Monday, September 12, 2011

David Pytches - Some Said It Thundered

In 1990, David Pytches wrote a book about Mike Bickle and the Kansas City Prophets. Pytches, an Anglican Bishop, was very influential in the spread of Charismaticism into the United Kingdom, and was the founder of the New Wine conferences at that time (1989). Pytches book, “Some Said It Thundered” is perhaps the most comprehensive book on the KCP movement (now IHOP) but the biggest criticism of the work is that is was written from a very sympathetic viewpoint. Writes James A. Beverly:

David Pytches, the well-known Anglican renewal leader, gave the “rosy” and overly optimistic interpretation of KCF in his international best-seller, Some Said It Thundered. Unfortunately, his account is not the best place to turn for judicious and balanced investigation. In an article I wrote in The Canadian Baptist (March-April, 1992) I stated that the second edition of Pytches' work is marred by an “intemperate” forward by John White. Dr. White, in a spirit of graciousness, wrote me later and agreed that my verdict was correct. My view was based on the harsh statements about Ernie Gruen and his uncritical acceptance of the Vineyard's written reply about Gruen.

What I find most interesting about Pytches' book, and in line with my previous article about historical revisionism and the White Horse Prophecy, are the differences between the first edition of the book (published in the UK) and the second edition of the book which gained wide distribution in the States.

The Introduction to the second edition admits that (because of the Gruen Report) “the current attention being paid to the work developing at the Kansas City Fellowship has caused the leadership there to be particularly concerned about how they are presented. They wish to eliminate any impression of elitism for themselves.”

This makes it clear that Pytches work was written with a bias towards the Kansas City Prophets.
And true to form, many of the fantastic stories were either eliminated or greatly toned down. The story of Mike Bickle's visitation to heaven was eliminated, as were the references to Pat Bickle and the promise (city-wide revival) that would come with his healing.

And so, even back in 1991 there was a scrambling to put on a better public face, even though in meetings the fantastic stories were still told, and the promises believed. Around this time, certain tapes were removed from the tape ministry catalog of Grace Ministries (Bickle's umbrella organization), including the previously discussed and recently recovered Visions and Revelations.

Discovering these contemporaneous accounts has been very valuable in deciphering what really took place in these seminal years of the International House of Prayer movement. We have already written about the failed White Horse Prophecy and subsequent historical revisionism. Central to the prophecy (originally) was the idea that Bickle's paraplegic brother would be healed and his healing would bring about revival and a “city church” to Kansas City.

Let me be clear- the lack of healing (Pat Bickle later passed away) does not invalidate the IHOP ministry. God can (and will) sovereignly heal whom He may. What, in my mind, invalidates the IHOP ministry is a claim to a so-called “Prophetic History” that is frequently revised to eliminate failed prophecies and to portray the founding of the movement in a better light.

If you have not yet read about the White Horse Prophecy, now would be a good time. I'll wait.

* * *

In essence, the White Horse Prophecy changed over time to suit the circumstances. What was once a white horse with two men, one on a board on the horse (Pat Bickle) became a white horse with the "young leaders" of the movement. Too much trouble to explain the failed prophecies, I suppose.

As you may have seen from that article, we have been able to piece together a story from multiple sources which brings out the emphasis of that prophecy from the late 80's and early 90's- the formation period of the IHOP movement. And suffice it to say, perhaps not a single IHOP student or intern who is undergoing the mandatory training in the “prophetic history” today is aware of any of this.

And so this morning, I received in the mail a copy of David Pytches “Some Said it Thundered” first edition 1990. And the real story of the White Horse prophecy. Here are some excerpts:

Bob then spent the next two hours with eyes fixed on Mike telling him of some of the visions he believed he had received from the Lord. Central to them, it seemed, was a strange white horse with a board of its back bearing a young man. The horse was plodding along the mountain side in a stream of fresh water about four inches deep. Bob Jones was behind it holding long reins, not so much guiding the horse but steering it back into midstream, to protect it from mad rabid dogs; these apparently were sincere men with false doctrine but being rabid they had a phobia of water and dared not get into it.

Bob Jones said he imagined the man on the back of the horse must be Mike Himself. The Lord told him he was going to deliver that young man.   (Pytches, 1st edition, pp. 65)

So it appears that initially they did not realize that Pat Bickle was in the dream. This is consistent with other recollections that we have heard from Bob Jones, who is not very coherent to begin with. But further revelation was given:

As they were seated with Art Katz around Bob Jones' table that Sunday evening talking, praying and weeping before the Lord, midnight came.

Bob Jones spoke: 'By the way, an angel of the Lord visited me last night and told me I was mistaken! I asked Him, “What did I get wrong?” The angel said: “In that vision of the white horse in the stream that young man was not Mike but his brother Pat.”

'The other day Pat asked me if I had ever seen him before and I said “No!” Last night the angel re-ran that vision of the white horse which I have already told you about. I had always thought that the young man I saw carried on that board on the back of the white horse must be you, Mike! But when the angel spoke to me he showed me that actually it was Pat who was being borne on the white horse. So I had in fact seen Pat before but mistakenly I told him that I had not.

“Last night in the same vision I saw you, Mike, and I made a comment to you about the heavy responsibility you bore concerning Pat and you replied: “He's not heavy; he's my brother and I love him so much.”'

Mike was visibly startled at those words and began to sob. 'You have no idea what you have just said to me! Those were the very words that I had used in my secret covenant with the Lord over my brother!' he sobbed.   (Pytches, 1st edition, pp. 83)

Now it appears that another vision was factored into the story- this one given to Pat Bickle and then interpreted by another Kansas City Prophet, Augustine Alcala:

Later in August 1984 Bob Jones came up to Mike. '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 Augustine. 'Mike! God is going to visit your brother Pat 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.

While Pat was still on the Line, Augustine (who only knew directly from the Lord what had happened to Pat that morning) called Mike on another line. Unable to reach him, Augustine left a message: Regarding Pat's visitation last night, look at Acts 3 where you will see that 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.   (Pytches, 1st edition, pp. 102-3)

Well, finally we have cause to remember it.

* * *

See also:
Mike Bickle - The White Horse Prophecy

Mike Bickle-Inoculation of the Sheep

Revisionism and The Blueprint Prophecy

Spiritual Dishonesty

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