You may wonder why I have spent so much time and effort expounding upon the false teachings that are found within the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement and it’s associated organizations. I will tell you why. There are wolves within the sheep pen. They are very well organized and their numbers are increasing at an alarming rate. Obviously, within the history of Christianity this is not the first time this has happened. But this movement is different, it is huge and it’s growth appears to be unchecked. Many of the sheep within the sheep pen are aware that there are wolves amongst them, but unfortunately, the largest portion of the sheep are not aware or if they are aware, they are not spreading the alarm. The wolves are very clever. They don’t look like wolves. They don’t talk live wolves and to the average sheep, they don’t act like wolves.
The sheep think that they are part of the flock, but they are not.
We sheep are not without a shepherd, Jesus has warned us about these wolves, told us what they will look like, told us what they will do, told us when they will make their appearance, but we don’t listen, we don’t take His guidance seriously, we don’t take it to heart. Christian Apologetics is focused on defending the truth of Christianity. If what these wolves are doing, saying and working towards is not truth, all Christian Apologists have a responsibility to speak about this.
Matthew 7:22-23 NIV “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!”
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.”
Some are sounding the alarm, but many are not and I seriously am wondering why.
There are pillars within our Christian community that a lot of people look up to, men such as Ravi Zacharias, J Warner Wallace, Josh McDowell, Hugh Ross, Lee Strobel, and William Lane Craig just to name a few. I could be wrong but I have not seen any of these men address the untruths of the New Apostolic Reformation movement. Why? It’s great to be focused on adding more sheep to the flock but the sheep are being consumed from within at a truly alarming rate. Is that not also equally important?
If Jesus thought it was prudent to warn us about the wolves in sheep’s clothing, why aren’t the pillars we look up to doing the same thing?
Almost 500 years after the Protestant Reformation, this relatively new religious movement calls itself the “New Apostolic Reformation” and is claiming to usher in the most significant changes in Protestantism since Martin Luther.
The stated goal of this new movement is to eradicate denominations and form a unified church that will be victorious against evil. They have repudiated the “secret rapture” doctrine held by the majority of mainline Protestants. “Instead of escaping the earth (in the Rapture) prior to the turmoil of the end-times, they teach that believers will defeat evil by taking dominion, or control, over all sectors of society and government, resulting in mass conversions to their brand of Charismatic evangelicalism and a Christian utopia or ‘Kingdom’ on earth.”
This movement believes in the coming of Christ, but that it is long after they have prepared the earth for His coming. This is not a new idea but a new reformulation of Postmillennialism. The major difference between them and traditional Postmillennialism is in their strategy and methodology to achieve their objectives. Their core theology of Dominionism is not new either, but rather, echoes the Reconstructionist view of R. J. Rushdoony and others. Dominion theology teaches that before the second coming of Jesus, believers will take dominion over every area of life in preparation for the coming of Jesus.
The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a Protestant Christian movement consisting of primarily charismatics and Pentecostals. It is important to note that not all charismatics and Pentecostals adhere to the teachings of the NAR movement, in fact the Assemblies of God in the United States have come out with a number of statements indicating that they do not accept the doctrine of the NAR.
- The Assemblies of God has rejected the teaching that present-day apostles and prophets should govern the church.
- The Assemblies of God has rejected the teaching that the church should work to take dominion of the earth prior to Christ’s return–a teaching known as “Kingdom Now” or “Dominion Theology”.
- The Assemblies of God has rejected the teaching that the end-time church will become a victorious, militant army so it can take dominion of the earth–a teaching known as “Manifest Sons of God” or “Joel’s Army”.
- The Assemblies of God has rejected the teaching that Christians must identify a hierarchy of demonic spirits (also called “territorial spirits”) and wage battle against them for the gospel to advance–a teaching known as “strategic-level spiritual warfare”.
- The Assemblies of God has rejected the teaching that spiritual gifts, such as prophesying and healing people, can be imparted by church leaders through the practice of laying their hands on people.
Does that mean you will not find NAR doctrine being taught within some Pentecostal churches? No it does not, and their numbers are growing. There is also a movement of charismatic Catholics who identify with their beliefs.
The recognized founder and leader of the NAR was C. Peter Wagner, former professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary of World Mission. He was also the founder of Global Harvest Ministries, presiding apostle and founder of the International Coalition of Apostles, and cofounder of World Prayer Center. There is a hierarchy in the NAR that resembles the Roman Catholic Church. Once world dominion is accomplished, those at the top level will have apostolic authority over other ministries.
