The Christ in Prophecy Journal

New Apostolic Reformation: A Mountain of Misleading

Do Not Be Deceived

The book of Acts introduces a man named Simon, who practiced magic.

“Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, ‘Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’ But Peter said to him, ‘May your silver perish with you because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.'” (Acts 8:18-22, NASB)

Two thousand years after Simon the magician, the world still has “spiritual leaders” who want to have spiritual authority. The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a dominionist movement based on the belief that God is restoring the offices of Prophet and Apostle. The movement’s premise is that prophets and apostles alone have the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth.

C. Peter Wagner

The movement is traced back to C. Peter Wagner, who claims Apostles and Prophets will rule the Church of the 21st Century. This movement began as Wagner became known for teaching and promoting church growth and spiritual warfare. He gradually claimed to be the visionary Apostolic leader he espoused and anointed himself NAR’s “Presiding Apostle.”

The New Apostolic Reformation does not have a formal membership but is well received in the Pentecostal and charismatic circles. In 1998, Wagner authored a book entitled Churchquake, with the subheading, “The New Apostolic Reformation is shaking up the church as we know it.” In this work, Wagner examined present-day 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, was republished as Dominion!: Your Role in Bringing Heaven to Earth. This work clarified the separation of the NAR from the biblically orthodox evangelical Christian Church. Wagner’s dominion theology, or what he called a new paradigm, is used to promote topics such as the second apostolic age, social transformation, and God having an open mind.

NAR Teachers

Kingdom Now and the Seven Mountain Mandate

The NAR movement is also known by other titles. The most common are Kingdom Now and the Seven Mountain Mandate. The seven mountains are family, religion, economy, government, education, media, and entertainment. Those named mountains represent the arenas NAR advocates believe the new Apostles can and will gain dominion—ushering in the Kingdom of God now.

It is true believers should be active in all aspects of society, but we do not believe the Kingdom of God will be realized on the earth until the Prince of Peace reigns from Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Also, Scripture reveals that after Moses spent time on Mt. Sinai with God, Satan used the mountaintop experience as a counterfeit. In that regard, mountaintops and “high places” were often associated with idolatry, where people practiced paganism and did not follow God’s Word (i.e.: Ezekiel 20:28; Hosea 4:13).

The Passion Translation

NAR leaders such as Lance Wallnau, who introduced the “Seven Mountains of Culture,” and Dutch Sheets, who proclaimed himself to be an NAR apostle, have passed the baton to the next generation of NAR preachers, teachers, and heretics. Brian Simmons, a NAR apostle, has publicly stated that in 2009, Jesus Christ personally visited his room and commissioned him to write a new translation of the New Testament and the Hebrew Bible, a work he called The Passion Translation. On the Passion website at thepassiontranslation.com, NAR pastors such as Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, California, praise the translation as “One of the greatest things to happen with Bible translation in my lifetime.” Bobbie Houston, Co-Founder of Hillsong Church, also praised this NEW translation.

Isaiah 2:2 and Deuteronomy 7:1

Because Isaiah 2:2 mentions mountains, the Apostles of the Seven Mountain Mandate use the passage loosely and completely out of context to support their “mandate.” This is actually what Isaiah prophesied: “In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.” Another passage the NAR uses to support their theology is Deuteronomy 7:1, which speaks of the seven kingdoms Israel was to drive out of Canaan.

Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry

Modern-day leaders of the NAR are misleading millions of followers. For example, Bill Johnson’s Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry website promises to “equip you to walk in the gifts of the Spirit.” How will they do this? They will teach you to “become a modern-day revivalist, get equipped to bring the Kingdom of God to your sphere of influence.” They proclaim, “We’ve spent the last 20 years equipping revivalists like you.” Bethel offers a free e-book entitled “The Supernatural Ways of Royalty.” Its website proudly proclaims to have over 13,000 graduates and operate in over 100 countries.

Shawn Bolz and Michael Todd

Shawn Bolz of Bolz Ministries, whose bio says he is a “TV host, news commentator, media producer, and a Christian minister, has been driving a positive narrative in news stories, the entertainment industry, and social justice.” He has written books such as The Keys to Heaven’s Economy: An Angelic Visitation from the Minister of Finance. Bolz also has a spiritual growth academy in which he offers courses such as:

  • School of the Prophets with Gary and Sarah Morgan
  • Shut Hell Up with Real Talk Kim
  • Words of Knowledge with Shawn Bolz
  • School of Healing with Cal Pierce
  • Understanding Signs and Symbols with Troy Brewer
  • Everyday Angels with Charity Kayembe
  • School of Deliverance with Mark Virkler
  • Become Emotionally and Spiritually Healthy with Madi Stonier
  • Are You A Feeler with Matt Sorger
  • Your Prophetic Journey with Shawn Bolz
  • The Power of God and Deliverance with Apostle Kathryn Krick
  • How To Hear God Through Dreams with Charity Kayembe

Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a word of faith teacher who has followed in the footsteps of former word of faith teachers such as Kenneth Hagin, who was known for making people “drunk in the spirit.” Transformation Church’s statement of faith lists health and prosperity as one of its core beliefs. Todd continuously takes Scripture out of context, misleading those who hear him. For example, Hebrews 11:1 begins with the words, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for…” Todd takes the word “now” and rebukes anyone who does not have what he calls “now faith.” Another time Todd, citing Jesus healing a blind man in Mark 8, actually brought a man on stage and wiped his spit on his face. This “teaching” turns a miracle of Christ into a blasphemous spectacle. The same can be said for popular preachers such as Steven Furtick, who publicly claims from the pulpit, “I am God almighty.”

More NAR Teachers

Calling Out False Teaching

What’s happening on the stages and online with these NAR “pastors” is nothing new. Like Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8, this isn’t the last time people have tried to “buy” God’s power. Church history includes false doctrines such as Purgatory and the wicked practice of selling indulgences—a Catholic Church practice Martin Luther very publicly denounced. He also called out men such as John Tetzel, who was known for the catchphrase: “So bald der pfennig in Kasten klingt, die Seele aus des Fegefeuer springt” (meaning “When the money in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs”). Luther correctly recognized that it is heresy to promote exchanging funds for God’s grace.

The Church is commissioned to proclaim God’s Word, not prey upon His sheep. In doing so, believers are told to call out false teachings like NAR. Paul wrote, “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery, they deceive the hearts of the naïve” (Romans 16:17-18, NASB).

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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.

31 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Hi I have been a huge fan and reader here since Dr David Regan came to visit Shepard on the Rock church in Sylmar Ca back in 2001 . I got saved Under Dr Regan and he posted my wife and I in one of his early LambLion publications. Since then, I have always been blessed and agreed with all your insights and all your teachings. And because of this I have alway been an anonymous giver to this organization. I never read anything here that has discouraged me until today. Unfortunately, for the first time I found an article to be spiritually disappointing and so deeply discouraging as this “NAR” article . I love your ministry just as I do Bethel church & Hillsong United. I also love my church Water of life in Rancho Cucamonga . Spiritual son Pastor Dan Carol of Jack Hayford Ministries . God has revealed Himself to me in so many ways and especially through many answered prayers in my life through these ministries. I pray God lead you into truth and pray the same for me

    • Rey, so good to hear that Lamb & Lion Ministries has been a blessing to you! All matters concerning spiritual deception are deeply disconcerting, but praise God the Bible gives us the truth.

  • The NAR gang will be disciplined by God Almighty for they are wicked , corrupt and in Darkness leading people in the WRONG direction.
    It is written in the last paragraph, the Very Last Chapter of the Holy Bible in The Book of
    Revelation 22:18-19, ¹⁸” I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: if anyone of you adds anything to them, God will add to you the plagues described in this scroll. ¹⁹ And if any one of you takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from you your share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. “

  • Here they come. False prophets. Ravenous wolves. Power hungry. Arrogant and manipulative of their followers and of God’s Word. Thank you for this article. While I endeavor to keep my focus on the Father, I need to be reminded what is happening around me.

  • This is a Satanic deception, as Jesus Christ stated on the Mount of Olives, when his disciples ask Him when will these things be, His first true statement to them was don’t be deceived. Only Jesus Christ can and will bring in the kingdom that Israel was looking for.

  • What troubles me about the NAR is its 7 Mountain Mandate. It seems to be carefully laid groundwork to mislead people concerning Revelation 17 (which I believe it is referring to the 7 hills of Rome). But if the 7 Mountain Mandate is a counterfeit for the 7 hills of Rome, that would make the NAR a counterfeit mystery religion. A counterfeit mystery religion would support a counterfeit antichrist. Which would only be meant to bring about the coming counterfeit messiah.

    Consider Trump. Cult following, hand in the Abraham Accords, face on an Israeli coin, literally selling a Bible, demonstrably corrupt yet espouses conservative values that have gotten him the Christian vote, and can therefore be used to vilify conservative Christians. He is EVERYTHING the world is looking for in an antichrist. He’s even American, tell me the world won’t just eat it up.

    Of course, he is not the antichrist. But the danger lies in this: IF the world thinks they have already identified and survived the antichrist, they will be ready for a messiah. A progressive, ecumenical, affirming, social justice messiah. He’ll celebrate sin, and condemn good as evil. They will welcome him with open arms.

    There is a big IF to this. I’m no one special, just a follower of Jesus. I do not claim special knowledge. Some would call this newspaper exegesis, but we’re commanded to watch for a reason. I am watching, and this is what I see. Could I be wrong? I hope so.

    • We should, according to the works that have been displayed right before our eyes also consider Presidents Obama and Biden, and what their policies have done to undermine freedoms of Americans, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, promote anti-semitism of the Jewish people, attacks on Christianity and Judaism, failure at our borders to secure the nation, and promote abortion which destroys the lives of babies, whom Jesus loves.

      Matthew 7:15. “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their (fruit) you will recognize them.

    • Trump is against boys in your daughter’s school showers and bathrooms and sports! B has just rewritten Title IX! Please research it! 70 members of Congress are fighting it.
      Keep talking against Trump and that’s what you’ll have, K-12!

      • Six more states have banned Title IX, maybe more now. This is the government trying to to promote depravity. Sex change is abnormal, mutilation is abnormal. We have the same DNA we are born with no matter how we change appearances. The 14th Amendment is to protect actual true God created sexes. (Man and Woman.) Not Transgenders which are a made up gender by man, and part of promoting people to sin and mutilate their bodies.
        Romans 1:21-26 sums up God’s intentions very well. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.24. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator….who is forever praised. Amen. 26. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women women exchanged the natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. 28. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. The depravity of mankind has reached new heights trying to get people to sin, and to do that which is totally abnormal and against the will of God.
        2 Peter2:4-6 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others, if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by turning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; The Lord knows how to rescue Godly men from trials and go hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature.

  • David, we must focus on the true Word of faith, God’s Holy written Word. And nowhere in God’s Word did he abolish the office of Apostle or prophet. The NAR is deceptive, actually deceived, but we must be careful not to attempt to disprove everything in their ‘”platform”. It’s only necessary to point out the errors, and they are many! The deception of the NAR is that the Apostle and prophet have the final word, but as we know, that’s very opposed to the written Word. God’s Word is the ultimate authority, and He has the final say! God’s Word never abolished the role of Apostle, people just misunderstand and misuse the term. They confuse apostles in general, of which there are many in the New Testament, with Apostles of the Lamb, of which there are only twelve. Not even Paul is one of those! And prophecies will not cease until Jesus returns, but there are many many false prophets. However, this not negate true prophecy, which must be tested, any more than the many false christs negate the one true Christ, Jesus, the Son of God, the Loed God Almighty Himself! Love in Christ!

      • Ephesians 4:11 states, “It was he who gave some to be *apostles,* some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers”. Please share where it says they must have known Jesus personally.
        Thanks in advance.

  • Wagner was such an interesting character in the Church Growth movement along with Donald McGavern at Fuller School of World Mission so it was sad when he went dominion theology as his new paradigm. When I saw the website claiming to determine if a person nominated is an apostle or prophet or evangelist etc… all I could think was “who died and made you God.” Same for any of these people mentioned above.

  • The church of Jesus Christ is commissioned to take the Good News of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. NOT to bring the Kingdom of God to the earth. Only the LORD can and will do that. Yes God’s Kingdom spreads in the earth with each new convert but the complete and perfect fulfilment of this occurs when Revelation 21 comes. Lord help Your faithful people remain strong in You.

  • The music coming out of this movement, which our radio station plays now exclusively, is also heretical and evil and needs to be called out too for what it is: diabolical. We should go back to teaching the “old ways” of the “old” Bible and the old songs like the hymns of the past. We probably won’t because we are too far gone, but it is the only solution to turning this disaster around. Thankfully, there are a few remnant believers out there like your ministry that is still promoting the truth…

  • I noticed in the list of cults in the latest edition of Lamplighter on page 6 you have left out the most diabolical, the wolf with the thickest sheep skin and that is the SDA. They purport to be evangelical, but in fact are a cult based on a false prophet E G White and have many false doctrines perverting the gospel. What makes them so dangerous is they appear to be so “Christ” like. I would put them on the top of your list.

  • More and more false prophets are coming at us, that’s why we need to be grounded in the word. The prophetic passages of Scripture offer direct evidence that God knows everything and is in charge of everything. He is never surprised at the events. God Himself encouraged us to bank on the reliability of biblical prophecy in the book of Isaiah. “Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me.
    Only I can tell you the future before it happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish….I have said what I would, and I will do it.” Isaiah 46:9-11. When we know the One who declares the beginning from the end, we can live every day with confidence. Prophecy protects us from False Teaching. Matthew 24: 4-5. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ, and will deceive many.” We live in a day when deception is very common.

  • My spirit is troubled in these last days by how much I see the body of Christ attacking itself. I see the fruit that comes from the ministry of these men, and I do not see them denying Jesus came in the flesh and is Lord. I do not see this denying the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord. I do not see them denying the authority and power of scripture. So, unless they deny the basic truths of Christ, I will receive them as brothers. Do they have some questionable positions, yes. Hopefully, the Lord will enlighten them to any questionable doctrine . . . He is perfectly capable to do that. Until then, I will bless God for them being in the body of Christ.

  • Great article! Don’t forget Paula white, she’s in this group too. See her and others praying over Trump that whim wham man, their messiah on earth.

    Why can’t ppl see it? It’s disgusting to see the GOP worship him and show up at his trial dressed exactly like him. You reap what you sow, and all of these trials and impeachments are a result of his sowing. Not some deep state out to get him. Pray he doesn’t get near the White House. Like to have a democracy until the rapture at least.

    We are so in the last of the last days, if Trump gets in it would make perfect sense right before we get out of here, this country would be on sale to the highest bidder.
    He already wrote a letter to the oil companies to give him a billion dollars & he would do away with all of the regulations for them.

    I was happy to see someone else speak up against Trump in this article, I’m almost afraid to because of possible backlash or not allowing my comment to be posted.

    • Please scroll up and see what I posted about Title IX. It’s an urgent situation. Also, please look up Riley Gaines complaint. Our daughter’s could be next.

    • The depravity Christ told us of is here as we see the depravity of man. Isaiah 5:20. Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Obama and Biden have enhanced Iran’s nuclear capability with money and Iran uses it for terrorism. They have promoted transgenders in schools and bathrooms, which is harmful to children and against human rights, opened the borders with sex trafficking, human trafficking, and fentanyl, and military age illegals from every country, fentanyl is killing Americans every day, as well as illegal aliens. They have promoted abortion up until birth, and disregarded the Constitution of the United States that has been in place and worked for 245 years. The attacks and persecution on Jews and Christians has increased two fold who know the truth of God’s word and shall stand on it until we are taken in the Rapture of the Church. The Antichrist will change times and laws…..He makes himself the law and disregards establishes his own laws in nations, promoting total lawlessness. The open borders are the diversity of the One World Government that is to come. God’s word sets the truth! 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

  • These are some comments I shared with someone who sent me this article.

    First thing I see is “Dominion!: Your Role in Bringing Heaven to Earth.” Actually, what is left of the persecuted believers on this earth are raptured at the last (7th) trumpet and they are caught away to meet Jesus in the air and remain in the heavens with him while the wrath of God is poured out. Then they return back with him to Armageddon and to the setting up of his 1000 year millennial kingdom, so we do not bring heaven to earth, he does. So much deception and a world full of shallow bible students ready to eat it all up and be deceived.
    The compilation of all of the verses re: the great tribulation in Daniel & The Revelation say the saints/Holy people will be worn out, have war made against them, be scattered, overcome and have their power destroyed. That doesn’t sound very triumphant and revelation 6 say’s the martyred souls beneath the altar are pleading for justice & are told to wait a bit longer until the rest of the martyrs are killed.
    Jesus also asked, Luke 18:
    18:7 And shall not YHWH avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
    18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

    Isaiah 2:2 & Deuteronomy 7:1 a terrible example of wresting the meanings of scripture.

    Bill Johnson’s Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry website promises to “equip you to walk in the gifts of the Spirit.”
    It is the Spirit who hands out severally the gifts to individuals and no one has all of the gifts, that is why it is described as a body with many parts all working together, some parts more comely and impressive while other parts having less glory but still 100% necessary.
    Hope I am not nitpicking, I don’t mean to be but I just want to stick as accurately as I can to the plain literal Word.

  • Very Good and (Sound Teachings) by Lamb & Lion, especially on false prophets and false teachers who deceive people, and lie. You are really doing the Lord’s work. We are living in the Days of Noah right now, the End of the Age.

    Genesis 6:5. The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the (thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.) The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth.

    Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.

    A nation can survive many things, but it cannot survive a nation of fools!

    Matthew 5:10. Blessed are those who are persecutes because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and (falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.) 12( Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets that were before you.)

  • There certainly are errors in NAR. There are excesses that are embarrassing to us all. But I believe Cessationists throw out the baby with the bathwater sometimes.

    Didn’t Jesus say and if he’s cast out demons, the kingdom of God has come to you? We are in the what is it partly now in partly not yet of the kingdom of god. We can’t put that down completely.
    Did you know that part of God’s grace to make us *blameless* is
    *gifts of the Holy Spirit?*
    And if any spiritual gifts were to cease, Paul would have said so here in 1 Corinthians:

    1:4 “I thank my God always concerning you for the *grace of God* which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you,
    7 ***so that you come short in no gift, ***
    while eagerly

    *waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,*

    8 who will also confirm you to the end, that you may *be blameless* in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    So, Paul discusses the gifts some more:

    12:1 “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, *I do not want you to be ignorant*”

    14:1 “Pursue love, and
    ***desire*** spiritual gifts*
    but especially that you may *prophesy”*

    14:37 “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the *commandments of the Lord.*”

    14:39 “Therefore, brethren,
    *desire earnestly to prophesy,* and
    *do not forbid*
    to *speak with tongues.*” Whoa!

    14:40 “Let *all things* be done decently and in order.”

    And Paul gets a little blunt here:

    14:38 “But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.” !!! NKJV

    Ouch. I grew up in a sweet, conservative little church and was saved, but *totally ignorant* of all of this.
    When I finally learned about it at age 26,
    *I felt so cheated!*
    And I felt sorry for my *minister* at the time *cause he was ignorant* the way Paul described.

    I’m not saying I’m an expert now, but I have discovered 1 Corinthians 14!
    I’ve almost never heard it preached in church, and it’s usually the negative warnings.
    I have chosen a few of the positives. There’s a lot more.
    1st Corinthians 12, 13, and 14 are like a Holy Spirit sandwich, and I want the whole thing!
    Be blessed! And let us not “put out the Spirit’s fire”!

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