September 2, 2016 by missionsandmysticism
The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a movement which asserts that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of Prophet and Apostle. Leading figures in this seemingly loosely organized movement claim that these prophets and apostles alone have the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth. They believe they are laying the foundation for a global church, governed by them. They place a greater emphasis on dreams, visions and extra-biblical revelation than they do on the Bible, claiming that their revealed teachings and reported experiences (e.g. trips to heaven, face-to-face conversations with Jesus, visits by angels) can not be proven by the ‘old’ Scripture.
This article discusses common lingo and beliefs of this movement. We have compared their definitions of various terms with Seth Barnes’ definition of the same words.
1) Apostles –NAR Adherents believe, “There are new Apostles are on the earth today, anointed by the laying of hands to represent and speak for God here on Earth.”
While arguing that the office of apostleship is not limited to the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ Seth states ,
“Apostles in the Bible are usually establishing new ministry involving groups of Christians, also known as churches. They are pioneers. In our modern world, we might view them as spiritual entrepreneurs. So his definition could apply to anyone….Choose your own words – the Bible uses the word apostle. Maybe it seems strange or foreign. Perhaps the word pioneer works better for you. Can a woman pioneer kingdom work in dark and hopeless places? The Bible doesn’t prohibit it.”
There are 2 uses of the word apostle in scripture. While one refers generically to messengers for Christ, the other refers to the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ who held a unique position with unique requirements. As this article states, The qualifications were: (1) to have been an witness of the resurrected Christ (1 Corinthians 9:1), (2) to have been explicitly chosen by the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:15), and (3) to have the ability to perform signs and wonders (Acts 2:43; 2 Corinthians 12:12). The role of the twelve apostles, laying the foundation of the church, would also argue for their uniqueness. Two thousand years later, we are not still working on the foundation.” The 12 apostles of Jesus and Paul are the only ones who have ever met these requirements. We are warned repeatedly of those claiming to be apostles today.
2 Corinthians 11:13 warns, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.”
2) Kingdom-Typical of the NAR,”Rather than preach the Gospel of the cross, Apostolic leaders are working to bring the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth” (see our posts, Missing the Gospel and A Different Gospel)
3) Destiny-“(NAR proponents) teach that our purpose is to achieve our dream destiny so that we can change the world.”
In contradiction, James 4:6…God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
We are not great…He is.
Isaiah 6:3-“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of His Glory.”
Isaiah’s response in vs 5 ” Woe is me! For I am a man of unclean lips…”
4) Revival-Another NAR characteristic, “There is a strong emphasis on an “end times harvest” through a great awakening that we can usher in”
From Seth,“Many of you have already heard of The Awakening, a worship conference we do for World Racers in the field. Update on the Awakening, “We have an evening service and Andrew Shearman has been preaching his signature message, “The 42nd Generation.” After the service, we minister. Tonight, the place was up for grabs. Ministry was happening all over the place. The Holy Spirit was landing on people and they lit up like fireworks.”
5) Unity–For NAR adherents,“Unity (at the expense of biblical doctrine) is almost always used as both the how and the why in this movement. Unity for the sake of bringing Heaven to Earth is leading to the blurring of doctrinal and denominational lines, often bringing together well-known leaders of charismatic, reformed, Word of Faith, seeker-emergent, progressive and Roman Catholics churches, all under one umbrella.”
See our other posts regarding his praiseworthy men to see who Seth believes we should be united with . False teacher and “healer” Todd Bentley is one example. Seth states that “[God] often seems to be more concerned with our healing than he is with our theology.”
Unity without the Word of God as the source of truth, leads to seeing false teachers as shepherds.
“If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing…”1 Tim 6:3-4
6) Denies the Sufficiency of Scripture–“NAR adherents may believe in the inerrancy and authority of the Bible, but God’s breathed-out Word is just not enough for them. Jesus’ sacrificial death for our sins is not good enough; the promise of eternal life in Heaven is not good enough.”
Seth advises this doctrine is heresy,
“In a prior blog, I took on the heresy that some in the evangelical church espouse which states that God doesn’t speak to us outside of the Bible. Peter Wagner (NAR “apostle”) calls those who effectively worship the Bible “Bible Deists….The Bible gives us example after example of a God who speaks not only through his Word, but also through circumstances, through others, through dreams, impressions, and numerous other means. He used a rooster to convict Peter of his faithlessness.”
For more information. We highly recommend Drunk in the Spirit. This is a very good overview of the New Apostolic Reformation movement. It provides examples of what they teach and clips of the leading “apostles and prophets” of this movement.