The NAR is not new at all. Only the name has been changed—many times—to fool people into thinking there is a ‘New Wave’ or a ‘Paradigm Shift’ taking place in Christendom. Over the years they have dubbed themselves Joel’s Army, Latter Rain, Manifest Sons of God, and the list goes on.
This is no fringe movement, but a rapidly institutionalizing entity larger than most Protestant denominations.
The leadership has forged this movement from several strands of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity, often referred to as the Third Wave. They have formed an international entity encompassing thousands of independent, Pentecostal, and Charismatic churches worldwide, as well as hundreds of cross-denominational parachurch organizations, their own educational and accreditation systems, conventions, media, and businesses.
There is no central organization with an identifiable name, because the New Apostolic Reformation is a coalition of church groups and churches. Their so-called apostles and prophets head up a series of organizations that provide leadership, direction, strategies, methodologies, and theology for the movement. The recognized and authorized leaders are called apostles and prophets. The apostles are the highest authorities and the ones who provide leadership and direction to the group. Using Ephesians 4 as a biblical justification, they assert their leadership role based on the spiritual gifts identified by Paul, who ranked apostles as the highest gift. Next to the apostles are the prophets, who are God’s spokespersons, setting forth God’s counsel and wisdom to their people. These prophets, however, are to be subjected to the apostles while working alongside to carry out the mission of the movement.
Who are the recognized leaders in the movement?
The leading apostle was C. Peter Wagner (founder of the movement); others among the illustrious group of apostles are Doris Wagner (wife of C. Peter Wagner), Samuel Rodriguez, Ed Silvoso, Jim Ammerman, Cindy Jacobs (top-ranking woman apostle), Os Hillman, Julius Oyet, Pat Francis, Bill Haman, Lou Engle, Harry Jackson, Lance Wallnau, and John Benefiel. Among the leading prophets are Todd Bentley, Bill Johnson and Cal Pierce, to name but a few.
A number of organizations and ministries have various responsibilities. Some of these organizations are:
1. The International Coalition of Prophets (ICOP) is a network of several hundred apostles in the United States and about 40 other nations originally formed by apostle, C. Peter Wagner. Each of these apostles has ministries under him or her.
2. The Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders (ACPE) is an inner circle of about two to three dozen apostles.
3. The International Association of Healing Ministries (IAHR) is part of the Kingdom Health Care System, an international network of healing centers headed by Cal Pierce, an apostle of C. Peter Wagner, a faith healer, and demon exorcist. According to Pierce, “Healing is the undergarment that God’s army will wear to support the armour for battle.”
4. The International Society of Deliverance Ministries (ISDM), headed by Bill and Janet Sadduth, exists to expel demons that cause physical and emotional pain.
5. The Apostolic Council for Educational Accountability (ACEA) is an accrediting system, under the apostolic authority of Leo Lawson, which ensures that all the various organizations and ministries adhere to the ideology and goals of the NAR.
6. The Eagle Vision Apostolic Team (EVAT) is a secretive inner-circle group whose membership list is not publicized.
7. The Wagner Leadership Institute (WLI), In 2017, WLI became Wagner University (WU).
8. The Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network (HAPN), under the directorship of Apostle John Benefiel and based in Oklahoma, is a coordinating center for prayer networks in the United States.
9. The Global Harvest Ministries, In 2012, they ended the Global Harvest Ministries and Global Spheres, Inc. began functioning in a new capacity. Peter served as Vice-President and Ambassadorial Apostle until he died in October 2016. Doris, his wife, continues to serve as a minister of Global Spheres, Inc. This is an invitation only organization.
History of the Movement
When, where, and why did this movement emerge? Since it sees itself as the second great Protestant Reformation, it traces its beginnings back to that event, but its more immediate antecedent may be found in the Second Great Awakening. During the early 19th century, America experienced what became known as the Second Great Awakening, considered the most profound and pervasive religious revival in the history of the nation. American Evangelicalism was born out of this great revival.
Toward the end of the 19th century, a new wave of revivalism growing out of the Second Great Awakening would sweep the nation, resulting in the birth of Pentecostalism, which is considered the major fountainhead for this new movement. The NAR was founded through the effort of C. Peter Wagner. Since its formation, he developed an international network of apostles and prophets that has spawned a series of networks and organizations across the globe.
Theology of the NAR: Dominion Theology
The New Apostolic Reformation can now be defined as a distinct movement with a unique ideology. In a 2007 letter, founder C. Peter Wagner stated his views in the following way: “Our theological bedrock is what has been known as Dominion Theology. This means that our divine mandate is to do whatever is necessary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to retake the dominion of God’s creation which Adam forfeited to Satan in the Garden of Eden. Our goal, in a word, is transformation. . . . We want to see whole cities and regions and states and nations transformed to support the values of the kingdom of God. This will happen only as kingdom-focused saints become the head and not the tail of each of Lance Wallnau’s seven mountains or molders of culture. Here in America, we have done fairly well in leading the religion mountain, but not the other six.”
The theological basis for this Dominion theology finds support in Deuteronomy 28:13, 14; Genesis 1:28; Psalm 24:1. Dominion theology proposes the view that Christians gain complete authority over the earth before Jesus comes.
Dominion theology is predicated upon three basic beliefs:
(1) Satan usurped humanity’s dominion over the earth through the temptation of Adam and Eve;
(2) The Church is God’s instrument to take dominion back from Satan;
(3) Jesus cannot come or will not return until the Church has taken dominion by gaining control of the earth’s government and societal institutions.”
Dominion eschatology is the examination of future events through the lens of the dominion mandate as interpreted from Genesis 1:28 and Matthew 28:19-29. The church will increase until Jesus returns and contradicts opposing views that see the church waning in influence in the last days. This view does not imply absolute dominion as in a sinless world, but a preparatory dominion as in the earth being prepared for the return of the King.
In understanding Dominion Theology, three key points must be made clear:
(1) God’s covenant people take dominion of the earth—this is the main theme of every covenant God has made with humanity, and the covenant with the church is no different;
(2) the covenant consists of a twofold process in which humans blessed by God are given a mandate to take dominion of the earth for purpose of blessing it;
(3) the first advent of Christ created the blessed seed on the earth, namely, the church. The second coming of Jesus will take place after the blessed seed has completed the dominion process.
The gospel of salvation is achieved by setting up the kingdom of God as a literal and physical kingdom to be advanced on earth in the present age. Some Dominionists liken the New Testament kingdom of the Old Testament Israel in ways that justify taking up the sword, or other methods of punitive judgment, to war against enemies of their kingdom. They assign to the church duties and rights that belong scripturally only to Jesus Christ. This includes the esoteric idea that believers can incarnate Christ and function as His body on earth to establish His kingdom rule. A great deal of emphasis is placed on human effort, which results in a diminishing of the doctrine of God. A great wealth transfer from the ungodly to the godly facilitates the rapid expansion of the kingdom.
Teachings and Roles of Apostles
One of the central teachings of the NAR is the restoration of apostles and prophets to the overcoming end-time church. These leaders will provide direction and counsel to the end-time church. During the Christian era, apostasy infiltrated the church and robbed it of many of its spiritual gifts and brought in false doctrines. Beginning with the 16th-century Reformation, God began a process of restoration. C. Peter Wagner says: “We are living in the midst of the most epochal changes in the structure of the church.” He calls this the “Second Apostolic Age.” (See C. Peter Wagner, Apostles Today: Biblical Government for Biblical Power (Ventura, Calif.: Regal Books, 2006), p. 6.)
The restoration of the apostolic ministry, began in the 1990s “with the purpose of the church entering the new millennium in the fullness of Christ having the five ministries: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. This new movement, called the New Apostolic Reformation by C. Peter Wagner, is described as ‘generating the most radical changes in church government since the 16th century.”
Wagner speaks of a paradigm shift in traditional Christianity. What is this paradigm shift? In October 1999 at a meeting of the International Gathering of Apostles and Prophets, it was stated “we are seeing prophets and apostles coming forth for a strategic reason. . . . We are being positioned to lay new foundations for the dawning of a New Kingdom Age. We are in the throws of birthing a whole new order—dispensation. . . . We are about to move from the dispensation of grace to the dispensation of dominion.”
Noteworthy is that those in NAR claim to hear directly from God, and many claim that Jesus visits them in person. Like the true biblical apostles who established the early church, these so-called restored apostles believe they are called to lay the foundation and government for the new kingdom (one world church). Their goal is complete and utter control of the church and subjugation of the current governance to them. They want power, dominion, and total control.
The NAR believes that the restoration of the apostles has tremendous implications for Christianity and the world, and that it will mark the greatest harvest of souls, for more souls will be saved in the last one hundred years than all the previous years of the church’s existence. The whole world, they believe, will also be affected because the supernatural prophetic and apostolic words of the apostles will signal the rise and fall of many nations and people. They will distinguish the sheep and goat nations so that when Jesus comes, each will receive its due reward.
