Matt S Jan 2018 Part 12 – 2 (False teachings/heresy series)
My heading image is in “black & white” and I would say quite clearly that NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) is anything but “black & white”. I am hoping that I can show you here in this article some of the many things that identify the encroaching tide of NAR heresies, doctrines, programs, language, personalities and music. I hope that this will make it a little more “black & white” for you.
In my research the other day, I discovered that a Church home group I was attending a few years ago was under the umbrella of a NAR organisation. Some of the NAR hallmarks were in this home group (in hindsight). As it was, I ended up leaving, I had really struggled with some of the doctrinal positions that were being taught and I was feeling downright uncomfortable. It turned out to be a good decision in the end bringing me much relief. Once again, there were some truly good and decent Christians that attended this group, but for the most part they adhered strongly to whatever the group leadership advocated, not the Biblical position on doctrine.
I should add that it is becoming clear to me that the people who have spoken out against the NAR movement, have done so on the basis that NAR doctrines are contrary to Biblical doctrines/teachings. These folk who have spoken out against the New Apostolic Reformation, have been clear on what scripture says (in other words they read and know their Bibles), and they have challenged what they see as a deviation from “sound doctrine”. If you are here in the AMTM website, the chances are very high that you are a critical thinker, and don’t just accept anything that you see, read or hear as “gospel”.
So let’s get started…………..
This information is taken from Pirate Christian Media, “The Berean Examiner” section of the website from a blog by Amy Spreeman. Amy writes extensively on NAR and has amassed a great deal of knowledge about this movement, anything she writes is well worth taking notice of. (The link for this article is in the research section)
Do you recognise any of these “Hallmarks” in your own Church, or perhaps in a Church you used to attend?
We’re in a “Second Apostolic Age.” There are new Apostles are on the earth today, anointed by the laying of hands to represent and speak for God here on Earth. These “Super Apostles” are equal to the original Apostles – the ones who witnessed Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and were appointed by Christ Himself to the office. Since these new apostles are commissioned by God, their authority may not be questioned.
Rather than preach the Gospel of the cross, Apostolic leaders are working to bring the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth. They do this by taking dominion of earthly kingdoms or “mountains” of government, media, entertainment, education, business, family, and religion. Leaders often talk of city building and organize prayer walks to pray against demonic strongholds. They often speak of being mission-focused rather than being Christ-centered.
3. “DESTINY” “PRESENCE” “GLORY”
Though members are not always charismatic, they frequently emphasize a manifestation of “Glory” and “God’s presence,” and often have a special anointing to receive direct revelation from God, perform healings and other signs and wonders. They teach that our purpose is to achieve our dream destiny so that we can change the world.
Revival on a massive scale is key in this movement. There is a strong emphasis on an “end times harvest” through a great awakening that we can usher in. Often these revivals are held in stadiums and reach millions around the world via live stream technology; they are marketed and produced like rock concerts. All scripture verses about an end times falling away are ignored, and get replaced with hyped-up claims about the Next Big Thing that’s always just around the corner.
Unity (at the expense of biblical doctrine) is almost always used as both the how and the why in this movement. Unity for the sake of bringing Heaven to Earth is leading to the blurring of doctrinal and denominational lines, often bringing together well-known leaders of charismatic, reformed, Word of Faith, seeker-emergent, progressive and Roman Catholics churches, all under one umbrella.
Finally, NAR churches almost always abandon a major tenant of Christian faith:
6. NAR DENIES THE SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE.
NAR adherents may believe in the inerrancy and authority of the Bible, but God’s breathed-out Word is just not enough for them. Jesus’ sacrificial death for our sins is not good enough; the promise of eternal life in Heaven is not good enough.
If NAR was a biological organism it would be a Christian clone with some fatal genetic flaws. When I say this, I mean that it is a copy that very closely represents the real thing. Genetic flaws are very small and hidden from plain view, but over time they will become very apparent, and will create change that does widespread and sometimes fatal damage to the body.
With those who are brazenly accepting NAR thinking, you will hear references to “Dominionism” or “7 Mountains Mandate” You will have new and improved versions/translations of the Bible with “New Revelation”. You will hear “new prophetic utterances” relating to NAR theology (just found this a few days ago at the time of writing) “New Prophetic Utterance”. You will hear of the restoration of the “5 Fold Ministries”, although you will really only hear of two, those being the office of “Apostle” and “Prophet”. You may hear of the “Manifest Sons of God” or of “Joel’s Army”. You may hear of the “Word of Faith” (name it and claim it) or the “Signs and Wonders” (gold dust and angel feathers) movements. You may also hear of “Kingdom Now”, “Kingdom Builders” and “Heaven on Earth”. You may also hear of prophecies of “Great Revival” (as per No 4 on the Six Hallmarks of a NAR Church).
When you encounter folk who embrace and preach NAR theology, you won’t hear of “the rapture”, of the “great apostasy”, of the tribulation or the birth pangs mentioned in Matthew 24. This just does not seem to feature on the NAR radar as it runs contrary to their “End Times” teaching. The other thing that you may notice with NAR doctrine/teaching is, that they are not content with God’s Word “as is”’ (or to put it another way), NAR teaching is not content with the “sufficiency of scripture”. These “new things” or additions often come in the form of the “prophecy” of man. These folk (both men and women) often use statements such as “The Lord has told me”, “God told me”, “An angel of the Lord told me”, I visited Heaven and spoke with …. Paul (“SERIOUS RED FLAG HERE”, or whoever they claim they spoke with). I’m not saying that God does not speak to us, as He does. What I question is the source of the message. From my own experience I have had things at times that I thought were from God, and they were not. Satan masquerades as an angel of light and is actively working to deceive us in any way he can.
Adherence to NAR doctrines varies widely across Churches and Christian organisations, it is not “black & white”. They do come in shades of gray that can be lots of good Christian teaching mixed with a small false teaching not readily apparent. It may just be isolated NAR doctrines that a Church has picked up, or it may be a full blown NAR organisation such as Bethel in Redding California. NAR organisations are very successful at generating money which they use to spread their ideas and influence. Prolific book and music sales, payments for courses and conferences will add to the tithing takes from the church attendances and Government Social programs (the tax dollar). This adds up to a whole lot of money. Just check this article on Bethels annual revenue take.
With the “7 Mountains Mandate”, NAR influence extends into the Music Industry, Politics and Government, Social Justice Programs, Media, Education and of course Christian “spheres” of influence. Because of the NAR belief that Christians ought to be paving the way for Jesus return, NAR organisations are making inroads everywhere. The other thing that you may find within NAR Churches and organisations is an over emphasis on “experiencing” God, that one must have “sign’s and wonders” accompanying that experience. Very often crucial aspects of the Gospel message seem to get lost. There may be special programs you need to do for healing and deliverance such as “SOZO”. There may be some “New Age” ideas and practices present. There may be a drive toward “Ecumenism” and the “Interfaith Movement”. There may be greater acceptance of what the Bible describes as sinful practices such as homosexuality, sex before marriage, adultery etc.
I have listed a lot of ideas and doctrines associated with NAR groups and organisations in the last few paragraphs. My aim is to address many if not all of these areas in more detail in articles to come. So if I have not included information here in reference, my plan is to make sure that I do so for future articles that will carry more substance.
“List of NAR Leaders & Associates”
This list is by no means complete, but it will give you a good glimpse at those folk who identify as being active or actively associated with the “New Apostolic Reformation”. This list is compiled from a number of different articles including my own research material.
*each name is hyperlinked and some have additional links denoted by (extra), the hyperlinks provide verification of identity, or an article indicating their affiliation with NAR groups *
“List of NAR affiliated organisations”
This is a “SMALL” list of NAR organisations sourced from the talk2action website, there are far more than this, and the “far more” is what I am seeing as part of a much greater problem. The NAR influence runs deep and wide and is quietly making its way into everything. I believe this is a deliberate or calculated act. Every time I do some research into NAR, the trails run extensively into many different areas, this leaves me scratching my head wondering what is untouched by NAR. And yet you ask someone if they have heard of “The New Apostolic Reformation”, and they just give you a blank look, yet you might ask if they have heard of “Bill Johnson” or “Cindy Jacobs” or “Rick Joyner”, and they give you an almost immediate confirmation of this. So here we go……….
HAPN – Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network
WMI – World Ministries International
ICOP – International Coalition of Prophets
Revelation School (training in prophetic revelation)
NAR Christian Zionist Events and Organisations
“New Apostolic Reformation Language”
It is interesting how language is used to manipulate and control people at times, cults have their own peculiar terms, and the use of “politically correct” language is a veritable minefield of manipulation. NAR is no different. The use of these terms is not necessarily wrong in and of themselves, however you will hear these words used often by NAR leaders and their associates.
There are the more obvious terms like self appointed “Apostle So & So, or “Prophet So & So” or the military term “General” used to describe someone who is involved in a war or revival of some kind. You will hear the word “Revival” used often or “Great Revival“. “I Decree, I Declare” is heard. Manifest Presence, “Manifest Sons of God” A Mantle, a “Prophetic Mantle”, and an “Apostolic Mantle”, The Fivefold Ministry, Transformation, Elevation, Signs and Wonders, a Great Anointing, repetitive statements such as “Glory Glory Glory“, or “Angels Angels Angels“. “Heaven Coming Down to Earth“, “the Raising up of a Mighty Army“, the “7 Mountains“, “Spheres of Influence“. Numerous references to Angels, Waking Angels, Angel Feathers, “Glory Gathering“, “Glory Cloud“, “Manifestation of God’s Presence“, “Holy Fire“, “Drunken Glory“, “Catching God’s Fire” and of course the word “Reformation“. There are many more, and no doubt you will find lots of new ones coming through.
This article is long enough now. I hope that you have learned something from it, even if you are an experienced NAR watcher.
I will add here that many of the folk involved in NAR movements generally have no idea of what it is they are up to their necks in. They believe what they are doing is godly, however, there are shades of gray here. Some folk who are unwittingly involved in this movement may need a gentle nudge or a seed planted, a question asked. I can’t stress enough that NAR heresy can be so hard to spot as it looks good, and sounds good, but the root is poison. The “fruit” of NAR looks good, big bouncing Churches, coffers full of money, massive missionary programs, amazing music, signs and wonders, but once again, the root is poison. We are starting to see obvious signs of this with the use of “Christian Tarot Cards”. Christ Alignment (oops….. the website seems to be down for some reason “given the recent exposure?”). Christ Alignment are the driving force behind this and are endorsed by Chris Vallotton from Bethel of Redding California, and there is more here & here & here.
I need to add that I don’t think all these folk are bad. Most of them are good folk who have adopted and persist with erroneous doctrines and teachings. Are all their teachings bad? No! But it is the small almost imperceptible error that is mixed in with the good that does the damage. These things often sound good and feel good, however they are often based on what men create and teach, over and above God’s word. They quietly lead people away from scripture and have us focus on men, and what men say, not God’s word. “This is the Outstanding Hallmark of the New Apostolic Reformation”.
I add a disclaimer that I don’t agree with all the views expressed in the articles I attach as research. Some of these folk have rigid views on such things as the “spiritual gifts” such as prophecy, they don’t believe in them, and the New Testament has some clear guidelines about how we should deal with prophecy. Some don’t believe in “deliverance” or “healing”, even though this is scriptural. I am not in is this camp. I add these articles because they have clearly discerned an aspect of error with the NAR folk that is contrary to the Word of God.
I hope that things are a little less confusing now, perhaps a little more “black & white for you. Next time, I am going to look a little more closely at one of the NAR doctrines. I have much learning to do in this respect, so we can learn together. I will work my way through them so you can see them in a little more detail, and we can examine them from a more biblical perspective.
Here is my gmail address, if anyone has a question or a comment they can send it to me. I am not on Face Book; I struggle to keep up with emails at times as I work full time. If you do send me an email I will do my best to respond to you however it may not be quick response. My gmail address is as follows; firstname.lastname@example.org
RESEARCH. (The author of this article may not necessarily agree with all the views expressed in the research material)