*For additional study material pertaining to this page, see mikebickle.org You can also download a .pdf of this documenthere
We recognize varying degrees of importance regarding biblical, end-time doctrines and themes. We use four categories of ideas related to the end times—those of primary importance (essential doctrines), those held as our core convictions, those helpful for clarity, and personal opinions.
Jesus spoke of some truths as being weightier than others (Mt. 23:23), and He considered the commandment to love God to be “greater” than other commandments (Mt. 22:37-38). “You tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness.” (Mt. 23:23)
It is important to present the biblical message of the end times with humility and love in a way that promotes unity, yet without compromising important truths. This is captured in the well-known saying “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, diversity; and in all things, love.”
The Lord wants His people to be bold, with strong convictions about what the Bible makes clear, yet with humility and proper nuance. We acknowledge the value of those whose views differ from our own, and we must always posture ourselves to continue to learn and listen to others.
In our zeal to be faithful to the Scriptures, we acknowledge that some end-time themes are best stated as opinions and suggestions, instead of as statements that are unnecessarily dogmatic. Scripture allows for interpretative diversity concerning the specific details and timing of events.
Any presentation of a detailed narrative of future events from a biblical perspective must be tempered, knowing that church history is littered with self-confident teachers who proudly overstated their position or were dogmatic where the Scriptures were not. It is best to delineate between primary truths and our personal opinions when presenting details of end-time themes.
No group has more than part of the full truth of Scripture about the end times. Only as the whole Body of Christ receives understanding will we know the full biblical storyline.
We are to respect others with differing views on the end times, as long as biblical eschatological essentials are upheld and sound, contextual Bible interpretation is implemented. Teachers must be careful not to imply that their view on the end times is the correct one.
We emphasize that there are varying levels of importance of end-time doctrines and themes, and that IHOPKC's staff, students, interns, and other members of this spiritual family do not need to embrace all that we say about the end times. We do not ask anyone to accept our views; rather, we urge you to think for yourself (Acts 17:10-11), to boldly challenge all ideas that you hear, and refuse any teaching that you do not see with your eyes in your Bible.
Primary Importance: Essential Doctrines
These are truths that have been upheld historically by the Church as essential doctrines of salvation. They define what is essential orthodoxy as related to end-time themes. The truths below do not include all the important doctrines in our statement of faith, but only those pertaining to the end times. We agree with the basic tenets in the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, etc.
Authority of Scripture: We fully agree with the reformers who used the phrase Sola Scriptura. Our one source for understanding God’s plan for the end times is Scripture alone. We do not base our views on prophetic experiences or “personal revelations.” The only sure commentary on the Word is the Word itself.
Second Coming: The literal, bodily, second coming of Jesus to reign forever as King of kings.
Resurrection of the Saints: The physical or bodily resurrection of the saints.
Heaven: Living with Jesus in the New Jerusalem on the new earth for all eternity.
Eternal Judgment: the punishment of the lost. We stand against the heresy of universalism that teaches that there is no hell and thus all people will be saved. Scripture teaches the eternal, conscious torment of the damned in the lake of fire and does not support annihilationism.
Below are core convictions that IHOPKC's leadership holds related to the end times. IHOPKC do not require our staff, students, interns, or other members of their spiritual family to embrace these truths, yet it is necessary for all who teach at CBETS to uphold our core convictions. Part of our calling is to be a “messaging ministry,” committed to being faithful witnesses of Jesus, His plan of salvation, His commitment to build the Church and disciple nations, and of His end-time plans.
Our leadership team has worked through our core convictions for many years, even decades. We have based them on the Scriptures, with the confirmation of many teachers in the Church.
Our leadership team has been thoroughly exposed to different views held by others in the Body of Christ. We are aware of these differing views and are firmly settled on our core convictions.
We welcome any to challenge our views as they seek to establish their own core convictions. We value this process for them. We are committed to our core convictions, yet remain open to change our views related to biblical end-time themes that are of lesser importance. (See "Helpful, Not Central" Section)
We seek to be clear about our core convictions, so that people do not join us thinking that they might change them. We love and honor believers who disagree with our core convictions, and encourage them to find a spiritual family where they can enjoy unity related to their convictions.
Our primary end-time theology is historic premillennialism with a victorious church (See Related Section Below). Our leadership team is firmly convinced that this is the end-time position that is most faithful to what we believe the Scriptures teach. Our core convictions express this theological perspective.