The Seven Mountains Mandate
This is the mandate for bringing the kingdom of God to earth and taking dominion over seven key spheres of society, including government, arts and entertainment, media, education, forms of religion, and business. The mountain of business is considered key to taking dominion over others. These seven mandates are promoted by market apostles such as Os Hillman and Lance Wallnau, who is the major motivational speaker in Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe.
One of the key theological terms is “Social Transformation.” A conference on this subject took place at Harvard featuring leading NAR apostles Lance Wallnau, Bill Hamon, Pat Francis, and Os Hillman. All four travel internationally promoting the “Reclaiming the Seven Mountains” campaign and are considered to be experts on “workplace” or “marketplace apostles.” Transformation is not a generic term to the NAR but a brand used in the title of training videos, books, conferences, and organizations. They advertise their charitable activities, but these are secondary to their primary purpose—the mandate to take dominion over society and government, which includes driving out those they believe to be literally under the control of demons.
Lance Wallnau is the motivational guru for the Seven Mountains. Speaking on Patricia King’s Extreme Prophetic Television broadcast, Lance Wallnau says, “The Seven Mountains are—it’s almost like it’s a template for warfare. Because the church so frequently does not have a language for how it goes about taking territory.”
The Seven Mountain mandate is an NAR strategy designed to take control of the power centers of the world. The Ohio Reformation Prayer Network has an abbreviated list of these seven areas on their promotional video:
• Family: where generational blessings or curses are passed on to our children
• Education: where little truth or lies about God and His creation are taught
• Government: where evil is little restrained or endorsed
• Business: where people build for the glory of God or the glory of humankind
• Media: where events, news, information are interpreted and passed on to people through the lens of good and evil
• Arts and entertainment: where values and virtues are little celebrated or distorted
• Religion: where people worship God in “spirit and truth” or settle for religious rituals.
The New Apostolic Reformation is a movement with well-organized international campaigns. The Seven Mountain mandate is the most explicit expression and implementation of Dominion Theology. These seven mountains are considered to be the pillars of society, the battlefield where a culture is won or lost. The NAR intend to train agents who will scale those mountains and conquer them for God.
Eschatological Implications of the New Apostolic Reformation or How Does the Doctrines of the NAR Movement Differ From Mainline Christianity
The vast majority of mainline Christianity are Premillennialists, who believe that this world will not get better but worse (2 Tim. 3:1-5). The social, political, economic, and spiritual conditions of the earth will deteriorate more as the end nears. The Christian Church will not be able to do anything to control this deteriorating condition. Only the dramatic intervention of Jesus can save the planet.
The preparation that the church makes is not making the planet a utopian political kingdom for Jesus to return to. The preparation of the church is the sharing of the gospel to the entire world so that everyone will have an opportunity to make a personal choice to become part of Christ’s spiritual kingdom. When Jesus was standing before the temporal rulers of the time, He said: “‘My Kingdom is not of this world’” (John 18:36). The idea of “spiritual transformation” of the church is fundamentally at odds with the “political dominion agenda” of the NAR.
The theocratic intent of the NAR is their proposed mission to combine church and state and impose their brand of religion on all.
The goal of the NAR—is to eliminate denominationalism and to form a unified church that will be politically victorious against evil in the last days.
The NAR vision of the last generation, contrary to that of mainline Christianity, is not of those who are perfecting their characters after the example of Jesus Christ and who are empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel to a dying world. The NAR’s version of the last generation is of militant young people (Joel’s army) who will take over the world, conquer the Seven Mountains, exorcize demons, doing whatever it takes to accomplish this task.
The NAR version of the last-day triumphant church is not the remnant church being persecuted by the beast powers of Revelation 13 and who nonetheless proclaim the final message to a world that is on the brink of total destruction. Rather, their version is a militant triumphant church on the march, defeating demons, taking territory, and taking the seven major areas of culture.
Christ never intended that His gospel should be propagated by fire and sword or His righteousness wrought by the wrath of man. When the high praise of God is in our mouth with them we will have an olive branch of peace in our hands. Christ’s victories are by the power of His gospel and grace over spiritual enemies, in which all believers are more than conquerors. The Word of God is the two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12), the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17).”28
Christians are called to be salt and light to the world. Through their loving and obedient lifestyle, believers will seek to persuade others to their loving Saviour. This a methodology based solely on love, not power or compulsion. The views of the NAR’s latter-day apostles and so-called prophets are clearly at odds with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Is this information divulged to you when you innocently attend and participate in “Healing Rooms” meetings? How about when women attend “Aglow International” meetings, or “Prayer Room” meetings? I’m pretty sure you know the answer.
If you would like to learn more about the New Apostolic Reformation just select the same subject under “Post Categories” and the other posts on this subject will be presented.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!