Spotting NAR Deception: Apostolic Allusion.

Outside of the Western World, New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) Apostles are very vocal about their NAR apostolic titles, spirituality and authority. However, most NAR Apostles will examine a culture to see if their titles are appreciated or frowned upon and then determine if their titles are worth using or should remain  hidden.

Some individuals just don’t care what their culture think and are more open about their NARpostolic titles and offices (C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, Joseph Mattheus, Che Ahn, Benny Hinn, etc) – but many NAR Apostles shy away, deny or hide their apostolic offices. NAR Apostle Jonathan Jim Welton explains,

In the white middle-class American churches, we are afraid of the title of “Apostle.” I say this specifically because I have traveled far and wide; and when I leave America, people are not as afraid of this term, and I have been to over a dozen African American churches here in the states which are completely uninhibited by the use of “Apostle.” Our white middle-class suburban churches have made a mistake by disregarding the term “apostle” …

[…] I don’t like titles in general, and I would encourage you not to use titles when it isn’t needed. When it is needful is when it helps bring clarity.

All that to say, please don’t call me Apostle Welton. It’s weird, people aren’t used to it and it’s not typically helpful.

[Source] (Emphasis added.)

Classic examples of NAR Apostles who lie about, or downplay, their apostolic titles are Bill Johnson, Brian Houston, Heidi Baker, Mike Bickle and Michael Brown. Nevertheless, they expect to be seen and treated as an NAR apostle by who they associate with, what they do, what they teach, how they present themselves and by what they claim to receive and what they impart.

In other words, although they are apostles but do not explicitly claim to be apostles, they constantly allude to their listeners that they are.

There is no specific name for the game these people play but once you see their tactics – you cannot unsee it.

We call it Apostolic Allusion.

There are many NAR apostles using an ‘Apostolic Allusion’ to reinforce in the minds of many that they are apostles –  without actually using the title. This tactic is signalling to others in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) that they want to be regarded by apostles as apostles themselves.


RECOGNIZING THE APOSTOLIC ALLUSION.

Apostolic Allusion is a form of brainwashing and virtue signalling where they use a range of techniques to bolster the idea in people’s minds that they are modern-day apostles. So it is important to note these techniques they use to impress the idea of their apostleship on others:

  1. Adjectives,
  2. Ascriptions,
  3. Attributions,
  4. Associations,
  5. Authority,
  6. Avant-garde
  7. Air/ aura/ atmosphere
  8. Anti-intellectualism
  9. Authenticity and
  10. Anointing

In this lengthy article, we go through the ten most popular ‘Apostolic Allusions’.


ADJECTIVES.

NAR Apostles are very effective teachers because of their skill with words, acronyms, etc., to communicate their message. This means we need to examine certain adjectives they use to bolster their ‘apostolic’ credibility and ministry.

A classic example of this ‘apostolic allusion’ use of adjectives is C. Peter Wagner’s organisation known as the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA).

When online secular media started writing about the dangers of the New Apostolic Reformation, highlighting their power-hungry and bizarre agendas, NAR Apostles were seen in a very unattractive light. The film Jesus Camp did not help their image either. What forced the NAR to downplay their apostolic authoritarianism was the media exposure of Rick Perry in 2012 and the conspiratorial aspect this dominionist movement was pushing on US political leaders. It’s no coincidence that under John Paul Kelly’s apostolic leadership that he changed the name of ICA to ICAL (International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders) in 2013.

Another example is Mike Bickle. Throughout the 1980s, Bickle allowed false prophet Bob Jones to paint the idea he was an apostle by having Jones call his preaching ‘apostolic preaching’. Bickle recalls that Bob Jones prophesied that “the Lord is going to send 5,000 young people who have a vision to understand this apostolic preaching and who understand the power of intercession.” [Source]

Watch out when you start hearing the adjective ‘apostolic’ dropped around. And not just the word apostolic. Words like ‘fathering’, ‘spiritual fathering’, ‘pioneering’, etc are also used as adjectives to bolster someone’s NAR Apostleship. (Eg. “They have a fathering ministry.” “They have a pioneering spirit.” “They have a Joshua anointing.”)


ATTRIBUTIONS.

Many NAR apostles use a form of osmosis, taking the idea of the apostles in the New Testament and gradually convincing their hearers to regard them as of being as the same status or of even greater status than Jesus’ original apostles. They do this by attributing the New Testament apostle’s characteristics, miracles, callings, experiences and ministries to themselves.

Spiritually Fathering and Mothering

For instance, they will take the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:15 where he said, “I became your father through the gospel” and impress that they themselves are spiritual fathers to their followers. This concept was popularised in the Shepherding Discipleship Movement (SDM) in the 1970s – one that helped bolster the concept of apostolic governance. This doctrine originated in the New Order of the Latter Rain (NOLR) movement. Instead of being scrutinized with the scripture, it became more extreme under the apostolic ministry of Jim Jones, who’s doctrines ended up murdering a lot of people involved in his movement.

NAR ministries like Hillsong, Harvest International Ministries and Bethel to this day will call some of their own leaders mama or papa to give the idea they are like the spiritual fathers of the New Testament.

Spiritually Empowering, Equipping, Maturing and Uniting

Another passage they go to is Ephesians 4 where they claim the role of restored apostle and prophet in the church today is to empower, equip and mature the body of Christ. NAR apostles will claim they value diversity but use Ephesians 4 (and other verses) to bring unity to the body of Christ (at the expense of truth and Christian doctrine). This is primarily because, according to them, Ephesians 4:13 is restoring the “unity of the faith.”

Thus they will use language regarding their ministry and calling to empower, equip, mature and unite the body of Christ.

Pioneering, raising and revolutionizing 

NAR Apostles in the past have claimed that the New Testament Apostles were  accomplishing ‘new things’ of God, raising up the church and revolutionizing the Roman empire. Thus the depict New Testament apostles as trailblazers, historymakers pioneers and revolutionaries.

Although this seemed to be a major idea that was introduced to the concepts of Christianity in the hippy movement, this teaching is not as common as it is today. However, words like ‘pioneer’, ‘radical’ or ‘revolutionary’ that the NARattributed to New Testament apostles are now attributed to modern-day apostles. Because the culture infected the modern-day apostles in the hippy movement, there was much emphasis by NARpostles on the next generation being ‘raised up’. The idea of apostles being pioneers and revolutionaries means they have laid a foundation for the next generation to be ‘raised up’. So be mindful of unusual terminology or phrases such as:

  • Baton/ passing the baton
  • Torch/ passing the torch
  • Trailblazing, trailblazers, firestarters, revivalists
  • “My Generations Ceiling Is The Next Generations Floor”
  • “God is raising a ______ generation!”

These phrases are important (because they will often parallel the words of the Apostle Paul with young Timothy being the ‘next generation’) and have an unhealthy focus on youth and generations to come stepping into divine callings such as the end-times Joel’s Army, the divine One New Man, the divine New Breed, apostles or the final earthly generation before Christ returns. By using playing with these ideas in this type of terminology, they are conveying the idea they are no different to New Testament apostles, if not greater.

Seeing Jesus and Heaven

There are specific criteria for being an apostle in the bible. One, is that an apostle is someone who has seen Jesus (Acts 2:21-22) or has had heavenly experience (Acts 2 Corinthians 12; Revelations). Apostles such as T.L Osborne and Roberts Liardon have claimed to see Jesus and have relied on these divine encounters to validate their ministries. Benny Hinn and many others have claimed similar experiences to give the impression they operate from an apostolic authority or calling. After Todd Bentley was commissioned he was an apostle, he claimed he met Jesus face to face.

However, to make their stories more convincing, these encounters either happen at conversion, at a death experience or when a significant change or event happens in their ministry. Through these experiences they will often claim they were challenged by what God said or were troubled by what God has called them to do, thus alluding to their apostolic calling.

NOTE: The bible explicitly states that women cannot teach or lead men in the church. So it comes as no surprise that many women who claim to be ‘apostles’ or allude to being apostles often attribute the criteria of Joseph and Matthias in Acts 2:21-22 to themselves because they saw Jesus and Jesus commissioned/sent them through an experience. Patricia King, Wendy Alec, Amanda Wells and Katherine Ruonala who are NAR Apostles, have done exactly this. But it’s worth noting that NAR Apostle Bobbie Houston of Hillsong has also done this to bolster her apostolic office. 

Rags to Riches

The NAR will make the claim that Jesus’ Apostles were ‘nobodies’ who became ‘somebodies’ in the ancient world i.e. ‘history makers’. You will often read or hear from NAR Apostles the rags-to-riches story of their being a nobody (Galilean) becoming a somebody (before kings and rulers of nations); a gang leader or drug lord (Saul) to an revolutionary-like Christian leader (Paul). Steven Furtick, Brian Houston, Phil Pringle, David Yonggi Cho, Michael Brown, John Avanzini and many other apostles use this rags-to-riches narrative to captivate their audiences, feeding the allusion that they apostles. Who hasn’t heard stories like this?

“This church was birthed by our leader who started with seven people in a home group in 1977…

Our leader had no idea that God was going to impact the city the way he has…”

They say that God called them, they responded and God has blessed them because of their obedience – therefore you need to pay attention to God’s apostles so you too can walk like these men and women and be blessed like them.

This is a classic trap set by those who build a movement around their cult of personality and false narrative, rather than the Word of God. These types of NAR apostles are generally the most dangerous and most likely suffering from social disorders such as narcissism, sociopathy or psychopathy.

These rags to riches stories are often used to manipulate people to give to their apostolic ‘missions’ to ‘evangelize’ the world. Instead the money goes to furthering the livelihoods of these apostles in order to give the allusion God is blessing them because of their obedience to submitting to his calling.

While Jesus’ apostles left a foundation and legacy for the true church and called the church to imitate them the way they imitated Christ and Christ’s sufferings, these modern-day apostles fail to offer a proper narrative of the actual apostles and live in contrast to the biblical apostles. However, there is one narrative they throw at their audience to suggest they are true apostles.

Suffering for the ‘gospel sake’

When NAR Apostle Kong Hee was scrutinized by the media and the world for his alleged mishandling of church funds to finance his wife’s Hollywood music career, NAR Apostles such as Phil Pringle and A.R Bernard all painted Kong Hee as a man persecuted for the sake of the gospel. This made other NAR Apostles rally around this poor, suffering apostle such as Jeffrey Rachmat from Jakarta Praise Community Church (Jakarta, Indonesia), Mark Conner from City Life Church (Melbourne, Australia), Paul Scanlon from LIFE Church (Bradford, UK), Casey Treat from Christian Faith Center (Seattle, USA), John Bevere from Messenger International (USA), David Yonggi Cho from Yoido Full Gospel Church (Seoul, South Korea) and Brian Houston of Hillsong Church. In similar fashion, NAR Apostles portrayed David Yonggi Cho as a victim when he was caught mishandling church funds.

On the topic of Brian Houston, when he covered up the crimes of his father, he played the notion that he was being unfairly persecuted by the media, the nation and even the Royal Commission. However, this false narrative is used to make their followers dare not think that their leaders are being held accountable for their illegal, immoral or unethical behaviour. What is missing from this narrative is the gospel.

They are not persecuted for their beliefs and preaching of the gospel – they are being thrown in court and being targeted as criminals and felons for breaking the law or destroying lives. What is more concerning is that their followers still attribute the title of apostle on the guilty, convicted, perverted or sociopathic.

The Hillsong founder and pedophile Frank Houston and Frank’s NARpostolic son (Brian Houston) are the most obvious ones. Even though Brian Houston tried to silence his father’s critics, disregard his father’s victims and the victim’s supports, he has used the suffering narrative with much success to bolster his authority.

Kong Hee, David Yonggi Cho and Sunday Adelaja are still regarded as Apostles in spite of their criminal convictions. Phil Pringle is also regarded an Apostle by his followers in spite of countless financial scandals, dodgy business practices, false prophecies and covering up the leadership in his church for mishandling a shocking pedophile scandal.

No matter how lawless they are, they play the idea they are suffering like the apostles for the ‘gospel sake’ when they are caught in some of the most blasphemous and criminal activities that not even the world looks upon with favour. When you see NARpostles or leaders alluding to this attribute – run. They are sending a loud message they are offering lip service and providing no accountability to governing or higher authorities.

Hearing What the Spirit is Saying to the Churches & Bringing Order

Relying on Apostle John’s experience in Revelation chapters 1 & 2 and Paul’s writings on church governance, NAR apostles allude they are functioning as apostles by bringing order to the church or hearing what the Spirit is saying through prophets and then implementing divine strategies. The NAR’s Elijah List or Charisma News are very good examples where their Apostles (and Prophets) write in to express to the church what God expects the church to do in order to keep the church in unity or order.

81cwcportrait_jennifer_leclaire

This written form is deceptive as they are representing themselves as spiritually insightful modern-day apostles bringing order to the church (in a similar function the New Testament apostles wrote to the early church to bring order). In fact, this is how we believe Jennifer LeClaire upgraded from NAR Prophet to NARpostle. Much of her work on Charisma (as the work of Michael Brown) was and is, all about instructing the church and bringing order to empower and equip their readership.

So it is important to be mindful of this technique.

Apostles of Death

The most cult-like attribution of NAR apostleship is their infallibility. While they claim they are not infallible like the apostolic authors of the New Testament, they condemn (and even demonize) discerning Christians for questioning them. For example, NAR Apostles like Michael Brown, Phil Pringle, Frank Houston and Benny Hinn respond to these discerning Christians as though they are Apostle Peter before Ananias and Sapphira.

While Jesus’ apostles encouraged people to hold their teachings to the light of scripture and be as noble as the Bereans, NAR Apostles like Phil Pringle make the claim that some who questioned them were struck dead. Apostle Frank Houston threatened Pentecostal minister Philip Powell with death when Powell started investigating the claims of Houston’s paedophilia (these claims later proven true). Benny Hinn threatened his critics with death, claiming that if he had a “Holy Ghost machine gun” he would blow his critics heads off.

This aura/threat of death is used to stop people questioning them. However, it is a far cry from the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira who lied to not just the Holy Spirit but to the Apostles and the young church through financial deception to gain praise in the eyes of men.

Apostles of Spiritual Death

A good example of an Apostle of Spiritual Death is Michael Brown. He asserts that believers should not call people (often his friends) false apostles or prophets at all. He gives the impression that those who do this are playing God because he seems to think they have the authority to read a person’s heart.

Even though Christians are simply comparing the apostolic teachings and prophecies of his friends to the bible, Brown will assert his ‘apostolic infallibility’ in a similar manner by claiming (without scripture or evidence), he knows the hearts of his critics and will assert they are more in danger of the fires of hell then the actually proven false apostles and prophets he defends and endorses. Many Apostles of Spiritual Death and their followers do not see that they are playing God by damning the Bereans to hell on the basis that they claim to know the hearts of the Bereans and the hearts of those they have association with.

So while he doesn’t physically threaten them with death, NAR Apostles like Brown (who does not research the immoral or criminal behaviour of some of his NAR apostles) will threaten believers with ‘spiritual death’ for questioning him and his apostolic associates. This apostolic allusion is evident in the culture these Apostles of Spiritual Death create – their followers have the same ability to read the hearts of critics and the hearts of those they defend, rejecting the biblical method in testing to see if someone is a ‘good or bad tree’ (Matthew 7:18-20).

In many ways, this ‘apostolic attribute’ is more spiritually dangerous than threatening people with physical death.


ASCRIPTION

As the Apostolic leader of the NAR, C. Peter Wagner states:

“In my judgment, views of leadership and leadership authority constitute the most radical of the nine changes from traditional Christianity.  Here is the main difference: The amount of spiritual authority delegated by the Holy Spirit to individuals.” [Source]

And this is not hard for NAR Apostles to do. They can make it up.

02CWCPortrait_Peter Wagner

Once various apostolic attributions are placed on individuals, they are often seen rallying people to ascribe to their causes. This is because they see themselves as the called ones. Hillsong is a classic example of this. The founder Frank Houston paraded himself as a man who was radically transformed who (supposedly) led thousands of people to Jesus. Who cares if he disqualified himself from ministry as a serial pedophile, his efforts have brainwashed millions of Christians into thinking that only God was able to use him apostolically to change the world.

Brian Houston is no different, his Vision Sundays being proof of this. What emerges at these events is a form of propaganda where God supposedly called out Apostles Brian and Bobbie Houston from New Zealand from their humble beginnings. In his books, Brian parades himself as a very dumb student that teachers gave up on. (Now look at him! Because he and his father dared to dream, they have stepped into their calling as apostles – now look how successful they are!) This is all used to give the impression God gave them an apostolic vision to share where He was taking his church to where God now wants to take his church through Apostle Brian Houston. Who cares if one is a paedophile and the other lied to Hillsong to cover up his father’s wicked sin.

Because these modern-day apostles ascribe the infallible apostolic office upon themselves and rally people for their cause, many people blindly defend their deceptive behaviour because they cannot separate the deception from their divine offices. They do so because they are afraid of the consequences if they don’t. Todd Bentley and Patricia King are others who attribute the apostolic to themselves through the heavenly tourism experiences and then rally people to believe in their supernatural causes and crusades.

Lou Engle and Michael Brown are other NAR Apostles who attribute themselves as spiritual fathers and God’s Generals, the raising of Joel’s army, taking over the city and nations for God, ascribing people to their causes and abhorrent unbiblical practices. This NAR concept originated earlier with Apostles Mike Bickle and Rick Joyner.


ASSOCIATIONS

There are three forms behind this Apostolic Allusion – one is visual, one is relational and the final is verbal.

The Visual Apostolic Association

We will expand more on this in ‘Advertising’. However, it’s worth noting that modern Apostles rely on visual gimmicks to fool the gullible with handkerchiefs, flasks of oil, their shadows, fog machines or glitter (glory clouds), angel feathers, leg growing tricks, ‘slaying people in the spirit’, ‘healing’, prophetic ‘readings’ and so on. These stunts are all used to give the impression they are moving in the same supernatural authority of the New Testament apostles.

The New Testament recorded some unusual instances where everyday objects like handkerchiefs were used by apostles to bring healing. It is interesting to note that Kong Hee, just before being jailed for mishandling church funds of up to US$50 million, allowed Phil Pringle (at his Presence Conference) to bolster his ‘spiritual integrity’ by promoting special handkerchiefs. Kong Hee also uploaded videos of himself praying and anointing flasks of oil and disseminating them to his church.

Towards the end of the Epistle of James, elders were instructed to anoint the sick with oil and pray for them – Kong Hee instead prayed over the flasks of oil to suggest that healing is instantaneous with his apostolic power. A lot more of these visuals are used by apostles in Africa and South America to bolster their apostolic ministries in signs and wonders.

The Relational Apostolic Association

At some point in NAR prophetic ministries, prophets can become apostles. This is often done by the relational games they play on their audiences and readers. If more apostles are endorsing a person’s work, ministry or writings, they start operating more from an apostolic office.

51cwcportrait_Bill_Hamon

Prophet Bill Hamon is now recognized as an NAR Apostle.

Remember, if people aren’t open about their ‘apostleship’, they will often name drop or allude to their apostolic associations to demonstrate their apostolic authority. If they speak at eachother’s conferences, they will often elevate the other ‘aspostle’s’ authority to build up apostolic credibility in the eyes of their audiences. Kong Hee has often called Phil Pringle the ‘Pope of Australasia’ and his ‘apostle’. In fact, Pringle has no problem having other apostles call him an apostle and likewise Houston is happy to call John Cameron of ARISE Church and his friend Paul de Jong ‘apostles’ at his conferences (however it is rare to hear Cameron and de Jong refer to themselves as apostles). NAR Apostle Fini de Gersigny invited Michael Brown to speak at his Jubilee church and called him ‘God’s General’. So name dropping and office dropping of apostolic titles throughout the network cannot be missed.

This means we are not underestimate the power of a book, conference or ministerial endorsement, where someone speaks and who they associate with. They rely on apostolic networks and endorsement so their audiences see them as operating from apostolic authority. They just don’t like critics pointing this out.

The Verbal Apostolic Association

NAR Apostles see themselves as God’s Generals leading His army (often called Joel’s Army). They then use Old Testament examples of invading the promised land or saving God’s promised people as a blue print of their apostolic calling and where God is leading them.

So using the Old Testament, a lot of heavily coded language and unique story-telling has been developed to emphasise their apostolic power, authority and prestige. Apostles are not just called a General but a Joshua or a Gideon (sometimes a Nehemiah) because they too lead armies. For female Apostles, they are often called a ‘Deborah’. Nehemiah is often refered to Purpose Driven Apostles, Apostles who rally people for a cause or Apostles who are doing a restorative work.

For workplace Apostles, they are also called a Joseph or Daniel (sometimes Benjamin or Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego). For female workplace Apostles – they are an Esther.

NAR Apostles are often preaching about these figures to bolster their ministries. Some go as far as comparing themselves to Moses, David, Elijah, John the Baptist or Jesus himself. Those that go this far are dangerous and should be seen as cult leaders with messianic complexes. This is exactly what Jim Jones had along with William Branham, Alexander Dowie, Charles Finney, Frank Sanford, Charles Parham, William Seymour – the majority of them claiming to be Elijah.

Frank Houston also had this Elijah/Baptist complex, as does Steven Furtick and Phil Pringle. While Pringle also sees himself as a Moses-like figure, Kris Vallotton of Bethel sees it has his job to hold the arms up of his Moses-like leader, Bill Johnson.

75cwcportrait_Lance_Wallnau

A workplace Apostle who is raising up Joseph’s, Daniels and Esthers to conquer the seven mountains of society

There is also a heavy emphasis on these leaders being like King David – to question their apostleship is the equivalent of questioning their kingly authority. A tragic example of an NAR Apostle taking their Davidic status too far was Eddie Long Jr.

Long was wrapped in a “Holocaust Torah” and crowned a king during a Sunday ceremony at his church but was later exposed for his homosexuality, preying on and sexually abusing young men in his church.

The fact these men are verbally associating their offices to these biblical titles and offices should alert Christians to the dangers of their apostolic ministries. A godly Christian leader would not play these verbal association games to assert their authority over people. Be wary of this apostolic allusion.


AUTHORITY

While Apostolic Allusions primarily focus on establishing one’s apostolic office  – there are some key authoritative tricks played to fool people into assuming one is an apostle.

Numbers, Influence, Results & Success

Not long after the New Order of the Latter Rain (NOLR) cult was birthed where Apostles and Prophets started emerging in droves, the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International (FGBMFI) was founded in 1951. From then on there was an unhealthy focus in apostolic healing meetings on numbers, influence, results and success stories.

Advertising was a phenomena of the 20th century. NOLR Apostles from 1948 onwards capitalized on this by encouraging people’s testimonies in their services, radio, print, tent meeting, conferences and television. The focus of these testimonies is not for God but to showcase to Christians that God is using them powerfully. Furthermore, many of these ‘apostles’ often portrayed themselves with rags to riches success stories to entice people to also seek spiritual transformations. If it happened to them – it can happen to you.

This is essentially how men such as Frank Houston, David Yonggi Cho, Phil Pringle, Kong Hee, John Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, T.L Osborn, Paul Crouch, T.D Jakes, Benny Hinn and others became recognized as apostles. David Yonggi Cho was someone on the point of death who used his story successfully to demonstrate how God called him to ministry and to have the world’s biggest ‘church’. Now that he has the world’s biggest ‘church’, he uses his numbers to bolster his apostolic credibility. Hillsong, Elevation, Willowcreek and Saddleback churches are others who advertise their influence and numbers to convey their apostolic natures.

It is important to note that the unbiblical ‘altar call’ was promoted by the heretic Charles Finney to help bolster his apostolic credentials. In similar fashion NAR apostles use altar calls to trash local denominations and ministries to give the apostolic allusion they are truly from God and He is working through them and no longer through faithful local denominations. Wielding numbers as an authority is incredibly effective – more so to convince followers they are true apostles. So what are these ‘apostles’ appealing to? The authority of scripture or the authority of the apostle’s authority.

* Specifically in the NAR, they believe there are apostles over regions. For instance it is well known that David Yonggi Cho is an ‘international apostle’ while some are national apostles or regional apostles over a town, community, state, territory or city. You know someone is an apostle when they are attempting to become known as international apostle. They are often advertising the number of churches, cities and nations they’ve ministered in or impacted with their crusades or missions. Jesus’ apostles were sent out to disciple nations – and this is how they justify this teaching of an ‘international apostle’.

Decreeing and Declaring

A key doctrine in NAR churches is their word of faith and positive confessions.

When an Apostle is speaking over someone’s , this is known as decreeing and declaring. They are speaking as though God Himself is speaking through them. And not just speaking – they are speaking with authority and gusto. If they are doing this over their leadership, individuals or their congregation with a sense of authority, urgency, desperation, weight or ‘burden’, then it is VERY likely they are engaging in Apostolic Allusion. They get these concepts from the Apostle Peter who spoke to the lame man to rise up and walk at the Gate Beautiful (Acts 3), Peter raising the dead with his word, Apostle Paul commanding the unclean spirit to come out of a diviner and other passages where Jesus’ Apostles command things to happen.

Of course these false ‘apostles’ have been 100% wrong, but because they are asserting their authority over people with an authoritative word and declaration, they are assuming a higher authority over others in the body of Christ – and this is very controlling and manipulative. People have a tendency not to question the failed word from the apostle but blame themselves for not seeing the ”word’ come to pass.

Prophesying

Having an NAR apostle prophesying is similar to an NAR Apostle ‘decreeing and declaring’.  To establish their apostolic credibility, they will claim they are ‘hearing what the spirit is saying to the churches’ by leveraging off what other apostles and prophets are saying elsewhere. Giving the impression they are in tune with other apostolic and prophetic voices in the church locally or globally, they then ‘prophesy’ a vision or strategy regarding a way the church is to move forward in unity, strategy and order.

A good example of this was when NAR Apostle Che Ahn was speaking at Glory City Church (Queensland, Australia) about the prophetic words of Bob Jones. He then interpreted the prophetic significance of what that meant for Glory City and the rest of the church in the years to come.

Sometimes NAR Apostles will rely not just on prophetic words but things they ‘saw or heard in the spirit’ and what others ‘saw or heard in the spirit’ and then confirm what God is doing ‘in the spirit’. Cindy Jacobs of Generals International establishes her ‘apostolic authority’ by speaking on behalf of the prophets of the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders. Countless others have done similar things with older prophecies to establish their apostolic savviness and spiritual knowledge of spiritual gurus in the past.

When you hear NAR apostles engaging in this form of prophetic collective prophecy – you know they are giving they are engaging in Apostolic Allusion.

In similar fashion, some ‘apostles’ will prophesy the future by reading into things like the Superbowl, numbers, star signs, lunar activity, natural disasters and even the deaths of famous people. Only they have the correct insight to know how to interpret the signs of the times.

70cwcportrait_Steve_Cioccolanti

Apostle Steve Cioccolanti (Discover Church, Australia) is well known for reading into star signs and more recently, the death of Bill Graham.

Impartation

NAR Apostles claim they can impart the apostolic anointing to others. Some claim NAR prophets can do this too but it is mainly taught that NAR apostles are to raise up spiritual sons and daughters to be future Spiritual Fathers and Mothers in the faith (the letters to Timothy often being their argument).

It is often believed and taught by the NAR that impartation is done by the laying on of hands (they use Romans 1:11 and 2 Timothy 1:6). They claim because the original apostles did it, they can do it too.

This entire concept and practice of impartation is not even remotely Christian. It can be found in the occult – which really tells you where these apostles get their authority from.

There are other ways NARpostles impart what they have to their followers. They will say one can receive impartation through teaching, not through the words itself but through the apostle’s passion, vision, direction and character. To be receptive to the apostle’s message is to receive some form of apostolic impartation.

This has led to the development of what is now known as a ‘bullpen’ – a group of people, in the front rows, loudly ‘wowing’ their favoured apostle to create this atmosphere of faith. (Our research indicates this first started in Hillsong and spilled over to Steven Furtick’s Elevation cult through private networking.) In Hillsong, they gather good-looking, charismatic young men and women (heaven forbid they are unattractive, boring or have no fashion-sense), to pray before a meeting. This particular group behaves in a certain very exuberant way (before the worship starts) in order to get the crowds going, set the atmosphere for the worship with that ‘excitement’ and set the atmosphere for the preaching as well. 

35CWCPortrait_Steve Furtick

Apostle Furtick – impartation is spread through his heavily orchestrated faith-filled atmosphere, with help from his ‘bullpen’.

Impartation is not just in word only but is also (supposedly) in the atmosphere that they create with their words and deeds (in their dimly lit, well-orchestrated services). This means they are very big on creating ‘an atmosphere of faith’. They make it essential that people rely on their spiritual wisdom, power, authority, charisma and gifts to impart to their followers a higher way of living. Bethel, C3, Glory City Church, Hillsong, Yoido Full Gospel Church and some of the biggest churches in North/South America and Africa rely on various forms of spiritual ‘impartation’ to convince their members they have apostolic ministries.

The idea of impartation is that it flows from the top down; from the supernatural individual to the ‘pleb’ in the pew. Unfortunately people can miss an impartation if they are not aligned correctly to their apostles’ vision and authority. This can be because of their attitude, critical thoughts, lack of giving, other church/leader commitments, family behaviour, work behaviour, etc.

This leads us on to the next attribute NAR Apostles rely on to give the impression they are apostles.

Covering/Aligning & Blessing/Covenant Relationship

Another Apostolic Allusion is their talk on whose covering or umbrella you are under. This doctrine is designed for people to not question the apostolic office.

This doctrine was so controversial in the 1970s that it was later repackaged as ‘alignment theology’ where people had to align their personal lives, families and church commitments to their leaders. This doctrine was regarded even by their own apostles as dangerous and likened to the murderous Jonestown cult (only without the cyanide).

The word ‘umbrella’ is also used to suggest who you are under, who is your authority and who you submit to. We noted that this doctrine is more readily recognized today as the ‘culture of honour’. John Bevere repackaging this 1970s cultic heresy for the masses today. It is preached in the biggest NAR churches today like Hillsong, CHC, C3, Life Church, Elevation and Bethel. However, knowing how controversial this doctrine is, they’d rather have visiting preachers promote this ‘doctrine’. Apostle Frank Damazio is another who is very big on this ‘culture of honor’.

To question your leaders’ authority or fallibility is to put yourself outside of the blessings of God and opening up yourself to demonic attack. This is why, when schisms do emerge in a particular church, the leadership or congregation demonize or attack the opposing group or individual.

This doctrine is often based on Matthew 10:41 (“Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward”) and the stories of the widow receiving Elijah, missing the whole point that the prophetic reward we receive is Christ Himself.

This is because within this doctrine there is another NAR and Charismatic gospel recognized as a ‘Covenant Relationship’ where everyone is to be in ‘covenant agreement’. When you hear phrases like, ‘believers are to covenant together’ or ‘let’s covenant with God’, you know you are dealing with the covering/alignment//covenant relationship heresy. In some cases you might actually have to sign an actual ‘covenant relationship’ document showing your commitment to your apostle and his apostolic ministry. If not as a member, this document may surface in different levels of leadership. But what is this covenant about?

The Covenant Relationship heresy is when someone supposedly accepts God’s work on the cross for salvation, and makes a sober decision to walk in a covenant relationship with God.

This is a works-based gospel that NAR apostles burden their audiences with so people are bound to one another more out of fear than love. To question the church and the apostle is to question this (extra-biblical) covenant placed on the gospel to make one think they are outside the will of God.

This means because they question the teachings or unhealthy practices of the apostolic ministry and their followers, they are questioning their covenant relationship with God and are afraid to leave the covering of their apostle.

Damazio explains, “There are four different types of people with whom you the leader make covenant relationships… 1. Mentoring Relationships… 2. Local Church Leadership Team Relationships… 3. Timothy Relationships… 4. Pastor and Congregation Relationships.” Under ‘Mentoring Relationships’, Damazio writes,

“These are the spiritual fathers and mothers who pastor you. This is the type of relationship Elisha had with Elijah. The relationship must be built on respect for the more mature person God has placed in your life. Without respect, you will be unable to receive and learn from their input.”

Under ‘Timothy Relationships’, Damazio writes,

“All leaders need to have a Paul/Timothy relationship with the young leaders God has placed in your life for you to train and release. Serve them and believe in them. Cultivate the relationship and help them to process issues and difficulties of building relationships as they become part of your team.”

Under ‘Pastor and Relationships’, Damazio writes,

“There is a covenant relationship between the lead pastor and the congregation. This is a covenant of love, respect and honor, built on a shepherd’s heart. A pastor does not lead because of gifting and skill, nor because of great oratorical abilities or wise decision making. A pastor leads to shepherd God’s people – recognizing that they are God’s people, not his own.”

The language above is from the ‘heavy shepherding’ found in the SDM. The above concepts may sound nice but the ramifications are frightening – this is what rallied many Christian leaders to condemn the movement in the early 1980s. Pastors and congregations are only bound by one covenant, one that is not a contract but a promise Jesus made to us through his death and resurrection – believe in Jesus Christ’s finished work so that we may be forgiven our sins and have eternal life.

But to this day – this Jim Jones mentality is rampant in many apostolic cults today. This ‘covenant relationship’ teaching often relies on a twisting of Matthew 18:18-19. Apostles allude to the idea of both themselves and their churches ‘binding and loosing’ to prevent people from questioning their apostolic ministries. To not be in agreement is the equivalent of being outside of the apostle’s covering, or alienated from the covenant relationship between the apostle, other congregants and God himself.

There are also physical ramifications. If something is wrong with work, family or your marriage, then you may have an attitude problem with your apostle or church. If you are questioning your apostle’s teachings or his apostolic ministry, then something bad may happen to your marriage, family or work. Even worse, if you are the husband – you are operating independently as the head of your household and are opening up your life and those under your headship, to demonic attacks, possession, satanic influence, curses and misfortune. All of these need to be aligned under an apostle’s ministry so you can walk in the blessing of God.

So if you are hearing men talk about how they are providing a spiritual covering, you know they are alluding to their apostolic authority and enticing you with a false promise of divine blessing and protection.

If you hear them talking about a covenantal relationship with God or God is inviting you to make that personal decision to have a personal ‘relationship’ with Jesus – run. This is not a gospel or a Jesus of the historic Christian faith. It is this dangerous faith that will force you to not ‘judge not lest ye be judged’.

Jim Jones Judge Not Jingle


AVANT-GARDE

Another major Apostolic Allusion is their ‘avant-garde’ guise. NAR Apostles love doing bold or new things, experimental on new wasy of doing church. They justify this nonsense by misusing Isaiah 43 (often using the dramatic English of the King James Bible) to justify their latest innovations:

“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19

This ‘mark of an apostle’ sprang up very early on in the NOLR movement – where all these modern-day apostles originated from. (This was because they claimed God was doing a new thing by raising up apostles today.)

However, this verse took on new meaning when these men and women started being recognized as apostles through new forms of technology (radio, television, internet, print media, etc) often regarding their innovative reach to people across the globe. The effects of the ‘New Thing’ nonsense can be seen today. For instance, at the launch of the Hillsong channel, Hillsong claimed ‘God is doing a new thing’ quoting the verse above to then beam in live to a smiling Brian Houston talking about where God has lead him and his church.

It’s not just technology. It is also:

  • Music (Brian Houston, John Wimber, Bill Johnson, Steven Furtick, Kong Hee),
  • The arts (Phil Pringle, Brian Houston, Bill Johnson, Paul de Jong),
  • Fashion (Ed Young Jr, Kong Hee),
  • New outreach methods (Bill Johnson, Steven Furtick, Nicky Gumbel, Rick Warren),
  • Exterior and interior design,
  • Stunts (Furtick’s egg drop, Perry Noble’s ‘High Way to Hell’)
  • New words, revelations and experiences

These ‘apostles’ supposedly bring the above to equip, empower, mature and unite the church, making the church fresh, relevant and so on. For a few decades, anything new was associated with the role of the apostolic. Since the inception of the NOLR and the FGBMFI, the NAR Apostles have simply copied and mimicked worldly leadership, business models, business management/networks, marketing campaigns and visual/audio creative styles in art and music to bolster the lie God is doing a new thing.

Hillsong is probably the best example of an apostolic ministry producing the most mediocre and laziest form of leadership, business networking, music, art and technological advances to date by slapping ‘Christian’ on it. They’re so lazy, backward and known for their dropkick innovations that they have to hunt down people in the world to borrow their ideas to make themselves look good in the name of God (Rihanna, Kesha, Jobs, Oprah, etc). Yet, they have managed to sell a convincing lie that God is using them in cutting-edge ways. However, God is more concerned about the inside of the cup (the heart) then outwards appearances.

There is nothing wrong with Christians being creative and innovative. But a Christian church and its biblical leaders aren’t called to be ‘avant-garde’. So if this ‘New Thing’ avante-garde nonsense is attributed to a person in leadership in your church, this is a sign they could be engaging in Apostolic Allusion.

NOTE: We are NOT saying upgrading from a slide-projector to a flat tv screen is a sign of an apostolic ministry; it is generally the emphasis in their advertising, sermon and Isaiah 43 on an individual and their ministry that gives it a way.


AIR/AURA/ATMOSPHERE

Some Australian theologians and historians have written about the ‘auras’ of key evangelical leaders in Australia – like Apostle Frank Houston. One thing they noticed was that in spite of unverified accounts, these men relied on unverified testimonies and stories of others (and downright myths), to give themselves an ‘air, aura or atmosphere’ regarding how supernatural and spiritual they are. Again, this echoes Wagner’s idea of an apostle being an individual with more authority bestowed on them by the ‘Spirit’ than other people.

This hyped-up supernatural image can cause people to believe in their apostolic authority. In other words, people feeding an Apostolic Allusion are not going to be destroying these myths and fables around their ministry. Why clear the air?

Instead, they will allow myths to spread (to pollute the air) so their apostolic influence has more global reach. This is largely because many apostles push a doctrine that is known as the ‘atmosphere of faith’. They often twist the stories of Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8), Mary commanding the servants to listen to Jesus at the Cana wedding (John 2) and the men who lowered their dead friend through the roof of Jesus’ house (Luke 5) to promote this doctrine.

This doctrine is a scheme which allows them to engage in brainwashing. People must come hungry, expecting, desperate, eager and yielded to the idea God is going to do something amazing in their midst (this is known as the Power Hungry Heresy (PHH)). At no point can they question, or engage in critical thought, otherwise they are not operating in faith and will be responsible for quenching an atmosphere of faith and preventing the anointing from being present in the apostle’s service.

This is particularly true with NAR Apostles such as Benny Hinn, Reinhard Bonnke, Bill Johnson, Phil Pringle and a great number of Argentinian and African NAR apostles. They will use music, lighting, sounds, gimmicks, architecture, art, fog machines, gold dust, feathers, gem stones, timing, crowds and human psychology to heighten people’s expectations thus giving a false impression of their ‘apostolic power’.

If someone is trying to create an ‘air, aura or atmosphere’ around God’s presence being in their ministry – be mindful of this Apostolic Allusion. They are literally trying to subvert your heart, mind and soul so you submit to their apostolic authority without question.


ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM

At this point you might be thinking anyone can fall for these are tricks and gimmicks. To pull off a gimmick, you need to not just be convincing, you need to connect with people’s worlds . This means, the apostles will often target the uneducated.

If they’re not good at being convincing, they may get their audience to appeal to a standard of gullibility, foolishness and immaturity. This is exactly what Wagner and NAR Apostles do.

Apostles have made it clear over the decades they appeal to:

  • Heart above mind
  • Spirit above intellect
  • Faith above reason
  • Truth above facts
  • Reality above circumstances
  • Childish faith above mature faith

Heart, Spirit and Faith above Mind, Intellects and Reason

In fact, this is what Wagner concluded as to why the Argentinian revival was so successful:

2. A Revival for the Common People

[…] In Carlos Annacondia’s meetings, there are many people from the middle and upper classes who are now born again and fully participating in revival manifestations, but in the early days the poor and destitute were those who filled the vacant lots and who were saved. This, combined with the inherent simplicity of a lay evangelist with a sixth-grade education, exemplifies a vital characteristic of the Argentine revival, which has kept it from the dangers of elitism and subsequent stagnation.

Source: C. Peter Wagner, The Rising Revival, 1998, pg. 23.

Wagner goes on to introduce the “Wilkes Spectrum” which was “first developed and presented in Argentina by Peter Wilkes, pastor of South Hills Community Church in San Jose, California.” Wagner notes:

“On this profile ranging from upperclass values on the left and lower-class values on the right, it has been to the credit of the leaders of the Argentine revival that the movement has maintained its position toward the right. Even upper-class revival participants gladly blend into the values of the lower classes on the Wilkes Spectrum. It is helpful to keep in mind that, while the Wilkes Spectrum distinguishes between social classes, it deals essentially with the cultural values ordinarily associated with these groups. There is no claim that one group is superior to the other in any way, including intelligence.”

In countries that are more educated in biblical narratives such as the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand – NAR Apostles have to hide their Apostolic titles so they aren’t publicly criticized by a more biblically educated society. However, the NAR considered Argentina to be spiritually backward until the ministry of Latter Rain heretic Tommy Hicks arrived in 1954 to help soften Christianity too embrace the idea of governing apostles and prophets. The Wilkes Spectrum assessed those that attended the Argentinian Revival and categorised the success of the revival due to the fact they attracted the ‘lower class’:

Wilkes Spectrum-Wagner-pg24

Not only are there really bad comparisons in this chart (You control life | Life controls you), it is dangerous to see what they consider good (lower class) over bad (upper class).

Wagner writes,

“American educators feel they need to teach students to think, above all. Intellectual reasoning is, to them, more important than facts. Argentines, however, do much of their learning by rote, and as a result, many of them are much more intuitional than cerebral. That means that feelings become very important in reaching conclusions. Argentines do not necessarily buy into the American axiom, “Don’t trust your feelings.” They trust their feelings quite a bit. This bolsters the faith level of common people, because faith is simple, not complex.pg. 24 (Emphasis Added)

Sadly, a culture that relies more on feelings and intuition at the expense of reason is more inclined to be more gullible and superstitious. As a Hillsong pastor once stated, “Knowledge opens the mind but the heart opens the chequebook.” In this case, NAR Apostles’ target market is the ‘lower class’.

The truth is that while saving faith is very simple, it is complex enough to force disciples to get into the Word to refute those who undermine the historic Christian faith – which is why Christianity has the historic creeds, confessions, and the five Solas.

Wagner observed, “for Argentines, people rank equally high, or even higher as a value” thus concluding:

“Building and cultivating personal relationships is more important than getting somewhere or starting a meeting on time. Because people are so significant in that culture, theology tends to be pragmatic, not responding so much to the question, Is it true? as to the question, Does it work to bless people?” pg. 25 (Emphasis Added)

Again – notice  the undermining agenda of the NAR. While the bible instructs us to test, reason and discern with a sober mind, this option is not on the table for Wagner and his NAR Apostles. Promoting anti-intellectualism became a signature move of NAR apostles, twisting verses to promote delusions and convert sound minds to unsound minds. For instance, they:

  • Will twist Genesis, attributing to Satan reason, critical thought and knowledge while appealing to Proverbs that we need wisdom. (This is
  • Will twist verses to promote being drunk in the spirit,
  • Use David as an example of worshiping foolishly/undignified before God,
  • Elevate the heart above the mind by twisting Proverbs 3:5,
  • Promote how foolish we are in the eyes of the world
  • Promote we are to believe foolish things by twisting 1 Cor 1:18-26,
  • Prioritise the heart above the mind in how one is to love the Lord,
  • Emphasise unity above biblical doctrine by appealing to Jesus’ high priestly prayer
  • Demonize, condemn and stereotype Christians who are trained in discernment as Pharisees (who in reality were false teachers and false prophets).

A good example of the above is Wagner’s scriptural justification of Argentina’s target audience – notice who the enemy is:

“The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians that “not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called” (1 Cor. 1:26). This was also true in the beginning of the Argentine revival, and continues to be true today. God loves to work among the common people. This shouldn’t surprise us because even Jesus had difficulty getting through to the high class scribes and Sadducees, but “the common people heard Him gladly” (Mark 12:37).”

The attack on Christian discipleship to grow and mature the Christian mind is central while they appeal to emotions, sensualities and human passions. This is why they emphasise elements like wind, fire, water and even electricity to trigger experiential drives and responses from people – to attract them to their causes. And this is why their revivals have nothing to do with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit – their revivals depend upon human desires, passions, drives and sensualities over sober minds.

This is why apostles will often use their personal testimonies, appealing to their average and non-intellectual status to convince people if God can use them, God can use anyone. Frank Houston relied on his alcoholism to build his success story while some like Brian Houston would appeal to their poor grades and bad child-hood to show people where God has now brought them.

NAR Apostle Phil Pringle is another good example who would use his anti-smart stories where he was just a hippie, postman or an artist that was radically saved and called by God to start the C3 movement. Although he has never had a revival in his church, Phil Pringle is also a very good example of one who accidentally follows the Wilke’s Spectrum without realising it:

If your youth are on fire, you’re gonna reach youth. So that is why you should be attempting to get every group of person on fire in your church.

Now if you were to think through your people, some of the times, the people who are on fire are the least equipped to do the job. But I would say passion is the first prerequisite. The last thing I want is a well educated idiot – drip, trying to lead our people. Just because he’s got education. Or a well-versed orator or whatever. I want anointed, on-fire, people who’ve got passion in their soul and they will set your church on fire. Keeping the fire in your church is really important.

Source: Phil Pringle, Vision 2020 C3 Church Global Conference, Kuala Lumpur, https://c3churchwatch.com/2012/08/23/idiocy-in-high-places/, 2011. 

Think of the Toronto Blessing, Pensacola and Lakeland . They generally classified all discerning Christians as ‘intellectual idiots’ if they questioned their revivals and cared only about spreading their ‘fire’.

The appeal to anti-intellectualism is a means to capitalize on, and manipulate people’s perceptions about their apostolic ministry. We do not know one ‘apostle’ who does not do this, including those that actually claim they appeal to reason and the bible (like Michael Brown, Mike Bickle, Joseph Prince, Joyce Meyer, etc).

"You'll never get a greater joy than the joy of giving, by doing the ridiculous to release the miraculous, stepping out where you haven't been before." - Phil Pringle, Miracle Offering Session, Presence Conference 2011.

Appealing to anti-antillecualism is inseparable to the next Apostolic Allusion many NAR Apostles engage in. 


AUTHENTICITY

NAR Apostles Cabrera and Annacondia of the Argentine revivals can be ‘authentic’ as they like regarding their apostleship but no one would be able to discern if they were true or not. But to those who don’t parade their apostolic titles, the idea of being ‘authentic’ is not lost on their audiences. Over the last few decades, many of the above sensational tactics have been used to portray deceivers as ‘apostles’ without actually using the title – and people were clearly starting to see through it.

So losing the tie and suit and downplaying their authority is a very modern tactic many Apostles used. While this Apostolic Allusion has been around since the beginning, it made a significant reappearance around the time of the Toronto Blessing – with the ‘genuine’ manifestations of the spirit through key leaders such as Brenda Kilpatrick, Heidi Baker and others. It was not longer an authenticity reflected in clothing and architecture, it was an authenticity in spiritual character and manifestation.

We will tackle Baker more in the next Apostolic Allusion tactic – but she took this concept of ‘authenticity’ to extremes by appealing to her encounter with God at the Toronto Blessing (1995), claiming she saw Jesus show her thousands of children to feed. Before the encounter, she was sick. After seeing Jesus and being healed (See ‘Apostolic Allusion’ – Attributions), her ‘authentic and humble’ walk began with her grass roots orphanage ministry in Mozambique. Now she is one of the key NAR Apostles who has mastered the guise of spiritual authenticity by parading the notion she was just a woman in a war-torn country who encountered God in Toronto and had her life ‘wrecked’ by God.

Some documentaries are now being made to capture these so-called ‘authentic lives and ministries’ of NAR Apostles like Baker, Todd White and so on. The ‘authenticity’ tactic exists to completely change people’s perceptions about the reality of the ‘iron fist’ of NAR Apostles or to paint these figures as ‘grass roots revolutionaries’, authentic miracle-working figures and authentic ‘fathers’ and ‘mothers’ in the faith who really care for people. So watch out for this apostolic allusion – it is probably the most painful one to fall victim to.


ANOINTING

The ‘anointing’ is a very subjective teaching used to elevate the spiritual and supernatural ministries of ‘apostles’. We have spent many years trying to narrow down exactly what NAR Apostles mean by the ‘anointing’. We can only conclude their idea of the anointing is whatever they want it to mean. Their teaching on the anointing exists so they can keep their audiences buying their books and merchandise, sermons and conferences. Sometimes they will claim the anointing is:

  • The Holy Spirit,
  • An enabling to move in the supernatural
  • An unction of the Holy Spirit
  • The power of the Holy Spirit
  • The tangible presence (or weight) of the Holy Spirit
  • The leading/prompting of the Holy Spirit
  • The power of heaven or the kingdom
  • The glory of God
  • Kingdom authority
  • Supernatural faith
  • A baptismal power
  • A spiritual rite of ministry to accomplish divine task(s)
  • A creative force

But it’s a fraudulent power when one examines the characteristics of this ‘thing’:

  • It is something fragile but impotent,
  • We all must supposedly have it but few actually have it,
  • It is taught it is of the Spirit but is treated as a force
  • It is within us but we must wait to feel it come upon us

Just like Hindu gurus, mystical and nonsensical teachings about ‘the anointing’ exist simply to elevate the spiritual prowess of the one operating on a ‘higher plane’. NAR Apostle Benny Hinn is a good example of one who uses teaching of ‘the anointing’ to mystify his audiences but to stay at the top of his spiritual pyramid-like ministry. Furthermore, if you sat Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Brian Houston, Joseph Prince, Josh Mills, Paula White, Randy Clark, Sid Roth, Mike Bickle, Che Ahn, Bill Johnson, John Arnott, Bill Hamon, Rodney Howard-Browne and Michael Brown at a ’round-table’ to talk about the anointing, you will see them flounder to agree on what the anointing actually is.

Nevertheless, their spiritual teachings on this doctrine only exist to give the allusion they have special apostolic insights to the supernatural which no one else has.

Looking at Theo Wolmarans (Christian Family Church, Johannesburg, Africa) or look at Benny Hinn – by teaching on the anointing, they provide themselves as examples how to live in the anointing and minister in the anointing on a daily basis. If they did not call themselves apostles, others will use their teachings on the anointing to prove they are.

Someone who hides their apostolic identity is Heidi Baker. Just like Benny Hinn and Theo Wolmarans, she exposes her apostolic ministry when she operates from ‘the anointing’ when she ministers. She is known for staggering up to the pulpit, thumping to the floor, laughing, gurgling and stammering as though suffering from ‘spiritual Tourette’s’.

People model their lives off her, hoping to manifest under the same anointing as she does. Because of this allusion in manifesting under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, many regard her as an apostle. In this case – the more she makes you laugh in the spirit, the more she makes you feel intoxicated in ‘daddy’s presence’, prophesies over you and makes you limp on the floor and giddy with the delusions of grandeur, the more it somehow proves God has called her to apostolically impact generations and the nations.

CONCLUSION

There is a common and consistent motive running in all ten of these Apostolic Allusions. This motive is another ‘A’ word.

ADVERTISING

None of the men and women are engaging in ethical advertising but unethical subliminal advertising. If they were genuine apostles, then they would be known and recognized as apostles by word of mouth and countless phone and youtube videos. Instead – because Christians in the Western world know that there is no such thing as a modern day apostle, many of these false ‘apostles’ in the West hide their titles and engage in these subliminal advertising gimmicks.

It is not uncommon to see videos put out by men who hide their apostleship but engage in all of the above Apostolic Allusions to convince people they are apostles. It is the most noticeable by purpose-driven apostles in Purpose Driven Life (PDL) cults, advertising their modern apostolic innovations, imposing their God-given visions on their church followers and promoting their ‘rags to riches’ success stories.

The only true Apostles we need are those who were called by Christ and who, inspired by the Holy Spirit, gave us the scriptures. When we return to the foundations of these Apostle’s teachings then we will not be thrown by ‘every wind and wave’ of these modern day scheming false apostles who engage in dishonest marketing methods. We are seeing many in the church today falling for every wicked scheme manufactured by these modern day apostles – with gullibility and immaturity on a global scale.

The work of the true Apostles clearly found in scripture.

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” Ephesians 4:11-14


 



Categories: Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders, Australian Prophetic Council, Benny Hinn Ministries, Bethel "Church", C3 Church, Catch the Fire Ministries, Charisma Magazine, Christ for all Nations, City Harvest Church, Cult of Personality (COP), Dayspring "Church", Elevation, Elijah List, Extreme Prophetic (XP Media), Fresh Fire Ministries, Generals International, Glory City Church, GOD TV, Harvest International Ministry, Hillsong, Houston’s First Baptist Church, International Coalition of Apostles (ICAL), Iris Global, Joyce Meyer Ministries, Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Lakewood Church, Life Church, Lifestyle Christianity, Line of Fire, Messenger International, Morning Star Ministries, New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), New Creation Church, Paula White Ministries, Planetshakers, Purpose Driven Life (PDL), Purpose-Driven Life Movement (PDL), Resources, Revival Alliance, Saddleback, The Elijah List, Uncategorized, Wagner Leadership Institute, XP Media

%d bloggers like this: