The Strong Delusion and Jesus' Warnings to Safeguard Believers Explained
Jesus Versus the New Apostolic Reformation
This movement opposes clear scripture on so many points it's astonishing:
Numbers 11:4-6 recounts how the Israelites grumbled and lamented having to eat the manna.
That manna, of course, was a foreshadow of Jesus Christ and the supernatural provision of God! Yet these people wanted something more, something exciting to their taste-buds, something that tickled their flesh. The simple, pure provision of God wasn't enough. Sound familiar?
Colossians 2:18-19 warns against people who indulge in sensuous, mystical experiences that puff up their minds and draw them away from obedience to Jesus.
Most of the notable ministries in this movement (Ihop KC, Fire School of Ministry, Morningstar Ministries, and Bethel, among others) have long histories that clearly show their ministries were, in fact, built upon such people and their experiences.
Mark 12:38-40 warns against leaders who devour widow's estates.
Many of these ministries are known for their aggressive fundraising, including encouraging followers to consider "estate planning" in offering their financial support.
Matthew 21:12-13 shows how ungodly it is to hawk goods in a place that has been dedicated to worship God.
Yet the leaders of this movement push their new books from the very pulpit! Then they encourage everyone to stop at the tables they set up to buy before they leave the building.
Matthew 23:15 is a rebuke to those eager to travel halfway across the world in order to make disciples which are nothing more than clones of themselves.
The ministry leaders in this movement globe-trot continually in order to heap up disciples unto themselves. The frequent flyer miles these people amass yearly would shock most people. Moreover, these people are so bent on making clones of themselves, their disciples literally walk, talk, pray, and act just like them!
This is no exaggeration. After watching countless hours of the Ihop KC prayer room web stream I could easily spot which leaders trained whom when they parade themselves through their prayer sessions.
1 Corinthians 3:16-20 plainly states that anyone who embraces the wisdom of the world is deceived and in opposition to God's wisdom.
Over and over again, you will find examples of this movement utilizing worldly reasoning and plans in the guise of working for the Kingdom of God. An example of this is the worldly pyramid scheme structure of the ministries themselves. Peter Wagner, himself, has clearly stated that he embraces worldly ideas as a means to effect ministry.
Dr. Michael L. Brown also pushes worldly models as a means to serving God. His book "Revolution in the Church" clearly points to the 60's counter-culture movement as a model for Christians to co-opt for ministry.
Acts 8:18-22 shows how wicked it is to even consider using the power of God for monetary gain.
Many of these ministries offer costly conferences or fundraising events which feature the opportunity to have them lay hands on you. Reinhard Bonnke and Daniel Kolenda of Christ for All Nations have literally marketed what they call an "Impartation Breakfast."
1 Timothy 5:22 states Christian leaders should not be hasty in the laying on of hands.
These movements are so far off the mark on this point it is shameful. They stumble into any opportunity to lay hands on others or have others lay hands on them. Bethel church's notorious fire tunnel practice is widespread, and I witnessed and participated in many myself at Fire School of Ministry.
1 Samuel 24:11 says not to "touch" the LORD's anointed.
This movement has pushed this idea to such an extreme that they suggest you can't even question or rebuke someone who is off the rails doctrinally, even though David clearly meant physical harm because in the two times David says it he clearly rebukes Saul for his ungodly, out of bounds behaviors.
1 Corinthian 13:8 clearly shows that love is way more important to God than operating in any demonstration of power.
These ministries are absolutely obsessed with supernatural power and religious authority, and completely devoid of genuine love. The truest test is how they treat those who question or oppose their ideas.
I really hate to have to state such a thing, but after a number of years participating in various churches connected to this movement, I was faced with one of two conclusions: Either Christianity is a very, very nasty business, or something is very, very wrong with this movement.
Hebrews 9:22 and 11:4 show two things: that without the shedding of blood there can be no atonement for sin, and Abel's sacrifice was based upon faith in God.
Multiple times, I've heard preached that Cain's offering was not acceptable because it wasn't his "first-fruit" offering. In other words, congregants had better give ministries the first cut of their income.
Meanwhile, that scripture is meant to support the foreshadow of Christ's blood sacrifice in Abel's offering! Cain's offering was unacceptable not because it wasn't his first-fruit offering, but because it lacked blood and was not motivated by faith in God.
2 Corinthians 9:7 shows God's heart for those who give: He wants us to give cheerfully, and not under compulsion.
Overwhelmingly, this movement demands 10% from their followers. They compel people using Old Testament scriptures which do not apply to New Covenant believers, but will draw people into legalism and a very deep level of submission.
Matthew 6:5 warns against making a show of prayer in public.
Mike Bickle has built his current ministry on literally making a show of prayer in public with Ihop KC's 24/7 web stream of their prayer room. Moreover, most leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation pride themselves on how "prayerful" they are as a so-called "prophetic" movement.
John 13:10 plainly states that those who believe and follow Jesus are clean in His eyes.
This movement demands Christians to participate in deliverance ministry suggesting they are demon infested and need to be cleansed. Why do they do this? Because it draws people who agree with them to a deep level of submission and a deep deception.
John 13:35 states that Christians will be known by their love for one another.
The prophetic teachings of this movement push a very nasty idea that anyone who has a prophetic calling will be readily abused and rejected by authorities and brethren. How many people within these churches are under the delusion that the abuse they're facing is simply because they are so "prophetic" and God has appointed them to such treatment?
Ephesians 5:1 says to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
This movement believes that means to submit out of reverence for Christ within other men, meanwhile the Old Testament is full of God's warnings to treat people right out of fear (reverence) of Him. You can bet Paul was referencing those scriptures and that any model of submission and authority between people should reflect that fact.
Matthew 16:6 warns people to beware of false teachers and their bad ideas which will change the way you look at God's truth.
This movement encourages people to embrace false teachers by suggesting we should "Eat the meat and spit out the bone."
Jesus used the metaphor of leaven when warning against such teachers because their bad ideas will permeate the rest of their teachings. You cannot eat around the leaven in a slice of bread, you will end up eating the leaven. We should just stay away from such teachers completely.
Matthew 16:39 warns that it's wicked and adulterous to seek after a sign.
This movement, of course, is all about seeking after signs and wonders.
Matthew 7:22 says some interesting things. Jesus said, "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?'
This is very interesting knowing what these ministries are like. First, they prided themselves in their prophetic ministry. Next, it's clear they liked to push deliverance ministry upon people. Finally, Jesus says these people will declare how miraculous and supernatural their ministries were. All of it done in the name of Jesus. Sound familiar?
Jesus' response to such people should make the participants of the New Apostolic Reformation shudder: