The Christ in Prophecy Journal

Dangers of the New Apostolic Reformation

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A movement is, by definition, an organized effort to change how something is seen and/or functions. The New Apostolic Reformation, commonly known as NAR, has been called both a movement and a theological belief. NAR is neither a Christ-centered movement nor a biblically correct theology. What is NAR, what do they believe, and when did it start?

The NAR Roots

The establishment of this movement is traced back to C. Peter Wagner, who was the presiding apostle of the International Coalition of Apostles and the Founding Apostle of Eagles Vision Apostolic Team. Wagner claimed apostles and prophets would rule the Church of the 21st century. This movement was birthed as Wagner became known for teaching and promoting church growth and spiritual warfare. As a visionary apostolic leader, he anointed himself NAR’s “Presiding Apostle.”

The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) does not have a formal membership. In 1998, Wagner authored a book entitled Churchquake, with its subheading The New Apostolic Reformation, is shaking up the church as we know it. In this work, Wagner examines the present-day grassroots apostolic church networks that are unofficially bound together by a shared theology. He claimed that the NAR was not involved in politics; however, in June 2022, his original book, Dominion, which was republished as Dominion!: Your Role in Bringing Heaven to Earth, secured the separation of the NAR from the main-line evangelical Christian church.

According to New Apostolic beliefs, mankind lost its dominion over earth with the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden. The NAR teaches Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross only resolved our sin debt; it did not reestablish man’s dominion over the earth.

Authority and Leadership of the Apostles and Prophets

The foundation of the NAR movement is built around the belief that the authority and leadership of the apostles and prophets were suppressed during the early establishment of the Church. The headship of apostles and prophets was eliminated and replaced with pastors and elders. The NAR believes the result of this switch in authority caused the Church to become powerless to fulfill the Great Commission.

However, things changed in 2001 when the NAR announced that the Church was entering the Second Apostolic Age. In 2004, Wagner wrote The Second Apostolic Age: How God Is Leading His Church into the Future. Wagner’s leadership and influence can be seen in how authors such as Donald Rumble followed Wagner and published a work entitled Apostolic & Prophetic Foundations: Giving the Lord Back His Church.

The N in NAR

The N in NAR stands for the word new. This “New” theology proclaims that this movement receives new revelations from God. These new revelations center mainly around the receiving of signs and wonders and the fighting of spiritual warfare where apostles cast out high-ranking demons that currently control cities and nations. This movement also calls for a deliberate pursuit of societal control, primarily by assuming cultural and political control of society.

The A in NAR

The A in NAR stands for apostolic, as it centers on its leaders restoring the lost office of apostle to the Church. The apostle’s office includes authority and miraculous powers in the church and society.

The R in NAR

The R in NAR stands for reformation. Again, this reformation revolves around the pursuit of having societal control. This control of society is established around beliefs such as the Seven Mountain Mandate. The term Seven Mountain Mandate was coined by Lance Wallnau, a speaker, author, and founder of the Lance Learning Group. This mandate teaches Jesus cannot return until all His enemies have been put under the feet of the Church. This means Jesus can not return until the Church takes control over the seven aspects of society.

The seven mountains are: family, religion, business, government, education, media, and entertainment. Those named mountains represent the arenas the new apostles believe they can and will gain dominion over, which will then usher in the Kingdom of God now. Ushering in the Kingdom of God now is the foundation for another aspect of the NAR movement, known as Kingdom Now Theology.

The Organizational Structure

The organizational structure of NAR is built around two offices: apostles and prophets. The primary role of apostles in the NAR movement is to govern the Church. They are seen as filling the highest office in the Church, but like prophets, apostles can also give new divine revelation.

The primary function of prophets is to receive new divine revelations. NAR leaders recognize prophets as filling the second highest office in the Church, with the highest office being that of apostle. As far as the role church pastors and teachers have, it is understood that they do not receive new revelation. Their roles are to teach the new revelation that has been received by the NAR apostles and prophets.

What is so Dangerous about NAR Teaching?

One must understand that NAR prophets are not expected to be 100 percent accurate in their predictions. This theology is in direct contrast to Deuteronomy 18:20-22 which clearly states a sign of a false prophet is one who gives false prophecies.

In 2010, Bill Harmon, a well-known NAR teacher and author, wrote a book dealing with prophets and personal prophecy. The book is called Prophetic Scriptures Yet to Be Fulfilled: During the 3rd and Final Reformation. C Peter Wagner wrote the forward for this work. Also, in 2012, Harmon wrote another book called Prophets and Personal Prophecy: God’s Prophetic Voice Today: Guidelines for Receiving, Understanding, and Fulfilling God’s Personal Word to You. Oral Roberts wrote the forward to that work. What is interesting about that last book is in chapter ten, Harmon wrote about why some NAR personal prophecies of prosperity fail to be fulfilled.

The Great End-Time Transfer of Wealth

Another danger of the NAR’s teaching is what is known as the great end-time transfer of wealth. Many leaders in the NAR movement teach that before Christ returns, God will transfer control of the world’s wealth from the hands of the wicked to the hands of the NAR apostles. The purpose of this wealth transfer is to give the Church the resources it needs to establish God’s earthly kingdom.

The New Apostolic Reformation comprises hundreds of churches and organizations led by apostles and prophets who share a distinct theology. Many churches and organizations have joined “apostolic networks.” such as Harvest International Ministry—a network of over 12,000 churches—and the International Coalition of Apostles. The NAR movement has its own global television network, founded in 1995, called GOD TV, which broadcasts NAR teachings in more than 200 nations.

One NAR organization with a large online following is the International House of Prayer (IHOP), which is based in Kansas City, Missouri. Thousands of people watch IHOP conferences online. Another NAR organization is the Elijah List, which is said to send daily emails with prophecies and teachings from NAR leaders to more than 130,000 subscribers.

God’s Generals

Wagner, in his book Dominion! shares how NAR leaders teach that they and their followers will develop vast supernatural powers and perform miracles surpassing those of the first-century apostles and prophets. In chapter 17 of Bill Harmon’s 1997 book Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God: God’s End-Time Plans for His Church and Planet Earth, he writes about how God is preparing His Church and His generals, referring to the apostles and prophets as God’s generals. He explains how people who receive the new revelation given by NAR apostles and prophets will gain more and more supernatural powers, and eventually, they will be able to overcome sickness and death and execute God’s judgments on earth.

We do not need new revelations from self-proclaimed apostles and prophets. First Corinthians 15 proclaims because of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross and His resurrection, all who believe in Him will have victory over death and the promise of eternal life.

And, we do not need new revelations from so-called apostles and prophets to know the truth of Scripture. Romans 8:18 reminds us that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For now, we can rejoice in the promise of Titus 2:13 as we wait for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.

Maranatha, Lord Jesus!

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Dr. David Bowen

Dr. David Bowen serves part-time at Lamb & Lion Ministries as the Teaching Evangelist. He pastors Standing Stones Community Church in Phoenix, Arizona.


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