The story begins in December 1989 at the height of the Kansas City prophetic movement before any significant controversy. Paul Cain and others used to travel around the United States. In this case Cain spoke at a meeting in San Antonio, Texas. J. Lee Grady, a journalist for eight years, was in the audience.

Unfortunately this piece never got published in Charisma magazine where it could have created shockwaves. Grady was an editor there for many years but did not start until 1992. He wrote about it in his book The Holy Spirit Is Not for Sale: Rekindling the Power of God in an Age of Compromise (2010) and then republished it in a later book What Happened to the Fire? Rekindling the Blaze of Charismatic Renewal (2019).

After his sermon Cain delivered prophecies to about ten individuals or couples. Each of the messages was laced with bits of personal data—first names, cities, street numbers.

To one pastor and his wife, personal friends of mine, he mentioned the number 4001 (their church office was located on 4001 Newberry Road) and predicted that they would experience great revival in their Florida city.

At another point Cain asked if “Mark and Debbie” from Washington, D.C., were in the audience. This couple had pastored a church in Washington for several years with a ministry office located at 139 C Street, near the U.S. Capitol. “There’s something about 139 C,” Cain said, and he proceeded to predict that spiritual revival would someday impact Capitol Hill.[1]

Patterns detected

… it disturbed me that almost everyone who received these prophetic directives was part of the full-time staff of the ministry sponsoring the conference.

It also seemed puzzling that all the information Cain ostensibly received from God was printed in a staff address directory that I knew was easily available to conference speakers.[2]

Investigation launched

Later Grady decided to put his journalism skills to work.

The church on 4001 Newberry Road . . .  closed and most of the members had left the city, including the pastor and his wife.

“Mark and Debbie” had resigned their pastoral positions in Washington, D.C. The 139 C Street office was rented out to another group and the church had moved to the suburbs.

Another young man—who had been told by Cain that he would orchestrate a fruitful ministry in southern California—told me he had moved to Texas and had no desire ever to live in California again.[3]

Cain confronted

His investigation concluded, Grady now thought he had enough information to confront the “prophet.”

A year after the San Antonio meeting, I interviewed Paul Cain. He insisted during our conversation that no one has ever proved that he obtains information from any source other than God.

Two years later I asked him to explain why these prophecies did not come true. I also asked him if he had seen any information about those people’s addresses before he prophesied over them. He would not answer my questions directly, but through a friend denied any wrongdoing.

. . .

most of the prophecies he gave in that meeting in 1989 were inaccurate.[4]

The allegation of fake supernatural revelations was corroborated in 2011 (click screen capture to enlarge):




You cannot assume, based on reputation, hype or drama, “secrets” were revealed by God.

Side note: could Cain ever get through one meeting without a false revival prophecy?

End notes
  1. J. Lee Grady, What Happened to the Fire?, 1994, pp. 115-116.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Craig, “In Exonerating Paul Cain, Is the ‘Aberrant Practices’ Document Invalidated?” CrossWise blog, Oct. 17, 2011. [May 4, 2020].


The heavens now are declaring His timing… He’s beginning to raise up the eternal church, built on the foundation government, and He’s beginning to mature that.

And within another 4-5½ years, somewhere in there… You’re going to begin to see anointed men of God begin to move with the Holy Spirit in power… You will see the glorious church begin to come in and you will begin to birth it. It will take probably another 15 to 20 years to get some of you into some level of maturity…

First, He will bring the five… there is a ministry after the fivefold, called the ministry of perfection: the Melchizedek priesthood. You that are children will be moving into the ministries of perfection… coming into that divine nature of Jesus Christ—not having to come out of the wilderness, but being birthed natural into the Spirit.

All their days movin’ with the Spirit… You’re in the warfare. Start to take the promised land. And then you raise up the generation to possess it. Well, the children that are coming forth are to possess the promises of God. It is the last-day generation.”

—Bob Jones, 1988

“Visions & Revelations,” Mike Bickle with Bob Jones, Fall 1988, KCMO, pp. 49-50.

Quoted by Ernie Gruen, Documentation of the Aberrant Practices and Teachings of Kansas City Fellowship, 1990.


