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, 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 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.

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