Late last year, Apostle Michael Brown advertised on his show that he would attempt ‘to separate myth from fact when it comes to the “New Apostolic Reformation” (NAR)’: (Click the link below to download the show on MP3.)
What Is the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation)
Dr. Brown seeks to separate myth from fact when it comes to the “New Apostolic Reformation” (NAR), taking both negative and positive calls on the subject. He’ll also weigh in on relevant, major news. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.
Source: What Is the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation), The Line Of Fire, http://thelineoffire.org/2016/10/26/what-is-the-nar-new-apostolic-reformation/, Published 26/10/2016. (Accessed 26/10/2016.)
At the request of others, we had a fellow churchwatcher transcribe the ENTIRE radio segment on Michael Brown’s poor attempt at covering the NAR on his ‘Line of Fire’ radio program. As you read through it – it becomes apparent he doesn’t even bother answer his own opening questions:
The NAR, the New Apostolic Reformation, what is it?
Is it of God?
… the flesh?
… the devil?
It soon becomes clear that he’s not only defending the New Apostolic Reformation, he is defending its top apostolic leaders. In fact, it seems he’s angry that his apparent ‘cover’ as a major leader in the New Apostolic Reformation.has been exposed.
There will further articles exposing Michael Brown’s deception in this radio segment.
We encourage our readers to put on their discernment caps as they read this article and be willing to warn others about this fraudulent NAR leader in Christ’s church.
Dr Michael Brown: “The NAR, the New Apostolic Reformation, what is it? Is it of God, the flesh, the devil?”
Dr Michael Brown: “Thanks so much for joining us on the Line of Fire today. I hope to have a lively, productive, interesting and important broadcast… I want to focus in on some other issues of importance to the body. Now a few things in a preliminary way, [phone number] if you still have concerns about the issue I did with Pastor Bill Johnson a couple of weeks ago, getting a lot of attention online, a lot of views on the YouTube channel, you haven’t been able to call the other times we’ve opened the phones, by all means give me a call, I’m not going to bark at you, or get angry with you. You may have other concerns or questions, please give me a call.
If you have concerns with what is called the NAR, the New Apostolic Reformation – Dr Peter Wagner just went to be with the Lord a few days ago – and some of his critics call him a false prophet, false apostle. Others look at him as a major Charismatic leader, pioneer, others have a somewhat mixed mindset viewpoint. If you have issues, we’ve put this online, we’ve posted this so we’ve gotten this word out to lots and lots of people, I’d like to hear from you today.
I understand that people work and have jobs and we have our phone lines flooded with calls all the time, which means that there are folks that can’t call during this time. So if you have concerns, if you have questions, please give me a call. And lastly, one more time, we did this an hour and a half last week, I want to give you one more opportunity, this is not a time for doctrinal clarity, ‘hey can you explain what this scripture means on this Charismatic issue’, but if you have questions and concerns about things that you have heard about regarding the Charismatic movement, regarding revival movements, and things like that, please give me a call. It is my goal to help clarify based on scripture and scriptural principles, alright?
Yes, I myself would be characterized as Charismatic/Pentecostal, in that I believe that speaking in tongues, prophecy, healing, miracles are for today and that God is doing these things around the world. He’s not a celestial bellboy, we don’t just snap our fingers and manufacture a miracle, we are servants of the Lord, He is the sovereign Lord who rules and reigns, but He is determined to glorify Jesus through these acts of compassion and power, and around the world the vast majority of people coming to faith, around the world, for many years now, have come through God’s power in conjunction with the Gospel. Through healing, deliverance, just as in the book of Acts, just as in the ministry of Jesus. It is not separate from the Word, it is in confirmation of the Word and a demonstration of the resurrection of Jesus.
And with that, with the massive growth of the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement worldwide, there are abuses, there are charlatans, there are problems and as one within the movement, I’ve sought to address those for decades, including one whole book, ‘What ever happened to the power of God’, which came out in 1991, the sub title being, ‘Is the Charismatic church slain in the Spirit or down for the count’? Plus many, many messages and parts of other books devoted to this.
I’ve also been in one of the most significant revivals of the 20th century, the Brownsville Revival, served as a leader there for years and as an eye witness in more than 2000 meetings over that period of time, I can tell you firsthand what God did and yet people say, ‘well that was a phony movement, wasn’t really the Holy Spirit. Let’s talk about it, let’s clarify this, if God is moving we want to get behind it, if it’s counterfeit or the flesh, we want to resist it.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Welcome back to the Line of Fire, [phone number] even now over the break, I’ve invited folks on Twitter, raising issues about certain spiritual things, Charismatic issues, etc. I’ve asked folks, ‘well call in’. You’ve got a concern? Well call in.
I’ve also challenged those who hide behind a cloak of anonymity online, and post blatant falsehoods, blatant falsehoods. I mean one website, I’m not even going to mention it on the radio, I don’t even want to draw any attention to it, but it blasts me as a ‘New Apostolic Reformation Apostle’.
It’s like what? Explain? When have I claimed to be an apostle? When have I worked with Dr Peter Wagner- side by side and part of his organisation? I don’t even know what people are talking about. And they will post things that are just blatantly false, just false information.
I remember reading one paragraph online where I think five out of the six sentences to do with me were just simply false, not a matter of interpretation, but just false. If I knew who the person was, I’d deal with them. When they hide behind a cloak of anonymity, hey, you may be excommunicated from a local church in bad standing, you may have been kicked out of a bible college in bad standing, and now you’ve got a website so it’s only right and fare that we know who the person is. You may be 18 years old, with no experience in ministry whatsoever. So it’s important that we know who we’re dealing with. Jesus says that those who have the truth come into the light, that their deeds may be made manifest, so I’ve got no secrets, I’ve got no skeletons in the closet. If I’ve made a mistake, the whole world knows about it, oh man sorry if I say something on radio, after a massacre in Nice France, I actually said, ‘nice’, I said, ‘did I pronounce it nice’? So If I’ve made a blunder the whole world is going to know about it in that respect, sorry. Of course that’s a minor example there.
But by all means, if you have issues, if you have concerns call. You may have valid issues, you may have valid concerns, or you may have concerns based on misinformation and falsehood. Let us sort things out, and Twitter is not the place to do it. Okay on Twitter I only have like 23,000 followers, but Facebook we have almost 450,000, and then everyday stuff pours in like 25,000 on YouTube and elsewhere, and everyday emails pour in. So my staff can’t even keep up with it, let alone me! I’m not going to get into a 4 hour Twitter debate with 40 characters at a time, with someone I don’t even know. When I say, ‘I can’t do this would you please drop me from the conversation’, they’ll send 30 more tweets until finally I block them, simply because that’s disrespectful and it’s destructive rather than constructive. But, let me just point a couple of things out, and them I’m going to go to your phone calls alright?
Somebody posted this earlier today and again I don’t see lots of Facebook comments, I don’t see the vast, vast majority of them, but I happened to see this one from earlier today, oh let me just find this. ‘Dr Brown’s a typical Pharisee apologist’, no that’s because I’m Jewish, that’s not it. Just looking for a more recent one, here, yeah, someone blasted me that they are not going to follow me any longer, ‘I was part of the Brownsville revival which was another experience based fad’, that’s 100% false. This was a true glorious outpouring, church historians said it was the longest lasting local church revival in American history, hundreds of thousands of people dramatically touched, saved, delivered, and many of them transformed to this day 20 years later. We have folks who are on the mission field who were touched on the mission field serving God, preaching Jesus, laying their lives down for others for 15 years. And you have critics who have been to one service and saw a Youtube clip, ‘well that’s just experienced based’. That’s unfortunate, that is really, really unfortunate.
Um, here there’s one website brands me an, ‘NAR Apostle’, actually ‘NARpostle’, that’s cute, what’s it supposed to mean? I’m not an apostle, I’ve never claimed to be an apostle, and I’m not part of the “New Apostolic Reformation”. Ah, here, ‘I listened to your interview with Bill Johnson of Bethel, you’re woefully ignorant, there are pictures of Jenn and other’s from Bethel grave sucking, soaking, so Bill lied to you’. See that’s extraordinary to say that Bill Johnson lied to me. Bill repudiated the practice and his Executive Pastor Kris Vallotton repudiated the practice, and whether some people never deny that some people may have done it, but repudiated it. And yet someone is going to call him a liar that to me is really unfortunate. You say, ‘I saw a picture of his wife sitting on CS Lewis’ grave site’, what was she doing? Was she praying that God raise up CS Lewis’ today? Was she saying God you used CS Lewis, use me? Was she saying God whatever you gave him, give me? Fine, I don’t have a problem with any of that that God decides how ever he answers that. Was she trying to suck up the ‘anointing’ from his grave? If so, that’s ridiculous, it’s stupid, it’s misguided. But if so, Bill Johnson is publicly saying we repudiate that, even if his wife did it and I have no idea. But people send me these pictures, people laying on a grave and you know, trying to, yeah some people have done it, that’s why Bill Johnson repudiated it, that’s why Kris Vallotton repudiated it.
