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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Comiskey

Foot Washing: Prophecy that Soars and Ensnares

Updated: Mar 27

‘I will pour out on you a spirit of grace and supplication…

We will look upon the One we have pierced and will mourn as one grieves for an only child…

On that day, I’ll open a fountain to cleanse you from sin and impurity;

on that day, I’ll banish the idols from the land…

On that day, I’ll remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land…

On that day, every prophet will be ashamed of his prophetic vision.

He will say, “I am not a prophet, I am a farmer.”

When asked about the wounds on his body, he will answer:

“These wounds I was given at the house of my friends’ (Zechariah 12:10-13:6).

I came broken and cast down to the Vineyard’s pastor conference that year. Annette and I had been asked to leave our Vineyard due to challenging the senior pastor over his sexual immorality. Ever prescient John Wimber knew his leaders needed extraordinary encouragement, so he invited the Holy Spirit to release pastors to prophesy to each other (‘When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied,’ Num. 11:25).

I immersed myself in that river of life. A current of truthful edifying words coursed over me as leaders I did not know distilled my call: a woman described me as ‘a one-star general of purity,’ another man, ‘you have wrestled and you limp,’ yet another, ‘you suffer on behalf of others who suffer more.’  


Wow. These leaders neither knew me nor my wound. But their words welled up from the heart of God to this thirsty soul. ‘Where that river flows, everything will live…’ (Ez. 47:9) Utterly true: I came alive again to my identity and purpose. An authentic prophetic stream released from the Holy Spirit to build up the Body released me.    


A year later, I had another experience of prophecy that made me sick. Wimber invited a few ‘prophets’ from Kansas City to address Vineyard Anaheim. At first, I liked it: Mike Bickle corrected our sunny and superficial California morality, or lack thereof. (Little did I know that Bickle’s Midwest world was rife with immorality.)


What threw me was Paul Cain, the grand ‘prophet’ who said nothing substantial but managed to rally a bunch of idiots around him who longed for the ‘oracle’ to speak the defining word. Yuck! We knew better. John knew better! (Well, everyone can make a mistake).


God doesn’t trump up a man, a person associated with a gift. God gives gifts freely from His Spirit through anyone to accomplish His will, for ‘He gives gifts freely, as He determines’ (1 Cor. 12:11). God may deliver through Balaam, an ass, but He wasn’t coming through one like Cain.


I remember wasting a couple of nights as 5000 people hoped that Paul would call him or her out to declare clairvoyant minutiae about one’s personal life (sideshow, anyone?) then pronounce with a flourish some grandiose future in which he or she would usher in revival, Jesus’ return, etc.


Wow. A dead sea in contrast to the prophetic stream released at the Vineyard’s pastor gathering. The emperor had no clothes. At this time, scripture scholar Jack Deere came on board with both the Vineyard and the Kansas City prophets. He reflects astutely, poignantly on how his (Deere’s) sinful drive for power gave Paul Cain full sway; Cain ‘prophesied’ that Deere would eclipse Wimber and be as great as his own bloated self.  


Bless the humbled Jack Deere. I recalled him in the early nineties, surrounded by the KC prophets––an arrogant man who was barely interested in anyone who didn’t amplify himself. His sin magnetized men like Cain who took Deere and others captive. Jack suffered greatly; his own story reveals the bad fruit of false prophets (Matt. 7:15-23). I honor Jack Deere for telling the truth of his repentance from prophetic wickedness. Please read this cautionary witness. 


The stream of prophesy Mike Bickle sought to steward was mixed. I champion the good; I recall a recent meeting with a Catholic friend at a coffee joint in KC and a fine IHOP man––Ed Hackett––greeted me with a wave of prophetic love that nourished us both. Hackett’s finely tuned eye of heart builds others up prophetically, wherever he goes. He needs no title. His continual welling up is exemplary of true prophecy and precisely why we must fight for this most excellent gift, one St. Paul implores us to seek and exercise above all others (1 Cor. 14:1-3).  


But Mike’s refusal to discipline his sons and daughters—many of them deeply divided by insecurities, sexual sins, and chemical addictions—has so polluted the good gift of prophesy that it appears God is capping the flow at IHOPKC. Jesus IS cleansing His house of impure prophesy.


Our task remains: reclaiming what is precious from the putrid. That requires a rare blend of careful oversight and commitment to the freedom of the prophetic gift.   

Join Andrew on Desert Streaming each week as he dives deeper into his blog. Watch here or listen on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.


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