New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) Update

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If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time you will have observed that I have authored a good number of posts on the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement that has and continues to infiltrate and deceive the Christian Church at large.

For a quick overview with applicable doctrine and informational links click here.

The growth of this movement continues unabated and is literally astounding and at the same time quite sickening. And one of the primary reasons for it’s growth is that far too many sheep have an appalling lack of understanding with regards to knowing God’s Word.

A recent discussion between Dr. Michael Brown, Dr. Doug Geivett, and Holly Pivec on Alisa Childers website about the legitimacy of the NAR movement and subsequent follow-up responses by both Holly Pivec and Dr. Michael Brown, reinforced the absolute necessity to be able to discern sound doctrine and authentic manifestations of the working of God’s Holy Spirit. If you’d like to see what ensued from that exchange, click here.

Considering that:

1.The US Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (USCAL) considers their organization a part of The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). (Source)

2.Dr. Michael Brown is a national council member of USCAL and USCAL considers Dr. Michael Brown an apostle. (Council Members)

3.USCAL considers Dr. Michael Brown a primary ambassador of their movement.

4.USCAL considers Dr. Michael Brown a proactive recruiter for the movement. (Source)

Because USCAL considers their organization a part of NAR, and because USCAL considers Dr. Michael Brown an apostle, and because USCAL considers Dr. Michael Brown a primary ambassador for the movement and a proactive recruiter for the movement, it’s relatively safe to conclude that USCAL considers Dr. Michael Brown an apostle who is a recruiting ambassador for NAR through USCAL. This is a reasonable conclusion. Bear in mind that this is the same Dr. Michael Brown that advocates that NAR as defined by Holly Pivac is a myth and who recently was a speaker at the “Light the Fire Again” Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in April 2018, along with other noted NAR spoke persons.

This discussion should give you a bird’s eye view on the type of misinformation and deception that is common within the NAR movement. And it is noteworthy that the original claims of the NAR movement, as originally articulated by Peter Wagner , in particular about the role and governing authority of “Apostles”, is being modified within the NAR movement.

Joseph Mattera is currently the Presiding Bishop of Christ Covenant Coalition and Overseeing Bishop of Resurrection Church in New York. He is also serving as the United States Ambassador for the International Coalition of Apostles, and as one of the founding presiding bishops of the International Communion of Evangelical Churches.

I found it interesting that both Dr. Michael Brown and Joseph Mattera mentioned that “The present apostolic paradigm will bring a course correction to the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and view the apostolic as a ministry function—not an office—as an adjective—not a title.” Dr. Brown inferred this in the recent podcast with Holly Pivac and Dr. Doug Gelvett and Joseph Mattera specifically mentions the “course correction” aspect in his recent posts:
http://josephmattera.org/necessity-restoring-apostolic-ministry-today-part-1/ and
http://josephmattera.org/the-nar-and-the-restoration-of-apostolic-ministry-today-part-2/

Anyone who thinks that this is just a whimsical group of people who really aren’t all that well organized and don’t have a specific agenda that is without doubt moving forward, has their head in the sand. For a deeper look at the organization within the NAR movement, check for “Some NAR Related Websites” here.

I had an interesting discussion yesterday with one of my daughters, who I love dearly and is a relatively new Christian, about Danish evangelist Torben Sondergaard. One of her questions to me was “I love what God is doing through these people….why aren’t we doing that?”

Apart from the assumptions that it is God that is doing these things and that it is something that we, as Christians, should be desirous of emulating, I inquired on what approach she used when determining whether the teachings and manifestations she was looking at, were in line with God’s Word.

“Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”

—C.H. Spurgeon

The reason I asked her this question was due to the fact that we have previously discussed the necessity of using God’s Word to make judgements on what is sound doctrine and what is not. My daughter responded that she looked at the Bible verses that were quoted by Torben Sondergaard and checked them out to see if they were in line with what he said.

Not a good idea. If you are endeavouring to discern as to whether something is doctrinally correct you must FIRST be aware of what all of God’s Word says about a particular doctrine. That means from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation. If you’re only going to check the verses that are provided and neglect other verses that are also associated with the subject matter, it’s like suspecting that you have a leak in a inner tube. To correctly check the inner tube you need to check all of it, everywhere. And if there are multiple leaks and you only fix one, you still end up with an inner tube that leaks and if you’re using the inner tube to keep you afloat on water, it’s not going to sustain you.

Short story is that you don’t just check to see if the teachings or doctrine that you are being asked to believe in, is in agreement with the verses that are quoted. You check to see if the teachings and verses that are being quoted are in agreement with all that God says on that subject. And here is the kicker, if you don’t know what all of God’s Word says on a particular subject, you really have nothing to compare it with and consequently make a Biblical discerning judgement. Therein lies the problem.

