The New Apostolic Reformation And Why It Is A Threat.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? So every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”         -Matthew 7:15-20

The New Apostolic Reformation is the fastest growing sect of so called Christianity in the professing Church today. Todd Friel, host of Wretched Radio, puts their number at upwards of 369 million people currently involved with the movement. The NAR is a theological evolution largely formed and influenced by the Charismatic and Pentecostal church movements. That being said, not all Charismatics or Pentecostals hold to this doctrine. The NAR is fairly new to the scene, having first appeared in the late 1990’s. The term New Apostolic Reformation was coined by self proclaimed prophet C. Peter Wagner, who now has a school in Pasadena, California: the Wagner Leadership Institute, which helps to raise up and train leaders to join and guide the NAR. Because this is not an official organization, they do not necessarily intend to take people out of their own churches. Rather, their methodology is designed to teach individuals their doctrine and theology and in return those individuals help to teach and disciple others with what they have learned, taking it into their own homes, churches, and social circles. So the NAR is not a stand alone denomination, it has no authority structure set in place which results in the fact that they have no model for church discipline or biblical discernment of any kind when it comes to the practices of people within this movement. There is also absolutely no room in this movement for biblical accountability or criticism, because extra biblical revelation sets the precedence for what is being taught.

One of the major foundations for this movement is based on a non-traditional interpretation of Ephesians 4:11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers. They take this and use it to promote a view point known as the Five Fold Doctrine or Five Fold Ministry. They believe that the office of apostle and prophet are still open today, and specifically that the office of apostleship was re-opened in 2001. Another one of their major themes is what is know as Dominion Theology. This teaches that there are seven cultural mountains to be conquered: business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, family, and religion, to help bring back the reign and second coming of Christ. This is something that is wildly popular among their youth, as it gives them a sense of importance and purpose as they begin an attempt to conquer these seven mountains with the intention of rising to positions of prominence and power within them. It also involves spiritual warfare in the sense that followers of this movement believe that they have power over demons and are able to wage war, bind demons, and cast them out of certain areas or cities that the NAR is attempting to conquer.

To help better understand some of their beliefs, C. Peter Wagner has listed some of the main differences between the doctrines that the conservative Christian Church would hold to and what NAR Doctrine revolves around:

Apostolic governance – The Apostle Paul’s assertion that Jesus appoints apostles within his church continues to this day.

The office of the prophet – There is within the Church a role and function for present-day prophets.

Dominionism – “When Jesus came, He brought the kingdom of God and He expects His kingdom-minded people to take whatever action is needed to push back the long-standing kingdom of Satan and bring the peace and prosperity of His kingdom here on earth.

Theocracy – Not to be confused with theocratic government but rather the goal to have “kingdom-minded people” in all areas of society. There are seven areas identified specifically: religion, family, education, government, media, arts & entertainment, and business.

Extra-biblical revelation – There is available to all believers the ability to hear from God. “The one major rule governing any new revelation from God is that it cannot contradict what has already been written in the Bible. It may supplement it, however.”

Supernatural signs and wonders – Signs and wonders such as healing, demonic deliverance, and confirmed prophecies accompany the move of God.

Relational structures – Church governance has no formal structure but rather is by relational and voluntary alignment to apostles.

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” -Colossians 2:8

Some of the big names associated with this movement are Bill Johnson the lead pastor of Bethel Church and co-founder of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding Ca. Jesus Culture, a highly popular band in the Contemporary Christian Music genre also out of Bethel Church. C. Peter Wagner former professor with Fuller Theological Seminary and chancellor of Wagner Leadership Institute. General Mike Bickle (he was apparently given the title of general by God during a visit to heaven) founder and leader of the International House Of Prayer. Lance Wallnau among many things he is known for being the most active preacher on Twitter’s live-streaming app Periscope. Chuck Pierce self proclaimed prophet and president of Glory of Zion Ministries. Che Ahn lead pastor of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California. As well as Dutch Sheets, Todd Bentley, Rick Joyner, and Georgian and Winnie Banov to name a few. This is not by any means an inclusive list, but helps to lend understanding as to some of the bigger names out there that are pushing this movement.

This movement is largely spread and funded by concerts, youth conferences, and events that draw massive crowds. These events are wildly popular among the youth in this nation. They have obtained a vast influence and popularity in our culture and you may even sing some of their songs in your church. I believe that as faithful slaves to our God and Father and the Lord Jesus Christ we must put distance between ourselves and those who peddle compromised and even sometimes blasphemous doctrines.

John MacArthur has said this regarding the confrontation of false doctrines:

“First, if you are to be a faithful prophet in a nation in decline and crisis, you must expose false religion where it exists. This is not a time for tolerance, this is not a time for embracing everybody and saying it doesn’t really matter what you believe as long as you follow your heart. Listen, this world is full of damning false religion. I have been accused throughout the years of being intolerant and I accept that as a compliment. Of course I’m intolerant. I am as intolerant as God is, as Christ is, as the Bible is of anything that damns peoples souls while promising them heaven. It is a direct message. We’re not just talking about making people feel good, we confront lies.”

In light of these truths, stop endorsing these people as legitimate leaders of the faith, stop using their music, and stop acting out of a lack of concern or cowardice, unwilling to confront these people and their lies from your pulpit and warn the flock with which you have been entrusted. We need to be willing to evaluate everything that we encounter. Likewise, let us be committed to the personal study of scripture so that we may be able to discern properly when we are confronted with anyone or anything that claims to be teaching biblical doctrine. May we be committed no matter what the cost to our God and Savior.

“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” -2 John 10-11

 

-Brian

10 thoughts on “The New Apostolic Reformation And Why It Is A Threat.

Add yours

  1. Brian,
    So does that mean the gifts like prophecy and healing are no longer gifts that God gives to people? If so, why is that?

    Like

    1. Yes that means that the gifts, as seen in the early church through the apostles, of signs and wonders and prophecy have ceased with the death of the last apostle. These gifts were given and used by God to lend legitimacy to the spread of the gospel while the foundation of the Church was being built. We have the full written Word of God now, so there is no need for extra biblical revelation. Likewise, the gifts of healing went hand in hand with the apostles as they spread the gospel and wrote what we now have in the New Testament. I believe wholeheartedly that God is absolutely able to heal whenever He wants to, however it does not appear that He is using men as a means to accomplish that in a miraculous manner any longer.
      You have to understand that the burden of proof lies in the continuationist camp (they would believe the gifts are still active today). If the gifts are still active then we can evaluate what is being claimed against what Scripture tells us. Deuteronomy 18:22 states: “When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.” Not one self proclaimed prophet alive today is able to hold up to this standard. They prophesy falsely over and over and even acknowledge that they can’t always be right. However if they are truly receiving revelation from God and it ends up being wrong, then it must mean that God is able to make mistakes.
      In the beginning of Hebrews chapter 2 the author talks about the fact that Christ taught us by those who heard. Hebrews was written a little after the epistles, in the second generation of followers of Christ in the Church. So you see a distinction there by the author of Hebrews referencing the apostles as the receivers of the Word directly from God and it was attested by signs and wonders and various miracles, and now it was being given to them from what the apostles had passed on. The signs and wonders were given for the apostolic era and once the foundation of the Church was complete they were no longer given to serve that purpose or function.
      R.C. Sproul says this in regards to the matter: “The practical problem we have in this day and age is that in redemptive history, in the Biblical truth, God authenticated or attested agents of revelation through the miraculous. You go back to when God called Moses in the wilderness to go talk to pharaoh.. Moses say how are the people going to believe me?.. God gave him the ability to turn his staff into a snake, and make his hand leprous by sticking it in his coat. This is how he was able to demonstrate that he was an agent of revelation, a spokesperson for God. Elijah was certified in the same way.. You get to the New Testament, the ministry of Jesus and you have a wake of miracles such as the world has never seen. Nicodemus had it right when He came to Jesus and said teacher we know you are from God by your ability to do these things. Then we see Hebrews and other books pointing to the miracles as authenticating the apostles as agents of revelation.
      Now here is the problem: If the miracle signs are done by some preacher today, then one of two things would happen. Either that would mean that he is an apostle, and that all of his writings should appear in the next edition of the new testament because he has just been authenticated in the same way as the apostles were. Or the Bible used unsound reason and logic by saying that the apostles were certified by these signs and wonders. Do you understand the logic there? If somebody who is not an agent of revelation can do the same thing then those signs and wonders can’t possibly have the evidentiary value or the attesting value of authenticating an agent of revelation. That’s why these things disappeared with the death of the last apostle, because the apostolic authority, the Bible was authenticated and therein we have that Word of God that we know comes from God because God certified it through these signs and wonders.”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Finn, I appreciate your comment. I don’t intend to be one-sided in any of the things that I evaluate. I also am not saying that it is not possible for God to use those gifts through the means of men if He so desires. However at this point, the people claiming to have those gifts are many times in contradiction to Scripture in other areas of their ministries, and their claims of the supernatural are left unsubstantiated. We do not have any evidence, aside from claims that can’t be proven, as to the legitimacy of signs and wonders in use today.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Brian,

    The “complete” that you refer to in 1 Corinthians speaks of our glorified bodies, not the Bible. Please read the Bible within its original context rather than making it say things the author did not intend. If you would properly exegete the passage your would easily see this. In conclusion, those gift will pass when you no longer need them which is when you experience a glorified body. I should say if you experience a glorified body. I’m sure you cannot get any confirmation from all of those leaders about the healings they claim etc… because they are too busy working for God. You are doing a great job sitting on the sidelines watching but your discernment is about as sharp as a fly. I would encourage you to alter your current diet which seems to be made up of a pile of…….. I will let you fill in the blank.

    Like

    1. Hi Frank,

      I don’t believe I referenced 1 Corinthians at all in the article, so I’m not quite sure what you are referring to. If you could further explain what you saw that you were making a reference to, I may be able to address your concern more thoroughly.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: