Dr. John MacArthur speaks about the New Apostolic Reformation heresy:
Dr. Gary Gilley has written two papers which detail the heresy inherent in the N.A.R. movement:
Here is a quote by the N.A.R. founder, which illustrates the core heresy of the movement:

C. Peter Wagner invented the term "New Apostolic Reformation" and then pronounced himself God's appointed leader of it. It's a loosely knit association of churches and ministries on the outer fringes of anything resembling Biblical Christianity. Supernatural Signs & Wonders; Dominionism; The Latter Rain Movement; Joel's Army; The 7 Mountain Mandate;  Third Wave Revivalism; IHOP; Bill Johnson's Bethel Church, The Hillsong Media Empire... these are all a part of this shape-shifting movement in one way or another. It is gobbling up churches and deceiving millions around the world.

N.A.R. "Founder" C. Peter Wagner

Some key beliefs of the NAR: We've entered a "2nd Apostolic Age" (starting in 2001); the church should somehow take over the world (dominionism); a great end time harvest/outpouring will occur once we battle enough demons, perform enough miracles and unify under these new Apostles; God is giving new revelation to his Prophets/Apostles but they will make many mistakes in the process and that's okay, but following the Bible too closely makes you "religious" and narrow-minded...

Rev. Chris Rosebrough, in a round table discussion on what is the N.A.R. and why it is heresy.  PART 1:
Rev. Chris Rosebrough and round table discussion on the 6 Signs your Church has fallen for the N.A.R heresy, PART 2:

Is your church shifting into becoming NAR apostate? It could be, and your leaders might not even be aware.

The New Apostolic Reformation, or NAR, is a counterfeit, unbiblical movement that has been gaining worldwide momentum. Its anointed celebrity leaders, meanwhile, are scurrying to distance themselves from the “NAR” label (invented by NAR founder C. Peter Wagner), especially now that discernment reporters have been shining the light of Scripture and the sheep have begun to take notice.

How does a Christian recognize the red flags if their leaders deny being associated or affiliated with the more recognizable founders and celebrity leaders?  There are 6 distinct traits that characterize NAR’s core teachings, even if leaders or churches deny they have anything to do with the NAR brand.

First, you need to understand that NAR isn’t an official organization, nor can it be characterized by a common creed. It is instead a loosely knit and often unaffiliated network of leaders who share a common vision and goal for the visible Church


Supernatural Signs & Wonders; Dominionism; The Latter Rain Movement; Joel's Army; The 7 Mountain Mandate; Third Wave Revivalism; IHOP; Bill Johnson's Bethel Church, The Hillsong Media Empire, these are all a part of this shape-shifting movement in one way or another. It is gobbling up churches and deceiving millions who don’t even know they’ve become a part of an apostate, end-times falling away.

The Six Hallmarks of a NAR Church

Here are those traits, beliefs, and some of the common lingo used by adherents: 


We’re in a “Second Apostolic Age.” There are new Apostles are on the earth today, anointed by the laying of hands to represent and speak for God here on Earth. These "Super Apostles" are equal to the original Apostles – the ones who witnessed Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and were appointed by Christ Himself to the office. Since these new apostles are commissioned by God, their authority may not be questioned.


Rather than preach the Gospel of the cross, Apostolic leaders are working to bring the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth.  They do this by taking dominion of earthly kingdoms or “mountains” of government, media, entertainment, education, business, family, and religion. Leaders often talk of city building and organize prayer walks to pray against demonic strongholds. They often speak of being mission-focused rather than being Christ-centered.


Though members are not always charismatic, they frequently emphasize a manifestation of “Glory” and “God’s presence,” and often have a special anointing to receive direct revelation from God, perform healings and other signs and wonders. They teach that our purpose is to achieve our dream destiny so that we can change the world.


Revival on a massive scale is key in this movement. There is a strong emphasis on an “end times harvest” through a great awakening that we can usher in.  Often these revivals are held in stadiums and reach millions around the world via live stream technology; they are marketed and produced like rock concerts. All scripture verses about an end times falling away are ignored, and get replaced with hyped-up claims about the Next Big Thing that's always just around the corner. 

5. “UNITY”

Unity (at the expense of biblical doctrine) is almost always used as both the how and the why in this movement.  Unity for the sake of bringing Heaven to Earth is leading to the blurring of doctrinal and denominational lines, often bringing together well-known leaders of charismatic, reformed, Word of Faith, seeker-emergent, progressive and Roman Catholics churches, all under one umbrella.

Finally, NAR churches almost always abandon a major tenant of Christian faith:


NAR adherents may believe in the inerrancy and authority of the Bible, but God’s breathed-out Word is just not enough for them. Jesus’ sacrificial death for our sins is not good enough; the promise of eternal life in Heaven is not good enough.

What can you do?

First, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. If you church has any part of these six traits, you'll want to humbly alert your leaders. I've included links below to many of the best research articles, and will keep this list updated.  (The links are in the PDF file below):


New N.A.R. "bible" called "The Passion"(which is NOT a translation, but another "paraphrase" by one individual, like "The Message")

is a dangerous heresy.  It is marketed as a "translation," but is not a real translation.

The new N.A.R. "bible" heresy in PDF format, so you can search "links" provided for further information:

The Apostles Who Don't Do Anything

Matthew 10:1; Mark 3:14; Luke 6:13; Acts 1:2; Acts 1:22; Acts 2:43; Acts 5:12; Acts 10:41; 1 Corinthians 9:1; 1 Corinthians15:7–8; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Galatians 1:1; Hebrews 2:3–4

by Cameron Buettel and Jeremiah Johnson

It is not new, it is not apostolic, and it is not a reformation. – John MacArthur on the New Apostolic Reformation

What should we think of self-styled apostles who meet none of the biblical standards for apostleship? They make much of the gift of prophecy but lack the prophetic ability to identify charlatans and phonies in their own midst. They can’t perform apostolic-quality miracles and healings, and their message sounds nothing like what the original apostles preached. The truth is that they don’t do anything that would qualify as “apostolic” by any biblical standard.

Who are these apostles?

The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a movement pioneered by C. Peter Wagner. This is what charismatic and continuationist doctrine looks like when taken to its logical conclusion. The NAR claims that not only the gifts, but also the office of apostleship still continues today. And as apostles, they pretend to speak for God and wield His divine authority—but it is all merely a pretense.

What is the rationale behind this movement? According to Wagner, God’s people can only ever return to pure Christianity, as seen in the early church, if they “recognize, accept, receive, and minister in all the spiritual gifts, including the gift of apostle.” [1](David Cannistraci Apostles and the Emerging Apostolic Movement (Ventura, CA: Renew Books, 1996], p. 12.).

Why do we suggest their apostleship is a sham? According to the New Testament, an apostle had to be:

  • A physical eyewitness of the resurrected Christ (Acts 1:22; 1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:7–8).
  • Appointed by the Lord (Mark 3:14; Luke 6:13; Acts 1:2; 10:41; Galatians 1:1).
  • Able to authenticate his apostleship with miraculous signs (Matthew 10:1; Acts 2:43; 5:12; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:3–4).

Undaunted by those biblical requirements, Wagner’s own apostleship was confirmed under somewhat different circumstances. In 1995 two women prophesied that he had received an apostolic anointing. A second prophecy was given in Dallas in 1998 during a bizarre ceremony that Wagner now considers his ordination. [2](John MacArthur, Strange Fire [Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2013], p. 86–87)

But the “proof” of Wagner’s apostleship came in 2001, in the form of an apostolic decree that God supposedly gave him to pronounce the end of mad cow disease in Europe. [3](C. Peter Wagner, Wrestling with Alligators, Prophets, and Theologians [Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 2010], p. 243) Never mind that nearly ten years later, doctors and veterinarians were still diagnosing the disease in people and animals throughout Europe.

Wagner is unperturbed by those failures and shortcomings. Instead, he sees his ordination as the dawning of a new apostolic age. In the foreword of Ted Haggard’s The Life-Giving Church, Wagner wrote:

The New Apostolic Reformation is an extraordinary work of God that began at the close of the twentieth century and continues on. It is, to a significant extent, changing the shape of the Protestant world. [4](Ted Haggard, The Life-Giving Church [Ventura CA: Regal Books, 2001], p. 14).

Wagner even goes so far as to describe this era as “The Second Apostolic Age.” His “studies indicate that it began around the year 2001,” although he doesn’t bother to  explain or define what those studies were. [5](C. Peter Wagner, Apostles Today [Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 2006], p. 6).

In this new age of apostles, several apostolic networks have been established. Wagner’s is called the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA). Its website contains a global map to help locate the apostles in your part of the world. According to the network, there are more than 150 apostles in the U.S. alone.

ICA claims the NAR is “heralding the most radical change in the way church is done since the Protestant Reformation.” On the same webpage, Wagner defines an apostle as a:

            “Christian leader who is gifted, taught, and commissioned by God with the authority to establish the foundational government of the Church within an assigned sphere of ministry by hearing what the Spirit is saying to the churches and by setting things in order accordingly for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.”

But who determines when God has commissioned someone? How does one become an apostle?

Actually, it’s not too different from joining a country club. According to the ICA website, the aspiring apostle must be nominated by two existing apostles who can show that he meets the ICA’s criteria. There are some fees, too.

The pricing table for apostleship is curious. The ICA charges an annual $450 fee to be an apostle. However, Native Americans receive a $100 discount. There’s also a couple’s rate of $650, just in case your wife also happens to be an apostle. And you want to stay on top of your dues, because failure to renew your membership on time results in a “deactivated” apostleship—it’s not clear if that includes the deactivation of any spiritual gifts as well. All is not lost, however—a deactivated apostle can be reactivated for an extra $50.

Put simply, becoming an apostle with the ICA is only slightly more difficult (and expensive) than purchasing a season pass to Disneyland.

That’s a staggeringly low bar for apostolic authority—particularly when that authority includes speaking on behalf of Almighty God. People believe in Wagner’s apostleship simply because he had the temerity to claim it. But you won’t find delusions of grandeur and audacious whimsy in the list of biblical requirements for apostles.

What is truly frightening is that Wagner is not an anomaly. The charismatic movement is overrun with modern apostles like Wagner. Some of its most influential leaders have claimed similar apostolic authority for themselves, dismissing the biblical standards and usurping authority the Lord exclusively bestowed on the founders of the church. Just a simple reading of the book of Acts is enough to illustrate how impotent and unfit these modern apostles are, and how their fanciful assertions have perverted and distorted the office of apostle beyond recognition.

And they are impotent. As we’ll see next time, these modern apostles fall far short of the ministries of the New Testament apostles. Forget signs and wonders—these guys aren’t even capable of basic discernment.


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