Sunday, January 1, 2012

OneThing 2011: Mike Bickle on Vampires and Divine War

To read about Lou Engle's talk at OneThing 2011, click here. To read about Corey Russell's comment on the "unequally yoked" at OneThing 2011, click here.

The International House of Prayer (IHOP) hosts an annual year-end conference called OneThing, which Republic of Gilead commented on in 2010. OneThing 2011 took place on December 28-31, 2011 at the Kansas City Convention Center, and IHOP has since posted videos and MP3 files of the event at its website

IHOP director Mike Bickle gave several talks at OneThing 2011, including a Friday talk entitled, "Jesus, the Bridegroom King: Waging a War." Bickle explored the Revelations image of Jesus as conquering warrior, refusing to shy away from Revelations' graphic violence. Amidst his amusing comments about vampire movies and the occult was an unsettling excitement when discussing the Bible's violence.

At the 14:52 mark, Bickle explained that Revelations 19 is so violent because the world will be a wicked place in the end times.
"The nations will be blaspheming god. The nations will be walking in unprecedented levels of wickedness. They will walk in wickedness far beyond any other time in history. The occult is going to explode. Immorality is going to go far beyond what it is now. What's happening in the internet, realm of immorality is going to go so far beyond in the next ten, twenty, thirty years than it is right now. We can't even imagine."
I find it interesting that Bickle lists occultism and internet foulness, rather than war, poverty, or oppression, as the wickedness that will characterize the end times. Bickle goes on, condemning films and television shows with vampires -- films and shows he admits he has never seen -- as a means of "desensitizing" society into accepting "demon activity." At the 15:29 mark, he had this to say about pop culture.
"These kind of cute, kind of romance new films or shows with demons and beautiful women and beautiful men that are demons, or whatever-whatever. Haven't watched any of them, but I've heard about them, and believers thinking, 'oh, it's cute.' Video games. This stuff is really bad. It's not cute. It's calculated to desensitize an entire generation of the earth so that they are not scandalized by demonic activity and what demons do. This vampire this, or whatever it is that, the cute guy, but he's really this guy, or he's a demon ... Never watch that stuff. It's not cute, it's not innocent, it's desensitizing you, and it's a setup for the occult explosion that's about to happen ... And then the devil's going to pull his mask off, and they're not even going to mess with the cute guy and the romance and the vampire. It's going to be straight demon activity, straight on, face-to-face."
I loathe Twilight as much as the next person because of its toxic messages (see here and here), but not because it supposedly promotes demonic activity. As consumers of entertainment, we need to be media savvy, not paranoid about demons.

Bickle tells listeners that Jesus will march on Jerusalem in the end times to liberate it from its enemies. At the 24:26 mark, he launches into a pro-Israel speech, warning that the devil will try to destroy the Jewish people once again.
"The nations are going to gather, surround the city of Jerusalem with the intention of annihilating and exterminating the Jewish people. That's where history is going. Someone said is anti-Semitism going to break out again. It is going to reach all-time levels like never before. The devil wants to exterminate the Jewish race. He tried to do it through Adolf Hitler, and he failed. He's going to try again in a far more dramatic way through the Antichrist, and I have good news. He's going to fail again, but I have another news. The body of Christ is going to stand with Israel like no time in history, and we're going to be there as the first line of defense under Jesus' leadership."
Bickle describes in detail the graphic violence of Revelations, including how Jesus will "tread the wine press of the wrath of God" as he slays the armies at Jerusalem. With regard to the bloodshed that Jesus will unleash, Bickle asserts that "it's terrifying, but it's glorious in its end result." So that the land will be clean after the conquest, Jesus will gather birds to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the slain. Jesus' garments will be stained red, as if discolored from stomping grapes in a wine press. Bickle's euphoria as he described Jesus' violence was disconcerting, even if the violence he described would supposedly "clean the planet of evil once and for all."

Bickle's glorification of divine bloodshed made my blood run cold. After my fellow Americans have returned from a bloody and traumatizing war in Iraq, and having just read Child, Victim, Soldier, I have little patience right now for anyone who imagines war as "glorious." War is ugly, savage, dehumanizing, and corrosive to our fundamental humanity -- sometimes necessary as a last resort but never "glorious." What kind of vision of God is this, in which God is depicted as a conqueror who engages in mass bloodshed? What does it say about the authors of Revelations that they depict divine war in such celebratory terms? What does it say about Bickle that he revels in the image of Jesus as a blood-spattered warrior?


  1. The nations will be blaspheming god..... The occult is going to explode. Immorality is going to go far beyond what it is now. What's happening in the internet, realm of immorality is going to go so far beyond..... It's going to be straight demon activity, straight on, face-to-face.

    OK, I'm adopting this as my New Year's Resolution list.

  2. I think I am becoming desensitized to lunacy, thanks to people like Bickle, but at least he appears to be somewhat accurate in his portrayal of Revelation.

    Some source material for the final battle of Revelation comes from the OT, such as Ezekiel 38 and 39. They were unfulfilled (read failed) prophesies of such magnitude that they had to be carried through with Christianity. In the OT version, though, God lures the other nations to attack Israel, just so He can orchestrate the spectacle of their demise and show Israel that He is indeed the God and their God.

    It is the common violence and bitterness of life of the ancient times which desensitized them to how cruel, gruesome, and vindictive God was, but now stands off to you and I as repulsive.

  3. Bickle sounds like a sick sumbitch. I see little difference between his rhetoric and that of the terrorist's version of the Koran. All of a piece.

    My favorite line in this post: "I find it interesting that Bickle lists occultism and internet foulness, rather than war, poverty, or oppression, as the wickedness that will characterize the end times."

  4. Did Bickle forget to mention that war is also highly profitable for the supply side? I picture uniformed legions of soldiers all saluting Jesus. War is peace, after all.

  5. I tend to take a cynical view when it comes to your final questions, Ahab. Despite all our technological and other advances, I don't believe the human condition has changed all that much when it comes to certain wealthy people in power manipulating the masses through fearmongering and the promotion of absurd religious mythology.

    War is still glorified. Every soldier's death is touted as a noble act for a noble cause. It's horrific. Questioning the validity of the cause is condemned as tantamount to blasphemy and not supporting the soldier. Nothing could be further from the truth. But it is the exposure of truth that most frightens the manipulators.

  6. Infidel753 -- That's the spirit!

    Wise Fool -- Your knowledge of the Bible provides useful context to Bickle's speech. You'd think God would be creative enough to engineer stunning spectacles without slaughter.

    Nance -- The parallels (and their implications) are deeply unsettling.

    Jono -- Indeed. Bickle forgets the greed and corruption that almost always undergird war.

    Cognitive Dissenter -- You're sadly right, and it's heartbreaking. How many lives have been sacrificed on the altar of this lie?

  7. A thing I find rather obvious, is that the degree of abject anger at the world not agreeing with you, is the degree to which you paint the future in terms that are graphically violent. One's enemies must be more than vanquished, they must die in agony and annilated.

  8. Sherry -- Spot-on. The contempt for any and all who oppose Christianity in the end times is palpable. Trult horrific things can happen when one sees people of different belief systems as enemies to be eliminated rather than fellow human beings.

  9. The widespread, uncritical belief in an end-times is a poignant reminder of how intellectually limited our species is. Offhand, I don't recall what percent of Americans think Jesus will return within the next 50 or so years, but it's a rather large number. I wonder how we are ever going to deal with our real problems when so many people think our biggest problem is an impending apocalypse?

  10. Paul -- I've heard a few New Apostolic Reformation speakers speculate that the end times will come in our lifetimes. It's all bunk, of course, but I agree that such a mindset would distract people from real-life problems. Why worry about jobs or the environment when Jesus is coming?

  11. Your view on end times is completely wrong, inaccurate and is not what Bible believing Christians advocate. We do not believe that it is our job to "glory" in a bloodshed war- but rather that a Holy God has promised to one day rid the world of evil- beginning with satan, demons, and those that are at war wtih God. The Bible is not a book about "terrorism" but one of God's grace and mercy.

    The belief is that all man is born in sin and is already going to hell where he or she will be eternally tormented (not babies, mind you, but once a child reaches the age of accountability for his or her actions)- what Bickle was talking about (and he teaches on suffering, poverty, and war, all the time- the IHOP Prayer room is continually praying for those suffering injustices 24/7- you can watch online and see they pray for those in chains, sexual slavery, poverty and more- but the belief is that every person born in sin is already on the way to hell---the very human nature is at war with God because God is holy---and man is not.

    Revelation is about when Jesus comes to put an end to evil- and yes- those who would rather choose evil rather than holiness- who would rather hate God then love God will feel God's wrath-- what you are twisting--is that people like Bickle think they are going to execute the wrath. There is no true Bible believing person that would dare think that.

    But do we believe that God is going to punish sinners who refuse to turn away from sin and accept Jesus Christ as Savior-

    --that is the salvation message---it is the crux of all Christian denominations.

    Many people believe in "prophetic" symbolism- they speak with the "words of the Bible" but not with intent to act them out literally. It's really quite foolish for anyone to think that.

    Jesus taught in parables and Christians know that.

    He used metaphors and we know that.

    If children are taught to use the "sword of the Spirit" or to wear the "breastplate of righteousness" they know these are not physical objects but spiritual truths. Sure, Christians use dance, drama, even mime to act out spiritual messages. They do not act them out physically or literally.

    If you want to find children who are picking up literal weapons to kill for their God you better start looking somewhere other than the Christian church or IHOP because that's not wear it's at.

    Why not try looking in the Middle East.


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