These three facets of Jesus as Bridegroom, King, and Judge sum up His Beauty.

Ask Mike Bickle: The Forerunner Message and the Beauty of God

by Jono Hall
1/23/18 Artists and Authors

In 2017 IHOPKC launched a new ministry initiative—the Center for Biblical End-Time Studies—to equip believers with knowledge and understanding of the 150+ chapters in which the primary focus is on events related to the generation of the Lord’s return.

We sat down with Mike Bickle to discuss why this study is important for believers.

Q. At IHOPKC we have several ministry names that include the word
forerunner. What do you mean when you use this word?

Mike: When I think of the word forerunner, I think of the message itself, of important events on God’s calendar that must take place on earth before Jesus returns. They’re so important that the Bible presents them many times.

I don’t primarily think of forerunner as a person but as a message. I understand if some use the term to speak of people instead of the message itself—after all, John the Baptist is called a forerunner (related to Jesus’ first coming).

I think of the term forerunner as an adjective describing the message itself rather than as a noun describing the person preaching the message.

At the heart of the forerunner message are two great polarizing events: the greatest revival ever seen in human history, and the most intense acceleration of darkness and judgment ever seen in history—and they will occur in the same generation. In addition, there will be unique dynamics connected to both the positive and the negative activities and trends, escalating to unprecedented levels.

No previous generation has had to navigate such polarized circumstances, which is why understanding the message is important.

The positive, revival aspect is popular with the Church, but the negative stuff—the increase of demonic activity, sin, judgment, and persecution before the Lord returns—is not really that appealing. Most people want to present a positive Christian message, and so the negative elements of the biblical narrative are often neglected.

Yet these positive and negative end-time events of the forerunner message are so important that they appear in the Bible again and again. But many believers, perhaps inadvertently, overlook these passages. So my passion is to not let go of this message.

The forerunner message is not the only thing we talk about, but because elements of it are so “politically incorrect,” I wanted us to name our ministry schools after it to keep us accountable to never draw back from it. To be honest, in my flesh, I don’t like all the negative elements in God’s end-time plan, but I love and trust Jesus, and it is His plan, so I’m not backing down.

Q: How is the beauty of God message related to the forerunner message?

Mike: One key component of the forerunner message is the revelation of Jesus as Bridegroom, King, and Judge. I believe these pictures of Jesus are strategically portrayed together a number of times throughout the Scriptures. As King, Jesus has great power. As Bridegroom, He has desire for deep partnership with His Bride in an intimate heart-to-heart relationship. As Judge, He is zealous to remove everything that hinders His love spreading across the planet.

So these three facets—Bridegroom, King, and Judge—sum up key aspects of the beauty of Jesus. There is no contradiction between His power as King, His desire for relationship as Bridegroom, and His zeal as Judge to remove the obstacles to love.

Q: What are some practical applications of end times teaching?

Mike: My teaching about the end times is significantly about Jesus as our Bridegroom King. People might think, what does that have to do with end times? But the church’s final focus at the end of this age is to cry out to the Lord as His Bride for Him to return (Rev. 22:17).

This Bridegroom message is very practical. When our life and experience is rooted in the knowledge of Jesus’ deep love for us—abiding in Him—we grow in confidence in our relationship with the Lord and His desire for us to partner with Him. Many will be fearful, offended, deceived, or confused by the secular narrative of the negative events and trends that are escalating in the nations even now. People hear this secular narrative and become afraid, but when we connect to Jesus’ excellent leadership—in history and in our own lives—we trust Him in the midst of trouble, knowing that everything works together for good for those who love Him (Rom. 8:28).

Being anchored in the biblical narrative of the end times gives God’s people perspective and faith, bringing His peace to our souls and giving us confidence to continue to grow in love and share Jesus’ love with others.

Jono Hall


    Originally from the United Kingdom, Jono Hall served on the leadership team of the International House of Prayer for 15 years. Prior to moving to Kansas City, Jono had worked with GOD TV for four years. At IHOPKC, Jono has served in many areas, but has principally been responsible for the media reach of IHOPKC, launching the broadcasting and creative media areas at IHOPKC. He has also been an instructor at IHOPU in subjects such as church history, basic Christian beliefs, and media production. Jono is married to Shari, and they have five children.

    Tell us what you think