"Ten Reasons..." by Tricia Tillin
To Reject The New Apostolic Reformation & Revival
The graphic above is from the cover of the 2010 book "The Reformer's Pledge", which includes contributions from: Apostles Bill Johnson; Lance Wallnau; Chuck Pierce; Heidi Baker; C. Peter Wagner; James W. Goll; John Arnott; Cindy Jacobs; Lou Engle and Jim Garlow. Each chapter is is dedicated to a specific area of Global Reformation.
This short summary (which can never hope to cover adequately this gigantic worldwide movement) is an addition and update to the "Ten Reasons" tracts that were written many years earlier but have, I believe, been helpful to many. They are found here, on my CROSS+WORD Banner Ministries archive website:
The second one has similarities to this new version and is therefore well worth reading too. I felt that new information and activities needed to be added so that 21st century Christians could find what they were looking for. This cannot be more than a summary. If you need to know more, please do a search on my websites, on the internet or follow the web links provided. In that way you can get a deeper understanding of the teachings and the ministries involved.
- Dominion Theology
- What is Kingdom-Now?
- Christian Reconstruction and Dominionism
- The Seven Mountains Mandate
QUOTE: "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. It is nothing less than seeing God's kingdom coming and His will being done here on earth as it is in heaven." [C. Peter Wagner, letter, May 31, 2007]
One of the most basic principles of what is going on in churches today is Dominion, also called Kingdom/Dominion or Kingdom-Now. Having lost dominion over the earth in Eden, it is now supposed that the Church has the task of recovering it (presumably in her role as Corporate Christ and therefore the Second Adam).
This belief is underpinned by the "restoration of apostles and prophets" as rulers initially over the Church and ultimately the World. The new churches believe that the Body of Christ is destined to gain power and influence until she has established the very Kingdom of God on earth, and taken dominion over all people and even the creation.
Dominionism also says that it is the role of the Church to overthrow all of God's enemies, which will be achieved by socio-political action, global revival, reconstruction, and spiritual warfare. Thus the path will be cleared for Jesus to return as Lord over all the Earth (but not before!).
Let's consider the verse on which this teaching is based, 1 Corinthians 15:24-26 which says: "Then the end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority, and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death." There we see that the "last enemy" is DEATH ITSELF which must (according to dominion theology) be destroyed. The teachings vary, but some say this means the leaders of the New Order on earth will be perfected and made immortal before the Lord's coming! [See here]
- Dave Hunt: Revival or Apostasy?
- Revival or Deception?
- A Second Pentecost?
- The Source & Goal of the Second Pentecost
QUOTE: "We need a true jubilee of love and mercy to sweep our land.... join a great multi-ethnic, multi-denominational, multi-generational assembly as we strike a match for awakening in our day." [The Call Website advertising AzuzaNow 2016]
In order to achieve rulership over all, the church must promote mass conversion (usually thought of as a spiritual awakening or experience rather than acceptance of the gospel.) This mass conversion, they say, will transform not only millions of people around the globe, but restructure society and lead to a New Order. They believe (following old prophecies by Latter Rain elders like Bob Jones) that a 'new sound' will "not only recall the works of Christ; it will produce them" creating astounding miracles of deliverance. People will fall to their knees in the street, and whole nations will turn to God in a day.
Global Revival is often called the New Awakening, or a "Second Pentecost" because this endtimes revival is NOT about evangelism but awakening to the spiritual power of a latter-day Pentecost outpouring. It is, at base, an attempt to create a worldwide living "temple" into which the Holy Spirit may descend and dwell on earth. Formerly, these teachings were named the "Latter Rain" in a reference to the bible verses on which they base their hope of a fresh outpouring in the endtimes, such as Hosea 6:3 "Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth".
3. LEADERSHIP & SUBMISSION
- Is Your Church Like A Cult?
- Fear and Guilt
- The Transforming Church (Cell Churches and similar structures)
- Church Leadership & Authority
QUOTE: "God intends for everyone to be under spiritual covering .... One marvelous benefit of [having] a spiritual father is that it provides a spiritual inheritance. Rather than having to work to lay a foundation you will be able to build on the foundation laid by another." [The Joseph Project]
In line with a restructured Global Church governed by apostles and prophets, new forms of Church - where submission, obedience to leaders, and reliance on elders - must be created. To that end, shepherds, mentors, spiritual fathers (or whatever they might be called) must create an environment where hierarchical structures are more important than fellowship.
So-called ordinary church members are only recognised and approved if they submit entirely to leadership, even when that leadership is proven to be in error. Obedience is all, questions are not permitted. Those who do not submit are seen as rebellious and disobedient to God. The same tag applies to any who would elevate God's word over the leadership. This they call "touching God's anointed" since they do see themselves as having received a divine anointing for kingship over the new world church.
Derek Prince, in his book, Discipleship, Shepherding, Commitment, says: "As Christians, we do not obey those in authority because they are right; we obey them because they are in authority, and all authority ultimately stems from God Himself." Members are inculcated with a sense of inferiority, not encouraged to think for themselves, and strictly governed by the rules of their church and elders. They are taught that they need a "covering" in order to avoid falling away, and that they are at risk without a shepherd to lead them.
Schemes like G12, House2House groups and Cell Church (as well as many individual fellowships) have reorganised the Church into controllable units subservient to an elder (who himself is in submission to those above him.) As with Roman Catholic churches, bible knowledge and free thinking is limited, the man in charge is all-important, and worship, prayer and teaching is firmly led from the front with no deviation allowed by individuals. These new churches tend to incorporate manipulative devices like public confession; utilising fear, guilt or shame; mandatory tithing, and binding covenants of membership.
QUOTE: "Tonight is a crossing over and we have a moment,’ says the Lord, ‘where we can labor and travail until Christ is formed in you…I feel if we gave it a big push that we can literally form Christ – Christ in you. … God promised a day where heaven and earth must retain Him until the restoration of all things. Heaven will hold back the coming of Jesus Christ until sons and daughters come into maturity. It’s called the Manifestation of the sons of God. Heaven will hold back the Second Coming… A mature church manifests the glory of God. ... I’m talking about a maturity tonight – and it’s being formed in you. Let Christ be formed in maturity. Let the full man, let the fullness of God come forth..." [Todd Bentley 2008]
The end-goal of kingdom/dominion, in addition to the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth, is the return of the Shekinah Glory (aka the Holy Spirit) to indwell the spiritual "temple" that the Church has created for God. [See Here] This, they say, can only happen when we offer unified corporate praise and worship that is spiritually powerful and pure enough to draw down the Spirit as the Glory into the leadership of the new Church, making them (as some believe) immortal while still living on earth in their resurrection bodies - in a parody of the Rapture/Resurrection.
The bible verses about the Coming of Christ are in many cases reinterpreted as the Coming of "The Glory" of Christ, although the physical Jesus Christ is supposed to turn up eventually, possibly in hundreds or thousands of years, when all his enemies have been "made a footstool for his feet" by the glorified Church. (See point 2 above) Variations of this belief exist. Some teach that the apostolic rulership will take the form of a "Corporate Christ" after the impartation of the Spirit, fulfilling the prophecies of the Second Coming of Christ; allied to this is the idea of the "manifested sons" of God coming forth in power, being the "Manchild Company" - the manchild of the woman in the book of Revelation - who is to rule the nations with a rod of iron. (Also see here.)
- Inter-religious Dialogue
- Inter-church Networking
- Azuza Now and Reconciliation
- Betrayed With A Kiss
QUOTE: "Now there’s still real differences, no doubt about that. But the most important thing is if you love Jesus, we’re on the same team... The unity that I think we would see realistically is not a structural unity but a unity of mission." [Rick Warren: Interview by Catholic News Service]
In order to attract all nations to a unified worship of God, and therefore achieve the end goal of revival, the differences in religion need to be glossed over while the things that unite are promoted. Biblical doctrine is hushed up, while commonalities like the family, morality and good works are highlighted. Tolerance is the aim, while doctrine is seen as divisive. Anyone who points out that the bible forbids universal religious unity is called judgemental, However, given the diversity of the world's religions, the only safe ground for unity is experiences, feelings and "love" for others, as well as worship of a non-specific Great Creator of mankind.
AZUZA NOW 2016 PUBLIC ACT OF RECONCILIATION BETWEEN ROME AND THE NAR
6. SIGNS AND WONDERS
- History and Overview (Signs & Wonders Movement)
- Modern Blasphemy of the Spirit
- Signs & Wonders Quotes
QUOTE: "You haven't fully preached the Gospel of Christ if you haven't done it with miracles, signs, and wonders... In my ministry, I teach my disciples, 'Power first, then the Word. Go in and prophesy first, or demonstrate the power of God first in some way.' " [Todd Bentley]
In place of the bible truths relating to salvation and the gospel message (which require intellectual understanding and agreement) the new churches aim to influence large numbers of people with entertainment, showmanship, and music that appeals to the senses, along with a spectacular show of power. Miracles, signs and wonders (often faked or even tapping into demonic powers) are used to impress the masses. False spiritual gifts such as healing or prophecy, supposed spiritual experiences like laughter or falling down, and manifestations like glory clouds, gold dust, feathers and angelic appearances are all added to the mix. This becomes especially attractive to young people who are searching for power and meaning in life.
- Centring Prayer
- Soaking Prayer
- Contemplative Prayer (many links)
- Evangelicals Embracing Mysticism
- Follow-up links
QUOTE: "In the words of one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, Jesuit philosopher of religion/dogmatist Karl Rahner, 'The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing.'" [Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality]
Akin to the above sensationalist signs-and-wonders preaching, is the mystical experience route for encountering God. It is promoted as a contemplative prayer movement, but is far from genuine prayer. While denying the grounding of gospel truth, people are encouraged to "discover" God in mystical experiences. These can take almost any form, some referring back to the Catholic mystics like Theresa of Avila, some inventing new sensations like "toking the holy ghost". There's a wide range of activities such as meditation, yoga, labyrinths, prayer circles, and extreme fasting.
The overall aim is to engage the soul, instead of the spirit, and to overpower it with sensations that are supposedly from God. Instead of knowing God in truth and reality, people encounter the spirit-world and have intimacy with angels, go on a romantic date with a "jesus" spirit, or have visitations, trances, apparitions, and visits to "heaven". They experience "god" with such things as clouds, winds, voices, and even an orgasm!! (See HERE)
8. MEETINGS AND MINISTRIES
- Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare
- The Call
- Azuza Now News Report
- Global Awakening Membership Directory
- IGAP Apostles & Prophets Gathering 2016
QUOTE: "Join a company of young men and women who have made a covenant by sacrifice to turn a nation through united massive fasting and prayer... It is not enough that Jesus died. Someone must apply the blood of Jesus to the national sin of (the) USA." [Lou Engle]
The Church today is constantly bombarded with events, campaigns, seminars, conferences and international meetings designed both to inform and stimulate belief in global revival/transformation. Hardly a day passes without another ground-breaking scheme to whip up enthusiasm for the goal. Leaders from around the world frequently meet and interact, joining one another on the platform to announce the latest campaign or organisation that is going to "harvest millions" and "shake the heavens".
Churchgoers are constantly being urged to support these meetings and ministries, and to attend events, where they are promised (often through insistent prophecies) that their entire town or city will be impacted and changed for ever. Despite the fact this never happens, the bandwagon rolls on. We have seen so many schemes come and go, Promise Keepers, 40-day Fasting, Catch The Fire, Empowered21, The Call, Azuzu Now, and so on - and as long as the goal remains unattained, so the hype will continue. Failure is not an option!
Part of the plan is to "pull down spiritual strongholds" and "overthrow territorial spirits" by powerful corporate praise and prayer, and exercising spiritual authority. Various techniques such as blowing horns and trumpets (to make the spiritual walls of Jericho fall down), calling on the four quarters of the earth, prayer walks, marches, and claiming territories for God are being used. It is believed that once the heavenlies are cleansed of all demonic opposition, the Spirit of God can come unhindered.
QUOTE: Praying over Todd Bentley from the platform, Peter Wagner declared: “This commissioning represents a powerful spiritual transaction taking place in the invisible world. With this in mind, I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to Todd Bentley, your power will increase, your authority will increase, your favor will increase, your influence will increase, your revelation will increase." [CBN report 2008]
Central to the belief that we are in the era of a NEW Apostolic Reformation, is the idea of anointing of the leadership and prophets. In the Old Testament, only kings, prophets and priests were anointed for leadership, the oil representing the Holy Spirit. So today it is believed that God's anointing is given to those who are deemed apostles and prophets of the New Order. Ceremonies take place in which a new acolyte is "anointed" for leadership by those around him, and since this is supposed to be the infallible seal of God on a minister, none can dispute it. No matter how heretical, sinful or abusive a leader might become, nobody can "touch the Lord's anointed" by pointing out his errors.
We hear talk of "mantles" being passed from one minister to another, or even being "sucked up" from the graves of leaders who have died. Powers are "imparted" from one leader to another, rather than being given by God. All of this is pagan or spiritualistic, not biblical Christianity!
10. INCORRECT ESCHATOLOGY
- NAR Eschatology (PDF document)
- The Coming of the Glory
- Pre and Post Millennialsts Cannot Mix
- Putting the Cart Before The Horse
QUOTE: "At that time the Sons of God will be fully manifested on the earth. Widespread spiritual warfare will result with the Sons of God doing battle with Satan and company, the non-Christian nations of this world will also be defeated. Once the earth has been subdued, Jesus will come back to earth and be given the Kingdom that has been won for Him by this Manchild Company." [Bill Hamon, "Prophets and the Prophetic Movement" Source]
A central part of the revial/restoration doctrine depends on a reworking of eschatology, that is, what we believe about the prophetic future for the Church and world. Classic pre-millennial understanding [where intense persecution, apostasy and trouble precedes the Coming of Jesus, followed by a time of peace and rest] is often replaced by a-millennialism or a new kind of post-millennialism where the Church over a long period of time is able to convert and pacify the entire world and bring it into line with God's Laws. (Not necessarily converting everyone as a Christian, however.) Jesus thus will return to a christianised world that is given as a gift to Him at his eventual Coming.
In preparation for this, the Church believes it must cleanse the heavenlies through “strategic level” spiritual warfare, and "pulling down the heavenly strongholds" that prevent the world turning to Christ. Clearly this requires the elimination of teachings such as the Rapture, which is reinterpreted to mean the removal of the wicked from the glorified earth! (the website quoted is supportive of that view)
Instead of increasing heresy and wickedness, the revivalist churches prophesy increasing righteousness and love of God until the earth itself is redeemed. This leads them to deny absolutely any hint of persecution, nor can they see that the Church is headed into the greatest apostasy ever know. It also leads them to deny present-day Israel a place in prophecy, and to teach that the Church has replaced Israel.
NOTE: not all revival churches believe ALL of this, nor are all of them aware of the underlying doctrines of the movement they have joined. Furthermore, since the early days before open criticism began, the leadership have increasingly been wary of making their beliefs fully known. Membership lists have been hidden from the Internet, and ministry websites are careful not to enter into open discussion about their beliefs, links, partnerships and activities. The full agenda therefore is not well known.
- The New Apostolic Church Movement
- Problems with the New Apostolic Movement (all aspects covered)
- "60 Trends that will Emerge with the Full Restoration of Apostles and Prophets" by John Eckhardt 2009 (supportive)
- False Apostles
- The New Apostolic Reformation (many articles)
- Overview, history, aims and leadership
- NAR history, beliefs and leadership
- Who are the leaders of the NAR
- Resource Directory listing organisations and leaders
- Ancient and Modern Roots of the NAR (Latter Rain etc)
Dr John MacArthur says the following about NAR :
“NAR, the New Apostolic Reformation. It is not new, it is not apostolic, and it is not a reformation, by the way. It is like Grape-Nuts, it’s not grapes and it’s not nuts, it’s like Christian Science, it’s not Christian and it’s not scientific. Well the New Apostolic Reformation isn’t new, it isn’t apostolic and it isn’t a reformation. But it is a rapidly expanding movement being generated by some of the same old troubling false teachers and false leaders that have been around in Charismania for decades, always dishonoring the Holy Spirit, always dishonoring the Scripture, always claiming miracle signs, wonders, visions, dreams.”
© 2016 Tricia Tillin-Booth. All rights reserved. Birthpangs Website: http://www.birthpangs.org/ This document is the property of its author and is not to be displayed on other websites, redistributed, sold, reprinted, or reproduced in printed in any other format without permission. Websites may link to this article, if they provide proper title and author information. One copy may be downloaded, stored and/or printed for personal research. All spelling and phraseology is UK English.