Sunday, July 25, 2010

The New Apostolic Reformation

I want to preface this study with a statement: I do not have anything against the Pentecostal or Charismatic Church. I found the Lord Jesus Christ through a Pentecostal Church of God over 25 years ago, and have had a long spiritual journey of twists and turns within the Charismatic movement. I fully believe they love the Lord and want to please Him in their Christian walk. I don't want so appear to be supporting Baptist views, rather a biblical viewpoint - and nothing else. 

We, as Christians, are at a disadvantage in the age we live in. Error slipped into the Church years ago, and many seekers assume that these churches have sound doctrine. Some in Protestant leadership have pointed out movements that have been heretical, yet there really wasn't much done to prevent the spread of error.

For example, the Mormons were persecuted when their practices and beliefs first surfaced, yet there was little done to keep their heretical practices and beliefs from spreading. Many unknowingly step into a church like this, and don't learn until years later what they were involved in. Some will never learn.

I view the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements in the same way. The Protestant Church could do little to prevent the spreading of what these movements demonstrated as the "gifts of the Spirit." Thus in our time, they have been accepted as a mainline denomination - with the television media portraying them as such.  Seekers, not knowing the traditional exegesis of scripture, have accepted their teaching based upon the modern view of these verses that support gifts. 

The Charismatic and Pentecostal churches, for the most part, have a pure message of salvation in Jesus alone - believing in the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and that Jesus is the only way to heaven. They are known for their praise and worship, signs and miracles, and the way the leadership ministers to each believer. But something stinks in the basement - and very few want to learn its source. Very few want to abandon this movement because of the few flaws in their beliefs. After this study, I hope that you will see that there are more than just a few flaws, and that Satan is using the New Apostolic Reformation as a tool to bring about ecumenism, and surrender the Church to the Antichrist's new world order system.
"The New Apostolic Reformation is a movement in Protestant Christianity largely associated with the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. The basic thesis asserts that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of Prophet and Apostle. The New Apostolic Reformation has Pentecostal and Charismatic origins, with those traditions' interpretations of the nature of the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit within a believer. Unlike mainstream Protestant Christianity, these include the performance of miracles (such as healing), prophecy and the direct revelation of Christ to each believer.

Although the movement regards the Church as the true body of saved believers, as most Evangelical Protestants do, it differs from the broader Protestant tradition in its view on the nature of church leadership, specifically the doctrine of Five-Fold Ministry, which is based upon a non-traditional interpretation of Ephesians 4:11." [1]
The Beliefs of the New Apostolic Reformers
1) Christian believers can take down demonic territorial spirits.
2) The Church will bring in the Jesus' earthly Kingdom by force, and Jesus will not return until the New Apostolic Reformationists do this. They will return true believers to Paradise.
3) The Church will take control of the media, the entertainment industry, and all of society, because they will rule. They will take position in all high offices and places. (7 Mountains Mandate)
4) The believe in Dominion/Kingdom Now Theology. The Dominion Mandate.
5) They seeks to place the government of the Church to individuals. They believe that there should be local offices of apostles and prophets over certain parts of the country and world.
6) Their focus will be concentrated on new levels of revelation and spiritual authority, healing, and deliverance. This concept of "new levels" is a Gnostic viewpoint. [2 - Jan Markell interview]

I want to suggest that most people have not heard of Dominion/Kingdom Now Theology. Even many Christians who attend apostolic-prophetic churches are unaware of the movement’s aberrant teachings, which are often introduced through the “back door” of churches that claim to have standard evangelical statements of faith. The teachings seem purely innocent and obscure, especially when you hear that Christians will "take the world for Christ" - because we know it is unlikely. But there are people who believe this can happen, they believe the above teachings, and they have a plan.

The Leadership
The “High Priest” of New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is C. Peter Wagner, former professor of Church Growth at Fuller Theological Seminary School of World Mission. Wagner, born in 1930, is the founder of Global Harvest Ministries and the presiding apostle of the International Coalition of Apostles, which he also founded, and co-founder of World Prayer Center. 

It is Wagner’s desire to organize a global church under a hierarchical network of apostles to take dominion and govern the global church and governments in order to take dominion of the world for Christ. There is a hierarchy in NAR that resembles the Roman Catholic Church. Once world dominion is accomplished, those at the top level will have apostolic authority over other ministries. This could mean that thousands of ministries with so-called apostles and prophets at the helm! Every person will have an apostle or prophet to whom they are accountable. [3]  

 Logo for Wagner's Ministry

Does this sound far-fetched and unrealistic? Did you know that Rick Joyner, and many of the other prophets and apostles from C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation, are calling for unity with Rome?  As you may recall, Joyner is a knighted member of the Knights of Malta, which is a lay, religious order of the Catholic Church. The Knights of Malta is an off-shoot of Freemasonry and is part of the military arm of the Catholic Church. The Knights of Malta are the militia of the Pope, and are sworn to total obedience by a blood oath which is taken extremely seriously and to the death. [4] It is believed by some researchers that C. Peter Wagner has Christian Cabala and masonic connections.

C. Peter Wagner was quoted on a CBN interview saying, “I believe that the government of the Church is finally coming into place and that is, the scripture teaches in Eph. 2, that the foundation of the Church is apostles and prophets.” (Jan.3, 2000)

He also said in a letter, "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, red added.

Wagner's ecumenical goals are evident in other areas. Wagner says a "spirit of religion" and its insistence on dogma is dividing Protestants, Catholics, and others. He says we must resist this "spirit" and "insist that everyone who names the name of Jesus Christ and holds that name as their only hope of salvation, is our brother or sister." Wagner does not differentiate between doctrinally-sound churches and those churches that proclaim Christ under a false gospel. As a result he preaches unity over truth and leads others to accept error for the sake of global evangelism. [5]

Where did it come from?
"This new paradigm can be traced to the Latter Rain movement of the 40’s and early 50’s. Even though the Latter Rain of the 50’s faltered and fell into disrepute with the death of William Branham and deemed heretical by the Assemblies of God, it was kept alive by certain survivors and reintroduced in a veiled manner into the Charismatic Renewal of the 60’s and 70’s. Few people have realized just how influential the Latter Rain movement was and how effectively Latter Rain concepts were introduced into the Charismatic Renewal.

These apostolic churches represent one of the fastest growing segments in the church today. In an article entitled New Apostolic Reformation and the Faith and Work Movement, John Rowell states the following “David Barrett, editor of the World Christian Encyclopedia reports 1,000 apostolic networks on record in his global database. These networks are found on six continents and account, by his estimate, for some 100 million believers worldwide. Dr. Wagner estimates that in the US alone there are as many NAR churches as there are Southern Baptist congregations – something approaching 40,000." [6]

New Apostolic Reformation Followers and Apostles
Todd Bentley (YouTube link)
Bill Hamon, Oral Roberts, Tommy Tenney, Cindy Jacobs, Emanuele Cannistraci, David Cannistraci
Earl Paulk and Ed Silvoso
Jack Hayford
Rick Warren - connection to Joel's Army
John Eckhardt, author and speaker
Dutch Sheets
John Bevere
Steve Strang, publisher of Charisma magazine
J. Lee Grady, Charisma magazine
Mark Chironna
Sarah Palin
Members of the International Coalition of Apostles
Participating denominations and churches

False prophets have a subtle way of catching sincere Christians in their web. It's unbelievable
that Dominionists get their only biblical authority from just two verses in Genesis 1:28-29. The First Reformation taught about man’s dominion over the Earth. This differs considerably from what the New Apostolic Reformation is teaching. The traditional Christan view on dominion can be seen in the Matthew Henry’s Commentary. [7]
The Great Commission is to preach the Gospel of salvation, and baptize those who believe, teaching these converts to continue in the teaching of Jesus. The Dominion Mandate commands the believer to capture the media, education, arts, business/finance, and government institutions for the purpose of Christ. Although this seems very unrealistic and a radical way of doing Church, the group of adherents is gaining strength day-by-day.

We must all decide which position we will take. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 2:15: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth." Peter would later write in 1 Peter 3:15: "Always be prepared to give the reason for the hope that you have." Christians are called to study and to know their Bibles as the Bereans did, not only so that they can know the Bible stories and doctrines, but also to be able to challenge teachers who teach false doctrine and to be able to effectively evangelize or explain the reason for their beliefs. We are expected to discern falsehoods, and walk away from them when they are identified. False teaching is damaging to the body of Christ, and it should be taken seriously.
Don't take my word for it. Check out my sources and balance the evidence, then determine whether you are strong enough to walk away.