Jesus as Bridegroom, King, and Judge: Jesus is a Bridegroom with desire, a King with power, and a Judge who is zealous to remove all that hinders love.
The salvation of Israel, the battle for Jerusalem, and supporting the messianic remnant now; the persecution of Israel and widespread anti-Semitism, even including prison camps.
We seek to equip messengers who prepare themselves and others spiritually by understanding the unique dynamics seen in approximately 150 chapters of the Bible whose primary theme is the end times. The Lord is raising up messengers who will proclaim “the forerunner message” emphasizing that Jesus will return as Bridegroom, King, and Judge in context to what the Scriptures say about His end-time plan. Messengers equip people spiritually so that they are confident in the Lord and His plan to prepare His people in love and unity as a Bride who is not fearful or offended by Jesus’ leadership nor deceived by the enemy in the end times.
Historic Premillennialism with a Victorious Church
This represents our core beliefs related to the end times. Many teachers throughout church history, and today, have held to historic premillennialism and/or a victorious Church. This theological view includes the following:
The victorious Church walking in unity, intimacy, and maturity (purity, power, wisdom). Unity includes the whole Church working together in love and honor (Jn. 17:21-23). Jesus loves the whole Church and is returning for a large, unified, international Church.
The theme of a victorious church includes a global harvest and a prayer and worship movement from every nation preceding Jesus’ return (Mt. 24:14; Rev. 5:9; 7:9, 14).
The Millennium, a 1,000-year reign of Jesus on the earth with the saints (Rev. 20:1-6). We believe that the Church is to impact society with the kingdom, but we do not embrace the postmillennial view that society will be fully Christianized before Jesus returns.
The Antichrist is a man who will be the most powerful demonic leader in history.
A post-tribulation rapture at the end of the Great Tribulation, which lasts 3½ years.
A futurist view of many prophecies found in the books of Revelation and Daniel, etc.
Global temporal judgments preceding the return of the Lord.
The abomination of desolation is the primary sign that Jesus gave for recognizing the beginning of the Great Tribulation. It includes the image and mark of the beast (Rev. 13).
A falling away from the faith (Mt. 24:9-13; 2 Thes. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1-2; 2 Tim. 3:1-7; 4:3-5; 2 Pet. 2:1-3).
Eternal rewards and reigning on the earth with Jesus (Rev. 2:26; 3:21; 5:10; 20:4-6; 22:5).
Helpful, But Not Central
These themes are helpful for those seeking to understand the broader storyline in the Scripture related to the end times. Understanding these themes helps us to grasp many end-time passages that are commonly neglected based on their being too difficult to comprehend outside the context of the broader biblical storyline. These are not core convictions that we require our teachers, staff, or students to embrace.
Seeing the structure of the book of Revelation as sequential (instead of recapitulation) and the three numbered-judgments series (the seals, trumpets, and bowls) as literal (instead of symbolic).
The 2-fold definition of the Day of the Lord—the narrow day (24 hours) and the broad day
Identification of the Harlot Babylon
The descent of the New Jerusalem in proximity to the earth at the beginning of the Millennium, and resting on the earth at the end of the Millennium (Rev. 3:12; 21:2, 10) with regard to the heavenly and earthly realms being joined together at the time of Jesus’ return (Eph. 1:10).
Signs of the times: identifying what they are and how they are fulfilled in today’s society.
Jesus marching up from Edom to Jerusalem (Isa. 63), and His royal procession being seen by “every eye” in every part of the earth (Mt. 24:30; Rev. 1:7; cf. Isa. 63:1-6; Hab. 3:3-5; Zech. 9:14; 12:10; Mt. 26:64).
Opinions That are Not Central
Opinions based on implications drawn from Scripture—these are not central to our core convictions.
Mike Bickle's personal opinion (not prophecy) that we may be in the early days of the generation that the Lord returns is not a conviction held by all in our leadership team. He shares this opinion because of his sense of urgency as to the importance of people studying the 150 key end-time chapters.
The identification and timing of the 144,000 people sealed during the Tribulation
The hastening of the Day of the Lord involves a combination of significant issues, such as the sovereign timing of the Father and the maturity of the Church worldwide (2 Pet. 3:11-14). The end-time global prayer movement is an important part of this, but it is not the only issue.
The Church is not to pray for Jesus’ return until after the abomination of desolation occurs. We pray, “Come, Lord Jesus!”—come near us (in intimacy), to us (in revival and justice), and for us (at the second coming). The whole Body of Christ will be involved in “singing back” the King.