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How important to our over-all faith is having a good understanding of Bible prophecy?
In these last days, I am convinced that it is critical.
We know the very first generation of Christians were already being corrupted from the simplicity of Christ. The apostle Paul wrote to them (and to us) about it. He feared they were turning to another gospel which presented another Jesus.
Well hold onto your hats folks, because Christians today are defecting from the simplicity of Christ at lightning speed and in droves.
And when this begins to happen, it seems the first things to go are biblical faith concerning the rapture, the second coming of Christ and interest in the subject of Bible Prophecy in general.
It is reported that Mike Bickle, contemplative prayer proponent and one of the Kansas City Prophets, teaches that although he believes there is a rapture of the church,  he believes that it happens over a period of time, in an extended process, rather than the sudden event described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (http://www.midnightcry.net/Prophets.htm).
Whether a Christian believes in a pre, mid or post tribulational rapture, Bickle's teaching on the subject is definitely a deviation from any school of thought concerning the event, and his view can certainly not be substantiated in scripture.
I was personally present when Christian Harfouche of Miracle Christian Center in Pensacola, Florida, insulted the traditional Bible-believers sitting in his congregation by telling them that their eschatology was getting in the way of their faith.
What a blatant admission that a solid understanding of Bible Prophecy is good protection against the deception being foisted on Christians by those involved in today's contemplative and/or prophetic, "Present Truth," ministries.
It is interesting to note that Christians who embrace contemplative spirituality which centers around contemplative prayer, a Christianized--unscriptural form of eastern meditation, do not necessarily accept The Prophetic Movement as legitimate.
But those who become involved in The Prophetic Movement all seem to eventually embrace the contemplative.
And a common denominator in both movements, in addition to exhibiting extreme ecumenism, is a major paradigm shift from depending on the written Word of God in determining truth, to embracing an experiential spirituality--deciding that what feels right must be truth--in spite of the fact that the Bible clearly says there is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 14:12). 
Add to these major shifts, a rejection of traditional, literal, belief in what the Bible teaches concerning the rapture of the Church and the second coming of Christ, and what we end up with are professing Christians with an extremely spiritualized view of Bible prophecy that in many cases  ultimately manifests in a generalized lack of interest in the subject altogether--other than to ridicule those who do take an interest in it.
Rick Joyner, a leader in the Prophetic Movement, wrote in his book, The Harvest (1987), that although he had plenty of scripture to back up what he was writing, he was not going to use very much in his book.
He said he did this because he wanted the reader to "commune with the spirit for confirmation" of the truth of what he had written--not just read a bunch of "facts."
He undermined the written Word of God--the Bible, by reducing it to just a bunch of facts. And he elevated an unconfirmed spiritual experience above the factual truth of the Bible.
In his writing, Joyner affirms the importance to our over-all faith of having a correct understanding of Bible prophecy but ridicules the doctrine of the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) by calling it a ruse of the enemy designed to implant a retreat mentality (Rick Joyner, THE HARVEST 1989 /1990 revised booklet on pg.121).
He does this because the basic premise of what he teaches is based primarily on Dominion Theology, which corrupts and spiritualizes Bible teaching concerning:
  1. The rapture of the Church
  2. The future Kingdom of Christ
  3. And the part God's people will play in the ruler-ship of that future kingdom
Therefore, it is necessary for Joyner to minimize the importance of depending upon the written Word of God for illumination and understanding, and to discourage a any serious study of Bible prophecy.
In his efforts to undermine the acquisition of sound doctrine  concerning Biblical prophecy in general, Joyner writes that  God is not interested in "impressing us with his ability to foretell the future."
That statement is diabolically opposed to the written Word of God which tells us it is exactly that ability which we can look to, and depend on, for proof that our God is indeed the only true God, and that his written Word is indeed the only "standard"  by which we can measure what, and what is not...
Truth (Isaiah 48:3-5).

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