Winter 2016

A New ‘Reformation’ That Many Don’t Realize They’ve Joined

Faculty/Alumni Book Excerpt

If you thought apostles and prophets only lived way back in Bible times and have long since disappeared, think again. Contemporary people calling themselves apostles and prophets have many followers. They are vigorously active in churches in the United States and throughout the world. Odds are, some are active in your own community. These men and women claim they have the God-given authority, divine strategies and miraculous powers needed to advance God’s earthly kingdom so that Christ can return. And they offer people a choice.

If you submit to their leadership, then you too will work mighty miracles. You’ll become part of a great end-time army that will bring about a world revival and cleanse the earth of evil by calling down hailstones, fire and the other judgments of God described in the New Testament book of Revelation.

If you do not submit to their leadership then, at the very least, you will miss out on God’s end-time plans. And if you actively oppose the apostles and prophets, then brace yourself for the fallout. Others must be warned that you are the pawn of a powerful demon, known as the “spirit of religion.”

This may sound radical and unappealing, but the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is growing rapidly. In the United States, it began taking off in the 1980s and 1990s, when prophets and apostles starting showing up in churches. Today, about 3 million people in the United States attend churches that openly embrace NAR apostles and prophets. And that number doesn’t include the many Pentecostal and charismatic churches that have not openly embraced these leaders, yet have been influenced by their teachings in varying degrees. People in these churches read bestselling books by NAR prophets — books like Rick Joyner’s The Final Quest or the apostle Bill Johnson’s When Heaven Invades Earth. Or they use a new, wildly popular NAR Bible, called The Passion Translation, produced by the apostle Brian Simmons, who claims that Christ visited him personally and commissioned him to release this new translation.

And we haven’t yet mentioned NAR churches in other parts of the world where the movement is growing most swiftly — Africa, Asia and Latin America.

NAR leaders call their new movement apostolic because they claim to be restoring apostles and prophets to the church. And they call it a reformation because they say it will completely change the way church is done — and its effects will be greater than the 16th-century Protestant Reformation.

That’s a bold claim. Yet many people who are part of this movement don’t know it’s called the New Apostolic Reformation. In fact, they may not even know they are part of a movement at all. And they may not be fully aware of all the extreme teachings associated with it. But they certainly know of — and follow the teachings of — men and women who believe they are apostles and prophets similar to the apostles of Christ and the Old Testament prophets.


Excerpted from God’s Super-Apostles: Encountering the Worldwide Prophets and Apostles Movement, by R. Douglas Geivett (professor of philosophy) and Holly (Peters ’99, M.A. ’05) Pivec, Weaver Book Co., December 2014. Used by permission of Weaver, www.weaverbookcompany.com. Geivett and Pivec are also authors of A New Apostolic Reformation?: A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement, Weaver Book Co., December 2014.

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  • Bret Theis January 9, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    Definitely going to read this book.
    I've worried about this movement for quite a while and have personally witnessed some of its devastating effects. Bad trees, indeed, produce bad fruit.

  • Ryan King January 16, 2017 at 7:32 AM

    Thank you for this information. This sounds like another damaging belief system to mainstream Christianity and not biblically based.

  • Pastor keen July 6, 2017 at 6:47 PM

    Beware! my fellow believers this is the apostacy of the end that paul spoke of. Don't be a part of it.

  • Dean Agnor January 7, 2018 at 3:29 PM

    Fear mongering, slander, poor theology, and false representation is not good fruit, and it is unfortunately about 90% of the criticism when it comes to NAR. Culturally speaking, very few people who acknowledge the present office of "apostle" think of it as an equivalency of the original 12. When it comes down to it, the overwrought reactionary response amounts to nothing more than a jihad against an active, present Holy Spirit and a defense of status-quo boundaries protecting a luke-warm church.

  • Beth Cavete April 11, 2018 at 3:17 PM

    Dean Agnor, throw me your worst fear, slander, and ugliest representation, and I'll match it with personal witness of the horrors from within this movement. The realities are so much worse than anyone fears. The real question is, why is the warning only being sounded from such a small and unpopulated corner? Why hasn't the trumpet been sounded to alert the church from every corner? Eager to read this book.

  • MSHOTA ISAAC MEEKY June 23, 2018 at 1:13 AM

    But why so much confusion in Christianity? why so much misunderstanding? why can't churches accept each other. watch the basis of each and every one of these so called christian movements. Their major aim is well observed than told. therefore, if one wishes to know the true truth, let them watch and observe

  • Jaeson November 23, 2018 at 5:37 PM

    As someone who was involved in this atrocity for about 10 years, and whose relatives still partake of it's dastardly falsehood, I can concur with this article in it's entirety.

    Moreover from personal experience I can attest that this movement is entirely false and horrible. There is blatant disregard for God and disrespect for the Holy spirit. Instead you get false prophecies, false signs, false supposed "wonders" and no teaching. Their "pastors" give nothing more than personal experience stories and no Biblical teaching. As a result I've seen everything from porn addicted ordained people, members having sex outside marriage, and dozens of deceived people wanting power. It is horrible, disturbing, and produces Biblical illiteracy and foolishness. It is a cult. If you question their false prophets or false apostles you are considered a less than, a non chosen. They want to take over culture and put themselves in charge of a grotesque antichrist theocracy. I heard them preach this from the pulpit. Please run if your church is involved in this.

  • E December 10, 2018 at 1:56 PM

    My family and I were involved in this type of church for several years before we finally got out. In addition to “kingdom building” theology, total disregard for the gospel, and scripture-twisting, we witnessed spiritual abuse, narcissism in leadership, and an “anointed” pastor unfit to lead. We were instructed to lie at times to protect the leaders, and were lied to many times ourselves. Instead of discipleship and proper Christian counseling, the church heavily pushed a program called Restoring the Foundations for members in crisis or church staff who questioned the pastors. The scary thing is that we thought it was just a contemporary non-denominational church embracing modern church models. Instead it was a full-blown NAR establishment that slowly introduced its true doctrinal alignments. To this day there are many people there who have no idea that the church believes in five-fold apostles and prophets. They never witness speaking in tongues or attempts at healing by touch because those things are only for those “on the inside.” They will never see people try to cast demons out of other congregants or blame low attendance on a demonic “spirit” that someone allowed to enter the building. I could go on and on. We made a terrible mistake and it took years to get out. When my husband tried to resign his position there, he was told that bad things would probably happen to his marriage and family because he was leaving to spend more time with us. They tried to send him to the Restoring the Foundations program to fix him. He was told that he did not follow Matthew 18 properly to confront the pastor. He was personally attacked, called ”unpastorable” (a big insult in the NAR movement) and was told his life outside of this particular church ministry would be meaningless. Then, in a hilarious attempt at retroactive prophecy, the pastor exclaimed that his prophetical wife knew my husband would have diabetes even before he was diagnosed but didn’t say anything because they weren’t in a “proper pastoral relationship.” After the resignation was official, the pastor had an email sent to the worship and media teams implying that my husband needed prayer for “healing in his marriage.” That was news to me! After we left, we found out my husband was just the latest in a long line of abused staff at that church who all keep silent and aloof after the smear campaigns. We are now called “an assignment from the enemy” against the church and “deceived” for thinking the pastor was spiritually abusive. NAR churches are full of these types of pastors. They are CEOs, slick car salesmen, “leaders,” not shepherds. They simply facilitate and indoctrinate, never do they preach the true Bible.

  • Alicia C March 1, 2019 at 5:20 PM

    I was raised in a pentecostal church and experienced some of what we might call "charasmania". A lot of what this article describes definitely sounds cultish. I'd never heard of the NAR Bible before today but it smells an awful lot like JW or LDS type stuff.

    However, here's the thing: anytime there's a move of God there are frauds who try to (knowingly or not) take advantage of the situation. But there IS a genuine move of God happening around the world. I've seen people healed by God of drug addictions, diseases, broken bones put back together, even the dead raised. The funny thing is, it was almost never in a big crowd. It was in a smaller group with prayer. The genuine move of God is so incredibly personal and powerful and is accompanied by genuine life change. My church has an exuberant worship style because we have seen and are seeing God's life-changing power daily. And it's not just my non-denominational charasmatic church. People are accepting Christ in large numbers in my small city in many churches- reformed, baptist, free methodist, and they're being baptized. They want the world to know! This is the move of God we should be celebrating because God is changing this generation.

    One last thing: if you haven't read Rick Joyner's The Final Quest you really, really, really should. I preferred the audio version.

  • Kandy C March 6, 2019 at 4:33 AM

    Alicia, if you read the article, you would have read that Rick Joyner is a prophet in this movement. This 'genuine' move of God that is happening through this movement is not of God. They are being deceived into thinking it's God and at being set up to receive the Antichrist and turn against real Christians who are exposing this. It is very powerful and demonic but greater is He that is in me! If the miraculous is the focus it's not of God. I see it all around me as Bethel is only a couple of hours from here and it's influence is taking over churches. These people aren't getting saved to Jesus, they are getting saved into doctrines of demons constantly seeking 'encounters' and miracles. It's all about feeling and experience. There us a spirit called kundalini that they are experiencing and it's a Hindu spirit. Once that happens they can't get enough. They go all over to conferences and concerts constantly seeking this false holy spirit experience. It's like a drug. And then they go out into the streets laying hands on people imparting this same demonic spirit into them. They don't give them the gospel, they give them the 'encounter'. ( with demons) I would encourage you to research to this more as it sounds that you may be being led into this.

  • Lourens March 10, 2019 at 4:52 PM

    Kandy - One cannot call reborn followers of Jesus Christ / Bible believers- " People that 'receive the anti Christ'", nor call teachings of the apostle Paul "doctrines of demons" !

    I ve grown up in the NG Kerk (Dutch Reformed church) with knowledge of God and a relationship with Him. 14 years ago I read a book "Beleef die Heilige Gees" (Experience the Holy Spirit) and this book (well,the Bible Scriptures quoted in this book) completely changed my life and gave me a much more indepth relationship with and love for Jesus Christ !

    God has specifically sent the Holy Spirit to earth on Pentacost to ALL His followers to live inside of us and guide each one of us into ALL truth (John 16: 13 ).

    In church history, it s very clear who the "Anti Christ" is :
    Paul did almost all his outreaches in the New Testament in the area then called "Asia Minor". This area (Eastern part of Roman Empire) became the Christian Byzantine Kingdom from the 4th century until 1453.

    In 1453, it was captured the Ottoman Turks and today the country is known as "Turkey" !
    Turkey - is today NOT a Christian country anymore. It today follows the teachings of the False prophet "Muhammed" that created the religion "Islam" and wrote a book that quotes doctrines of demons and denies that Jesus is God s Son. The book is called the "Quaran".

    Christians should work together with follow believers who believe in Jesus as the Son of God and follows His Word and the Holy Spirit. We should work not against one another, but with one another as one family of Jesus.

  • Pam Ayn Austen April 21, 2019 at 5:10 PM

    The Baptist church I once attended had a hostile take over by Dr. Ron Phillips, and he renamed the church Abba's House, and he converted the theology to NAR doctrine, and hundreds of people poured out of the church, and the rest were bullied and dominated into silence, or they were kicked out. He never said what he was doing, and it took me many years to figure it all out. A few years ago, I wrote my true account of the facts, as one who had been abused and kicked out, and it's called "Abba's House, Dr. Ron Phillips, and the Silence of the Spirit." What is written there will prove the dangers of that awful new teaching. It turned everything upside down. Thanks for writing your article. Pam Austen/Entirely Jesus Press

  • Jeremiah Watts April 30, 2019 at 11:12 AM

    Let us look to the Word of God. I am no teacher, but I believe the New Testament states that the Holy Spirit will be poured out after Judgement day, I may not be fully correct here. I also believe that the New Testament demonstrates how the Holy Spirit can be received by: becoming saved, being baptizsed, by obeying Gods commands, and seeking Him. Anyone using the Passion Translation should repent.

  • Dove September 4, 2019 at 5:45 PM

    Kandy C is absolutely correct. Pay attention to her post!

    God had mercy on me and saved me out of this mess. I myself followed an antichrist and kundalini spirit. It was by the mercy of God that my eyes were opened to see what it was. If not for God, I would be utterly wrapped up in this deception. This is not said with judgment, but as a cry for anybody else wrapped up in this. How I wish somebody had told me back in those days, because I knew deep down something was wrong!

    The antichrist spirit attempted to lead me into NAR teachings. What it does is this - a person will be led into seeking signs, miracles, and wonders without proper grounding in the Bible. You'll be led into hours journaling or meditating, or soaking trying to hear from "Jesus". The spirit I followed was extremely clever - it explained Bible passages, quoted scripture, gave dreams, I saw a man healed when I prayed to it....it attempted to counterfeit just about everything.

    If you want to know what an antichrist spirit sounds like, just read Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling" series. That was EXACTLY how it spoke. Subtle flattery, super sweet, sensual, and the focus isn't on the cross. Read how Jesus Christ spoke in the Bible, and then compare with the Jesus of Jesus Calling.

    (Sarah Young's editors have hidden the fact the original version of her book had major issues with theology, contradictions to the Bible, and included blatant New Age teachings, along with her promoting a New Age book in it's introduction. It's taken them 10 editions to edit everything out, which they've done silently. If she was talking to Jesus Christ of Nazareth, it wouldn't take 10 edits to fix His own prophecies.)

    With kundalini, there is often euphoric feelings of immense joy, pleasure, chills, and sensations of energy surges running throughout the body. People receiving this spirit mistake it for a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

    By the grace of God I was saved out of this mess. Those who are truly seeking for the truth will find it, because Jesus promised they would. Jesus is greater than the evil one. I am a missionary in Brazil now and work in a ministry that fully recognizes the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts.

    Pray for the NAR leaders! We have to pray for them, and the people who are following them.

  • Melanie November 10, 2019 at 6:17 AM

    Thank you for writing about this subject. I too was delivered out of the NAR movement and was exposed to the kundalini spirit through guest speakers at our church. I had no idea that the kundalini spirit is a counterfeit of The Holy Spirit. I was constantly reading new books and going to different conferences and concerts trying to find the next big move of God when the whole time I was deceived. The Bible says it’s and wicked and adulterous generation that seek signs and wonders but I was not grounded in the true Word of God enough to discern the subtle twisting of scripture in this movement. They would say things like the young people won’t be attracted to the church without demonstrations of power because they see those things in the world today through things like witchcraft and sorcery in popular books and movies. This movement appeals to those who are seeking power and prosperity and not Jesus Christ. I had to examine my heart to see how I was attracted to these things and was so easily led astray. I pray for all of the members and leaders in the NAR movement that God will open their eyes to the deception and repent before it’s too late.

  • monique December 15, 2019 at 8:34 PM

    Praise God for having opened your eyes. I have read all the comments. This needs to be screamed off the roof tops. Anybody has a comment on Todd White? Sorry to have to mention his name. He is genuine, but are his ways truly from The Holy Spirit?
    Also has any one noticed that people in these movements revere to The Holy Spirit as just Holy Spirit as if He is just some friend they are referring to?
    The first time I heard some one leave "the" out it pierced right through me like a knife and was greatly disturbed by it. There is only one Holy Spirit and out of respect I like to continue to revere to Him as The Holy Spirit did this and that in stead of Holy Spirit did this or that. Is there any body out there that thinks this as well?

  • Wendy January 8, 2020 at 1:12 PM

    Monique - I am doing a lot of research on the NAR movement as well, and am interested in what people who have been involved have to say about Todd White.

  • Jeffrey JK February 5, 2020 at 7:37 AM

    Monique - Yes, I have had that same knife piercing feeling anytime someone says "Holy Spirit" in that way. I used to be in a church that embraced every new touchy-feely type experience and I could write a book about all the insane things I saw and heard while I attended there. What I really came to hate was how the pastors, deacons, and people in their circle would push us to come up to the front during ministry time so that we could "step in the river" and get the next level of "anointing"....anyone who objected was essentially shadow-banned and looked down upon by those in leadership..it was sickening. I remember the passage of the Bible that says "He has given us EVERYTHING we need pertaining to life and Godliness in Christ Jesus"...my first thought toward those leaders was....then what do I need YOU for! And walked out and never looked back. These people prey on people who are too needy (which we all are)...we need to remember to get our needs met by him who dwells inside us (THE Holy Spirit)...not something or someone from the outside. Paul said to Timothy "You need no one to teach you, because you have the Holy Spirit." That's huge and we should remember that. And didn't Jesus teach that there would be those who will say "Look over there, it's the Christ, or his is over here...don't listen to them!?". The NAR movement is a dangerous distraction from what we already have in Christ Jesus - everything we need...especially complete redemption - the forgiveness of sins!

  • L. D. Clark February 13, 2020 at 7:50 PM

    Acts 3:19-21 talks about Christ ascending to heaven until TIMES OF RESTITUTION(restoration) takes place. Since the 1500 there have been certain biblical truths restored to the Church, that was somehow lost when the Roman Catholic church became known as "the Church". During each time and season when a certain truth was restored, there were also many people who went to the extreme. Such people use those truths as a means of personal wealth and gain(faith/prosperity movement) or to use those things of controlling and/or abusing the flock. Does that mean the truth that was restored was bad? Certainly not! People with a lack of understanding who refuse to change or wrong motives or intentions are the ones who are bad. So when talking about apostolic reformation is a present day truth thats being restored with emphasis on apostles and prophets being the foundation or ones given special instructions for restoring the truth to the Church. Throw out the truth because of bad representatives? NO! But be led by the Holy Spirit on what to hear, what to believe or what throw away, but don't stop following God's purpose of restoring His 5 fold ministry gifts which God ordained for the purpose of establishing His kingdom on the earth. Matthew 6:10.

    Any questions concerning this or any other questions you can email me at Clarkladarus@gmail.com

  • Ang February 23, 2020 at 10:22 PM

    Guess NAR, didn’t know Pentecostalism is a oneness\ Unitarian cult, and yet the two cults collide ..

  • Donna H February 29, 2020 at 2:36 AM

    It is well with my soul.
    I am so happy to have come across this thread, for I too have been offered grace upon grace to have my eyes opened to the heresy and indoctrination in the "churched" of this hour.
    My spirit weeps as I delve deeper into research concerning the great falling away from the true discipleship of the Lord Jesus, it has never been for me to be radicalized or pour myself into man made ministry, yoking myself with Christ has been a lonely walk but so blessed. Even now, I am flabbergasted at the intensity of the push that is in mainstream christianity, if one could even call it that.
    I asked the Lord why He deemed me worthy to see this, but truly I say, only His true friends will be able to walk away unscathed. My heart cries out for the persecution perceived from without, will actually be from within. The network built will snuff out any who rise against, But God.
    Sound the alarm, blow the trumpet- speak Truth in every season and trust God.
    I truly believe we will see these "mountains" wax and melt in the coming days, so that confessing ones can make a decision whether they desire the Gospel of Jesus Christ or the gospel of man.
    In Christ alone
    Donna

  • Val March 13, 2020 at 8:49 AM

    Wow...I've just recently become aware of the whole NAR movement and thought I was late to the game and most likely alone in my concerns. This article was written in 2016, but I'm relieved to see responses/concerns from just a month ago. I've been attending a Vineyard church for 30 yrs., however, am deeply concerned about some of the teachings of NAR, Bethel Redding, etc. My journey has included these books, which have been eye-opening:
    Counterfeit Revival by Hank Handgraaff
    Counterfeit Miracles by B.B. Warfield
    Signs of the Apostles by Walter Chantry
    A New Apostolic Reformation: A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement by R.D. Geivett and Holly Pived (Excellent)
    I just finished The Physics of Heaven by Judy Frankin and Ellyn Davis includes essays by Bill and Beni Johnson, Larry Randolph, David Van Kowvering, Bob Jones, Ray Hughes, Cal Pierce, Dan McCollam, Jonathan Welton. This is a good primer on where some the of NAR teachings are coming from. Sent a chill down my spine.
    All of our discernment abilities are being challenged. We must meet it all head on.

  • Sheri Scheer March 24, 2020 at 12:39 PM

    I have family members involved in this NAR Movement..They are totally caught up and believe the lies of Bill Johnson and the rest..I see parts of this movement creeping into many churches. Who will sound the trumpet? Why is this not being talked about and discerned by pastors and leaders?
    The music of Hillsong, Bethel, and Jesus Culture is just part of normal services, accepted as worship. God have mercy on so many deceived Christians...Set them free from this delusion that is growing at a powerful rate, around the world.

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