What Am I Missing?

I’m writing this post out of frustration and confusion. I keep running into infrequent posts where the lines of the contents within these posts intersect with a false Gospel and false practises which I simply cannot condone or accept as originating from God’s Holy Spirit. I’ve written many articles on the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement. I’ve literally spend hundreds of hours researching and reading books from a number of authors within the NAR movement, in particular Bill Johnson (Bethel Church in Redding, California) and Graham Cooke. And it isn’t just the non-orthodox Christian doctrines and practises that these so called Apostles advocate within their books, there are also a good number of videos available on YouTube which showcase some of their practises and highlight these false doctrines, so it cannot be said that there is a misunderstanding via a written word.

I haven’t posted any articles on this particular subject of the NAR movement for a while now but I can assure you that I have been keeping abreast of it’s ever increasing influence and expansion and infrequently updating my list of informative links on the NAR within my “Christian Resources” link page (under “N” for New Apostolic Reformation). I have however, posted a number of articles on The Passion Bible Translation, a so-called translation which is authored by one of the NAR Apostles (Brian Simmons) and endorsed by Bill Johnson. If the background of TPT composition itself and the so called legitimacy of The Passion Bible Translation doesn’t raise red flags for Christians, I’d have a hard time imagining what indeed would.

I think the part that baffles my mind is that I can read posts where Christians can quote scripture like there’s no tomorrow and be bang on with regard to spiritual realities as per our total dependency and reliance in Jesus AND AT THE SAME TIME quote and promote the writings of other individuals who are clearly associated with the NAR movement and in particular, Bill Johnson and his church at Bethel. And when I say associated with I don’t mean on a casual basis, I’m talking about where they are literally preaching or teaching at Bethel church or Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry.

The list of influential Pastors and teachers who are doing this is considerable and includes individuals such as Dr. Michael Brown and Mario Murillo.

And is there anything to be concerned about from a Biblical perspective regarding Bethel’s Supernatural School of Ministry? Aside from the numerous YouTube exposes of unbiblical manifestations attributed to God’s Holy Spirit, the following three links are provided for your consideration:

https://www.themessedupchurch.com/blog/seduced-by-bethel
https://fitl.co.za/2018/04/12/bethel-school-of-supernatural-ministry-normalizing-mysticism/
https://churchwatchcentral.com/2019/03/28/defecting-from-bethel/

Please note that the last of the three links that are provided above includes a 39 page document that was presented to the leaders of Bethel by Lindsay Davis, who was single at that particular time but is now married, who attended BSSM, prior to being expelled, for speaking out about the school.

And if you think that Bethel is just one church and it’s influence is relatively small, you would be mistaken. We’re talking about a multi-million dollar organization that takes in approximately 60 million dollars + per year. No, that’s not a typo, that’s sixty million + dollars per year.

Check out the following link and please take the time to read all of the comments at the bottom of the article:

https://anewscafe.com/2019/05/13/redding/the-really-big-business-of-bethel-church-part-1-show-us-the-money/

I can understand someone who is NOT conversant with the scriptures, being taken in by this movement, who hasn’t taken the time to do the necessary research and investigate the claims and background of the New Apostolic Reformation, but what truly bothers me is when I encounter a Christian who DOES know the scriptures and is still taken in with this deception.

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?

And just so that you are aware of how the dot’s of this movement move right up to the White House, here’s another noteworthy link that should cause Christians concern:

https://reformationcharlotte.org/2019/12/11/has-the-new-apostolic-reformation-hijacked-the-white-house/

Two scripture verses immediately come to my mind. (I know, there’s more.)

Matthew 7:21-23 NASB

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you;

Matthew 24:24-25 NASB

“For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance.

It’s interesting to note that both of these verses involve a warning about placing your faith or focus in the operation of signs and wonders and not in Jesus.

And this is precisely what happens when we shift our focus off of God’s Word and the focus of God’s Word, which is always Jesus, onto experience.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

33 comments

  1. Hey!
    May I suggest this NAR business of Apostles etc. is about control. And you see that from the baptist to the penticostals .
    If you do not follow this persons leadership, you are out so fast your head spins. Its about local power struggles.

    A good church has simple doctrine and disagreement is dealt with by study. But these sorts of cults from every denomination start with a leader trying to boss their way. You can see it in their preaching. You literally have to take notes so that you can find their formula. If you were to say, sorry I lost the notes, I just have my bible, they might try and give you their version of the watchtower. Mormons, Herbert Armstrong, Kenneth Copland, Brownsville etc. all tried to force their view on top of the bible.
    Attempting to call yourself an Apostle or Priest or Prophet and then jibber Jabber is not new. They just want to say its new, cause they want to say, we are right and you are wrong. Just like any past cult type person.

    If you cant skip the guy and go to the bible, If you need his notes or your wrong, then you need to get a new pastor. Bible first, Last, and in the middle. The last Apostle died when John the Apostle died. Even Paul could barely be called an apostle. And while he called himself that, the Idea of 3 years with Jesus didn’t happen with Paul. 10 seconds really is not enough to be a self proclaimed apostle. We let it slide, and while I think God used him and its all scripture, He was pushing his luck on definitions. And these people are. And why? because they want the status to control.

    Trump will see that for what it is. God told me this or that will get old real fast.

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      • I helped start a church 30 years back where the guy I helped got married then turned into one of these sorts of chumps. It wrecked my marriage and My X still goes there. She is re-married. My kids went till they got older and now my Son is in a Pentecostal Church and my daughter sort of floating. (so you see where the damage happens.)
        But, because I was good with my kids and taught them faith in God etc. when my daughter ended up with a guy I didn’t like I had a nice talk with her and talked about God and had sort of a special moment of worship talking about how Wonderful God was. Then I said, Look, the billion years we are offered is conditional. We either are followers of God, or we tell him to shove it. If you are with this guy and he wants to follow God great, but if not, work on him for a while see if he will come around. But if not, You need to choose God. And if he wont come along drop him like a rock. God has far bigger plans than someone who cant get it and it will destroy your possible marriage and my life with you as well and most importantly your life for eternity. It wasn’t 3 months and she dropped him. Using the excuse that University was busy and she was to far away etc. But because I did not force it but spelled it out. She chose right. And the Spirit of God worked on her and helped us both out.

        So even with these clowns trying to distort the Church, Even with the wreckage, we can make it and should take efforts to insulate our kids and friends and others from these things by calling on people to return to Bible reading, Love for God and a true respect for what he has done and thankfulness for salvation and the chance to live forever with him. Its an honour to serve the Lord. And forwarding that will help with the devastation these chumps cause.

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      • Glad to hear that your daughter made the right decision and I’d be guessing that the method you chose was instrumental in her decision. And you’re right about we have a responsibility to inform others within the Church when there are wolves a foot. Not sure if I would be using the adjectives clowns and chumps but I definitely didn’t have a problem catching your general drift. Blessings Scott.

        Liked by 1 person

      • A chump is a guy who thinks he knows but really doesn’t and hasn’t done his homework but looks down at you and wants to be boss. And generally people say who is this clown anyways.
        I encourage everyone to teach and to use any gift God gives them and to encourage others to step out rather than be selfish But, if they do without doing their homework, they are really just proud and not really thinking of others need for good leadership. we should all work, the fields are white to harvest, but be prepared, and do the work. Those who don’t are chumps., And when a chump gets to be in charge, Wow, they turn into monsters.

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      • Yes, I know. I find it hard to qualify what I think of some of the politicians who have no back bone, who sanction abortion. War Criminals really but should they be called Political Criminals doing things in the name of War/Politics, like letting babies die while looking the other way.
        Its stuff like that that makes me use terms like Stupid or dolt or daft and thug LoL. I avoid more nasty ones. Still, when Liars say trump said to inject bleach and Lysol, I see that as very offensive and it should be called out. I do try to limit the wide brush adjectives without loosing the salt in what I say. As you can see I have no use for the Liberal Debauchery Party. aka LDP. LoL.

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      • And Yes, about my daughter. I thought about it first. Everyone that is young has doubt. You think you know but you don’t and by consistently giving them Proofs, and then asking what is the alternative, bit by bit their belief is built. So Faith is not the Atheist style of crossing fingers but the Christian kind where its not about if god exists but will you trust him with your life.
        So my first step was to go through some proofs because she is in university where they intentionally try to sabotage belief in God. I targeted those areas and attacked their lack of evidence for statements made by people generally who do not have evidence to destroy your faith and reminded her how dirty that would be to destroy someones relationship with god when they really had no right or science to do so. And I deal with the real issue of God being Absent, not walking around, and why would he when he said he wouldn’t and why do we try to alter history when it was what it was. Was it that or wasn’t it. Are we here and how?
        So I did a whole thing and then listened to some music worshipping God and thanking him for what he has done. It was a nice time. Then I got into it about Him and didn’t pressure her and made her feel like if he does not go along with her, then she has to protect herself. And she did that. It might have at the end had a bit of manipulation setting up the conflict but I wasn’t rooting for him anyways. I was setting things up to win not to fail. I didn’t spend 40 years as a christian only to have the devil beat me and my daughter. She knowing that I was protecting her not squelching her was a big thing. we were a team and I knew that He would then try to blame me and separate me from her. So, rather than dig him down, I asked her to evaluate. I trusted he would then try to destroy me and likely she would be offended and that would put a wedge between him and her.
        I thought it through. She would think its reasonable he do something for her, just that, and if he couldn’t change on that one thing, then she will have no say in anything.
        So I set it up to win. For her sake and for his.
        If he wasn’t bad news he would have loved her enough to try it out. And he didn’t. She saw that and that was that.

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      • I understand and your logic is sound and it was wise and God honoured it. Can’t help saying “Good for you!” For following it through. Just saw a side of you that I really admire. Blessings brother.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I too have been puzzled and frustrated by how knowledgeable Christians fall for, or just excuse, certain things. For example, when it comes to prosperity gospel or watered down versions of it that I call the positivity gospel, I am mystified how some believers defend it. A relative of mine, not a believer, clearly sees the clash between the life and teachings of Jesus and the emphasis of prosperity/positivity gospel. While certain Christians fail to see it! Someone without the Spirit sees it, while someone with the Spirit does not! Bang head…

    Lack of thinking and discernment in our sound bite world? Too many are failing to love God with their minds. An over-emphasis on being praiseworthy and not critical? Satan deceiving and blinding believers? Maybe personality types are a part of it? Some personality types seem very uncomfortable with disagreement/controversy, while others like to cut to the heart of things even if it creates discomfort? Related to that, perhaps the prophetic gift comes into play? And when I refer to the prophetic gift today, I don’t mean someone getting direct new words from God, but simply as someone with a gift of seeing into the heart of a matter and noting hard truths that need to be proclaimed. Prophets are usually not popular, and sadly, some/many would prefer to remain in ignorance – not facing hard truths.
    (Didn’t mean to drift into what the gift of prophecy is or is not or if it is even a gift today! I myself am a soft cessationist when it comes to the miraculous gifts. I had a close friend who was in The Vineyard and she was always having these prophetic words – where God told her something specific about someone – and she had to tell them. Sigh.)
    But your sentence at the end nails it with various issues:
    “And this is precisely what happens when we shift our focus off of God’s Word and the focus of God’s Word, which is always Jesus, onto experience.”
    The Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword…and if we are not in the Word like we should be….
    THANKS FOR letting me ramble Bruce!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Laura, you can ramble anytime you want! I sense the same questions in your words that I have and sometimes I just don’t have an answer. I’ve seen and experienced a couple of the gifts of the Holy Spirit but it’s been quite a while. The Holy Spirit does it all, from start to finish and it is so very easy, effortless, yet totally initiated by Him, always. Not like today where some say that anyone can be a prophet. Doesn’t work that way. I find that now God’s leading through His Holy Spirit is more personal, His presence in prayer, His leading in awareness and thoughts. Wish I understood more but I’m getting it all down to being pretty simple, trust and obey for their’s no other way. Hard to believe it took me so long. Blessings Laura!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. 1 Corinthians 11:18-19 King James Version (KJV)
    18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
    19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

    While James 3 warns about to many people assuming they are teachers, the need for leadership is needed minus the controlling factor. Its a rock and a hard place. The first thing any true leader of a Church will do is have their leadership focused on Loving God, his word and his people while demoting themselves.

    Humility is not about avoiding leadership but avoiding the desire to boss others seeing yourself as equals. I have always thought that Jesus of all people showed this level of humility while being a leader. Each Apostle had their good points and bad points. And so with humility we should work to encourage people to know God and his word and express that union and change of desire by Love.

    Its a worthy cause to expose these power hungry self appointed prophets and apostles who are none of either. If they were of either they would have posted before I did refuting what I just wrote. I guess they were late to the game. All huff and no puff.

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  4. Thank you, Bruce, I sent a link to our pastor. If continuing to follow these who think they are in control, you are “frustrated and confused,” the enemy is doing his work in you. I pray you will remember our heavenly Father is a God of peace. He is in control of all. Psalm 103:19 As our forefathers, who had to endure the false teaching in their day, we must spend our time in God’s Word and prayer. He wants our full attention on the truth with “divine power to destroy the strongholds”, “for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness and wickedness in high places.” I appreciate your concern for all of us. Blessings as we continue to follow our Lord and Savior who has all authority and power in heaven and earth.

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    • Hi Fran, thank you so much for responding. I may have overstated it somewhat when I used the words “frustrated and confused”. I’m thinking “perplexed” is probably more realistic. And actually, when I encounter this which perplexes me, there is an inner witness that manifests itself about formulating a logical and informative response to address that which is attacking the sheep within the fold. In short, it is a peaceful assurance that I feel when I have responded to His leading. And, just so you know, that which I wrote, was the fruit of prayer because I let God know up front that He is going to do the heavy lifting and He always does. This particular subject, with regard to the NAR, is something that God has led me into, for His purposes. It’s been months since I actively wrote about the NAR and then boom, this needed to be addressed. I was amazed on how He put it together for me. It’s an obedience thing, which I am sure you understand. And the obedience brings strength, not weakness, internally, within my spirit where He dwells. Sorry for misleading you with those two words. I think, in truth, I used them more for others versus myself, if that makes sense. You are like a calm breeze that calms the waves and I listen when you send something my way, seriously. No visions of grandeur here, it’s just something that I am to know and understand and God will use it for His glory. I’m thinking you know what I mean. I’m keeping my hand in Jesus’ hand and He is faithful. God’s grace, peace and blessings on you and yours.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know where you are coming from, Bruce. This was an opportunity to encourage you, others, and myself to focus and keep our minds and hearts on the King of kings, His kingdom, and His rule over all things. We may never know why and how he uses all things for His purposes and glory.

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      • You are absolutely correct, of that I have no doubt. So often I am just in awe and the only reality that I lean on is that I know in my spirit that I am where He wants me to be, for now. But there is so much more. God’s blessings to you and Gerry!

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  5. You’re missing the desire to live the image they sell Bruce. It’s like a Multi Level Marketing scam.
    Apparently you’re not interested in the big house with the pool in the back yard and exotic cars and boats parked on the front driveway.
    Lets be honest, a lot of christians are pretty darn gullible and greedy.
    People love a good show cloaked to look like real life. A life they want and are willing to pay for.
    It’s not a miracle the orange man got into the white house , it’s a fusion of MLM scam and religion on a whole new level. It took decades of grooming and programming to get to this point.
    Sit back and enjoy the show Brother, Jesus has got this and will reward everyone according to their deeds.
    Let your prospective be based on what’s in front of and observable to you. Much like the parable of the good Samaritan, your neighbour is the one Jesus puts in your path.
    I understand your frustration Bruce, it’s one thing to manipulate others, it’a a whole other evil when it’s done in the name of Jesus Christ.
    Stay the course.
    Blessings

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  6. Thank you so much for this post. I have a very personal struggle with this because my wife is NAR or Word of Faith. I have to accept her and this has caused deep division in our marriage. There are good things in the people who believe wrongly. And don’t we all have wrong beliefs. If the core is good the extras shouldn’t be as concerning as we think.
    I can’t tell you how deeply this issue has affected my life. I’m so glad that you understand it.
    I don’t completely but I see a lot of the errors, One positive thing is an awareness of the power of God. They can’t be accused of being cessationalists.
    Other than that my whole being cries out that this is wrong and I want my wife to stop. She has not for approximately 20 years.
    Pray for me and pray for her mostly that our marriage would heal and get over what isn’t important and for me to come to understand what is necessary and what is not.

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  7. I agree with you completely; it is difficult sometimes for individuals seeking ministry, and trying to get established in a place that holds expressly to the Truth. Seems to be that nowhere does, that may sound rather jaded, but what I mean is as soon as any degree of the fear of man sets in, i.e. favoritism, seeking honor, even young ministers desiring to be heard will give in to platitudes. I recently saw someone I have generally respected posting someone’s prophecy which was all on the basis of Enochian fables (some really bizzare stuff), but creeping into mainline Christian thinking (a little leaven leavens the whole lump).

    Personally, I believe it is leading to the last days deception; the scriptures predict a greeat falling away so that believers actually forsake the Covenant of Christ. Surely it happens by degrees, the only way not to get caught up into it is to be taught personally by the Holy Ghost, and not rely on man.

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    • Thanks for commenting! I agree with you about this being a lead-in to the great falling away and the last days. Stay grounded in God’s Word and keep your focus on Jesus, plus seek and follow God’s will for you through the leading of His Holy Spirit. Trusting that all is well with you and yours. Blessings brother.

      Like

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