THE NAR ASPECT
I’ve already written a couple of posts with regard to the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement that is currently growing within the Christian Church and it’s an aberrant teaching. For those who need a quick short refresher, click on this link: New-Apostolic-Reformation
For those who would like a deeper look at this movement, with noted areas of biblical doctrine concern, click on this link: the-apostolic-and-prophetic-movement
In addition, there is an excellent website that is dedicated to exposing the various aspects of this movement. hosted by Holly Pevic, who has a master’s degree in Christian Apologetics from Biola University in southern California. Holly’s site URL is: http://www.spiritoferror.org/
The implications of what the New Apostolic Reformation is subjecting orthodox Evangelical Christian believers to is staggering. The movement is growing because the average Christian does not know their Bible, have not invested adequate time and effort in searching the scriptures and are not aware of the scope of this radical shift. This movement is not going away.
Matthew 24:24 NIV “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
Please take the time to check it out if you wish to get a good grasp on what the NAR teaches (it’s doctrines), what it’s goals are, how it is run and most importantly, why it is deemed by most Evangelical Christians to be “another” Gospel.
Galatians 1:8 “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!“
What we are talking about here is a movement that seeks to establish a fifth house within Christendom, distinct from Catholicism, Protestantism, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Eastern Orthodoxy. Its fundamental difference from other movements is the belief that the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of prophet and apostle, are being restored. It grows by discreetly recruiting pastors of independent congregations and nondenominational churches, by assimilating members from other churches through cell group meetings, and by frequent Church planting and rapid expansion, including foreign missions around the globe. With this strategy, it expects to rapidly overwhelm and dominate the preexisting Christian denominations in the world.
There are a large host of Christian evangelical websites that document the shortfalls of the NAR movement as it applies to sound Biblical doctrine. I will provide just two here but if you click on the additional links provided within this post, you will be provided with many many more. The fact that the vast majority of Christians are not aware of the NAR association with IAHR is just but one indication of how poorly equipped the Christian church at large is prepared to address this departure from the Gospel that was delivered to us in the scriptures. The teachings that NAR proliferates is the teachings that IAHR proliferates.
The man credited with coining the name New Apostolic Reformation is C. Peter Wagner, (1930-2016) who was a professor of “church growth” for three decades at Fuller Theological Seminary, a nondenominational evangelical seminary in Pasadena, C.P. Wagner formed networks of faith-healing ministries, “deliverance ministries” that claim to free people from demon possession (the International Society of Deliverance Ministries (ISDM), and an inner-circle of leading prophets (the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders), in addition to the Wagner Leadership Institute (WLI), a network of training programs in locations across the U.S., Canada, and several Asian nations. The faith healing ministries of the NAR movement are now associated with the International Association of Healing Rooms (IAHR).
The IAHR is led by Cal Pierce; see Healing Rooms Ministries, http://healingrooms.com/.
The ISDM is led by Bill Sudduth; see International Society of Deliverance Ministers, “Welcome to the International Society of Deliverance Ministers,” http://www.deliveranceministers.org.
And Cindy Jacobs is the Chairman of the Council of Prophetic Elders., www.generals.org/articles/single/word-of-the-lord-for-2017/
THE READING ROOMS ASPECT
As indicated, the IAHR is headed by Cal Pierce (see What Defines Us by Cal Pierce). The “International Association of Healing Rooms,” (I.A.H.R), was set up in 1999 by Cal Pierce who believes his organization is drawing upon the healing anointing of former healing revivalist John G. Lake, (1870 – 1935). Thousands of these “Healing Rooms” have now been set up all over the world, with over 60 in the UK alone and over 2000 in India. Anyone from any denomination can set up an associated Healing Room and then be advertised on Pierces’ website so long as the directors, (managers), of that room submit to his organization, follow his model for ministering to others and undergo his training program.
Cal Pierce is a member of the International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (ICAL) (see: www.identitynetwork.org ) Peter Wagner was the 1st Presiding Apostle of the ICA. During the 2013 Annual Conference, the name was changed from International Coalition of Apostles (ICA) to International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (ICAL).
I trust you can see the connection between the New Apostolic Reformation (Peter Wagner) and IAHR (International Association of Healing Rooms (Cal Pierce). Please note that the NAR is NOT governed by an official denomination, it is led by the alleged apostles and prophets that are members of the ICAL.
Now lets look at the history of the original Healing Rooms.
The original founder of the Healing Room Movement is none other than John G. Lake, the often venerated faith healer, whose healing room ministry has been resurrected by New Apostolic Reformation Apostle Cal Pierce. Therefore, to know the roots of the healing room movement is to revisit its past history as well its recent restoration. And to see the results of that restoration is to look into today’s healing room association–the IAHR.
To peruse most renditions of Lake’s life from IAHR sources is to read a biased view of Lake’s legendary fame that’s been told and retold until Lake appears saint-like, rather than the man he actually was. In light of this, I will attempt to give just a little peek into the rest of the story.
This is the overview of John G. Lake’s life of ministry from the perspective of healingrooms.com website: http://healingrooms.com/
This is the overview of John G. Lake’s life from the perspective of wikipedia.org : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_G._Lake
Please note that there is a distinctive difference.
Let Us Reason Ministries also has an eye-opening article: “Reviving the Revival of John Lake” which further exposes Lake’s life. It is part of a five part series on “John Lake and the Healing Rooms.” I recommend you click below to read more of its “reasoned” comments. For a compilation of this series also read: “John G. Lake and the Healing Rooms: False Teachings and Unbiblical Practices” written and compiled by Chris Lawson.
Suffice to say that the overview as presented by healingrooms.com leaves much of the story untold.
I understand that many individuals who are involved with the Healing Rooms Ministries International are very sincere and well-meaning people. My sounding the alarm about the problems associated with the Healing Rooms is not to pass judgment on the kindness and sincerity of others who are trying to help people through Christian prayer. We encourage all Christians to pray as Scripture instructs us too. I, like others, am concerned with the unbiblical practices that take place. Scripture commands Christians to expose false doctrine and unbiblical practices, and it is false doctrine and its fruit – spiritual deception, that I are seeking in this post to warn people about.
The Bill Johnson Link
Cal pierce was originally an elder and board member of Bill Johnson’s Bethel church which has its own Healing Room linked to Pieces Organization today. Bill Johnson is also a NAR Apostle and his ministry with Bethel church has come under much criticism from a wide range of Evangelical Christians. For a partial list of links where the biblical doctrinal criticism of the NAR movement is documented along with numerous links associated with Bill Johnson, please see the links provided at the bottom of the following post: https://bcooper.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/the-apostolic-and-prophetic-movement/
The existence of sick people is accepted by the New Testament writers, although we are continually encouraged to pray for these people. Many righteous people throughout the pages of the Bible become sick. Yes, oftentimes God healed, but quite often too He did not heal; we have to leave such decisions in God’s capable hands, He knows what is best for us from the perspective of eternity! Paul was not able to heal Timothy’s stomach problem (1 Timothy 5:23), when Paul himself pleaded with God to heal him of his ‘thorn in the flesh’ (almost certainly some health problem), God plainly said ‘No’ to Paul because His (the Lord’s) grace was sufficient for him (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Apparently Trophimus (2 Timothy 4:20) was not healed. Over in the Old Testament, Job endured terrible suffering and even Elisha the prophet finally died of disease (2 Kings 13:14). Would anybody seriously suggest that he was not healed since he lacked faith?
Sickness is always regrettable but probably inevitable at some stage for all of us, since the Bible also shows that our bodies – apparently like the universe – are slowly ‘running down’ during our lives. Isn’t this what we all experience? Notice 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 and 2 Corinthians 4:16. Paul said that ‘our outer man is decaying.’ Only in the resurrected state will be completely free from illness and pain. For the meantime I think that God often has a purpose in allowing illness. Don’t forget that we are promised trials in this life.
But you may ask, what about healing as a gift of the Spirit? While we certainly recognize that the first century ‘clustering’ of the more spectacular gifts were ‘the signs of an apostle’ (Acts 5:12-16, Acts 14:3, Acts 15:12, Acts 19:11, 2 Corinthians 12:12 and Hebrews 2: 2-4). the eye witness apostles are not with us today. This however, should not lead us to the extreme position of cessationism (‘cessationism’ would say that the spectacular gifts have now entirely ceased). There is ample evidence that in certain times and scenarios of God’s choosing (not ours!) healing still happens.
Does God heal today? Yes He does, but when He chooses to heal, for He has complete sovereignty in the matter. Neither should we expect to see the huge ‘cluster’ of healing miracles which followed Jesus or the apostles around. God expects us to petition Him for the healing of ourselves or others and then – if it is in the eternal best interests of the sick person – He will heal. But if He has allowed the sickness as a trial to spiritually develop the sick person or those close to the sick person, He probably will not heal. Understanding this point can make our prayers more efficacious, since we may ask God to at least reduce the painful burden of the illness, or even to change the trial. But let us never lose sight of the fact that the form of healing which God is most concerned about is spiritual healing, which is the ultimate healing which Jesus’ healing miracles foreshadowed. We are healed in this way by turning from our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as our Saviour. Ultimately, in Heaven and in the final resurrected state, this does of course indeed include complete healing from every disease of the mind and body.
Along with his resurrection of the Spokane, Washington healing room Cal Piece has made this ever expanding ministry just another arm of the NAR. At present, this ministry has over three thousand healing rooms in seventy-six nations. Leader Cal Piece, as a true NARite, follows their aberrant teachings as demonstrated by Cal’s chapter nine excerpt from the book The Physics of Heaven. Cal meets “the energy angel” who according to this tale had been sent to teach Cal about “a water car” –a proposed car of the future. Why, Cal even took a walk with his energy angel. As a result of this “angel adventure,” shares Cal, he is now into exploring how to produce power with sound. But don’t take my word for it, read it yourself:
Take a look at the ad for the 2014 July Infusion Conference that was sponsored by the Healing Rooms with Danny Silk and Graham Cooke.
The Graham Cooke Link
Just in case you’re not familiar with Graham Cooke, I have a couple of posts that will shed more light on the NAR movement and Graham Cooke’s association with it.
This is exactly why the International Association of Healing Rooms Headquarters with its fire room, portal room, waves of glory room, and more are dangerous; for Cal as well as his other NAR cohorts tout so many strange manifestations and prophecies it boggles the mind how people can blindly follow such leaders. But the fact of the matter is that they do. And why is that?
Actually there are a number of reasons. I’ll list the common reasons that come to my mind:
- Praying for people who are sick is a good thing. It’s something that sounds like it would be nice to do, especially with other Christians who are of like mind.
- What possible harm could there be in praying for people who are sick to get well? Having never done this before, I’m pretty sure this organization will provide me with some training so that I can learn the required steps.
- I haven’t actually taken the time to do any research on who this organization is associated with but on the surface it seems harmless enough. I’m sure they wouldn’t deliberately mislead me.
- In the training they ask me to just be quiet when I am praying for someone and listen for God to speak to me or give me a picture in my mind that may be part of the answer for the person we are praying for. I don’t remember the Bible telling me to pray and look or think of a picture but I’m sure that is also considered a form of prayer.
- I probably should have spent more time studying God’s Word so that if they were to ask me to do something I felt unsure about, I’d know if it lined up with God’s Word. I can always do that later.
- Reading God’s Word and spending time in private prayer with God takes time and I like to see results that confirm I’m on the right path, this immediate confirmation I’m getting feels good.
- The time that I spend doing this is well spent. True, I’m not there for my children or husband/wife when I’m here but my personal growth is important, even if it is outside of my home church or I’m away from home.
- The training material is a little more expensive than I would have thought it would be but the price of everything is going up these days.
Do you think that any of the above reasons might be applicable to those well meaning Christians who attend these healing sessions for others who are sick or need prayer?
I could fill a number of pages with Bible verses that are applicable to this situation but I’m not going to do that. I will however give you three.
Matthew 22:29 NIV “Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”
Acts 17:11 NIV “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
Matthew 7:21-23 NIV “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
Question: Isn’t it strange that in our day, signs and wonders are the number one distraction within the Christian church that move people away from sound doctrine rather than closer? And let me be clear, I’m not knocking the Gifts of the Spirit that operate within the Christian church, it’s the unscriptural excesses and disorder that is encouraged within the NAR movement that fly in the face of 1 Corinthians 14:40. With regard to the continuation of Apostles, the Assemblies of God (Pentecostal) in the USA has published a position statement wherein they acknowledge that the Apostles were not intended to be replaced or continued and consequently disagree with NAR doctrine. But I digress, in this response from Jesus, two key prerequisites in these words spoken by Jesus, we are to do the will of the Father and we are to know Jesus. And what is the will of the Father? Jesus already answered that one too. John 6:28-29 NIV “Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
So it all boils down to knowing Jesus and the way you learn to know Jesus is through His Word. THERE IS NOT SHORTCUT, THERE IS NO FAST TRACK. It’s designed to be slow because we learn slowly. It takes time for God’s Word to get into every nook and cranny of our being, in our heart, in our mind and in our spirit. Learning in our home isn’t near as much fun as learning outside the home but in our home is where the real you and I need to change. Our home is God’s biggest classroom for you and for me. It’s where you and I will fail more often than not, it’s where real growth takes place. It’s where the rubber hits the road. It’s where our real growth is worked out.
There are so many verses that have come flooding into my mind right now that are applicable but that is the whole point, they should come flooding into your mind too, and if your attending these healing room sessions, they didn’t.
Stay away from the NAR associated Healing Rooms, pray for those who attend them, pray for those who are sick in your church via the laying on of hands. Pray for those that you encounter on a day to day basis who are sick if they are open to you praying for them. You can pray for anyone, anytime, anywhere, when it’s just between you and Jesus.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!