I’d like to begin this post with a note of urgency. There is a strong delusion rapidly growing within the Christian Church throughout the whole world, right now. Whether you realize it or not, it is here and it is growing at an alarming rate. The Word of God has already warned us that this was going to happen.
The Church, the body of Christ, especially Pastors and teachers, really need to take this very seriously. In fact, all Christians should take this very seriously.
2 Thessalonians 2 RSV reads as follows:
“Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you this? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, 12 so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 13But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning[b] to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”
This “strong delusion” that comes by the activity of Satan with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, is here now. It’s not fully formed yet but it is definitely heading in that direction. This is very likely the “rebellion” that the Word of God speaks about, this is very likely in preparation for the “man of lawlessness”. I use the words “very likely” because at this point in time the “man of lawlessness” has not appeared yet, at least not to my knowledge. But let’s take a good hard look at what is unfolding before our eyes.
The movement’s growth is staggering.
The NAR movement is responsible for much of the explosive church growth occurring in Africa, Asia and Latin America. 2 Leaders of many of the world’s biggest churches promote present-day apostles and prophets, including David Yonggi Cho (Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea with one million people), E.A. Adeboye (Redeemed Christian Church of God in Nigeria with five million people), Sunday Adelaja (Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations in Ukraine with 20,000 people), and César Castellanos (International Charismatic Mission in Columbia with 60,000 people).
Influential NAR churches in the United States include Bethel Church in Redding, California (pastored by apostle Bill Johnson), Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California (pastored by apostle Ché Ahn), and MorningStar Fellowship Church in Charlotte, North Carolina (pastored by apostle/prophet Rick Joyner). In fact, NAR churches can be found across the United States, in virtually every large city and small town. Though the NAR movement has seen the most growth in the Global South 3, it has also gained considerable influence in the West. In Australia, the NAR movement has taken over an entire denomination, the Assemblies of God in Australia. 4 In the United States, approximately three million people attend NAR churches — that is, churches that overtly embrace NAR teachings. 5
In addition to churches, a number of influential “evangelical” organizations based in the United States are also run by NAR leaders. These include the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri (NAR teacher Mike Bickle); Healing Rooms Ministries in Spokane Washington (apostle Cal Pierce); and Aglow International in Edmonds, Washington (apostle Jane Hansen Hoyt). They also include TheCall, which has drawn hundreds of thousands of people to prayer and fasting rallies in large cities throughout the United States (prophet Lou Engle).
One NAR organization that has a large online following is the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City, Missouri. Thousands of people watch IHOP conferences online and the sessions of prayer and worship that are broadcast live — 24 hours a day, seven days a week — from the IHOP “Prayer Room” at the Kansas City, Missouri, headquarters. And another NAR organization, the Elijah List, serves as an online clearinghouse for the NAR movement, daily e-mailing prophecies and teachings from NAR leaders to more than 135,000 subscribers. 9
And let’s not forget that the NAR movement is more than amply represented in this year’s mother of all ecumenical conferences taking place in “celebration” of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation – the Kairos 2017 event.
A more comprehensive overview with relevant statistics is available at http://www.apologeticsindex.org/2977-new-apostolic-reformation-overview
So when I say “staggering” I do mean staggering. And the statistics I have provided are quit likely now out of date, having increased significantly.
So lets take a look an honest hard look at the doctrine behind this movement.
The seven mountain mandate or the seven mountain prophecy is an anti-biblical and damaging movement that has gained a following in some Charismatic and Pentecostal churches. Please note that the Assemblies of God USA and Assemblies of God organizations around the world make up the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination–representing 65 million people.
The Assemblies of God USA has published a number of official statements taking stances against many NAR teachings. Here are some key NAR teachings that have been rejected by the denomination’s leadership.
- The Assemblies of God has rejected the teaching that present-day apostles and prophets should govern the church (see – “Endtime Revival”, “Apostles and Prophets,” and “Prophets and Personal Prophecies“)
- 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” (see “Endtime Revival” and “The Kingdom of God“)
- 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” (see “Endtime Revival”)
- 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” (see “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 (see “Imparting of Spiritual Gifts“)
That being said, in actual practice, these same NAR teachings are being promoted in some Assemblies of God churches. Some does not mean all. It is important to note that.
Those who follow the seven mountain mandate believe that, in order for Christ to return to earth, the church must take control of the seven major spheres of influence in society for the glory of Christ. Once the world has been made subject to the kingdom of God, Jesus will return and rule the world.
Here are the seven mountains, according to the seven mountain mandate:
These seven sectors of society are thought to mold the way everyone thinks and behaves. So, to tackle societal change, these seven “mountains” must be transformed. The mountains are also referred to as “pillars,” “shapers,” “molders,” and “spheres.” Those who follow the seven mountain mandate speak of “occupying” the mountains, “invading” the culture, and “transforming” society.
The seven mountain mandate has its roots in dominion theology, which started in the early 1970s with a goal of “taking dominion” of the earth, twisting Genesis 1:28 to include a mandate for Christians to control civil affairs and all other aspects of society. The New Apostolic Reformation, with its self-appointed prophets and apostles, has also influenced the seven mountain movement.
Lance P. Wallnau coined the term seven mountain mandate and is its most prominent teacher. Wallnau adapts the missionary mandate of Jesus to His disciples to “go and make disciples” of all the nations into a mandate to effect social transformation. He reasons that, since churches already have a presence in every nation in the world, we need to now concentrate on influencing the systems (the “mountains”) within these nations. The problem, according to Wallnau, is that Christians are not currently influencing society outside the church. Christians have left the mountains susceptible to the “gates of hell,” which are spiritual portals over the “kings” (influence-shapers) of those mountains.
Wallnau’s teaching is loosely based on the Abrahamic Covenant, which promised Abraham a seed and a lasting inheritance. Also, Israel was promised in Deuteronomy 28:12–14 to be the “head and not the tail” among the nations. Proponents of the seven mountain mandate infer that the church, not Israel, is the entity to claim that promise. It is now up to believers to move in proximity to the “gates of hell” and position themselves to exert the greatest amount of influence. The church then needs to be dissected into “micro components” and infiltrate the mountains. Since every Christian can’t position himself at the top of every mountain, each individual is to find his particular smaller peak and be a leader in that realm.
The leading edge of the seven mountain mandate is the New Apostolic Reformation, which teaches that the church of the 21st century will be ruled by apostles and prophets. The movement is not governed by a specific denomination but by the alleged apostles and prophets who, of course, claim to receive direct revelation from God. In lending credence to modern-day prophets and apostles, the NAR denigrates the Bible and sola scriptura, emphasizes experience-oriented theology, and promotes mysticism.
The NAR and proponents of the seven mountain mandate have abandoned biblical teaching on the end times, choosing to believe that Christians must set the stage for Jesus’ second coming by achieving dominion over the world’s systems. According to 7-M theology, Jesus will only return to a world that mirrors the kingdom of God. This idea parallels the New Age teaching that anticipates a cosmic spiritual shift when man becomes a co-redeemer of Planet Earth.
Christians are called to be lights in the world (Matthew 5:14). There is no biblical requirement, however, to take the helm of all the world systems in order to usher in Christ’s kingdom. The Bible says that the world will grow worse, not better, in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1, 13; 2 Peter 3:3).
The theology associated with the seven mountain mandate is dangerous, and it sheds a terribly negative light on Christians everywhere. The 7-M teaching puts a tremendous burden on believers to perform, make progress in their relative spheres of influence, and set the stage for Jesus’ return to earth—all without a definite end point. Little emphasis is placed on the gospel message of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ; the movement is more about staking claims and taking control.
In addition, it also puts a very up-to-date relevance to the words that Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-22 ESV “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
Notice “you workers of lawlessness“.
There are a series of videos on YouTube that provide a good historical record and video documentation of the development of the NAR movement that I would strongly urge all Christians to view. It traces the movement from it’s infancy up to today. A warning that some of the documentation is difficult to watch but then this is what we are actually dealing with.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:15-20 NIV “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
This is the fruit that the New Apostolic Reformation produces.
If you’re looking for a very length list of YouTube videos exposing the many errors found within the NAR movement and in particular Bill Johnson from Bethel, this link will keep you going for a few hours: bethel-church-false-exposed
Much information about the NAR movement has already been written by many reputable sources, you can access many many links that are provided in some of the NAR related posts as mentioned below. And then there are the testimonies, over fifty of them, people who bought into the NAR movement and then decided to leave. You can view these testimonies here.
To access the other NAR related articles I have posted, simply select New Apostolic Reformation under the Post Categories option on the right side of the Home page.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!