God's Super-Apostles: An Interview with Doug Geivett

Apr. 29, 2015 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ministry and Leadership, Theology

Doug Geivett is professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology. He's recently published two books that focus on the New Apostolic Reformation. One is a shorter book titled God's Super-Apostles, and a longer one called A New Apostolic Reformation? A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement. Both can be purchased directly from the publisher or at amazon.com. Today's interview explores the nature and influence of this movement.

 

Doug, how did you get interested in the New Apostolic Reformation? Why have you written about it?

My co-author is Holly Pivec. Holly was managing editor of the Biola Magazine from 1999 to 2008. She first learned of the movement from a reader of the magazine. Holly did a little poking around and discovered that the New Apostolic Reformation is a surprisingly large movement within the church. What she discovered began to worry her. She got busy doing research and compiling it into a manuscript. Sometime later she asked for my assistance and urged me to co-author a book. At first I was reluctant. But when I examined her research and did a little poking around of my own, I became concerned. Why had I never heard of this movement? And why hadn't someone published a full-scale expose of the movement? I began to feel a sense of urgency about it, and Holly persuaded me to sign on.

 

So what is the "New Apostolic Reformation"?

The New Apostolic Reformation, or NAR (pronounced NAHR), is a new religious movement led by men and women who claim to be prophets and apostles. They claim they have authority and functions akin to those of the Old Testament prophets and Christ's apostles. All Christians are expected to submit to their leadership and receive their new revelations. In this way they plan to form the church into a miracle-working army. This army will transform society and prepare the way for God's kingdom to be established on earth.

 

They really expect all Christians to join forces with them?

NAR leaders claim that Christians who refuse to submit to them will miss out on God's end-time plans. They will miss the blessing that God intends for them.

 

I guess that includes you.

Yes. And those who speak critically about NAR apostles and prophets are seen by some to be under the influence of a powerful demon, known as the "spirit of religion."

 

Why do you call this a "movement"?

NAR isn't a single organizational entity. We stress that many people who are part of the New Apostolic Reformation don't know it by its actual name, or that they are part of a movement at all. That's the thing about a movement. You can be a part without joining an organization or knowing that you're involved. And you can be affected by a movement without being a part of the movement. NAR apostles and prophets work in networks through their individual ministries and churches. They share a set of extremist teachings that sound reasonable to unsuspecting Christians who attend their churches and follow their ministries. We wrote our books to foster greater awareness of this rapidly growing movement. They're written for people inside and outside the movement. Just about everybody is touched, whether directly or indirectly, by the new apostles and prophets.

 

So how widespread is this movement?

Some 3 million people in the U.S. are affiliated with NAR. But the movement is global. NAR activity has exploded in the Global South--Africa, Asia, and South America. Some NAR groups in the U.S. vigorously promote their theology and practices in other countries. Since the publication of our book, we've had inquiries from Christians in faraway places, like France, India, Australia, and Norway. Some concerned Christians have urged us to have our books published in Spanish, French, Russian, and Portuguese.

 

Three million. That's a lot of people.

Approximately 3 million in this country attend NAR churches. These are churches that have formally submitted to the governing authority of NAR apostles. So we're talking about a pretty strong affiliation. To put this number in perspective, you have to realize that NAR focuses its efforts on influencing evangelical churches, including the main conservative denominations, independent churches, Pentecostals, and charismatics. The Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals estimates that there may be as many as 90-100 million evangelicals in the nation. So at least 3% of the generally evangelical church population has a direct tie to NAR, whether in leadership or in church attendance. It would be impossible to estimate the number who are influenced beyond this. In the speaking I've done, I've discovered that people who know little about the movement soon learn that they've had a closer encounter with it than they realized.

 

So NAR apostles and prophets have their own churches.

Yes, and you can't always tell right away that this or that church is governed by NAR leadership. You have to be discerning and know what to listen for. In addition to these NAR churches, NAR teachings have made extensive inroads into Pentecostal and charismatic churches. And this has some Pentecostals and charismatics worried. All told, there are several million people with significant exposure to NAR teachings. And that's just in the United States.

 

How many prophets and apostles are there?

 

Well, there isn't a national or international registry that includes all apostles and prophets, so it's impossible to say. Thousands of men and women claim to be apostles and/or prophets worldwide. NAR is not even a single network. Each apostle leads his or her own network of churches and ministries, often working in tandem with one or more prophets. Some of these networks are comparatively small, consisting of perhaps only a dozen churches. But some networks are quite large. Harvest International Ministry, based in Pasadena, California, and led by U.S. apostle Ché Ahn, claims to encompass more than 20,000 churches in 50 nations. So you can imagine the tremendous influence exerted by some NAR leaders.

 

How do Pentecostals and charismatics differ from NAR leaders?

Many classical Pentecostals and charismatics affirm the continuation of miraculous gifts. For them, prophecy is a gift to be exercised for the edification of the church. An apostle is a gifted missionary or church planter. But NAR leaders assert something quite different. Present-day apostles and prophets hold formal offices of governance within the church. They're saying that men and women today are apostles and prophets with the extraordinary authority characteristic of Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles, figures like Moses, Elijah, and Paul. Our book has received endorsements from charismatics and Pentecostals, including leaders in the Assemblies of God church, who share our concern about this extremist position.

 

You say that NAR apostles and prophets are meant to "govern" the church. What does that mean, exactly?

They're saying they must hold a formal position in church government, directing the church in an authoritative way, somewhat like a pastor or elder. But a NAR apostle or prophet has much greater authority than a pastor or an elder. For one thing, the pastors and elders of a church must submit to the apostles and prophets. Also, apostles and prophets typically govern multiple churches--all the churches in their network--and not just a single congregation.

 

What does this governing function of an apostle or prophet look like in practice?

Major functions include receiving new revelation for the church, casting a vision for the church based on revelation they've received, leading the church in spiritual warfare, imparting miraculous spiritual gifts, settling disputes in the church, imposing church discipline, revealing a change of direction or personnel changes in church leadership, revealing when demons have been sent to thwart the work of a church, and confirming that a pastor is God's choice for a church. Also, apostles are commissioned by other apostles.

 

Who are some key leaders in this movement?

This is an important question. I mentioned that many have never heard of a "New Apostolic Reformation." But there's a good chance you'll recognize names of prominent NAR leaders and organizations. Here are a few of the most prominent figures you need to know about: Bill Johnson at Bethel Church in Redding, California; Mike Bickle, with the International House of Prayer, also known as "IHOP"; Randy Clark, from Global Awakening, in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; Rick Joyner, with Morningstar Ministries; Cindy Jacobs with Generals International, in Texas; author Dutch Sheets; and, of course, C. Peter Wagner. The list of prominent figures includes Bill Hamon, from Christian International Ministries, and Lou Engle, with The Call. Through his ministry, Engle organizes stadium-sized prayer and fasting rallies. Recently he's been making the rounds to Christian university campuses, often to a warm welcome by students already alert to NAR teaching and practice. Engle was at Biola a few days ago.

 

You mentioned a NAR emphasis on miracles. What kinds of miracles are we talking about?

They claim they're presently working miracles of all kinds--prophesying world events with accuracy; healing people of every type of illness, defect and disease; and, raising people from the dead.

 

These are miracles of biblical proportions.

That's putting it mildly. They believe their miracle-working power will increase so that NAR apostles and prophets will work greater miracles than even Jesus did. This claim is based on a NAR interpretation of John 14:12. Rick Joyner is a leading prophet in the movement. He says, "Parting the Red Sea will hardly be remembered as a significant miracle after the things that will be done by those who serve the Lord at the end of this age." Twice Jesus multiplied fish and bread, but the NAR apostles will multiply food and other resources as a matter of routine. Jesus unquestionably healed various individuals. But today's apostles will heal all the patients in a hospital simply by laying their hands on the building. They possess authority over all natural laws, including gravity and time. They'll divert raging floods with a single word. They'll be able quite literally to command mountains to be cast into the sea, and the mountains will obey. They will reveal simple, natural cures for fatal diseases. They will prophesy with complete knowledge of everything that is to happen before it occurs, so that nothing takes them by surprise.

 

Is there anything they can't do?

Did I mention that in the last days, they will exercise miraculous power and authority to loose judgment on the world?

 

What's their basis for making these claims?

This kind of teaching has been disseminated by Mike Bickle, of the International House of Prayer, in Kansas City. Much of it is based on his interpretation of the Book of Revelation.

 

Can you give some examples of revelations by NAR prophets? Do any of them come true?

Some NAR revelations are prophetic words given to individuals to guide them in making major life decisions, such as whom to marry, where to live and work, how to raise their children, and how to manage their finances. Some predict natural disasters and the outcomes of national elections. Others reveal new truths, teachings and practices with application to the universal church. God reveals to them his desire for them to implement a new practice within the church worldwide. This may be a specific type of spiritual warfare that includes prayerwalking. It may be special occasions of fasting, such as the Global Bridegroom Fast promoted by the International House of Prayer. And so on.

 

Do their revelations about the future come to pass?

Some high-profile predictions of the past clearly have not. This has been a source of some embarrassment for the movement. So prophecies of that sort now tend to be infrequent. Most of their prophecies, as you might expect, are unverifiable. They're worded so vaguely that you simply don't know what to make of them, and you can't know whether they've been fulfilled. For example, they may prophesy that dreams and visions will increase, or that many people "will receive new joy and hope in this coming season." Since we're talking about NAR revelation, I should also mention the NAR translation of the Bible produced by Brian Simmons.

 

The NAR has its own translation of the Bible?

Brian Simmons is an apostle with Stairway Ministries. He's been producing his own translation of the Bible and releasing it in installments. It's called the Passion Translation. Simmons claims the Lord visited him and commissioned him to produce this new Bible. That's just what we need, isn't it? Another English translation of the Bible. The Simmons Bible has been endorsed by Bill Johnson and Ché Ahn. These are well-known NAR leaders. The book is wildly popular. One might wonder, why another translation? I think the answer is simple. There's a limit to the hermeneutical gyrations you can get away with when supporting your claims from Scripture. When you're looking for biblical support for a suspicious doctrine, you're better off with a new translation. We've seen this before, with other new religious movements seeking legitimacy from a "higher authority." Simmons works as a lone translator and he's acknowledged that he's not a scholar in the original languages of the Bible. So what he has to offer cannot be considered a reliable translation of the Bible.

 

What suggestions do you have for people who want to respond effectively to their encounters with NAR?

We offer suggestions to our readers. Circumstances vary. Relationships differ.

The first priority should be to test the leadership and the fellowship of your church group. Some think God must be at work in a church where there's a high level of drama, with apparent miracles and dramatic answers to prayer. For these reasons they may tolerate a measure of false doctrine or excessive claims to authority. This is a mistake. It's true that some churches exhibit a kind of cold orthodoxy, where doctrine is all that matters, like the church at Ephesus addressed in Revelation chapter 2. But there also are Christians who exhibit a zeal or passion without knowledge.

Second, our passion, our zeal, should be grounded in a rich knowledge of scripture and a desire to know and obey fully what it teaches. We may crave further revelation, or detailed guidance about how to live our lives, assemble as a church, or conquer the world for the kingdom of God. But we already have "a more sure word" inspired by the Holy Spirit. This word has been used by the Spirit of Truth to grow God's church worldwide. His methods haven't changed.

Third, you can be alert to the way NAR leaders use familiar Christian talk. They talk about prayer and miracles, about the kingdom of God, and about overcoming evil spirits. But what do they mean when they use this language? Peter Wagner says that "intercessory prayer" prepares God's prophets to be more receptive to God's new revelation. They think "prayerwalking" is needed in order to deliver cities from the oppression of territorial spirits. They believe that prayer "activates" the power for individuals to perform miracles. Is that what you believe? You have to ask two questions. Is this what the church has taught about these things from the first century to the present time? And if this represents a shift in meaning and teaching, on what basis are we to accept it?

I have no quibble with anyone who can substantiate their doctrines and normative practices from scripture. NAR groups, I believe, have adopted a theology of prayer based on what they want to be true and what they think they have experienced.

Fourth, God doesn't promise us intimacy on our terms. True fellowship with God starts with obedience to his revealed truths. Contemporary apostles and prophets seem to have an understanding of this. They expect agreement with their doctrines, with what has been revealed to them, with their prophecies, and with their guidance. But I maintain that God will not withhold his blessing from anyone who is devoted to a right handling of the Word of God, and who seeks boldly and faithfully to obey what is revealed in the Word of God. If you're cautious or suspicious about new apostolic and prophetic claims today, God will nevertheless reward your knowledge of and obedience to his Word. You simply can't go wrong with what you know already to be God's authoritative Word.

Finally, divine blessing is not measurable in terms of large numbers of groups gathering or in terms of spectacular events taking place. It is measured in terms of personal spiritual maturity and growth in the fruit of the Spirit, described in Galatians 5.

 

Why have you and Holly written two books about NAR?

God's Super-Apostles is a beginner's introduction to NAR. We include stories of personal experience by people who have been touched by the movement. We test NAR teachings against the Scriptures. This shorter book also has an appendix with advice to parents of children involved in this movement, and to pastors who can use their platform to warn their people and teach discernment. Our second book is called A New Apostolic Reformation? A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement. In this book we go more deeply into NAR teachings. We examine their claims with detailed exposition of Scripture and careful reasoning. It's more heavily documented and is intended for readers who wish to track down the details of NAR teaching in their own writings.

 

What can you tell us about the response you've received to your books?

We knew people would recognize the need for more and better information about this movement. Still, we've been surprised by the level of interest we've seen. The shorter book, God's Super-Apostles, has garnered about 20 reviews, most of them favorable. Occasionally, we'll see its Amazon ranking hovering around 5,000. That ranking can be pretty erratic, so I don't know what to make of it. Often the book appears in the top 50 books in the "Pentecostal and Charismatic" category and it does well in the "Worship and Devotion" category. We think this is good news. Our publisher recently ran an Amazon Giveaway contest that was meant to last a week. All book awards were gone within a few hours. Of course, who doesn't love a free book?

Holly and I have done several radio interviews that have reflected significant interest. So the book seems to be meeting a need here in the U.S. We know of one organization working in Africa that is purchasing 1,000 copies of the longer book for distribution to church leaders in that part of the world. Last weekend I was speaking at a conference in Bellevue, WA, where 200 of the books were sold. We're hearing from pastors and other Christian leaders who want to organize workshops on the topic.

But book sales aren't the real measure of the response we pray for. The most meaningful response comes in the form of letters and e-mails expressing appreciation for the work we've done. People are sharing testimonies of ways they or someone they know have been delivered from painful experiences with NAR. We're very encouraged that word is getting out and that people are reporting ways they've been helped.

 

Note: Doug's co-author, Holly Pivec, maintains a website that reports new research about NAR and answers readers' questions: www.spiritoferror.org

Comments

  • Samuel Apr. 30, 2015 at 11:02 AM

    excellent expose. God bless you as you endeavour to open our minds to this.

  • John May. 1, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    Wonderful! Thank you.

  • alumni May. 1, 2015 at 5:02 PM

    I wonder if either of the authors interviewed (i.e. sat down with or phone interviewed) any of the Super Apostles mentioned here to understand points of view before writing their names in this blog or their books?

  • Jack Swager May. 1, 2015 at 5:30 PM

    I know apostles and prophets exist today and always have since Christ rose from the dead. I do not recognize NAR because it is an invention of the Church and is of man not God.

  • Alumni May. 1, 2015 at 7:47 PM

    I have personally met with some of these people and they are some of the most wonderful Christ-like people I know. Are they flawed human beings? Yes. Just like I'm sure Paul, Peter, and John were.

    Might their teachings be flawed? Yes.

    Has their teaching evolved in the past 20 years and weeded some some blatant errors they might have had years ago? Yes.

    Would it be nice to have a dialogue with them and help find some common ground, so the two sides can learn from each other and maybe even "straighten-out" each other's teachings? Yes.

    Do these people deserve to be thrown under the bus if Professor Geivett has not spent time with any of these people, conducted personal interviews, and let them know he is going to write a book about them? No.

    I would not say he has the authority to do so, because he would be speaking from a position of hearsay. Some may try to go this route and act as whistle-blowers for corrupt organizations by writing books exploiting them, but the Kingdom of God should be different. If this is a way to "protect" the flock, it is, in my opinion, setting an example of behavior that we would not want our "flock" to mimic. Is it?

  • Mark Duling May. 3, 2015 at 12:30 AM

    No authority is needed to critique public statements and publications; these things are in no way hearsay. Private discussions to hash out differences over public statements really doesn't make any sense. The authors Geivett and Pivec have done research and given their critique, and those in the NAR organization are free to respond publicly if they wish. I can't think of any reason to suppose that private discussion is a superior way to seek common ground. Christians would do well to research and respond judiciously to those with whom they disagree. So yes, this is behavior that should be imitated.

  • Alumni May. 4, 2015 at 4:56 PM

    Mark, first answer this question for me: How do you think the leaders of the organization feel about this publication?

    And don't you think they would rather have Professor Geivett actually have sat down with them and let them know he was going to do this or spent time with them building some sort of relationship before he made an attempt to make them his research project?

    How would you like it if I published a book about all the "public" things you said or interviewed the people you hurt in the past and wrote about book about that, being that you may have been some sort of teacher/leader in your church. You would say it's judicious, but our standard should be love. And this is not loving our neighbor.

    Does someone need to write a book about Professor Geivett and Biola, interviews of all the people who have come away hurt from Biola, and believe me, there are many, or by Professor Geivett, and all the errors professors have made? I hope you see that there are paths of love that need to be taken that are not. Paths that involve time spent in relationship before books are written about these people, time spent on their knees praying prayers of love for these people (not "dear God please fix them"), and prayers of repentance we need to take before we step out and tear someone else down.

    And the effects of this type of bashing, you say it propagates truth, but we are not to be a people merely about the truth, but the truth in love. I see no love for these people here.

  • eph May. 5, 2015 at 6:38 AM

    Excellent article. Now I understand the thinking behind a co-worker's warning me that my lack of faith has caused God to blind me from seeing all the miraculous healings and raisings of the dead going on worldwide. All I did was ask for video to support his claim.

    He also gave me books, which I've already thrown away; one was by Wagner, the other was "Do What Jesus Did" by Robbie Dawkins, which fits right in with NAR. Someone please look into Dawkins; there's not much testing been done on him, that I can find.

    The end draws near. Keep looking up!

  • Mark Duling May. 5, 2015 at 3:36 PM

    Alumni, I haven't read the book yet because it is checked out of the library at present, but I've had a enough personal experience with similar groups to think that the authors probably say or imply that the church was fundamentally corrupted over a millennia ago. In fact, right up until their own time and ministry. The idea that this is somehow gentle and loving, while an honest and thorough critique of such is somehow harsh and unloving seems pretty silly doesn't it?

  • Alumni May. 6, 2015 at 12:45 AM

    You've had enough "personal experience" with "similar groups" to "think" that the authors "probably say" or "imply" the church was fundamentally corrupted over a millennia ago. By "authors," I'm guessing you are referring to the NAR leaders? I have met several of these people in person, read several of their books, listened to many of their teachings and never once heard anything along those lines. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that you have grounded your conclusions on biased assumptions and associations, rather than firsthand testimony. You have never really met or heard any of these people, but you only know some people you "think" might be like "them." I would encourage you to open your mind and go check out some of these people like Randy Clark or Lou Engle. BTW, even within this group of leaders there are stark theological differences; but they have set these aside for the sake of the ministry. They know what matters. There are some in the "NAR" I would say are a little "out-there," but there are some who are sober, grounded in the word, and love the Lord. And as far as video testimony, goes, watch this documentary: "Furious Love," or "Father of Lights." Test the waters, you will see.

  • Mark Duling May. 6, 2015 at 5:59 PM

    No anonymous, I was not referring to NAR leaders. I was generalizing about Christian cultish behavior among those I've known, and still know, in Latin America. I don't know that they are NAR specifically, and never claimed that, but they do revolve around authority in unseemly and unbiblical ways and the subject of apostles has come up. But in any case these cults are toxic and harmful, and innocent people are hurt.

    It seems apparent that NAR has wider purposes for the shift in authority than the other cults I've run into. Whether that makes it better or worse for the people involved in it or the world generally I’m not fit to judge. But I can generalize as I have because of the heretical views of authority. It is no different from generalizing about authoritarian governments, whatever the many differences they have. The common point in the cults I've known and what you don't seem to be disputing about NAR is the claiming of authority within Christianity outside of what can be justified biblically. We know NAR is a significant departure from what Christians through history have understood that to be.

    No personal discussions are going to change any of this. If you insist that I can’t draw any meaningful conclusions about the public personalities of NAR through their public statements unless I have personal conversations with them to find out how they think, and feel, then to be honest you and I won't be able to really communicate about much at all.

  • Tim May. 6, 2015 at 6:13 PM

    I would start of by saying this movement sounds to me like a simple extension of current practices considered godly in the typical evangelical church. Mega churches are merely an extension of the same practices as smaller churches with a little celebrity and platform hype added in. The quality of mutuality between the shepherd and the sheep is extended into complete anonymity the larger the church gets, and many other corruptions of specific Biblical instructions. Bringing a government into a church is a direct aberration of Jesus’ simple words “exercising authority… not so among you”. Adding in the word “office”, claiming the gift of Pastor is an elevated office and title has no exegetical basis in Eph 4. Elder and overseer are not elevated positions or titles. Jesus rejected titles because “you are all brothers”. Church leaders with this corruption in place should expect the devil to extend the ground he has gained to further extremes in bogus authority for a few with a “special call from God to never work in the marketplace, and dumb sheep submission for the rest. NAR is a mere extension of this with greater celebrity-ism in leadership. When the gathering called worship is 100% driven from a platform rather than the culmination of the “new and living way” in Hebrews 10 :19-26 where God’s people drive the gathering with “spurring one another” and “encouraging one another’ you should expect additional corruptions to be eagerly accepted. You should expect believers to tire of evangelical ceremonies and expect additional hype to be added from the platform to gain a little more heart effervescence from the stage performance. Have I missed some scripture that talks about church government and platform driven worship? Is this a case of the log, a speck, a brother, and our eyes?

  • Howard Jun. 5, 2015 at 3:53 PM

    That Peter Wagner? That's sad to hear.
    As for the bit about "you should have talked to the NAR leaders first," that's an old Bill Gothard bit. Jesus is right than in our personal webs of relationships we should try to talk TO frustrating people than just about them (though contrary to some, I believe one is not barred from seeking counsel from close friends or advisors first), but applying Gothard's view in the realm of public ideas would mean that all book reviews and all "investigative reporting" are the sin of gossip. It was amazing how widespread this view was in the 70s, my formative time as a Christian.

  • Michael Sep. 21, 2015 at 1:21 PM

    The NAR doctrine follows pretty clearly from AOG doctrine. Many have asked how super apostles of these movements would react to this book and questions about public vs. private debate on these matters. I think the reaction is pretty predictable and would be and consistently has been "don't touch god's annoited". The devastation of the Evangelical Church by the religious right together with an increasingly authoritarian leadership has made it easy for this movement to hide in the shadows. The doctrine of tithing is not biblical but many evangelicals teach this also. It is all part of the fabric of the decline of the Protestant church to come full circle and exhibit many of the symptoms that the reformation attempted to correct. Super apostles claim to deal extracathera just like the Roman Catholic Pope does and guilt together with the promise of god's blessing is systematically used by these wolves to garner wealth to themselves. And Yes it is an extremely dangerous movement where no private dialog is neccesary ... these leaders know what they are doing and they are wolves.

  • Eli Oct. 24, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    I read one of Rick Joyner's "dream/vision" texts when I was a young Christian in the mid nineties.
    At the time I found it very impressive and at the same time very disturbing.

    It was a vision that Rick had supposedly had called "Hordes of Hell Marching" or something like that. It was all about Christians climbing up and down this big mountain as they fought the demonic hoardes. Good Christians climbed higher and lousy Christians slid to the bottom and had to start again.

    It was very much like the Super Mario video game, where you jump from level to level to rescue the princess from the dragon.

    Looking back I realise the biggest problem with it is that it's not biblical. It's an ideology ultimately based on our own works gaining us favour with God - rather than faith and grace.

    Secondly, there is no way to verify that Rick simply didn't make the whole thing up.

    The more I thought about it over the years, and the more "story tellers" I met in church - I began to realize that Rick is just another guy that has a fertile imagination.

    His visions simply do not match the gospel when you look at them in context and in the light of scripture.

    As for submitting to him or any of the IHOP prophets, I won't be doing so in my lifetime.

    At the same time, I'm not worried about them. Our job is to just take the gospel to all creation and let God deal with others as He wills.

  • Annie Jan. 11, 2016 at 10:07 AM

    Eli - Your final sentence is the summation of my experience in trying to bring light into these delusional interpretations of Scripture. I lost sight of fulfilling the will of God in sharing the simple gospel. I no longer found time or freedom to worship my Lord and spend time in adoring Him, pouring forth praises to Him, daily being prepared to be used of Him. All because I became entangled in trying to bring one who was captive out of this NAR delusion.

    I spent years of my life consumed in care and godly concern for one dear friend who embraced all that this article has described. I simply could not get on board with her excitement at this revival that would come to the church and go forth to all the nations. I spent years researching WHY I had no freedom of the Holy Spirit to "go there" with her. I found that every single one of the men or women she wanted me to listen to, to receive from, to get an "impartation" from were deceived and deceiving others.

    What I came to personally conclude is that this "movement" is indeed in large scope what Jesus warned us would come in these last days. There are indeed many false teachers, many false prophets, and many sheep being devoured by wolves in sheep's clothing.

    When Christians only want to feel God's presence, when they are convinced that they are really spiritually superior to others because they have "the vision" and those who are of another spirit cannot receive what God wants to send through them? Then we are at the crossroads of judgment. It is a hard saying to have to prove you are indeed His disciple by rejecting and turning away from someone you love, someone you used to enjoy fellowshipping with in the Lord. But we must be obedient to all the ways of God, or we will ourselves fall into a snare.

    God is allowing these spirits of strong delusion to first try His church. We are being tested and proven by our associations. If we know that a professing brother or sister (someone we are in personal contact with) has been overcome by a deceiver and is now deceived, then we are responsible to pray and to publish to that individual what God's word declares is indeed "thus saith the Lord." We must warn them, exhort them, reprove them, do all FOR them we would want THEM to do for us. But, if they will not receive the correction God is sending in love for their souls, we must kick the dust off our feet and go on.

    If we continue to make the watching of the abounding lawlessness in the church our focus, we will lose our first love. Yes, we may indeed rightly mark out these false prophets and false apostles. But we must be about our Father's business, following our Lord into what He came to do -- to seek and to save that which is lost.





  • Annie Jan. 11, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    (My full post must be divided to meet the 3,000 word criteria :))

    We aren't to make the focus of our lives the correcting of erring brethren. We are to speak the truth to them in love, sharing God's truth and admonishing them of the heresies they are consuming and sharing with others. But, if they reject us twice after such admonishments? We are to reject them and commit them to God's righteous judgment. Surely, pray for His mercy and His truth to yet prevail towards them. But, we must be awake to the reality that if they continue to reject the pure word of God, they are only proving they are of the Matthew 7:21f group who He has never known.

    These are hard sayings. But 2 Thessalonians says that if they will not receive the love of the truth, God will SEND THEM strong delusion, so that they will believe a lie and be damned because they would not receive the love of the truth. Most in these movements are only after the feelings and supernatural experiences like the drugs they used to use. They have become addicted to their own selfish pleasure-loving and pleasure-seeking. They thing you're strange because you don't run after the things they are running after.

    I will say that I bought this author's book and have been so very, very grateful that God called these two in the body of Christ to publish to the rest of us their gifting. I now have a book that I can share in a scholarly form. All of my ramblings and heartaches have been scholarly researched and verified. So, I am so grateful for this work and thank God for it!

  • Annie Jan. 11, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    I will add only one other insight that I stand by. God clearly states that there is only one unpardonable sin, the sin of blaspheming His Holy Spirit. I used to consider that sin from only one viewpoint. When someone attributes to the demonic realm what is truly indeed the work of the Holy Spirit -- well I saw that as blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Paul did this in ignorance and God forgave Paul and granted him repentance and understanding.

    But I now believe that the flip side of this sin is ensnaring multitudes in the body of Christ. To attribute the works of demons to the Holy Spirit -- is that not the same thing as blaspheming the Holy Spirit? I pray for the elect who God promises will not be deceived. For I believe that ONLY THE ELECT will be preserved from the coming strong delusion that God will send to try the entire world, during the 7-year reign of the Antichrist. What we are experiencing now through "movements" such as the NAR is nothing in comparison to what is coming.

    May we have ears to hear what the Spirit is crying out to the church, and may we have eyes to see and mouths to publish what God's Spirit is giving each of us in these closing hours. And, God help us to continue to pray for His church in the Spirit, for all the saints. For we so need one another! But if those we are personally associated with refuse to hear us? What more can we do than dis-fellowship entirely with them, having NO fellowship with them? And praying for them as long as the Holy Spirit gives us unction.

    But we must no longer make error the center of our focus. Let Jesus and all His glorious majesty and power, let Jesus be lifted up and He will draw all those who He has ordained unto eternal life. He will not lose ONE of His own. Let us not lose ONE SECOND more in seeking to be daily ready to give an answer of our hope, to look and declare our blessed hope, and to be found worthy to escape all that is so soon coming upon this world. In Jesus' Name

  • Annie Jan. 11, 2016 at 10:19 AM

    And one more note to the question posed by alumni. Yes, many of these "leaders" in the NAR have indeed been admonished over and over and over again. I know personally of their response. "Touch not God's anointed. I fear for you." I witnessed the words of a brother who went publically to one of Todd Bentley's sharings at Rick Joyner's Morningstar campus. This brother stood up publically before all those in attendance and reproved Todd Bentley, giving him opportunity to repent of his adultery, to repent of his falsehoods and blasphemies. But Todd would not repent. He only laughed away, mocking the saint who had enough boldness, witness and empowerment to once again approach this deceived man, who professed to know the Lord Jesus but whose works denied every single shred of the Spirit of Christ. We are at a place where we cannot fear marking by name those who have refused every approach of many, many who have been sent to reprove them -- and to spare the flock.

  • Wayne Capell Sep. 5, 2016 at 1:49 AM

    Another excellent expose on this very dangerous heretical NAR movement. "Come out from among them and touch not the unclean thing......." is the word of God for His people.

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