But anyway, ‘there are the glory clouds of gold glitter to dupe people into an experience’. Well if somebody was manufacturing something, you know having this gold dust in front of a vent to give an appearance, yeah that’s horrific, if that actually happened at Bethel I’d denounce it and I’d contact Bill and Kris today and say, ‘what happened’? What happened? I need a statement from you guys, what happened? Okay? But if, I saw a video one time, and suddenly people start screaming and shouting because it looks like there’s a visible cloud in the meeting which is totally fine with me, it’s got scriptural precedent, but the clip I saw, Bill said, ‘don’t pay attention to that, just focus on the Lord and let’s keep worshiping’. So what’s wrong with that?
Um, ‘then I heard that you as well as Bill were caught up in other experiential fads such as the Brownsville revival’. But’s it’s not an experiential fad, see people speak out of ignorance, that’s what troubles me. Not honest questions, and if there are abuses let’s address them. If there are abuses let’s address them, and let me use my platform on National radio and elsewhere to address them with you. Fair enough? And if it’s a false criticism, let’s address that.
Alright, phone lines are jammed which is wonderful, I’m going to go to your phone calls momentarily. Let me just give you an example of something, Jay Jay, play clip number one, this is from a teaching of Bill Johnson, clip number 1.”
Bill Johnson audio: “Today I have begotten you, the second Psalm, ‘you are my beloved son, today I have begotten you’. Acts 13 tells us that that phrase from the Father, ‘today I have begotten you’, is in reference to the resurrection, so He was born through Mary the virgin, and then He was born again in resurrection.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Okay, now when Bill says that – does he mean – and I’ve seen whole websites and YouTube clips just based on those words, ‘Bill Johnson holds to the teaching that E. W. Kenyon and some Word of Faith teachers that Jesus suffered in Hell and died in Hell and was demonized and was raised up as a glorified man, and that’s what it means He was born again. I utterly, categorically reject that teaching as false and destructive and heretical. Period. Okay. I have no place for that, no tolerance for that, I don’t except that on any level. Anyone who says that Jesus became demonized in Hell and actually died in a literal way and then was raised up as a glorified man, that is heretical and I categorically reject it, period, without qualification.
But I have no clue that that’s what Bill believes. Now if that’s the case, then please get me that clip, because based on that clip all Bill is saying is that, that according to the New Testament, Jesus was declared to be the Son of God, He was the Son of God before He came into the world, yes? He was declared to be the Son of God as birth, Luke 1:35, …’and He was declared to be the Son of God with His resurrection’. ‘This day I have given you birth’, Psalm 2 as applied to the resurrection, and all Bill was doing was quoting that. You say, well he explains in the rest of the message, well then tell me the rest of the message because that clip is online saying that based on that, that Bill Johnson held to the C W Kenyon teaching. If he did, I differ with it and I repudiate it without hesitation, but I have no evidence that he did. All I know is, is that clip is used to demonstrate something, give me more context, if he teaches it, there’s got to be a clip, his messages are out there. I’m not denying it, I’m simply saying give me it, cause all he did was say isn’t this interesting. Acts 13 applies Psalm 2, this day I have begotten you to the resurrection, so Jesus was born again through the resurrection based, because He was born first and then born again through it, what did he mean? Got to get clarification, if you have it please give it to me. Phone calls next.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Thanks so much for joining us [phone number] as we talk about Charismatic contemporary issues, NAR, ‘New Apostolic Reformation’, good thing, bad thing, from above, from man, from below. Want to take your calls, your concerns, you may have a valid concern that I’ll agree with, you may have a concern that I may feel is misguided and that I’ll do my best to correct, you may raise a question, let’s look into it, let’s find out what’s what. But my only goal is to separate fact from fiction and help us to major on the majors. Because weather God is moving in certain Charismatic ways that people claim are not, we all agree we got to major on the majors, on Jesus is Lord and scripture is our authority and living lives that are Godly and being disciples and making disciples. Do these things enhance, are they natural, do they distract, are they scriptural? That’s what we want to talk about.
(First phone call 17:14)
Alright, straight to the phones, we start in Michigan, Patrick thank you so much for calling the Line of Fire.”
Caller 1- Patrick: “Thank you Dr Brown. Yeah, so I’m just a regular guy, I’m a Christian that’s 54 years old. I’ve gone through a lot over the years, my parents raised my Catholic, brought me over to the ‘name it and claim it’ and then I left all of that and then I thank God now that I have a very simple, solid relationship with the Lord. Um, I love you and I think you are an amazing teacher and amazing scholar. Um I think you present such a tremendous benefit to the body of Christ, and I have just one criticism that if I could share it.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Please, please.”
Caller 1- Patrick: “Just one brother to another, I’m not somebody who’s a theologian, I’m not college educated, but growing up in the environment that I did, there is something that is just so off by one degree, the way I describe it. Um if your relationship with the Lord is off by just one degree, you’re not going to know it, um for years to come. And for example, if you shoot a rocket to the moon and you’re off by one degree, they’re not going to know it until they miss it. So just out of my own experience, every time I’ve heard Bill Johnson or Benny Hinn or all of these I’ll call weird things that are occurring, um that they take away from Christ, put the focus on self, and it’s a distraction.
I don’t have a problem with speaking in tongues, I don’t have a problem with the Lord doing healing, I don’t have a problem with the Charismatic movement in general. For example.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Tell you what, let me just jump in, just be fair to other callers. I think you raised the point clearly and very humbly and I appreciate it. So your constructive criticism with me would be any association.”
Caller 1- Patrick: “This is my constructive criticism, thank you, because of your passion for the Charismatic movement, because of your love for it and you’re involved in it. My opinion, just again is that it’s a blind spot for you when you interview people like Bill Johnson or Benny Hinn, and I know that you mean well, I know your heart is in the right place but I think that because you are so close to it, you don’t see what a lot of us that have come out of this movement have seen.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Got it. Let me respond. Okay and I’m only jumping in because our phone lines are jammed, I want to get through as many as possible. First, I appreciate your point and all of us can have blind spots, which is why we listen with humility and pray about things and which is why my wife is always speaking into my life in a hundred different areas. So could I have a blind spot? Sure. You could have a blind spot, a reactionary one as well, right? So we all could. When it comes to Benny Hinn, again I accepted an invitation to be on his show. Main reason was I wanted to get the ‘Hyper Grace’ message and book out to his viewing audience because I knew a lot of other teachers on TBN and would listen to that. And unfortunately, that broadcast did not air, that’s one thing. Secondly, I knew there was tones of baggage associated with Benny Hinn and all kinds of bad reports, I also had some folks who got close to him and said, ‘hey he’s not who you think he is, you should get to know him’. I said, ‘great, I will get to know him, I will be on his TV show and if there are errors, then hopefully I can be of help to him behind the scenes’. Unfortunately, no relationship came about after the show. I did write to him privately and urged him to repudiate his fundraising techniques and some of the people he has on the air, so I did call him to account on that and it may have been a mistake to go on the show, because it confused a lot of people. So I accept it, it may have been a mistake.
As for Bill Johnson, Bill and I have been in several similar circles for years and ministered together in different settings, I preached at Bethel a few years ago, I have grads there that have served in the church for years, I have others who have been there regularly and they’re all about Jesus, they love the Lord, they’re really excited about the Lord, winning the lost. It’s never a self-thing, I see that fruit consistently. But here’s the deal, having Bill on the air, and Bills a friend, we don’t spend a lot of time together but we are friends, we know each other and again I know people who have been in his church and school for years and years and years. And they are very excited about what the Lord is doing there and very excited about the Lord and excited about holiness and purity and winning the lost and so on.
So when I was asked about having Bill on cause he had a new book coming out, I said, ‘I’d love to’. But there’s a lot of controversy around Bill’s ministry, and as long as he is willing to have people call in with their criticisms and me to raise some honest questions, I’m happy to do it. And Bill said, ‘great let’s do it’.
So I just had a few things, I was just going to play a couple of clips, concerns that were raised, I was going to raise them and leave the rest to calls, nobody called. We publicized it to millions of people, literally, call in, no, nobody called. And hopefully more people are calling in today. But I still haven’t gotten the actual doctrinal teaching from Bill’s mouth that is heretical. If someone brings it up, fine, am I going to deny it? I’ll confront it, but if it’s not there, if people are going to condemn him as a heretic because sometimes they say a cloud appears in their meetings, I’ve got no scriptural issue with that and I’ve actually seen it happen myself, yes, with my own eyes in complete settings where no one else was there, it doesn’t disturb me in the least, why would it? But I’ve never heard Bill draw attention to it, quite the contrary his whole attitude is bringing people to God, bringing people to God.
So by all means, let folks bring up substantial issues and we will address them and there are plenty of substantial issues with Benny Hinn’s prophecies and with guests on his show that I repudiate and differ with and the fund raising, etc. No issue with it and I’ve written to him privately, because I did not have ongoing public access. Alright, so that’s where we left it.
But as far as Bill, I asked critics to call and they didn’t. I gave another hour and half last week, and they didn’t, so hopefully today we will hear from more.
But Patrick, I would say perhaps that your weakness is that you haven’t been in Bill’s meetings for a period of months to see the community, to see the fruit. If I was there would I differ with different things? Absolutely, would I have issues with certain things? Absolutely. Will take issue with people branding him a false prophet and heretic? Absolutely. But thank you for the call and let’s all continue to grow in Jesus.
Alright friends I’ve got a break coming up, but I’m ready to take calls for another 90 minutes, at least half an hour, but another 90 minutes if you want to get in [phone number], Oh and for anyone who’s ever had to deal with the stronghold of food, either dealing with obesity, or gluttony, bad eating habits, or just being out of control, Nancy and I have a book, ‘Breaking the Stronghold of Food’ being released January 3rd, but you can get a pre ordered signed copy in time for Christmas, but only through our website, thelineoffire.org.”
Dr Michael Brown: “…I just want to say this about the so called ‘New Apostolic Reformation’, and then I want to go to your calls, and thank you, I’m looking at some of the topics on the board here. This is what I have been waiting for, these are the calls I’ve been wanting to get in terms of people who have their criticisms and concerns, thank you for calling in, much appreciated. And if I don’t give you each 10 minutes or to talk for 5 minutes straight, only cause if I did that, I would get to 2 calls.
But very quickly, I’ve been in meetings with so called ‘Apostolic’ leaders, I say ‘so called’ because we will debate whether there’s apostles today alright, we will talk about that later. Not debate about it but talk about it. But I’ve been in these meetings, alright, and when leaders talk about having influence in society, no one’s talking about taking over. Rather we are saying, why should the media be so secular and liberal? We should have a presence there, and if we have enough presence there we can turn it to the right direction. The schools, why are our universities, you know, so many founded by Christian leaders and denominations for Christian purposes, why are they so secular and liberal? We need to infiltrate the schools, we need more Godly professors and administrators.
And politics, why is it so wacky and corrupt? We need Godly political leaders. It’s not a matter of taking over, now we are going to impose, if you don’t observe the Sabbath you’re stoned to death, no, no, no. I’ve never once heard this stuff that these people are accused of, or that I’m accused of, I never once heard it, I don’t, I’ve had meetings with these people, so that’s one thing.
When it comes to apostles today, and again I will discuss this more later. Yes, I do believe that there are apostles, small ‘a’ apostles today just like in the New Testament. In other words people called apostles, emissaries, who are not of the twelve, alright? Of course they do not have apostolic authority in terms of like Paul or Peter did, they don’t write scripture, but they are emissaries in the same way that Barnabas is called an apostle in Acts. I would look at Hudson Taylor as a modern apostle, even though he wouldn’t have seen himself like that.
But a weakness of what I’ve found in the so called ‘New Apostolic Reformation’ is that everybody became an apostle. It’s not something you put on your business card, and I’ve repudiated that and spoken against that for years.
(Second caller 28:00)
Alright, let’s go to Joseph in California, thanks for calling The line of Fire.”
Caller 2- Joseph: “Hey Dr Brown, thank you so much for doing all of this, I really tremendously appreciate and honour what you’re doing, I receive from you a lot so thank you so much. Um, I know that there’s not a lot of time so.”
Dr Michael Brown: “And we will continue after the break, get your stuff out and then we will continue.”
Caller 2- Joseph: “Okay, cool. So I didn’t know that you had a thing on Bill Jonson, I’m sorry I wish I called during that time, but I’m glad you’re doing this now. So I’m in Berkley, pretty close to Redding, obviously. I’ve been doing ministry in Berkley for a while and I noticed that a lot of my friends and a lot of people in Berkley would come to a lot of problems, in their life and in their understanding of God, and what I kept seeing was it would always come back somehow back to you know, Bethel. And some things that they were teaching and so what I did was I just went on kind of a journey of kind of figuring out, okay what are they teaching? You know, because people keep telling me about them and I’m seeing these problems and so what I found through a lot of study of Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton is that there are a very many troubling things, and for me, I am a Charismatic as well, and so it’s not like I’m like a sensationalist bashing Charismatics, I am fully Charismatic. But what I saw was there was a lot of problems that I was seeing with their teaching and.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Tell you what, stop here, we will take a break for 2 minutes and I’m looking at phone lines jammed, I’m going to get to all of your calls, if you can stay there I will get to you. But get your thoughts in order, give me your top three biggest concerns, alright?”
Dr Michael Brown: “I just tweeted this out, “my entire emphasis is on Jesus being glorified through our lives, not a cloud, but He can still appear in a ‘cloud of Glory’ if He chooses”, we can discuss that later. Alright, Joseph, could you give me your top three concerns, and you may be right on every one of them, by the way. The purpose is not to argue, you top three concerns that you’ve seen coming out of Bethel or out of Bill or Kris’ teaching.”
Caller 2- Joseph: “Okay, I think number 1 would be the way people understand the Gospel, I guess. It’s really hard to talk about these things fully in such a small amount of time, but we have several friends in Bethel and we even hooked up with Bethel teams that wanted to come to Berkley campus to do evangelism. And so we hooked up with them and you know, and do evangelism with Bethel teams and it was very concerning because the way that they would preach the Gospel would be, I mean literally to tell people how awesome they are, I mean I’m not even exaggerating.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Got it, got it, I understand.”
Caller 2- Joseph: “You know what I’m saying? That’s one thing, so.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Let me say to the extent that that’s done with just wanting people to know how highly God thinks of them or something like that, without preaching sin, I mean Bill Johnson was clear on the radio saying, ‘we have a sinful nature, we have to repent, we need to get rid of that we need to turn from it’. One of my friends just heard him the other day giving a strong holiness message on TV, yet I’ve diffidently seen that happen with teams, I don’t know if it’s directly from Bill or Kris, but I’ve absolutely seen that kind of thing happening with teams going out. And it’s a big mistake, it’s not the gospel, and I agree with that concern. If I get time together with either Bill or Kris, I’ll certainly talk about it, but I agree with it, valid concern. Next.”
Caller 2- Joseph: “So I guess the other one would be, I guess maybe the root of a lot of things, which is, I know that Bill has said that he does value scripture, but I feel like in practice it’s not really there. And I have also in my studies, I’ve seen that there’s a consistent, not just a onetime thing, but a consistent pattern of, you know, yes saying that there is a value for scripture, yet it’s always in the context of BUT, you know experiencing something supernatural from God, you know, kind of more important, and almost explicitly said. And I feel like that is the root of kind of a lot of things that is coming out and again, your previous caller you were saying you haven’t really been with them, or you don’t know their culture, but I kind of have, you know. Again, I’m really close to a lot of people, a lot of people from Berkley go to Redding constantly, I know many people that have gone through Berkley Supernatural School of Ministry, so I’m very involved in that regard. And what I have seen in that culture, you know really is actually a very low view of the scripture and a very high view of ‘thus saith the Lord’, feelings and signs and wonders. Again all things that I love and.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Got it, it’s the emphasis, right? The word of God is our foundation, is our anchor, and these other things that happen are conformation of the word or for example, the fact that we have intimate relationship with God and fellowship with the Holy Spirit is in harmony with what the word teaches. Now again, when I was there, you know I was just turned loose to preach, you know I just preached on take up our cross and the call to suffer. I preached on the fire of God’s holiness and purity, I spoke against superficial manifestations and things and school and I brought a message on the importance of Israel. And I was warmly welcomed and received in doing it.
The folks that I know that graduated from our school had spent time there, never came away with the concern you’re sharing, but it could be valid. I mean again, I’m not in the mist of it enough to know, but if it’s true that’s a serious concern. And look, I have a flip-side concern for a sensationalist that downplay experience entirely, I have a whole chapter in my book ‘Authentic Fire’ on the God to be experienced, and I quote the Bible abundantly, but then I quote great Calvinist leaders of the past talking about their intimacy with God and their experience with God. So it’s not either all, but to the extent that anything experiential takes precedence over the word, of course that’s in error and it’s a pathway for deception.
And there was one movement, I was not part of it directly, but when I would hear their leaders speak, there was a deprecating of Scripture. Or one of my major issues with Todd Bentley’s ministry was his calling, you know, angelic revelations and things like that and not using scripture, the couple times I heard him that gravely concerned me. Again, when I’ve heard Bill he’s been teaching the word, when I’ve read stuff it’s always starting from scripture and going from there. But if the pendulum has swung because of the outpouring they are experiencing, that is a danger and that should be addressed.
Give me one more, if you have one more, because these are pretty major ones and I concur with you.”
Caller 2- Joseph: “I think with Bill, kind of his main ministry, you know, is based off, you know signs and wonders, he wants to teach a generation to walk in signs and wonders. And I think altogether with these things is kind of the basis of his theology and his doctrine of signs and wonders, I believe, I’ve seen is false in that he says that, one of his catch phrases is, ‘God cannot give what He does not have’. Right? So God can’t give disease, you know, so that’s one of the base fundamental doctrines that he has, is God cannot give what He does not have. And he also says in the positive, which is, ‘God can only give what He does have’, and so, he makes that argument in saying that no disease can come from God period. Like God literally cannot do it. And I take huge problem with that, only because you know, that’s part of the hyper grace tendency that they may have and.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Let me just jump in, only out of respect for other callers. Alright? Let me just say this, Again you’re quoting him in saying that, and let’s say it’s an accurate quote, Okay? Of course it’s an overstatement and of course God does smite in the Bible, and He does smite with sickness and disease, and in the book of Revelation when the wrath of God is poured out it includes sickness and disease.
On the flip side, I fully affirm the point he’s making which is, that the nature of God is not to make us sick, but to heal us. That when Jesus touched people He didn’t make them sick, He healed them. That God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit with power, and He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. I challenge anyone to go through my 465 page book, ‘Israel’s Divine Healer’, with a 165,000 words of annotation and find fault with that fundamental theology that God’s desire for His obedient children is healing. And that in the Bible sickness is either associated with, aside from just the fall, if it’s got a specific cause it’s either sin or Divine curse, a judgment, chastisement, or Satan, or demons. That’s it’s never a loving gift from God, so I affirm the point he’s making, as far as the nature of God, but the way he’s saying it could obviously lead to error.
Hey listen Joseph, I would love to talk to you more, I want to be fair to other callers. But these are all valid issues and I want people to know what I believe, where I stand, and let’s put these on the table for further prayerful discussion, and to the extent that I can follow up with concerns as I’m with people, or see if these concerns are valid from the inside. Cause let me just say this, you can’t blame a large movement for everything people do who associate with it. But if you see a large percentage of people associated with the movement doing it, then you can blame the movement.
So in other words, I’ve got lots of listeners, by God’s grace, and maybe some listeners do crazy things and they say, ‘I listen to Mike Brown’, ‘I go to Dr Brown’s website’, okay you can’t blame me for that. However, if this was a tendency you saw on a large level from people who graduated from my school, or who listen to my show, or on the website, by all means I’m responsible. So I don’t down play a word you’ve said, I think these are valid questions and issues and these are the exact kind of calls I was waiting for, thank you sir for weighing in, much appreciated.”
Caller 2- Joseph: “Thank you Dr Brown.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Alright [phone number] let’s go to Ryan in Tennessee, welcome to the Line of Fire.”
(Third caller 39:13)
Caller 3- Ryan: “Hey Dr Brown how you doing?”
Dr Michael Brown: “I’m doing well, thank you.”
Caller 3- Ryan: “Good. I’ve got a question, it’s kind of concerning the commission service of Todd Bentley that happened a number of years ago obviously.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Oh yeah.”
Caller 3- Ryan: “But Bill Johnson was there, Rick Joyner, the Arnotts, Che Ahn, a lot of leaders, and whether they identify with it or not, leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation, they all got up there and gave prophecies, words from God about Todd, about how great Todd was, how great the ministry was going to be and it was going to explode and take off. And we know that was all false, it didn’t happen, it was exposed a couple of months later that he was getting drunk, he was having multiple affairs, he ran away from his wife and his kids, I’m not here to judge him on his sins, I’m a sinner as well. But was that just blatant false prophecy? Did God really give them that word? Were they lying when they got up there?”
Dr Michael Brown: “They were wrong, they were absolutely wrong. I was embarrassed by it Ryan, and I’m going to continue commenting on the other side of the break. I’m on record, it’s in my ‘Authentic Fire’ book as saying that. That was divine chastisement and judgment on the Charismatic movement of America. For so many senior leaders to be involved with something that was blatantly that false, I was embarrassed. My wife Nancy insisted I sit down and watch the whole thing, I couldn’t watch it, I was so embarrassed until she said, ‘please you’ve got to watch the whole thing’. So let me comment more on that when we come back.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Thanks for joining us on the Lind of Fire. We are talking about the so called ‘New Apostolic Reformation’, we are talking about Pastor Bill Johnson in Bethel, we are talking about Charismatic issues and trying to talk through concerns, questions people have. Dr Peter Wagner, probably the founder of what critics or friends call the ‘New Apostolic Reformation’, recently went to be with the Lord, and probably some of his greatest critics would say he’s not with the Lord at all, and some of his greatest friends say he’s the greatest man of God they’ve ever known.
So we are talking to be constructive here, [phone number]. So back to Ryan in Nashville. Ryan I don’t know details of everything that happened in Todd’s life, during what was called the ‘Lakeland Outpouring’. But certainly it has been revealed that he was getting drunk, it appears he was in adultery towards the end of, but certainly soon after, and of course did divorce his wife and is married to someone else.
Rick Joyner is a friend of mine and Rick worked with Todd’s restoration and believes God is using Todd and raised him back up. I’m on public record as differing with Rick on that, we’ve sat face to face and talked about it and he knows my public stance that I don’t believe that Todd was rightly restored, and that the right path was to step away from the relationship he was in, and to seek reconciliation with his wife and children. I wish him well, I hope for mercy, but that’s just my own Stance.
But Ryan, during the ‘Lakeland Outpouring’ I was never there and I heard reports of the Holy Spirit moving wonderfully in worship and people really being touched, and that I had grave concerns because of the lack of preaching of the word, and the central focus on one person, and some abusive practices. So when that meeting happened, and most of the people on that platform were people that I know, and some were good friends. When I heard that they were there to kind of lay hands on Todd, and I’ve sarcastically called it ‘the coronation service’, and basically set him apart as the main leader. And one of my friends said that, ‘Todd must increase and that he must decrease’, I honestly felt like I was watching people I loved running around in public in their underwear. I was so embarrassed I couldn’t watch.
And how it happened, and how people were so wrong on something that was so obviously off, I can’t answer that. I can only say that to me I felt like God was bringing public chastisement to the Charismatic movement of which I’m apart, for lack of discernment and gullibility. That’s how I personally felt.”
Caller 3- Ryan: “My question would further be, not as much the discernment part, but if they were claiming to be ‘prophets’ and ‘apostles’ speaking from God, and that was in fact a false prophecy, why should we not believe that they are indeed false prophets today?”
Dr Michael Brown: “Ahh okay.”
Caller 3- Ryan: Why should we believe something Bill Johnson says today if he got on cable TV and falsely prophesied for the whole world to see?”
Dr Michael Brown: “Yeah, that’s a valid, Ryan that’s a valid concern.”
Caller 3- Ryan: “That’s really the question I guess.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Yeah but I’m glad we got to address the other things to, cause I want to be on record plainly and clearly for those who don’t know where I stand. But in short Ryan, as I understand scripture, a false prophet is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A false teacher is a heretic leading others to Hell. A false prophet is not someone who loves the Lord and prophecies falsely. Remember we are not under the Old Testament where people were dependent on the Prophet to lead the nation, and a wrong word would get you stoned. Okay?
So I would say if someone prophecies falsely today, they are corrected for it, they can be a believer who loves the Lord but they make a mistake, they speak in the flesh, they confuse the voice of the Spirit for their own thoughts, and they speak falsely. I will not brand them a false prophet or false teacher, based on New Testament terminology, you know, that these people are wolves in sheep’s clothing, and are servants of Satan.
I will say this, If I said something publicly, alright, that I got up on radio and said, ‘God has shown me that Ted Cruz is actually going to be our next President, it’s not going to be Hillary or Donald Trump’, and it didn’t happen, that would not make me a false prophet, that would mean I prophesied falsely. But you better believe that I would need to publicly apologize, that I would need accountability to speak into my life to help me see where I made the error, and then if I ever did claim to speak prophetically again, I would expect people to be very skeptical. That would be the natural fruit of it.
If we were in a prayer meeting together and you were to say, ‘hey Dr Brown I really sense the Lord is saying this’, and I say, ‘you know Ryan I don’t sense that at all, let’s keep praying’, I’m not going to brand you a false prophet if your wrong. And there’s a way to submit things which is in humility, and saying, ‘hey I feel this could be the Lord, let’s pray about it’. But if I’m on a public platform, or here on an international platform, get up and make a public pronunciation that is false, by all means I need to be held accountable for it, without question.
Alright thank you sir for the call, very important and much appreciate it. [Phone number]. Okay, let’s go over to Kay in Virginia, thanks for calling the Line of Fire.”
(Forth caller 46:40)
Caller 4- Kay: “Hi Dr Brown, I enjoy your show it makes me think. My question sounds kind of simple after listening to some of these other questions that have come in. I want all that God has for me according to the Scripture, but I guess that the circles that I travel in, and fellowship in, and with my friends and stuff, I see kind of two camps. I see, I have a lot of friends that are Pentecostal that believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, and you know where Jesus disciples someone’s preaching and he’s like should we stop them and Jesus said, ‘if they’re not against me, they’re for me’, that kind of camp.
And the other camp I think where there’s fear of things not done decently and in order. And I guess this is where my confusion and my question comes in. I’m wondering if you can tell me the difference between a prayer language and actually in the book of Acts where people are praying in tongues and it was another language, that the people heard their own language and understood. And then a follow up question is, when you are in a meeting and if there is a tongue that comes forth, and there has to be an interpreter, is that the prayer language or is that actually the gift of tongues?”
Dr Michael Brown: “Yeah. I don’t see any distinction between gift of tongues and so called ‘prayer language’. The New Testament does not use the terminology ‘prayer language’, it just speaks of praying in a tongue. And it’s a tongue that no human being can understand, and that’s why you have to have the gift of interpretation, as opposed to someone from that country.”
Caller 4- Kay: “But in Acts didn’t they understand…”
Dr Michael Brown: “Right, Acts 2 is the one and only time it records it, it doesn’t say there was an understandable language in Acts 10, it doesn’t state that there was an understandable language in Acts 19. And the only extensive teaching we have on it is 1 Corinthians 14, where Paul is talking about, don’t forbid speaking in tongues, everyone should seek prophecy, don’t forbid speaking in tongues, and if you speak in tongues, if you deliver a public message, right? So here you are, you deliver a public message in a service, I get up during a quiet time in worship, and I speak a 30 second message in tongues, and I don’t have an interpretation, and no one else does, then I should be silent. And that’s what’s explicit, because that’s what the Spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophets.
But Kay, listen I’m unfortunately out of time. When I was filled with the Spirit and began to speak in tongues, January 24th of 72, no one understood the language I was speaking, nor did I, and that continues to be the case as I worship God and pray in private, to bring edification into my own life and to the blessing of others. Thank you for the call, we are going to keep this conversation going another hour. My bottom line today, I want everything God’s word says that I should have to glorify Jesus and touch a dying world.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Alright, I’ve got a little question for you, a little puzzle for you, alright? This is Michael Brown the phone lines are open [phone number], we had a great hour, the first hour I asked people to call in if they have questions about the so called ‘New Apostolic Reformation’. Dr Peter Wagner went to be with the Lord just a few days ago, you could say he was the founder of that movement. Folks still wanted to call in and talk about Bill Johnson, and Bethel and Redding California, and not satisfied with my interview with Pastor Johnson. Hey phone lines are open once again.
And the goal is not to talk about doctrines so much, I’m not sure what the word says on this, as much as practices and things that of course will go back to doctrine. So the number to call with your question, feel free to differ with me, feel free to say, ‘hey Mike I think you’re wrong on this’, ‘Dr Brown I think you’re in error on this’. Fine, no problem, I welcome, I welcome your calls, alright?
But let’s go through a little sequence here, and I want you to tell me how you’re going to work this out. Someone gets up and they begin preaching, and they begin saying, ‘you know as I was studying the word the Lord began to show me that I was wrong about the resurrection of Jesus, and Jesus didn’t rise physically, actually that’s a wrong theory, He rose spiritually, but He didn’t bodily rise. And those who believe in the bodily resurrection they’re in error’. So how would you, what would you do, you’d immediately say, ‘well that’s heretical’. How would you know that? ‘Well that’s what my church always taught’, no you’ve got to do better than that. ‘Well I mean the Creeds’, no you’ve got to do better than that. ‘Well the Word’, the word plainly speaks of the bodily resurrection of Jesus.
Okay, great, perfect, I agree. So in other words we would sort that out, with scripture, and we would say, ‘this is what the Bible says, and it’s confirmed by the most fundamental earliest Creeds’. Okay, agreed. That’s how we sort it out right? Someone says, ‘man I was praying yesterday, I’ve had this back issue for months, Doctors want back surgery but it’s really iffy. I was praying and I said God I believe you’re the healer, I believe you’re the same yesterday, today and forever. You’ve healed in the past, Lord heal me.’ You say, ‘suddenly felt this heat all over my back, it was like ten heating pads, all on my back, and the next thing the pains left and I’m completely healed. I went back to the Doctors and the Doctors said it was a miracle.’
So how would you evaluate that? How would you evaluate that? Well you would say, ‘okay is there scripture that says that God could still heal today?’ Of course not just ‘could’ but that we should expect it. I would say that abundantly, clearly. And that’s how we would judge the experience that the Bible speaks of God being the healer, and that it produces the good fruit of healing in that person’s life, and it was an answer to prayer, if we ask God for bread, He won’t give us a stone, that’s what Jesus says in Matthew 7, Luke 11. Therefore, I have every reason to say, ‘that sounds like the Lord to me’.
If someone says, ‘that can’t be the Lord’, well why couldn’t it be the Lord? Why couldn’t it be the Lord? So we agree that ultimately we discern first and foremost based on scripture, and then what if scripture doesn’t directly address something? I was praying in my room and suddenly it was like a cloud filled the room, I don’t know what to expect, and suddenly the Fear of God fell on me, the Fear of God came upon me. And I began to repent deeply of sin in my life and I went to my family and I confessed to them that I love Jesus and my life is pure. Well how do you judge it? Well the Bible doesn’t say that a cloud couldn’t appear. You know in the Old Testament God appeared in a cloud, and because He brought the fear of the Lord, and repentance, and holiness, and a life devoted to Jesus and since it produced scriptural fruit, sounds like the Lord. Is that how we work things out? Is that how we would evaluate. [Phone number.] Going to your calls as soon as we come back.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Alright, welcome back to the Line of Fire. Okay, so screening calls, ahhh, okay, got it, got it, so Betsy you’re just taking over for Howard, I already complimented him earlier, now I get to compliment you. Alright we’re all clear, so if you call now Betsy will be screening your calls. [Phone number.]
I’m going to go to your phone calls in a moment. Thanks, some of you have been holding for almost an hour, I want to get to everybody I can. Oh I’m looking at an article blasting me, from 2014, January, ‘Dr Michael Brown says friends Mike Bickle and Lou Engle true men of God’, yep absolutely, true blue I know them well. I’ve spent many hours with them, I’ve spent a lot of time in prayer with them, seeking God together, crying out. True men of God, absolutely. Do I agree with everything they teach and preach? I don’t know everything they teach and preach, who has time to listen to hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours of everybody’s teaching and preaching? But all the time we spent together, the things we major on, the things we believed together, absolutely. Yeah, I get blasted for that.
Ahhh, I’m looking at a series of articles here, on shocking beliefs, shocking, shocking beliefs of Martin Luther. What? John Calvin, meh? C.S. Lewis, yes Lewis, what? What’s my point? Yeah Frank Viola put these out, not to deny these men were Christians, but to say it’s interesting. What’s interesting when these came out I think 2015, 2016 that Frank’s form was to say, we nail leaders to the wall today for things much more minor than some of what these leaders believe. Now does Frank believe we should be doctrine accurate? Yes. Is he a scriptural man? Oh yes absolutely.
He’s talking about our attitude and that’s just one thing I want to say, that if you dam Martin Luther to Hell because of the things he taught and believed about the Jews, things he said about the peasants, other stuff that’s completely outrageous. Stuff that literally lead to bloodshed, literally led to bloodshed, and directly connects to the Holocaust, alright? This is not hyperbole, this is simple facts. If you say, ‘he couldn’t have been a Christian, and that’s why I also condemn this leader, and this leader today’, okay you’re being consistent. But when you’re going to defend Martin Luther, whose transgressions massively, massively, massively outnumber the failings of some modern Charismatic leaders, and you’re going to dam the latter to Hell as false prophets, and heretics, and false teachers, and defend Martin Luther. I have an issue with that. That to me is unequal weights and measures and that’s something scripture is plainly against.
You say to me, ‘I dam the Charismatics’, I have an issue with Luther and I’m not damming him to Hell, I hope to see him in the world to come. But obviously, I want to find out what in the world happened man, the horrific damage that you (Luther) did, what in the world happened? The things you said, wrote, claimed, yikes! But having said all that, I have an issue with condemning a brother or sister to Hell based on a non-central doctrine or practice that I differ with. And that’s what I’m going to respond to.
And when I see websites that post falsehoods, I mean blatant falsehoods, or make ridiculous statements. I was on a TV show once, question whether I should be on the Christian TV show or not, you know debate it, but someone said, ‘yeah they really pushed his book and he’s going to sell tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of copies’, or whatever the number was. What? Are you serious? Like six weeks after the broadcast, that ministry asked if they could purchase 400 books from our ministry, and when we couldn’t sell them at a steep enough discount, we said, ‘hey just go to the publisher, it’s the best way to do it.’ So we didn’t make a dime from it, and if I ended up with a personal royalty, maybe it was like $200. When I see that kind of nonsense, and things that I know cause I’m an eye witness to it being blatantly false, and when some on top of it hide behind anonymity, I don’t have any respect for that.
And you had better believe I’m going to stand with a brother or sister who I know loves the Lord, but may have some error that needs to be corrected. I’m going to stand before them rather than a critic that’s posting blatantly falsehoods, and not repenting of them, and not asking for forgiveness, and not making things right. Just being clear [phone number].
(Caller five 59:50)
Let’s go to Jim in DC, thanks so much for holding sir, welcome to the Line of Fire.”
Caller 5- Jim: “Hello sir, good to talk to you. Um, I just have a question to get your opinion. I have a close family member who, she goes to a Charismatic church and she believes in signs and wonders. But she’s a oneness Pentecostal, she rejects the Trinity. I was just wondering, it kind of baffles me, I don’t understand, and either God doesn’t care about that or it’s demonic.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Or the flesh.”
Caller 5- Jim: “Yeah absolutely, yeah or in the flesh, absolutely. I just want to get your opinion on that.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Yeah, so oneness Pentecostal churches, they generally wouldn’t identify as Charismatic, they would strictly identify as Pentecostal in my experience. Sometimes there’s just a fine line between the two. But yeah, they are ones who preach that Jesus is the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, they say, ‘we are to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, not the names of’. And they say, ‘what is the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 ‘Be baptized in the name of Jesus, so that Jesus is the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.’ Than in Isaiah 9:6, one of the titles for the Son of God, born of this world, is Everlasting Father, therefore Jesus is the Father. And that they teach modalism, that is these are different manifestations of the one God. So that I am at one and the same time a son, a father, a grandfather, a husband, a radio host, an author, depends on which hat I’m wearing, so the same with the alleged Trinity. That’s what they believe and oneness Pentecostals normally believe, the extreme ones, if you’re not baptized by one of their Bishops, in the name of Jesus, you’re not even saved. That would be the extreme form. And if you don’t speak in tongues you’re not saved.”
Caller 5- Jim: “Yeah, that’s the one, the extreme one, that’s the one she goes to. I went to her church and it frightened me a little, and I was wondering what they’re being filled with.”
Dr Michael Brown: “So there are three options only, and I would be deeply concerned as well. Now let me say this, a large number of apologists and Christian say that this group is completely apostate, that they are not saved at all, that because the deny God’s triune nature they’re heretics, okay? And Dr James White makes an excellent point in terms of pressing of who they even believe Jesus is, and do they really have the Son. And it’s a point that he’s raised, I can’t articulate it off the top of my head the way he has, but he’s raised questions, do they really have the Son? Cause I’ve said, ‘1 John 2, if you have the Son, you have the Father also.’ So could it be that even in the mist of their extreme error that they have rightly believed in Jesus as Saviour and Lord, and God the Son? And therefore could be saved.
So I believe some could be saved, but there’s grave concern because its serious error and I understand why some say its apostasy and heresy, period. I fully understand that. I’ve just dealt with some over the years who seem to be genuine believers and are not in the full extreme side. So could it be if they have the Son, they have the Father also? But putting that aside, let’s think worst case scenario. Worst case scenario is they are not saved at all, right? Then it’s either demonic stuff happening, and anybody, look there’s counterfeit tongues, just like the counterfeit miracles in the Old Testament. For Satan to counterfeit tongues, or for human emotion to counterfeit tongues, that’s easily enough done, right? It’s not like they’re counterfeiting raising Jesus from the dead, or something, you know, or counterfeiting creation. Could there be counterfeit signs, wonders and miracles? It happens. Could a lot of stuff be fleshly? It happens.
So is it possible that there are sincere believers in the mist of this deceptive doctrine, genuinely receiving the Spirit, genuinely being saved? It’s possible, although some of my colleges would say, ‘it could never happen’. But let’s just say it may be possible that God is still working in the mist of this because of the exultation of Jesus, and not denying Him as Lord, or God, or not deny Him as the only Saviour, and not denying the power of His Blood, etc. Not denying the authority of Scripture. But obviously, treading on very dangerous ground, either outright heresy and they’re lost and dammed, or very close to it.
So it’s possible that the Holy Spirit is working in some of them, otherwise it’s the flesh, or demonic counterfeit. And one of the manifestations is the severe faulty doctrine and the judging of the rest of the body. Pray that the Holy Spirit really reveal things to her, because often these churches are very legalistic, and put a lot of pressure on people. Think of, ‘if you don’t speak in tongues you’re not save’, that’s going to put you under pressure to manufacture something, right?
Caller 5- Jim: “Absolutely, right.”
Dr Michael Brown: “So the same way, with a lot of standards set, some Christian leaders have pointed out that legalists are either self-righteous or self-condemned. Cause either you’re deceived about yourself and you think you’re the only one doing it, or you realize you’re falling short. Pray that God would expose that legalism and bring her to a point of spiritual bankruptcy, so that she really does turn to the truth of the Gospel.
Hey Jim thank you for calling, and Lord touch her. Touch her and touch other’s in that church and bring them into the center of your word and truth, in Jesus name.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Welcome back to the Line of Fire [phone number] my joy to be with you. Seeking to separate truth from error, seeking to understand how to discern what the Lord is doing, and isn’t doing. I want to give you some principals for that as well. I want to give you principals of discernment based on the writings of Johnathan Edwards, and based on my own reflection in the word, and revival, and experience as well.
First we go back to the phones, [phone number] Chris in Grand Forks, North Dakota, thanks so much for holding, welcome to the Line of Fire.”
(Caller six 1:06:30)
Caller 6- Chris Rosebrough: “Thanks for taking my call. I’ve got a question, I mean the topic today is, ‘what is the New Apostolic Reformation’, I still don’t think I’m getting a clear answer as to what that is. But having read C. Peter Wagner’s book on ‘Apostles Today’, it’s very clear that he believes that since the year 2001 that the Charismatic prophets had predicted and have confirmed that we have entered the second apostolic age, and that God has restored ‘apostles’ on the earth.
And there’s all kinds of different apostles, and apparently this is supposed to be so that the church can receive marching orders in order to fulfill its mandate. He likens them to the ‘generals’, who have been missing from the army of Christ since the death of the Apostles, he does this in his book.”
Dr Michael Brown: “And by the way, you just provided more clarity for our listeners in one minute, than I have in the first 80 minutes because I have been taking calls, and dealing with other issues. So thank you for, perfect, this is exactly what I want to talk about. Go ahead, continue please.”
Caller 6- Chris Rosebrough: “So my question is, I’m a Pastor of a small Lutheran Church in Oslo, Minnesota, and I’ve been told by Charismatics in my area that I need to submit myself, and submit my congregation under the umbrella, the ‘apostolic umbrella’ of a female apostle who is not too far from me. Is there any reason to believe that what they’re saying is actually what God would have me do?”
Dr Michael Brown: “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, just in case anyone’s unclear on where I stand. Alright Chris, let me interact briefly with what you described in the teaching of Peter Wagner. Okay, where I disagree, and where I agree. And then let’s get back to your specific situation, alright? This is one of the calls I was waiting for, wanting to be able to respond to, so perfect, thank you.
I have no question based on scripture definition that there were the twelve Apostles, and there are other’s called ‘apostles’. Remember it was not a spooky, unusual term, it’s an ‘emissary’, it’s a ‘sent one’. In Hebrew ‘Shaliach’ it’s just an emissary, a messenger, someone sent on a mission, okay? So the term has become, ‘the apostles’, and I know we’ve got the twelve Apostles and the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 22. But you know, I’m looking at Acts 14:14, the Apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their robes. There are others called Apostles in the New Testament outside of the twelve.
So are there Apostles today? Is that how I understand Ephesians 4, that God has appointed Apostles, Prophets, evangelists, teachers, the way I understand 1 Corinthians 12, yeah I believe that there are people who have that pioneering, foundation laying, divinely backed apostolic ministry today. One of my best examples is my friend in India, who is an untouchable Communist, alcoholic, atheist, violent man, and Jesus appeared to him and saved him, in his mid-twenties. And he’s been stoned for his faith, he has planted probably over 8 thousand churches in tribal areas. Just complexly revamp whole areas as far as the Gospel getting where it’s never gone. He is now pioneering works in several different nations, he’s the ultimate servant you’ll ever meet. The power of God is on his life, I look at him as a modern day ‘apostle’, he never uses the title, wouldn’t even think of it.
But all that to say, I believe someone like Hudson Taylor, or William Booth, I believe these were ‘apostolic’ men, they were pioneers, they were planting new things, they were foundation layers, and builders, they had a certain amount of divine authority. Even if they wouldn’t have seen themselves like that.
So some of it to me is semantics, okay. But if someone can recognize that their calling is not just traditional Pastor, not just traditional teacher, or traditional evangelist that they are supposed to plant new things and pioneer new things, and maybe reintroduce things in scripture that people have lost sight of. And maybe have a certain regional authority, like Timothy, we call him a Bishop but he was the leader over the congregations at Ephesus. I do believe God raises people up like that, and I think recognizing that, and understanding that is important. Would I put that on my name card, no.
And I’ve worked with others that used to be called ‘The Coalition of Apostles’, but they didn’t like the way that sounded, they’ve changed it to, ‘Coalition of Apostolic Leaders’, and I’m more at home with that terminology cause it’s easier to understand. Alright, so I agree with that. I disagree that there are all these people now, all over the place. You know, apostles in the workplace, apostles here, that everybody becomes and apostle. Chris, you know it’s been a standard in house Charismatic joke of ours for years, once you start your second church, you’re an apostle. You know we just change your name from ‘Pastor’ to ‘Apostle’, because you sent someone out to do a soup kitchen mission, so now you’re a real apostle.
The term gets so over used and so abused I had an issue with it for many, many years. And yet I recognize men that God’s raised up on National levels, and different countries. They’re doing extraordinary work and they have that kind of apostolic anointing, meaning they’re backed to go on this mission and to establish new things. And sometimes they’re speaking to Government leaders and sometimes they’re in the business world, they can be in all different settings, but they’re doing this extraordinary ministry work. All that I believe is helpful, can I pin point a time where some of this understanding happened? Peter Wagner says he could, I don’t know, I’ve never looked at it like that, I’m not one to see times and trends in that way, so if it happened I’m not aware of it, but I’m not discounting it.
What I am saying is wrong, is that people associate with being apostolic with accumulating churches and ministries under your domain or command. I call that ‘Apostle by Acquisition’, by naming everybody their brother ‘apostle’, by putting that now on your name card as part of your title. I don’t agree with doing that, and I think it’s unhelpful. Do I believe that there are truly apostolic people alive today, absolutely and I’ve the privilege and joy with working with them? Do I believe I’m an apostle? No, clarify that. Do I believe anybody telling you that you need to come under their authority is out of order? Yes.
You’re part of the Lutheran Church, you have denominational structure, that’s your accountability structure. If you met with a group of leaders together in your city, and there was someone recognized as a ‘city father’, that everyone, hey we honour you, wonderful let that be. But no one comes to you and tells you that you need to be submitted to this one or that one. That’s out of order, and that is a serious abuse in my view. So does that help you?”
Caller 6- Chris Rosebrough: “Yeah, that helps. “If I could ask a follow up question?”
Dr Michael Brown: “Tell you what, if you don’t mind, stay right there, we’re about to start a brand new, oh no, I’m sorry, I accidentally dropped Chris, I dropped my caller instead of putting him on hold.”
Caller 6- Chris Rosebrough: “I’m here.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Oh your there, your there, you know what, I dropped somebody else, uh oh, ewww, stay there I want you to ask your new question at the beginning of the next half hour.”
(Ad break and voice over intro)
Dr Michael Brown: “Thank you so much for joining us, on the Line of Fire [phone number]… Are there Apostles, Prophets today? Is that what just Mormons believe? Or some flaky Charismatics? Or is that clearly taught in the New Testament? What about the Holy Spirit moving today, is He doing a new thing, a different thing? Does He appear in clouds and glory, does He raise the dead and heal the sick today and give prophetic words? Is it scriptural, can we know whether it’s scriptural or not? Is there enough evidence in the Bible to address it as scriptural or not? How do we discern these things? That’s what I want to talk to today about on the broadcast [phone number].
Alright I see my confusion, I have two Chris’ on the air, Chris in Rockford, thank you for calling back, you were holding and I accidentally dropped your call, I’m glad you were able to get back in, thank you.
Alright, I want to reconnect with Chris in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and everybody just joining me, all of our great friends in the DFW area, we are starting a brand new half hour. Please give me a call if you have questions, concerns, issues with the so called New Apostolic Reformation. What is it? Is it of God or man or the devil? Please give me a call, I would love to hear from you [phone number].
So Chris in North Dakota, your question please.”
Caller 6- Chris Rosebrough: “Sure, my follow up question for you, I actually thought it was kind of funny that you had said that Todd Bentley’s service was a coronation service, but as you were aware C Peter Wagner was the one presiding over Todd Bentley’s coronation service and -” [cut off by Dr Brown]
Dr Michael Brown: “Hang on, just for those just tuning in, we are referring to a service a few years ago in Lakeland, Florida, during what was called the ‘Lakeland outpouring’, where a number of well known, respected Charismatic leaders from America and Canada were there to lay hands on Todd.
I don’t know that every one of them was there for the same reason. One of them specifically told me he was shocked with what happened that night, but under the leadership of C Peter Wagner, they laid hands on Todd Bentley and basically, well again the way my wife and I dubbed it a ‘coronation’ service. It was terribly embarrassing for me to watch some of my friends up there participating in it.
Not long after that, the whole thing collapsed and Todd was found to be in sin, subsequently divorced his wife and married someone else. And yeah, C Peter Wagner was the leader in that and I was embarrassed for him. He’s with the Lord now but I felt that what was being done was completely off base. I mean a ring being put on the finger. I was ashamed as a Charismatic Pentecostal, I was ashamed.”
Chris Rosebrough: “Okay, and so you’re familiar with the service, you’ve seen it, that Bill Johnson and Ché Ahn were both there and C Peter Wagner introduced both of them as kind of the notable ‘Apostles’ present for Todd Bentley’s coronation. And my question is, given C Peter Wagner’s theology that is so clearly taught in his books, in what sense did he believe that Bill Johnson and Ché Ahn were Apostles? And should I believe that they truly have an ‘apostolic anointing’ based upon their participation, and the false prophecies that they gave regarding Todd Bentley?”
Dr Michael Brown: “Yep, alright, thank you, excellent question. Let me say one thing first, then I’m going to answer the rest on the other side of the break.
I one hundred per cent understand why people who watched that service – and that’s what you know of Bill Johnson, Ché Ahn and Peter Wagner – I fully understand why you think Charismatics are flaky. I fully understand why you say, ‘these men could not be true Apostles or Prophets’, I fully understand that and I am absolutely sympathetic to your concerns.”
[Ad break and station plug asking for money]
Dr Michael Brown: “So just to finish up the question Chris, why would Peter Wagner think that Bill Johnson and Ché Ahn were quote ‘Apostles’? Again, define the way we’re defining them. We’re not talking about the twelve Apostles. We’re not talking about someone having authority to write scripture, we’re not talking about any such thing.
They’re servant leaders just like Pastors and Evangelists are the same way. But I would say, it’s fairly obvious that both of them have birthed and helped oversee worldwide movements. In other words, that being apostolic would be spiritual fathers who are reproducing, that would be one characteristic of apostolicity as we would say, which is reproducing leaders, ministers, raising up, sending out and not just leading one specific work, but something that becomes a movement as well. I think that would qualify in Peter Wagner’s views, and Ché Ahn has certainly done that, not just as a church planter but overseeing a network of hundreds of churches worldwide.
And what’s happened in Bethel is now multiplied – whether you like it or not – has multiplied in hundreds and thousands of churches, bible schools, ministries around the world as well. So in that sense, they are having a multi-church, multi-regional, multi-national impact with their ministry and I think that would be part of what he would categorize as Apostles.”
Caller 6- Chris Rosebrough: “Okay. Just based on his theology and his book, I just wonder if that’s the way in which he meant it?”
Dr Michael Brown: “I’m not sure how else he would have. Again, I’ve not read a lot of Peter Wagner over the years. He writes a lot and I haven’t read a lot. I’ve been in meetings with him. We knew each other. I think we spoke on the phone one time, one or two times. And otherwise we were, we served on a board with Lou Engle for ‘The Call’ events. And the thing that struck me when I was with him was his high level of integrity. I remember, now here figure this out Chris, okay, he’s will the Lord now so I just want to be as transparent as I can, we were at a meeting and we had about 30,000 people in the stadium, in California. And afterwards we were evaluating things in future meetings, and someone said, ‘yeah there were some prophetic words that the stadium would be packed’, and Peter Wagner said, ‘who said it, we need to hold them accountable immediately’.
He was all over accountability, and all over integrity, and all over ministerial accountability, and holiness of life, and the authority of scripture, and all of that. And yet there were aspects of his theology that I felt lead to abuses, you know, in terms of everybody and their uncle becoming an apostle. And then the misuse of that, that okay I’m going to appoint you Chris as the apostle over Grand Forks and now everybody has to listen to you.”
Caller 6- Chris Rosebrough: “I decline! I decline!”
Dr Michael Brown: “Yeah! Yeah! Okay! Good! So good you decline and I can’t do it anyway. But beyond that, I can’t say. In my definition of apostolic leaders today, would someone like Che be an apostolic leader? Sure. Now is that, that would fit, you know multiplying church planter, father of other leaders, worldwide impact etc.
Does that make it all the grievous to me that he said what he said over Todd Bentley? Yes. Absolutely. And Che and I don’t see each other a lot. But we were good friends and worked together fairly closely in the past. And I know he’s all for accountability as well. I just never talked to him about the whole thing with Todd. And you know, so much water under the bridge, and so many other things happening in life and in ministry, it’s just something I haven’t done. But certainly, if we had been working together, I would immediately call him and say, ‘hey buddy what in the worlds going on? I saw what happened last night? That’s crazy.’ Even before stuff was revealed about Todd.
Hey Chris, thanks for the dialogue, and the phone calls. And be faithful to where the Lord’s called you. And just smile at the others that are telling you that you need to submit to this woman, and go on doing the work of the Lord.
[Seventh caller 1:24:35]
Dr Michael Brown: “Alright, [phone number] Chris in Missouri, I’m so glad you got back through, I apologize for accidentally cutting you off.”
Caller 7- Chris: “That’s not a problem, you’re not the first one to hang up on me. So no big deal. So here’s my question.
I saw you on Twitter, you were asking about the ‘glory cloud’ (which I didn’t get to hear the whole show so I can’t imagine that somebody can actually make an argument from scripture against that). But my question would be about some of the other stuff. The ‘angel feathers’, people’s teeth turning gold, like fillings and jewels appearing, and people finding manna in their Bible, and all of that kind of, that same line of thought there. I’d just like your opinion on it, and maybe hear what you have to say about it.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Yeah, a lot of it seems really strange to me, and some of it here and there has been exposed. I mean I know a church in Tulsa, some years ago where there were feathers falling through the air, and it was a complete sham. It was as sham as shams can be. The lady was up there ministering, (I think it was the lady), she may have been the one with the props. But literally while she got people closing their eyes and praying, that one of the guys would like go upstairs and start throwing feathers. Yeah, so I mean there’s crazy stuff like that that’s happened.
I also know of people. Godly, saintly, holy living, Word orientated, Word grounded people. Solid saints, if you knew them, you’d say, ‘wow, that’s a man of God, that’s a woman of God’. And while they have been praying, they have suddenly felt the presence of God in the room, and looked at their hands and their hands were covered in oil.
I know other people. I was in a meeting in Mexico. I can’t tell you whether it was God or somebody behind the scenes was doing something. But there was this woman who had this gold dust manifestation. And as she’s speaking, it’s just kind of pouring out from like behind her head. You think, “Is this some kind of prop, or something?”
I’m watching like, “What’s going on?” You say we should be able to discern. What she was preaching was true. What she was preaching was fine. And the church is a evangelistic, holiness, Word based church that I had preached in, a mega church in Mexico, several times. It was weird to me, okay? I’m asking, ‘Lord, what’s going on? I don’t want to reject something that’s You, but this seems weird to me, what’s the purpose?’ I’m going through, I can be as skeptical as anybody.
I then went in a back room where you could sit and have some water and refreshments, and the whole room was basically, all the carpet, all the walls almost covered with this gold stuff. She had gone in there and prayed for their staff during a break, laid hands on them and they said the gold was just flying everywhere. All I know is they had left the room like that, in other words they didn’t know I was coming in afterwards, this was no show for the public.
And the woman said that she doesn’t look for this, she finds it personally a little embarrassing, you know. She wants her ministry to center on Scripture etc, etc.
So I’m not saying it can’t happen. I myself one time saw a cloud fill a room where I was teaching in New York City. Just about, I think 120 Koreans, I was teaching them Hebrew Bible and Old Testament. And I thought it was a faulty line in the heating system, and it was like a steam heating system and the room filled with steam during the winter. But there was no such thing. It wasn’t the heating system. I was the only one who saw it. And when it finally dissipated, I asked everybody about it. They looked at me like I was crazy. And when I prayed about it, the Lord said to me, ‘That’s just a sign of My presence this semester’. And we had an outpouring. Great repentance and people saved that came in during chapel and stuff.
So I’m not one to say these things can’t happen, I see nothing in scripture that’s says they can’t happen. But here’s what we have to do: number one, if we major on them we are in instant error. If we look for them, we are in instant error. And if we use them as some kind of doctrinal conformation, we are in instant error. I hope that’s categorically clear enough for everyone.
If however, while we are preaching and teaching sound scriptural truth, okay, while we are preaching and teaching sound scriptural truth, and there’s a sense of the Holy Spirit coming and there are these unusual manifestations, that either produce faith, or fear of the Lord, or healing and miracles, and Jesus is glorified through it, again we don’t look to them for doctrinal conformation, we don’t look for them period, we don’t put out trust in those things, they are peripheral at best.
But if God does something again as His Word is being declared, or while we are worshiping him in a scriptural way, we’re not just singing, you know, ‘hare, hare Krishna’ or something like that. And there’s a sense of God’s presence that brings fruit, either the fear of God, or the joy of the Lord, or healing, or salvation, and its good fruit that remains, then I would say it seems like the Holy Spirit. That’s how I would evaluate it.”
Caller 7- Chris: “Okay. Well that makes sense. I mean would you through things like these guys claiming supernatural weight loss and money appearing in their wallet in that same boat?”
Dr Michael Brown: “Okay, I don’t want to say that it can’t happen, but I am massively skeptical about it. Like the Supernatural weight loss, as opposed to being disciplined, in fact I’ve got a story I’ll tell you on the way back, stay right there.”
Dr Michael Brown: “Welcome, welcome to the Line of Fire, thank you so much for calling [phone number] Okay, so Chris in Missouri, let me just finish this off. There’s a story that was told, I can’t verify it, Gordon Lindsey who was a great Christian leader, went to be with the Lord early 70’s. He was the founder of ‘Christ for The Nations’ in Dallas with branches around the world. And the story is told that a severely obese woman came to him the day before her wedding and said, ‘brother Lindsey, would you please pray for me that I would lose 200 lbs by my wedding tomorrow’. And according to the story, Gordon Lindsey replied, ‘I’m sorry but this kind only comes out by prayer and fasting’.” [Laughing]
So if somebody had some metabolic disorder, and gained a tone of weight, and God healed the disorder, and removed the weight, could he do that? Well just like He healed a crippled limb or do things like that, why not? But I’ve never seen the actual testimonies of it on TV, but just put me in the list of skeptics. And let me say this, this is one who is very open to the Holy Spirit and His moving, I just have a major question when I hear something like that.
And let me say one other thing. When it comes to the gold teeth issue, you know I’ve had a question about that for years. Like let’s say you’re bald and you’re praying for hair, will God give you a taupe? Or will He give you hair? If you have a heart condition, will God put a pacemaker in your body? Or will He heal the heart? So we used to always wonder about that, cause we started hearing about this in the early 70s, that this guy’s going to pray for you and you’re going to get gold teeth, and silver teeth, and then it was like, why not just give you a healthy tooth? Or you’re going to get gold fillings, it was like why get a filling?
So I’ve fundamentally questioned that for years, unless for some reason it’s a sign that God does. Now I’ve got rock solid friends, who would die for Jesus, who are scripturally sound as anybody you’ll ever meet, and they say, ‘Mike what can I tell you, I witnessed it’, or ‘we had eye witnesses in our church’, or ‘we had actual dentist’s check this stuff out and say it was actual gold, actual silver’, they can’t explain it either. So I just put that in, let God be God. But I will absolutely not major on that, put the emphasis on that, make that the big proof of anything. I’m going to preach Jesus, lift Him up, preach the Word and if the Holy Spirit moves to the glory of God, and to the edification of His body, and the salvation of the world, then let God be God.
The error is, if God does do some of these things, when we major on them, we’re in error. Look I was watching a meeting of two dear friends of mine, Charismatic leaders, dear friends, I vouch for them. And they were talking about the presence of the Holy Spirit, and in this closed church building where they were, suddenly as they were talking this feather just comes waffling down. I mean there was no body above them, there was no body to drop it. But it just comes, and they just smiled and laughed and went on with the meeting. You know, where’re like was that a sign of the Holy Spirit’s presence? It certainly wasn’t just somebody doing it, I don’t think the Devil was doing it, but whatever they smiled and went on. And I think if that’s our attitude, we’re a lot safer, if we’re not going to take the thing and sell duplicates of it, now you know where the things coming from.”
Caller 7- Chris: “I appreciate that.” [Laughing]
Dr Michael Brown: “Thank you God bless you man.
So let me just end here with Johnathan Edwards. Johnathan Edwards principles for discerning whether something is truly revival movement or not. Okay? It’s in my book, ‘Time for Holy Fire’, Chapter 15, ‘The proof of the revival is in the living’. And I go through Johnathan Edwards’s nine non-signs. His nine non-signs saying, ‘You can’t conclude. You can’t say this must be the Spirit, or can’t be the Spirit based on these things’.
And I’ll read the short version, number one, ‘Noting can be certainly concluded from this, that a work is carried on in a very unusual and extraordinary way, provided that the variety or difference be such as may still be comprehended within the limits of Scripture rules.’ So we’re saying just because something is different, doesn’t mean it’s not God, as long as it can be held within Scripture rules. And his, ‘we ought not limit God, where He has not limited Himself.’
Number Two, ‘A work is not to be judged by any effects on the bodies of men. Such as tears, trembling, groans, loud outcries, agonies, bodily, or the failing of bodily strength’. In other words, this happens and it’s like wow that must be the Lord, this person’s collapsing, or fainting, or crying out, or shaking. No not necessarily, well it can’t be the Lord, no, you just don’t know. A work is not to be judged based on that.
Number three, ‘It’s no argument that an operation on the minds of the people is not the work of the Spirit of God, that it occasions a great deal of noise about religion.’ Arhhh a bunch of fanatics, no it’s doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit not’s working because people are saying this.
Number four, ‘It’s no argument that an operation on the minds of a people is not the work of the Spirit of God that many who are the subjects of it, have great impressions made on their imaginations.’ ‘Man I saw it, my eyes just opened, my hearts burning’, well it doesn’t mean it’s not God because these unusual things happen.
Number five, ‘It’s no sign that a work is not from the Spirit of God, that example is a great means of it.’ In other words, you see something happening and the same thing happens elsewhere, it doesn’t mean the Spirit’s not working.
Number six, ‘It’s no sign that a work is not from the Spirit of God, that many who seem to be the subjects of it are guilty of great impudence’s and irregularities in their conduct.’ During times of awakening revival, some people get weird, this doesn’t mean the whole thing’s wrong. This John Edwards, highly respected.
Number seven, ‘If some who are thought to be wrought upon follow onto gross errors and scandalous practices. It’s no argument that the work in general is not the work of the Spirit of God.’ Yeah that one’s a heresy, that one’s totally off, yeah. But it doesn’t mean that the work as a whole is not from God, judged by the whole, not by the part. And ahhh, hang on, hang on.
[Leaves number 8 out]
Number nine, it’s no argument that a work is not from the Spirit of God, that it seems to be promoted by ministers insisting very much on the terrors of God’, holy law, and that with a great deal of pathos and earnestness.’ He’s saying, that in those days they preached the law so heavily you think wow could that be God? I mean look at the emotional response that today it’s the exact opposite. But those are his points.
Then he gives five points, let me summarize them in four, just cause of shortness of time.
Number one, is the Jesus of Scripture exulted as a result of this movement? As you watch the people touched over a period of time in their lives, is the Jesus of the Scripture’s being exalted, not just some counterfeit Christ, but the Jesus of the Scriptures? Is He being exalted in their lives? That’s number one, and is He the one being exalted in the preaching?
Number two, are people brought into conformity with the Word of God? Do they now love the Word of God and submit to the authority of the Word of God?
Number three, is the movement producing repentance from sin and towards holiness?
Number four, is it resulting in a burden for the lost?
If these four things are the fruit of a movement, or message, or Church, or meeting, if these four things, the exaltation of the Jesus of the Scriptures, submission to and love for the Word of God, repentance of sin and towards holiness, and a burden for the lost. If these four things are the result of a meeting, a movement, a message, then it’s from the Lord. Because Satan won’t do it, and the flesh can’t do it.
[Ad for new book]
My bottom line today, I want everything God says we should have, and nothing beyond it.”
Email all comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org