The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a dominionist movement which asserts that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of Prophet and Apostle.
Leading figures in this seemingly loosely organized movement claim that these prophets and apostles alone have the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth. They believe they are laying the foundation for a global church, governed by them.
They place a greater emphasis on dreams, visions and extra-biblical revelation than they do on the Bible, claiming that their revealed teachings and reported experiences (e.g. trips to heaven, face-to-face conversations with Jesus, visits by angels) can not be proven by the ‘old’ Scripture. (Source)
…NAR, the New Apostolic Reformation. … 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. ~ John MacArthur
- Also known as Dominionism, Third Wave, Latter Rain, Kingdom Now, Joel’s Army, Manifest Sons of God, Charismatic Renewal, Charismania.
- Its founder was C. Peter Wagner who claims that the Church of the 21st Century will be ruled by Apostles and Prophets. Wagner has anointed himself NAR’s “Presiding Apostle.”
- Linked with the Kansas City Prophets “who brought grandiose claims that a ‘new breed’ of super prophets were beginning to arrive on planet earth who would change the world forever”; likewise Word Faith and Pentecostal movements.
- Not governed by an official denomination, it is led by alleged apostles and prophets.
- Teaches that the new apostles and prophets are to be the government for the emerging “New Order” church.
- Claims there will be a reformation greater in scale than the Protestant Reformation.
- Claim direct revelation from God and many allege that Jesus and angels visit them in person. Some of them declare that they have visited heaven many times and had conversations with Jesus as well as the Prophets and Apostles.
- NAR’s extensive mission outreach throughout the globe has caused the astonishing church growth that’s happening in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
- Denigration of the Bible and Sola Scriptura.
- Experience oriented theology and based in emotionalism.
- Steeped in mysticism.
Here are 6 traits, beliefs, and some of the common lingo used by adherents:
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 charismatic, reformed, Word of Faith, seeker-emergent, progressive and Roman Catholics churches, all under one umbrella.
Finally, NAR churches almost always abandon major tenets of the 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.
The founder of the New Apostolic Reformation is church growth specialist C. Peter Wagner. Wagner served as Professor of Church Growth at the Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of World Missions until his retirement. Until recently he was president of Global Harvest Ministries and is currently Chancellor emeritus of the Wagner Leadership Institute. Prominent member of the International Council of Apostles Chuck Pierce was his successor.
“Apostles” and “Prophets” and others entrenched in the NAR cult:
- Peter Wagner
- Chuck Pierce
- Bob Jones
- Paul Cain
- Cindy Jacobs,
- Mike Bickle (International House of Prayer — IHOP)
- Rick Joyner
- Bill Johnson (Bethel Church, Redding CA)
- Todd Bentley
- Lou Engle
- Brian & Bobbie Houston (Hillsong Church)
- Becky Fischer
- Brian Simmons
- Steve Shultz (The Elijah List)
- Michael Brown
- Rod Parsley
- Sean Feucht
- Shawn Bolz
- Kris Vallotton
John Kelly, Bill Haman, Dutch Sheets, James Goll, John Eckhardt, Jim Laffoon, Jack Deere, Johnny Enlow, Barbara Yoder, Charles Kraft, Bob Beckett, Che Ahn, Naomi Dowdy, Mary Crum, Jack Hayford, John Arnott, Stacy Campbell, Patricia King, Phil Pringle, Yonggi Cho, Beni Johnson, Jen Johnson, Kris Vallotton, Carl Lentz, David Barton, Steven Strang, Robert Stern, Stephen Strader, George Otis, Ed Silvoso, Janet Porter, George Barna, Mary Glazier, Thomas Muthee, Tom Hess, Samuel Rodriguez, Eddie Smith, Lance Wallnau, Loren Cunningham, Bob Beckett, Os Hillman, Jill Griffith, Francis Oda, Graham Power, Francis Frangipagne, Wendy Alec, Amanda Wells, Katherine Ruonala, Lana Vawser, Kong Hee & Sun Ho, Theo Wolmarans, Jennifer LeClaire, Ben Fitzgerald, Shawn & Stacie Bolz, Michael Koulianos & Jessica Hinn Koulianos and many others.
Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), GodTV, Word Network, American Family Association, Campus Crusade for Christ (cru), Youth With A Mission (YWAM), International Coalition of Apostles, PrayforNetwork, International Transformation Network, Marketplace Leaders, International Coalition of Workplace Ministries, Alpha Course, Renovar (Richard Foster) and many more.
Groups supporting C. Peter Wagner include:
Wagner Leadership Institute, Global Harvest Ministries, World Prayer Center, Global Prayer Movement, Generals International, Fuller Theological Seminary, Council for National Policy, Promise Keepers, Barna Group, World Vision, YWAM, Prison Fellowship and many more.
Leaving the NAR Church:
In a series of blog posts, we take readers beyond the textbook What is the New Apostolic Reformation Movement explanation, into the personal experiences from those who have been there, and what happened when God opened their eyes to the truth. You can read their stories here.
What the Bible says:
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 2:1
What you can do:
First, pray! Then, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. If your church has any part of the six traits listed above, you’ll want to humbly alert your leaders. We’ve included links below to many of the best research articles, and will keep this list updated.
- Jesus set aside divinity, empty of divine capacity (Bill Johnson sermon) By John Lanagan
- Bethel Church’s new megabucks megastructure will model ‘on earth as it is in heaven’ By Marsha West
- Sorry, Not Sorry: Why the NAR Prophets’ Apologies For Getting Things Wrong Don’t Cut It By Holly Pivec
- What is kenoticism / kenotic theology?
- What Are Bill Johnson’s Heresies?
- Dr. Michael Brown — series of articles warning about his association with and defense of men and women who embrace heretical Latter Rain theology and some extreme teaching coming from Bill Johnson, Benny Hinn and Jennifer LeClaire.
- God’s Not Like “Whatever, Dude,” About The Way He’s Approached in Worship By Michelle Lesley
- Why Michael Brown has no credibility By Anthony Wade
- How are we to regard Michael Brown, Todd White and other NAR leaders–Churchwatch Central
- Identifying New Apostolic Reformation Churches In Your City By Holly Pivec
- The Apostles are Coming to your City, Ready or Not By Orrel Steinkamp
- Bethel Church’s “Apostle” Bill Johnson: A comedy of errors, Part 1 Part 2 By Marsha West
- Better gear up for the 5 major changes coming to the Church By Marsha West
- C. Peter Wagner–Quotes & Notes By Simpson & Oppenheimer
- C. Peter Wagner Redefines Genesis 1 By Sarah Leslie
- The Cell Church By Sarah Leslie
- Chuck Pierce, the Kabbalist Apostle and Heir Apparent for the NAR By Orrel Steinkamp
- The Coalescing of the Christian Right with Apostolic Dominionism By Ken Silva
- Contend for the faith that was for all delivered to the saints By Mike Ratliff
- The Dangers of the International House of Prayer (IHOP) By John Park
- Does the Bible Really Say We’re Not to Judge? By Marsha West
- Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism By Sarah Leslie
- Dominionists are on the move…and they mean business By Marsha West
- Francis Chan’s not afraid of the big bad wolf, says “I still love Mike Bickle!” By Marsha West
- IHOP & the Latter Rain–Herescope
- John Wimber & the Vineyard–Deception in the Church
- The Kansas City Prophets–Deception in the Church
- Learn to Discern Good From Evil By Marsha West
- The Low-information evangelical, part 1 Part 2 By Marsha West
- Mike Bickle/IHOPKC Research Links–Apostasy Watch
- The “New Apostolic” Church Movement By Mike Oppenheimer
- New Apostolic Reformation articles–Deception in the Church
- Shedding Light On the Diabolical NAR empire–Herescope
- The Rotten Fruit of the NAR By Marsha West
- The Second Coming of the Presence, Part 1 2 By Sarah Leslie
- The Seven Mountain Mandate–Herescope
- Spiritual Warfare Evangelism: How Did We Get Here? By Orrel Steinkamp
- New! Bethel Redding & Modern Apostles: A Biblical Analysis – Alisa Childers interviews Holly Pivec & Doug Geivett
- New! Wonder If Bethel Is A False Church? Wonder No More – Justin Peters
- New! Bill Johnson: Utterly Disqualified – Steve Kozar
- New! Former Insider, Jesse Westwood: “How Bethel Teaching is Ruining People’s Faith”
- Daniel Kolenda Makes a Strawman Argument Against a (Supposed) Strawman Argument! -Steve Kozar
- God TOLD You? Justin Peters and Voddie Baucham – False “Prophecies”
- The Dream Destiny Burden: When False Dreams Become Real Nightmares — The Messed Up Church
- Why Your church shouldn’t play Bethel and Hillsong music – Todd Friel and Justin Peters provide numerous warnings to pastors and youth leaders about using Jesus Culture/Bethel Music, Elevation Worship, and Hillsong Worship music in their congregations and groups.
- Chris Rosebrough’s conversation with Phil Johnson Re: Michael Brown and his NAR “Truth”
- Bethel Church soaking up the “anointing” of dead men, or “grave sucking”
- NAR wingnut Jennifer LeClaire – Prophetic warning: “Christian” witches rising, using the Name of Jesus
- Michael Koulianos interviews Jenn Johnson, senior worship pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, CA.
Views expressed by individual authors and/or sources don’t necessarily reflect those of Marsha West