The prophecy’s authenticity as far as whether Bob Jones actually said it is uncontested. It may have been prophesied at Mike Bickle’s church in Kansas City. Jones was known as one of the Kansas City Prophets and was often interviewed by Bickle.

The transcription was published by Ernie Gruen, senior pastor of a church near Kansas City, in his Aberration report which was distributed across America in early 1990. His source was a cassette recording; this was the standard for teaching distribution at the time; tapes were offered for sale to the public through a tape catalog.


Jones’ prophecy has time parameters. It was dated 1988 (Gruen’s report used the F88 tag). It may have been recorded earlier than 1988 but first distributed in 1988. But it seems fair to say it was recorded no later than 1988. When you add the 4 to 5.5 years to 1988, it’s 1992 to mid-1993.


There was nothing special or significant that happened between 1988 and 1993 which could indicate let alone prove the fulfillment of “You’re going to begin to see anointed men of God begin to move with the Holy Spirit in power” either in terms of existing ministries suddenly demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit — or new ministries starting to show it — and certainly not by Jones.

Jones said: “It will take probably another 15 to 20 years to get some of you into some level of maturity.” This was not a prophecy; it was an opinion. The word “probably” obviously is opinion. Any “prophecy” with the word “probably” is immediately suspect; it undermines the entire prophecy. It makes the audience wonder if not just the sentence with “probably” but the entire prophecy is speculation.

Even if you discount the word “probably” as an inadvertent mistake, a slip of the tongue, and then add 15 to 20 years from 1988, you get a prophecy saying powerful men will be demonstrating the Holy Spirit by 2003 to 2008. But, again, there was nothing significant during this time frame, either, to prove or validate the prophecy — including by Jones himself.

The most significant part of the prophecy is the final sentence: “It is the last-day generation.”  This shows Bob Jones believed the generation that would be demonstrating God’s power starting between 2003 and 2008 (or between 1992 and 1993) would be the last generation. We have been in the “last days” since the Day of Pentecost because the Joel 2 last days prophecy was fulfilled on that day according to Peter’s sermon. Jones must have been talking about literally the last generation.

That is a really hard sell! What respected Christian leaders if any today believe the end is near?!

The Church as a whole, and with very few exceptions, operates at very low levels of spiritual power. This is true of any kind of spiritual power you can imagine from prophecy to miracles, signs, wonders, or any gifts of the Holy Spirit. There is really no evidence of a rising tide of spiritual power as if an entire generation is more mature or more spiritual than any previous generation.

Besides lack of accuracy, lack of power is another reason why Bob Jones prophecies have been so difficult to believe. He did not have a healing ministry. He did not demonstrate what he prophesied. “If we are supposed to grow in power,” somebody should have asked him, “why aren’t you!?”


False prophecy


The entire prophecy is not clean and clear. It seems like rambling with a few ideas cobbled together with some opinions on eschatology thrown in as if he made it up as he went along. Its value would have been considered very limited because it provided no guidance on how to get the power it promised. It completely lacked wisdom and responsibility. It had no associated miracles or signs for confirmation.

“I will change the understanding and expression of Christianity in one generation.” —Mike Bickle, 1982


The source of this prophecy is not disputed. It has been spoken publicly more than once, recorded in writing and currently appears on the website of the organization its author founded and leads. The precision of its content and age is also uncontested for the same reasons. The word is verbatim:

Screen capture, IHOP KC[1]


In the fall of 1982 Bickle (1955-) was 28 years old.


Bickle has detailed very little experience or undeniable accuracy at hearing God prior to 1982. He has not provided many examples of fulfilled prophecies he made before ’82. He was not known as a prophet before making this prophecy. Neither he nor his friends publicize a long list of fulfilled prophecies he made since then.


The prophecy is very short. Some of its content is easy to understand and some of it isn’t. The two clearest words and phrases are “Christianity” and “generation.”


Christianity means: “a religion based on belief in God and the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, and on the Bible.”


Generation means: “a period of about 25 to 30 years, in which most human babies become adults and have their own children.”

The exact length of a “generation” could be considered as short as 20 years or as long as 30 years. Donn Devine, an expert at, says:

As a matter of common knowledge, we know that a generation averages about 25 years—from the birth of a parent to the birth of a child—although it varies case by case. We also generally accept that the length of a generation was closer to 20 years in earlier times when humans mated younger and life expectancies were shorter.2

The 20- to 30-year duration range requires Bickle’s prophecy to be fulfilled before 2002 (1982+20=2002) or 2012 (1982+30=2012).

Understanding and Expression

The meaning of the other words—”understanding” and “expression”—are generally understood but in this context they are not. They are so vague it could be argued that it would be difficult to know what the “prophecy” means and when it is fulfilled.


The obvious thing to do if you get an impression from God that doesn’t make sense or isn’t easy to understand is to ask God for an explanation so the “word” isn’t ignored after being rendered meaningless and useless. We are not aware that Bickle did this.

The second option that is almost as obvious is to ask an expert at hearing God what the prophecy or parts of it mean, especially when you are 28 or younger and have no experience being led by God or hearing His voice. We are not aware that Bickle did this, either.

Bickle’s problem was basic. In the 1970s and 1980s he did not have the volume or quality of books or teaching on hearing God that is available today. He could not have attended a reputable school of prophets. He also did not have access to reliable prophets. He was not training or working under a prophet like Elisha with Elijah.

Whom could he consult? Back then he was nobody. He knew nobody; nobody knew him. He could not just pick up a phone and call an expert. He was at the mercy of people he had met, such as Augustine Alcala and Bob Jones, two men who seemed to him to be legitimate until they became widely discredited false prophets.

So there you had a young guy with no education, no training, no self-education, no expertise and no expert consultants for prophetic revelation—getting a strange, ambiguous word he thinks is God—and we are supposed to believe it immediately without reservation and any critical consideration.


In the fall of 1982, Mike took a trip around the world to observe the plight of the poor. While spending the night in prayer in a hotel room in Cairo, Egypt, the Lord encountered Mike that September. He heard the audible voice of the Lord say, “I will change the understanding and expression of Christianity in one generation.”3

The statement “While spending a night in prayer” could be seen as corroborative of an accurate prophecy, but it is not considered confirmative. Anyone could spend time in prayer and not hear God. It is certainly not a biblical standard so it is not authoritative.

The statement “He heard the audible voice of the Lord” has not been verified. It is unverifiable. It sounds spiritual and authoritative but isn’t. People who hear voices are neither considered reliable nor authoritative.

There is nothing special about the location (hotel room, Cairo, Egypt) to make anybody say “It must have been God.”


The content of the prophecy had no relevance to what Bickle was doing at the time or where he was.


One observer commented: Why would you want to change the understanding of Christianity when it is already correctly understood by the preaching of the Gospel? We are no longer living in the days of Martin Luther! Mike Bickle’s prophecy would have been more relevant in 1500 AD.


There is already biblical understanding and expression of Christianity in many parts of the world. This was true in 1982 and it is true today. Clearly his word cannot be relevant for these places unless he was prophesying the demise of Christianity. But that’s not the impression most people would get of his prediction. It lacks a considerable amount of definition which undermines any claims of its value. It doesn’t say where in the world it is for. It doesn’t say what this new “understanding” will be; nor does it say what the new “expression” will look like.


The prophecy contains no new practical wisdom. It is a statement with no steps for how in the world the change will happen.


Unlike great biblical prophecies, Bickle’s had no conditions.


Notwithstanding the vagueness of the prophecy, nobody has been saying the understanding and expression of Christianity changed after 1982 before 2002, or before 2012, or since 2012. No Christian leader has claimed this including Mike Bickle. There is no indication the prophecy is partly fulfilled, or about to be fulfilled, or will be fulfilled in the foreseeable future.


It has not been fulfilled.


The clock ran out in 2012.


False prophecy


Bickle’s ability to discern the voice of God was unproven in 1982. He was young and inexperienced. It is not unusual for young people to think they heard God when they didn’t. The very odd thing is as recently as 2019 his organization was still talking about his 37-year-old prophecy (1982-2019) as if it were a legitimate word from God despite the fact it had failed in 2012 and cannot be fulfilled in the future.

  1. Adam Wittenberg, “Marking IHOPKC’s Prophetic History,” May 21, 2019. [Apr. 28, 2020].
  2. Donn Devine, “How Long Is a Generation?”, n.d. [May 1, 2020].
  3. Wittenberg.