(Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash)
Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;
1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 NASB
If you read my two posts on what the New Apostolic Reformation is or my post on how they have misinterpreted Scripture, you may be wondering how in the world would their teachings infiltrate the traditional, evangelical church? We will get to that, but first, let's talk about the overall influence they are having in the world.
NAR INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD
John Rowell was a student under C. Peter Wagner for five years. He says John Wimber and Dr. Wagner's teaching deeply influenced his theology, ecclesiology, missiology, and pneumatology. His article on The New Apostolic Reformation sites some statistics from David Barrett, editor of the Word's Encyclopedia. David "reports 1,000 apostolic networks on record in his global database. These networks are found on six continents and account, by his estimate, for some 100 million believers worldwide. Dr. Wagner estimates that in the US alone there are as many NAR churches as there are Southern Baptist congregations - something approaching 40,000. Growth in the Third World among these churches far surpasses the more mundane statistics found in the West. Europe's largest church is Manna Church in Lisbon, Portugal with 25,000 members. The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in Brazil claims over 3 million congregants. The world's largest congregations are now in Nigeria where the Church of Jesus Christ in Logos assembled 10-12 million people for its Holy Spirit service in December, 2000. The world has never seen this kind of church expansion!"
Another report comes from Holly Pivec in her article on The New Apostolic Reformation: Influence and Teachings. The NAR is "made up of hundreds of churches and organizations that are led by apostles and prophets who share a distinct theology. Many of these churches and organizations have joined “apostolic networks.” These apostolic networks are made up of, in some cases, hundreds of churches and organizations that submit to the leadership of a single apostle, such as Harvest International Ministry–a network of over 12,000 churches and organizations under NAR apostle Ché Ahn. Despite its lack of name recognition, the movement’s growth is staggering. The NAR movement is responsible for much of the explosive church growth occurring in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Leaders of many of the world’s biggest churches promote present-day apostles and prophets, including David Yonggi Cho (Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea with one million people), E.A. Adeboye (Redeemed Christian Church of God in Nigeria with five million people), Sunday Adelaja (Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations in Ukraine with 20,000 people), and César Castellanos (International Charismatic Mission in Columbia with 60,000 people). Though the NAR movement has seen the most growth in the Global South, it has also gained considerable influence in the West. In Australia, the NAR movement has taken over an entire denomination, the Assemblies of God in Australia. In the United States, approximately three million people attend NAR churches — that is, churches that overtly embrace NAR teachings. Influential NAR churches in the United States include Bethel Church in Redding, California (pastored by apostle Bill Johnson), Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California (pastored by apostle Ché Ahn), and MorningStar Fellowship Church in Charlotte, North Carolina (pastored by apostle/prophet Rick Joyner). In fact, NAR churches can be found across the United States, in virtually every large city and small town. "
NAR AND MEDIA/TECHNOLOGY
In 1995, NAR founded its own television network called GOD TV which broadcasts to over 200 nations
Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN) is another television station that features NAR leaders and their teachings. It's Supernatural is a show on TBN that regularly brings on those who are involved in the NAR.
Bethel Church has its own TV station called Bethel TV
Charisma Media is the leading Charismatic/Pentecostal publisher in the world that regularly features NAR leaders and their teachings in its magazines and online presence. Many NAR books are published through this network. I used to receive daily emails from Charisma
The internet is widely used by NAR. You can find almost anything in the way of the New Apostolic Reformation online, including videos, podcasts, and blogs. Various revivals can be streamed online such as The Call with Lou Engel in 2016, or the 2008 healing revival with Todd Bentley in Lakeland, Florida. People from all over the world watch conferences live. When I attended The Call in 2016, I joined a group of people that were talking online about the gathering before, during and after. It was interesting to see people's responses who were attending and those who were streaming online from all over the world. So many excited people. (And I had no idea what The Call was about, but there was plenty of worship.) And just this Wednesday, I got an email about a conference that will be streaming live in two days (today).
IHOP has a vast online presence
Elijah List is a prophetic website that sends out daily e-mails to promote NAR leaders and their prophecies and teaching (I used to subscribe)
Hillsong Worship, Bethel Music, and Jesus Culture, are all examples of worship bands associated with NAR
You may already be seeing some ways NAR has infiltrated your church or how it could. If NAR believes they have a mandate to take over the world, bring about unity within religions, restore the earth to what it was like before the fall, that God is giving new revelation to prophets that is equal to Scripture, and that God has restored the office of apostles so they will lead the way to accomplish these goals, then how will they achieve it? NAR knows the evangelical church won't just accept this doctrine. So they must find ways to bring it in undetected, slowly and purposefully. I believe this is what they are doing.
They won't say we are going to take over the world, they will say we are bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth
They don't say we are the apostles, so you better submit to us, they say we like being called by our first names
They don't say we are the manifest sons of god, they say the more you become like Christ, the more power you will have
They won't say we are mixing many religious practices together to form a one-world religion, they simply take parts of other religions and change the terminology and "Christianize" it, then introduce it as a new move of God
These are just a few examples of what is happening. Many people have bought into the lies and have no idea they are being deceived. I know I didn't. Most likely, the NAR leaders themselves are deceived. But NAR has an agenda, and they believe it's from God. They are passionate, and hard-working men and women who want nothing more than to bring God's kingdom to earth. They speak of new wine and new revelation and new fire and a new move, but the Church has already been established by Jesus Christ and pioneered by His apostles. And the Bible contains the complete and final instructions on how the Church is to be operated. We are told to test everything, so I encourage you to not just take my word for it or to go the opposite direction and dismiss everything I am saying but to sift through it carefully to see what God is saying.