The New Apostolic Reformation…Just Old Deformation Repackaged!
Jesus told His disciples how they would be witnesses for Him in the days to come – “’But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning. These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.’” (John 15: 26 – 16: 3)
After Jesus’ resurrection, as Matthew’s Gospel account records – “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” (Matt. 28: 16-20) Mark’s Gospel account records that Jesus said of the apostles – “’And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.’” (Mark 16: 17-18)
One of the disciples, Judas Iscariot, betrayed Jesus. Judas killed himself and he had to be replaced. It is clear by what it says in Acts that the man chosen to replace Judas as an apostle must have been a witness of Jesus’ resurrection – “Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection. And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, ‘You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.’ And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” (Acts 1: 21-26)
John, as an apostle of Jesus wrote – “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us – that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1: 1-3)
The Greek word apostolos, comes from the verb apostellein, which means “to send away,” or “to send forth.” Acts teaches us about the apostles – “And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly.” (Acts 5: 12-13)
There were false apostles in Paul’s day, just like there are false apostles today. Paul warned the Corinthians – “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted – you may well put up with it!” (2 Cor. 11: 3-4) Paul said of these false apostles who were trying to deceive the Corinthians – “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” (2 Cor. 11: 13-15)
The New Apostolic Reformation movement today teaches that God is restoring the lost offices of prophets and apostles. These NAR prophets and apostles supposedly receive dreams, visions, and extra-biblical revelations. They are seen as having the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth. This movement is also known as Dominionism, Third Wave, Latter Rain, Kingdom Now, Joel’s Army, Manifest Sons of God, Charismatic Renewal, and Charismania. C. Peter Wagner, a church growth professor at Fuller Seminary was influential in the start of this movement. (http://www.letusreason.org/latrain21.htm)
This movement is growing very rapidly, especially in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Many of these false teachers claim to have visited heaven, and to have talked to Jesus, angels, or deceased prophets and apostles. Much of this movement is mystical and emotional. They believe they are taking “dominion” of earthly kingdoms or the “mountains” of government, media, entertainment, education, business, family, and religion. They focus a lot of attention on the manifestation of God’s presence and glory. They claim to have special anointing that allows them to perform healings as well as other miracles, signs and wonders. They often hold massive revivals in large stadiums, which are promoted and marketed like concerts. They blur denominational and doctrinal lines, and promote unity. (https://bereanresearch.org/dominionism-nar/)
As a Mormon, I was taught to believe in modern day apostles and prophets. If you believe this, and go outside of the canon of Scripture (the Bible), you will inevitably be led into error. There is a reason we have a closed canon of Scripture today. If you open yourself up to “revelation” outside of the Bible, it can and will take you anywhere. You will ultimately be trusting a man or woman, more than God. Often today’s false prophets become very popular and wealthy. Consider what Paul wrote about the true apostles of his day – “For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.” (1 Cor. 4: 9-13)
If you have become caught up in the New Apostolic Reformation, I would encourage you to turn to God’s word – the Bible. Study the treasures of truth that those apostles who actually knew and saw Jesus Christ have left for us. Turn away from those men and women claiming they receive extra-biblical revelations. Remember that Satan’s ministers come as angels of light, and appear helpful and harmless.
For More Information about the New Apostolic Reformation please visit the following sites: