(Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash)
To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise
and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!
In Part 1, you learned more about a new movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation and may have recognized some of the doctrines even though you had never heard of NAR. This is because there is no one place you can go to find a listing of their beliefs, leaders or churches. The internet has been widely used by NAR leaders, so there is a vast amount of information about NAR from both the leaders themselves and those who criticize this movement.
I do not wish to come across as dogmatic or close-minded but to merely alert believers to this movement and their beliefs, which in my opinion differ from what is taught in Scripture, particularly doctrine such as the Gospel of the Kingdom theology. Present day apostles and prophets claim they have the same level of authority as Old Testament Prophets and Christ's apostles. They say revelation is new but does not contradict the Bible, and is more along the lines of Scripture still being written. In 2011, C. Peter Wagner gave an update on NAR which agrees with much of what I just wrote.
Wagner's update does not cover all their beliefs though and mainly focuses on the change in the governance of the church because that has been one of the main criticisms of this movement. Peter Wagner also touches on dominionism and says believers today are reclaiming the dominion that Adam lost at the fall. When Jesus came, He brought the kingdom of God and now expects His people to restore the earth to what it was like in the garden of Eden. Critics say this is not what the Bible teaches and that Jesus is the one who will restore the earth when He returns.
What are some of the other doctrines that NAR teaches? Let's take a look:
THE GREAT END-TIME TRANSFER OF WEALTH
Many, but not all, NAR leaders teach that before Jesus returns, God will transfer the wealth of the world from the wicked into the hands of the NAR apostles. This wealth will be needed to fulfill God's end-time purpose of establishing the kingdom of God on earth.
THE GREAT END-TIME HARVEST
NAR leaders teach that before Jesus returns, there will be a great end-time harvest in which a billion souls will come to Christ. Some estimate the number of souls converted will be higher. This will be done mainly through signs and wonders. When people see the miracles performed by the apostles, prophets, and their followers, they too will want to follow Jesus.
As NAR followers grow in maturity, they will receive supernatural powers to perform miracles that will surpass what was done in New Testament times. This teaching is based on Jesus' words in John 14:12-13 when He tells his disciples, "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father." One of the "greater things" taught is that every single person inside hospitals and mental institutions will be healed merely by the laying of hands on the buildings and having command of the laws of nature, including gravity.
MANIFEST SONS OF GOD
This doctrine is one of the most radical teachings of NAR and not all NAR leaders agree with it. The "Manifest Sons of God" are thought to be those believers who have matured and been given enough supernatural ability that they will be able to subdue the earth or take over and rule it both spiritually and politically. They are also known as "Joel's Army." The "Manifest Sons of God" will be perfected into their glorified bodies before the return of Christ. In other words, they will become gods. They teach this just as Jesus became perfect so can we.
This post has not included every doctrine taught by NAR, but the most prominent ones. And even though not every NAR leader teaches all of the doctrines covered in the last two posts, it is clear that the restoring of the office of apostle and prophet is an essential doctrine to this movement and one that is held by every NAR leader. That being said, when you come across teaching that aligns with NAR doctrine, it is wise to find out more about where the teaching came from. Think about churches who do not believe the offices of apostles and prophets have been restored. They hold to the teaching that they are gifts just as evangelists, pastors, and teachers are gifts given by the Holy Spirit. Yet even these churches may be accepting some of the other doctrines taught by NAR. Which beliefs align with Scripture and which do not? How has Scripture been twisted or not? Next post we will be looking at some of the Scripture NAR uses to support their doctrine and compare it with what Christians have traditionally believed.