On a similarly tragic note [as the passing of Jill Austin], for those familiar with the “Kansas City prophets” movement, there is an important aspect of it that came to a similar sad ending not long ago.
Mike Bickle – who heads up that movement (and also IHOP) – had a paralyzed brother named Pat Bickle – and one of the major prophecies over the entire movement was that he would one day be dramatically healed, and this would spark off the big revival that everyone has been waiting for. This prophecy was at the very center of the whole Kansas City movement.
But tragically, in May 2007, Pat Bickle passed away – after years of battling his disability. It really is a tragedy, because I understand that Pat was a strong advocate of real Revival and “clean heart” holiness preaching. (He had distanced himself from the movement over the lack of this).
Again, it is distasteful and awful to have to speak of such things, but don’t these tragedies ever make Mike Bickle stop and wonder whether his entire movement is off on the wrong track and mired in deception? Doesn’t it ever give him pause?
The claim that this prophecy is fake, made up and posted online only to discredit the Kansas City Prophets and the IHOP movement would be false. It was actually recorded by a reliable source in a book:
In August 1984 Bob Jones came up to Mike [Bickle].
‘Oh, by the way, I have a prediction for you. A young man is going to have a vision very soon. It will lift you high off the ground. You will hold on to him and not let go!’
What young man could be going to have a vision that could cause Mike to leap up like that, he wondered. He went home rejoicing.
Once in the house the phone rang. It was Agustine [Acala].
‘Mike, God is going to visit your brother Pat [Bickle] tonight! He will show him that he will heal him!’
The Lord did indeed visit Pat during the night. It was at 4.03 a.m. on the Friday. Pat was wide awake when in what seemed like a trance (cf. Acts 10: 10) the Lord appeared and he was terrified.
‘I have come. For eleven years I have not dealt with you,’ said the Lord.
It seemed slightly enigmatic. Pat came out of his trance and lay on his bed still in great fear. He had clearly not been healed.
That morning he called Mike and asked him what it meant. Whilst Pat was still on the line, Agustine (who only knew directly from the Lord what had happened to Pat that morning) called Mike on another line…
Unable to reach him, Agustine left a message: ‘Regarding Pat’s visitation last night, look at Acts 3 where you will see that the key miracle that opened up the city of Jerusalem was the healing of a cripple, and then at Acts 14 where another cripple was healed and this second miracle opened the door for the gospel to enter at Lystra.
‘The Lord has called Pat and told him that he is going to heal him and this will be the key for the gospel to the whole of Kansas City.’
Mike was thinking fast. God had made Pat to be a sign to this city. Most people would have forgotten the story of his accident and subsequent testimony by then, but it seemed they would soon have cause to remember it.
The account is uncontested. David Pytches personally visited Kansas City and wrote a sympathetic book — so sympathetic it could be considered promotional material. Much of what he wrote shows he did not question the stories he was told and actually believed Pat Bickle would get healed.
Note the involvement of Bob Jones which helped set up or prime Mike Bickle for deception from Agustine Acala. Also note the fact Bickle had zero spiritual discernment that Jones was setting him up and Acala was giving him a false prophecy.
One of the most interesting aspects of the story is it looks as if three demons conspired to affect three people at around the same time (or one demon may have targeted all three): Jones, Bickle and Acala. It also appears as if both Jones and Acala were operating by a divination spirit (knowledge provided by demons). God would not have given Jones knowledge that would be used to deceive Bickle the way it was used. It is extremely difficult to believe Jones got the knowledge from his own imagination. The only other rational explanation is the knowledge came from an evil spirit.
The fact the prophecy failed raises questions about whether there will ever be a revival in Kansas City, or if it will ever come through IHOP, or anything associated with Bickle. None of their best leaders and prophets from Paul Cain to Bob Jones to Agustine Acala to Mike Bickle himself, despite many years of trying — teaching, preaching, fasting, praying, etc. — produced a revival. They are not spiritual enough. They are not powerful enough. Anyone connected to them because they are expecting revival because they prophesied revival needs to get their prophecy examined.
There is another account of the Pat Bickle story posted online from a person who claims she knew him. It is very similar to what Pytches and Strom wrote. It includes the comment that IHOP scrubbed the story from their prophetic history. Acala and Jones both passed away before being asked to justify or apologize for their false prophecies.
To be clear, Pat Bickle never prophesied his healing would be a sign of revival to follow. He never said or did anything deceptive or misleading. He was a victim of the deceiving or deceived people around him. By all accounts Pat was a godly man who believed until the day he died he would be healed and a revival would follow.
Mike Bickle made a funny comment about his trusted prophet:
In October 1982, while I was pastoring in St. Louis, Augustine Alcala, a man with a proven prophetic ministry, gave me four words related to starting a new young adult church in Kansas City.
What exactly was “proven” about Alcala before 1982? What did Bickle know about proving prophecy before 1982?
- Andrew Strom, “Jill Austin Dies — and Also Pat Bickle,” www.prayway.com/prayer/topic/48615-jill-austin-dies-and-also-pat-bickle-by-andrew-strom/ (reposted) [Apr. 28, 2020].
- David Pytches, Some Said It Thundered: A Personal Encounter with The Kansas City Prophets, 1990, pp. 102-103.
- Mike Bickle, “Key Events in 1983 and 1999.” www.ihopkc.org.edgesuite.net/platform/IHOP/1020/202/PH01-IHOPKC_Key_Events_in_1983_and_1999.kd.pdf [May 1, 2020].