The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Mike Bickle’s “Bridal Paradigm” & the Gnostic “Bridal Chamber”

Mike Bickle, founder of International House of Prayer (IHOP), teaches what he calls “The Bridal Paradigm.” He claims that until the global Church sees herself as the cherished Bride (in the way Bickle presents it) and is crying out, “Come, Lord Jesus” in a spirit of lovesickness,  Jesus cannot come back. His “Bridal Paradigm” teaching focuses on the Song of Solomon, and encourages believers to imagine themselves being ravished by Jesus, being the object of His attraction, etc. Sensual songs are written and performed so that people can imagine, dream and feelintimacy with Jesus. The bridal identity of the Church is stressed more than other biblical identities (such as sheep following a Shepherd, servants obeying a King, priests serving under a High Priest, children adopted by a Father, etc.). This imbalance leads to great mischief, especially since there is a lack of sound doctrine otherwise preached in these so called “houses of prayer.” (Read “Love and Death in the House of Prayer” if you want to see how much mischief can be caused by these errors.)  What is preached in IHOPS is generally visions and imaginations, loosely backed up with bits of Scripture ripped from context.

Most concerning to me is that Bickle teaches that the Church is stunted due to not having knowledge of his version of the “Bridal Paradigm.”  Think about that. According to this puffed up man, the global church needs secret knowledge that has been given only to him. That is pure gnosticism, my friends. It is a worship of knowledge, and a belief that by Bickle’s secret knowledge we shall be saved.

In researching gnosticism, I came across what is called “The Bridal Chamber” teaching of the gnostics, and alarms started going off in my mind. This teaching apparently dates back to early gnostic writings (Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Philip), and stressed a kind of carnal knowledge of “the Christ,” or a marriage between the Christ and Sophia (carnal wisdom). You can research this for yourself, as there are plenty of pro-gnostic websites still promoting the ritual of the Bridal Chamber, like this one, which even claims that the spirit of “Sophia” arouses in us a “desire to pray.” How about that?!  Bickle also promotes repetitive, in-house prayer as the means to save the world, in direct disobedience to the Great Commission (which is to be carried out while we pray without ceasing).  Further, there is evidence that Bickle’s “divine kiss” teaching, which supposes that we receive the Word through a kiss (source) is exactly like the “holy kiss” teaching of the gnostics! (Pro-gnosis site here, scroll down to “kiss” and take note of how similar this teaching is to Bickle’s, in that a kiss supposedly brings the revealing of hidden knowledge).

I tried to find Christian sites which had drawn a connection between the dangerous teachings of Mike Bickle and the gnostic Bridal Chamber teaching. I found none (which is not to say there are none). I believe there is a spiritual connection, and the same doctrines of demons that were circulating in the Apostle John’s day are still being taught today through deceivers like Mike Bickle. There is nothing new under the sun. Satan uses the same old lies to deceive those who have not received a love of the truth, because he finds that those lies continue to work!  As long as people desire experience over unchanging Truth (another element of gnosticism), they will continue to be led astray by their experiences. They will continue to look down their noses at the “uninitiated” who warn them of the deception, proudly assuming they have secret knowledge which gives them a one-up over others.

People who are drawn in by Mike Bickle’s teachings no doubt think his revelations are “deep” and “exciting.” I give this warning to all such people: Beware that you do not follow satan’s so called “deep secrets” (Rev. 2:24, NIV). It just may be that the teachings appear “deep” because they are, in fact, the “depths of satan.” (same verse in NKJV).

One Response to “Mike Bickle’s “Bridal Paradigm” & the Gnostic “Bridal Chamber””

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