There are some Bible verses that I’d like you to consider.

Matthew 7:21-24 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!’

The NAR movement is closely associated with “signs and wonders”. Do signs, wonders and miracles still happen, yes they do. But are all signs and wonders legitimate, no they’re not. We are to test everything and discern as to whether it is from God or it is not from God. (1 John 4:1)

This is Jesus telling us that even though someone may prophesy in His name, it may not be legitimate. This is Jesus telling us that someone may drive out demons in His name, it may not be legitimate. This is Jesus telling us that someone may perform many miracles in His name and it may not be legitimate.

And remember that Jesus told us that the words that He gives us are from our Heavenly Father.(John 12:49)

Jesus warned us in Matthew 24:24 that there would be a great deception so clever and intense that, if it were possible, the very elect would be deceived.  And the Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 NIV “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.”

And finally, Paul tells us in Galatians 1:8 NIV “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!”

It grieves me that so many are being so easily deceived.

I lied, one more Scripture verse: 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About

Disciple of Jesus, married to Peggy, with 5 grown up children, 7 grand children, ex-Canadian military and residing in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. "Papa"

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Posted in Apologetics, Defending Christianity, Faith, New Apostolic Reformation
6 comments on “New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) Update
  1. I love the Spurgeon quot especially: “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” And one cannot know the difference if as you suggest one doesn’t know the fullness of the Word of God. Sigh. We must pray and teach! Thank you for another excellent post, Bruce!!

  2. dettinger47 says:

    Great article, Bruce. You really nailed the problem for not only this deception, but all “Christian” deception when you wrote way up top: “And one of the primary reasons for it’s growth is that far too many sheep have an appalling lack of understanding with regards to knowing God’s Word.” A big reason for this is listed in 2 Timothy 4:3: “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

    Keep preaching the truth, Bruce, and amen!

  3. bcparkison says:

    Oh goodness…good quote from Spurgeon.

  4. Keith Mosher says:

    These are my thoughts when it comes to modern day Apostolic activity, it would be nice to believe in modern day healing as evidenced in the New Testament, but I am also keenly aware of two things:

    1) In our modern culture news travels the world in seconds due to technology, if these miraculous healings were present today, where is the evidence?

    2) While it may seem that miracles occur frequently in the Bible, Dr. Frank Turek calculated that if added up in total, just ONE miracle occurred every 8 years of Biblical history. Another important note is that miracles ALWAYS surrounded men when a Revelation from God was under way (Moses, the Apostles, etc)

    There are two ways the word Apostle is used in scripture, one is a messenger sent out (by other humans) like in the case of Barnabas, and two is an appointment by God… an office with a particular mission and duration (as in the twelve plus Paul).

    In the first sense, of course we can have Apostles today, but the NAR is talking about that definition are they? No they are referring to the healing, demon casting out variety. But here is a solid test they could take. Apostles had the God-given power to TRANSFER their healing powers to OTHER people. Why don’t we see one example of that today? I would have to go back to some scripture, but I also tend to recall a requirement that all the Apostles (Paul included) had to witness the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Who alive today can make that claim?

    Additionally the purpose of the early Apostles was to establish the Church, which it did (past tense) so I do not see any purpose in modern Apostleship… other than to bolster the egos of men. This does NOT mean I discount the use and presence of Spiritual Gifts today, which is not related to this subject at all.

    Lastly Bruce, I would say I applaud your zeal for “rightly dividing the Word of God” but if the measure of discernment is TRULY to know what the Bible says on a subject from Genesis to Revelation that is logistically problematic.

    In my eleven years as a Christian and 4 as an Apologist I have read through the Bible cover to cover ONE time and have read books of the Bible HUNDREDS of times… meaning there are some books I have read just once and others I have read over and over and over. Could it be I have missed a verse or two in relation to a subject I was trying to discern?? OH YES, quite possible. But I think my discernment is fairly strong… even though there are parts of the Bible I have read and forgotten (my memory sucks LOL).

    Anyway sorry for the long post, off to church.

    • Bruce says:

      Thanks for the comments Keith. It should be noted that there is a lot more in question besides the authoritative Apostles in NAR that is being questioned. With regard to searching the Bible from cover to cover on a given subject, you don’t have to remember it all, all you need is to do a thorough search on a given subject or topic and then check all the references to get a good overview on it. The point being not to rely on a few chosen scriptures that someone else gives you but to take the time to do a thorough search on the topic yourself and THEN compare it with what the individual is inferring. What with the tools and resources that are available to us today on the Internet it really isn’t all that difficult to do. Grace and blessings!

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