Hitler’s Germany as a statement of the Confessing Church’s opposition to the regime.)

The Manhattan Declaration, which will be online at noon today at this link, was penned by Chuck Colson and others. The 4,700-word declaration issues a clarion call to Christians to adhere to their convictions and informs civil authorities that the signers will not – under any circumstance – abandon their Christian consciences. 

Among the signers of the Manhattan Declaration scheduled to appear at the press conference are:

  • Robert George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University
  • Donald William Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, Diocese of Washington, D.C.
  • Harry Jackson Jr., Bishop, Hope Christian Church
  • Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, Diocese of Philadelphia
  • Timothy George, Professor, Beeson Divinity School at Samford University
  • Chuck Colson, Founder, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview
  • Ron Sider, Professor, Palmer Theological Seminary and Director of the Seminary’s Sider Center on Ministry & Public Policy
  • George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center and Founding President of the James Madison Foundation
  • Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
  • Jim Daly, President and CEO, Focus on the Family

Excerpts from the declaration include:

  • “We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right – and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation – to speak and act in defense of these truths.  We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence.”
  • “We recognize the duty to comply with laws whether we happen to like them or not, unless the laws are gravely unjust or require those subject to them to do something unjust or otherwise immoral.”
  • “. . . We will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriage or the equivalent or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.”

Here’s a clip from Chuck Colson’s Two Minute warning program where he talks about the Manhattan Declaration.

The names on Barth/Bonhoeffer’s Barmen Declaration became an early enemy hit list for the Nazis. Barth had to leave Germany immediately.

Two questions for discussion here: 1) Do you see us heading in the direction of benevolent despotism as Tocqueville prophesied for America? 2) Are we in “the days of a prelude to a totalitarian government” with religious liberty being the first freedom to be taken away?

Despite the fact that eighteen months have gone by, two weeks ago I absorbed yet another blow for refusing to join those who were critical of the Lakeland Outpouring. It’s not that I didn’t see anything about it I didn’t like – I frequently said if it was my “outpouring” I’d change about six things. But I sensed the Lord didn’t want me in the seat of scoffers. And because I stood where I stood, Todd Bentley’s sin became a black eye for me too.

With that in mind you’d think I’d hesitate to be one of the first to lend my enthusiasm to what has been transpiring at IHOP in KC since last Wednesday. And, in case you are wondering, I won’t hide my connections there. Kristen and I are from Kansas City – we enjoyed and were later hurt by things that unfolded during our time at Kansas City Fellowship in the 80’s. We left it all and came back.  We’ve paid a high price even in the last couple years for our refusal to distance ourselves from there. My son Caleb is in his second year of a four year program in the Bible school there. I’m delighted he is part of what they are now calling the IHOPU Student Awakening. He’s been deeply touched. Yesterday, at work, he led a witch to Jesus. I’m thankful, and confident he’s on the right track.

Last week, yet another letter was written criticizing Church at the Gate and my connection to IHOP. Nothing new. Nothing I haven’t heard before or that I wasn’t personally involved with in the 80’s. It was the typical stuff… I heard from a friend who has a relative who lives in Kansas City who has a friend who went to an IHOP event… And, then people who probably struggle to pray one hour a week start in criticizing a man who prays ten hours a day.

Before you jump to conclusions about IHOP-KC, think about this… just like IHOP-KC (10 yrs of 24/7 prayer), and the Moravians in Herrnhut, Germany (120 yrs of 24/7 prayer, starting in AD 1727), and the 3000 Celtic monks in Bangor, Ireland (300 years of 24/7 prayer, starting in AD 555), etc., let’s imagine that your little circle of Christians started praying twenty-four hours a day, seven-days-a-week and this went on for ten years seamlessly. Now, reflect on these questions:

  1. Do you think your group would look different than it does right now?  If so, how so?
  2. Do you think your group would stand out and be criticized by Christians who have no grid for what they see happening in your group?
  3. Would parents of students involved have concern that their son or daughter spending four hours a day in the prayer room is cult-like?
  4. Do you think your group would develop it’s own vocabulary that is foreign to those not a part of it?
  5. During these extended times in God’s presence, do you think God would underscore stuff in Scripture that is outside what your circle of Christianity presently views as orthodoxy?
  6. Has “evangelicalism” produced what God wants in the last fifty years? We are known by our fruits.
  7. What will it look like when spiritual awakening hits our college campuses?

Remember, a fanatic is one who loves Jesus more than you.

What is happening at IHOP-KC is God. We are agreed that the level of zeal for the Lord on display there far surpasses what what is normal in evangelicalism.

My favorite critique is to hear that someone says I’ve gone off the deep end. What a compliment.  I hunger for the deep things of God. They can stay in the shallow end with their floaties.  Let me make my point visually. I first thought to do this cartoon a couple years ago when someone commented to me — “I hear Church at the Gate is pretty radical.” I chucked and said, “Compared to what? Compared to the Bible? Hardly. Despite my wholehearted labor these past fifteen years, the Bible calls for a far more radical devotion yet.” I titled the cartoon – Is Church at the Gate radical?

Is Church at the Gate radical?

I’m going to start posting some on the IHOPU Student Awakening.  I snuck down there (Nov. 2-4) during the Global Bridegroom Fast to see my son Caleb who is a second year student at IHOPU. My drive home was one of the strongest times I’ve been with the Lord in a long time. It was hard to come home. ((I also went to KC to see my brother who has been in a battle for his eyesight. He was prayed for twice at IHOP while I was there and was delivered of a spirit of self-hatred at an IHOP Joseph Company meeting there on Saturday.))

This first post I’ll just paste the statement on the Awakening found on their website. My commentary on all of this will start in a subsequent post.  I’ll also embed a video clip of Wes Hall who gives context to what has been happening there.

On November 11, during a 9:00am class of first-year students, led by Allen Hood and Wes Hall at International House of Prayer University (IHOPU), the Spirit moved in their midst with physical healings, deliverance, and a spirit of joy. That class, on November 11, continued for more than 15 hours. The word spread quickly, and over 2,000 people spontaneously gathered in the auditorium from all over the Kansas City area, as deliverance and physical healings increased. The meeting continued well past midnight. Recognizing that the Spirit was moving, the leadership of IHOPU canceled all classes for the next few days so that we could gather to receive all that the Spirit wanted to do.

We recognize that the Holy Spirit is awakening our students and many others. In each of these meetings, many people are being set free from addictions, shame, depression, demonic activity, and every sort of emotional pain. We are also witnessing an increase of physical healings, as God is touching and restoring bodies inside the building, as well as healing people watching via the webstream. Moreover, we greatly rejoice as we are seeing lost souls being added to the kingdom of God during these meetings. We are receiving many testimonies and reports that this move of the Spirit is spreading to other churches and prayer rooms that are joining with us each night via the webstream.

It all began on November 4, on the last day of the monthly Global Bridegroom Fast at the International House of Prayer of Kansas City (IHOP–KC). A move of the Holy Spirit began to stir during the student chapel at IHOPU, as students testified about receiving deliverance from self-hatred, shame, and depression. Students began to experience supernatural joy at the revelation of God’s love for them. A powerful spirit of joy rested on many the next day at the IHOPU student-led 6:00am prayer meeting, and the Spirit continued to move throughout the week in our classes and during the faculty meetings.

What started during our IHOPU student chapel on November 4 is continuing today. Visitors are pouring in from many places, with some driving over 1,000 miles overnight to participate in these meetings. Consequently, on November 12, we moved the Prayer Room to our Forerunner School of Ministry sanctuary from 6:00pm to midnight each night, to accommodate more people. We will continue these nightly meetings as the Holy Spirit leads us. We earnestly pray that this awakening will continue, as our nation is in desperate need of another great awakening in this hour.

Throughout history, college and university campuses in our nation have been an epicenter and a catalyst for spiritual awakening. Since the 1700s, our nation has witnessed multiple moves of the Holy Spirit that have touched and awakened students on college campuses, including Princeton University, Yale University, Asbury College, Wheaton College, and more than a dozen other college campuses. These spiritual awakenings often progressed beyond the campuses and resulted in a great number of souls being added to the kingdom of God. History also attests to a strong correlation between spiritual awakening and missionary movements. We pray that this spiritual awakening that is touching IHOPU and the rest of our IHOP–KC Missions Base will break out all over our nation in different cities.

Here’s the video.

 

For those who are not used to seeing a grown man heave and twitch under the power of God, I’ll point you to my friend Randy Bohlender’s blog this morning where he notes this is God because that isn’t typical for Wes. In the Book of Acts, the only grid people had to process when they saw people affected by the weighty presence of God was to conclude they must be drunk.

Most of the time I keep this stuff inside and share it with God and maybe a few others. I feel like being honest here though. We picked a Sunday here in November as a 100% Sunday where we challenged each person to invite one person that day.  Deliberately (because of all the H1N1 buzz), we called it E1R1 (each one reach one) and have been building it up for a few weeks.

E1R1

I heard a story about a gal who told her friend that all she wants for her birthday is for her to come to church with her. I know there are people who burn with the burden of God for this lost world.  Most however, don’t care. I’ve been asking God for a church full of people who get it – people who are radical for Jesus. We’ve been in a Keith Green season again at our home. Two plus decades ago his music cemented my wife and I on a different path than most take. Please, please listen to this song.

Do you see, do you see all the people sinking down? Don’t you care, don’t you care? Are you gonna let them drown?

How can you be so numb, not to care if they come? You close your eyes and pretend the job’s done.

“Oh bless me Lord, bless me Lord” You know it’s all I ever hear. No one aches, no one hurts. No one even sheds one tear.

But He cries, He weeps, He bleeds and He cares for your needs. And you just lay back and keep soaking it in. Oh, can’t you see it’s such a sin?

Cause He brings people to you door, and you turn them away
As you smile and say, “God bless you, be at peace” And all heaven just weeps cause Jesus came to your door You’ve left him out on the streets

Open up open up and give yourself away You see the need, you hear the cries So how can you delay

God’s calling and you’re the one But like Jonah you run
He’s told you to speak But you keep holding it in, Oh can’t you see it’s such a sin?

The world is sleeping in the dark That the church just can’t fight Cause it’s asleep in the light. How can you be so dead
when you’ve been so well fed? Jesus rose from the grave and you, you can’t even get out of bed

Oh, Jesus rose from the dead. Come on, get out of your bed

How can you be so numb not to care if they come
You close your eyes and pretend the job’s done
You close your eyes and pretend the job’s done

Don’t close your eyes
Don’t pretend the jobs done
Come away, come away, come away with Me my love,
Come away, from this mess, come away with Me, my love.

In our kids department they gave out soda pop on E1R1 Sunday to kids who brought a friend and the other departments got creative with incentives.  We talked about pizza coupons or whatever for adults who invite others.  We ended up giving out free loaves of bread from Great Harvest Bread Co. to our 150 visitors. Even so,,, honestly, I’ve been somewhat unsettled about this special weekend…

Does it really take pop and pizza to get people to obey God’s Word and be contagious with their faith?  God have mercy on us.

Also on the table is a Comedy Night maybe in February. It’s a proven outreach event other growing churches have used to connect with people who wouldn’t otherwise come on Sunday. I’ve been praying about it.

It’ll be a great event.  I can make a case that we need to enter into the joy of the Lord and that people need hope and life and the uplift.  There is enough negative out there already, people need encouragement and a nite on the lighter side may be just what the doctor ordered. But here’s what’s in my spirit— these are days for the faithful remnant to weep before the Lord in repentance, not days to laugh. I’m open to dialog here on this, however my sense is you don’t want to be laughing when the Lord isn’t laughing. Yesterday I preached from James 4:9 “Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.” These are days to rend our hearts and return to the Lord.

We deserve judgment not pizza and God is justified in the judgments that are on the horizon. Look at the nation and the state of the church.  Look at the state of your heart.  And here we are thinking about Comedy Nights begging and cajoling overfed people to do 101-level stuff – like show up and bring  someone who doesn’t know Jesus.

Maybe this is coming off wrong – maybe you are thinking — looks like the pastor is having a hard day. No, the pastor has been in prayer all week and senses a gravity from the throne room about the hour in which we live. It’s time for the all night prayer meetings to be packed out again and for those who get it to weep before the Lord and seek his mercy. The church has gone from casseroles to pizza and the Lord is justified to dish up some judgment.

E1N1 UPDATE: E1N1 was a success at CATG. We had salvations in every service. This morning my Twitter and Facebook is littered with comments emitting zeal for what God did. Here’s a sampling…

Nate Nowak pray for r youth god is up to something last to sundays god has shown up its awesome

Amy L Prins Please pray that what was done tonight will not be snatched up by the enemy

Andrew Campbell campbells are buying goats for christmas! epic!

Caleb Hickey Just preached the gospel to a witch that called in to God TV. She got accepted the Lord! Thank you Jesus!

Jared Dupert Burn has been amazing! Bring on the explosion at Church at the Gate God. We are hungry for it!

Amy L Prins Church was amazing God worked in ways I was not expecting-I pray there was some deliverance thanks Ashley and pastor D

Tyler Carr amazing night at Youth Group

Kaitlyn Hickey Jesus is pretty freaking amazing

Liz Hansen Jesus is not the means to an end, He IS the End….Do we want God? Or do we want what He can give us? God will never give us something that will replace Him in our hearts. Thanks, Pastor Hickey, for an awesome Sunday message!!! Go God!

Caleb Hickey Things i am thankful for: renewal, that witch getting saved, a good night at NHOP, and all the tre moore vomit stories

Mary Elston Boen I’m so thankful for our church and the people who offer help w/out is asking for it! Truly grateful…

Kaitlyn Hickey is at church if you’re not well then you should be

Also, there are many many comments about the exciting day of football yesterday. Thank God for the simple pleasures too.  However, do your simple pleasures replace Him in your heart and keep/pull you from having a zeal for the house of the Lord? Reflecting on this I couldn’t resist sending out this Tweet a couple hours ago…

Did the Colts play? So I hear. God is moving- evrything else is boring, a vapor, placebo. Time2 prophesy 2packd stadiums

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