Is the New Apostolic Reformation a Biblical Movement?

The New Apostolic Reformation, or NAR, is a religious movement that focuses on experiences, signs and wonders over the direct, clear preaching and teaching of God’s Word in the Bible. This movement asserts that modern-day “apostles” and “prophets” are continually added to the church.  This is in opposition to Scriptures that show that the “foundation” of the church was already given in the writings of the biblical apostles and prophets (Old and New Testament). Since this foundation has already been established (Ephesians 2:20), there is no reason to rebuild it again with new apostles and prophets.

Contrary to the Biblical method of learning the truth through “searching the Scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11), this movement relies on mysticism above doctrine and utterances of modern-day “apostles.”  It is characterized by the role and power of spiritual leaders and miracle-workers and emphasizes the acceptance of “new” personal revelation, supposedly from God, over the expositional preaching of God’s Word. There is an excessive focus on spiritual warfare, and a desire for cultural and political dominance. NAR’s search for signs and wonders is always linked to grossly mistaken doctrine and popular self-help psychology.  This type of thinking runs contrary to Biblical thinking because God’s ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).

The following is a list of verses that my friend, Dwayna Litz of Lighting the Way International, put together to help Christians discern truth from error in regard to this movement:

NAR vs. the Bible – Part One (PDF Download)  

New Apostolic Reformation vs. what the Bible teaches:

Acts 2: the fire is defined by the Spirit’s coming, which was expressed by the coming of the Holy Spirit in context. It was a non-repeatable event. The “fire” of the NAR, which they “call down” is a mockery, manipulation and all about mind control. Leviticus 10 warns of strange fire that consumed people…When John the Baptist talked about “fire baptism” it was all about JUDGMENT. When fire comes from heaven, it will drown the world in judgment; the elements of this world will burn with heat. IT IS A JUDGMENT METAPHOR according to the Bible.

A biblical anointing comes by being regenerated by the Holy Spirit. It is non-experiential. 1 John 2:20—to be “in Christ” is to be anointed, according to the Bible. A false “anointing” is used to manipulate and elevate a false teacher in this movement. The TRUE “anointing” is a promise from the Holy Spirit to understand God’s Word. We have both the One who gives the anointing AND the anointing if we are saved. 1 Corinthians 2:16—we have the mind of Christ. This is the anointing. It is mockery of the Holy Spirit to just throw this word “anointing” around. JESUS IS THE BAPTIZER, WHO ANNOINTS WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
according to the Bible. The power really only comes from Christ and certainly not people anointing one another.

Mindless, emotional hysteria vs. true worship that depends on a deep UNDERSTANDING of God. It happens with the mind involved vs. the mind-numbing repeating of a certain stanza over and over and over for 20 minutes or so. True worship depends on the depth of a person’s richness of biblical truth. Shallow understanding leads to sheer hysteria and “meaningless repetition” (Matthew 6:7) that puts people into a trance-like state. Hymns have verses, not just five words repeated and repeated and repeated. Love the Lord with all of your…”mind” is the first and greatest commandment; a fruit of the true Holy Spirit
is self-control.

We are commanded to test the spirits (1 John 4:1-6). The best thing to do with someone in this movement is to explain what the Gospel MEANS, because how could anyone truly regenerated by the only true Lord Jesus Christ fall for this (literally) to begin with? THIS knowledge of truth vs. error DOES NOT DIVIDE THE BODY OF CHRIST; IT DIVIDES THE LOST FROM THE SAVED.

No such thing in the Bible. When Jesus healed, no one “fell back.” Nor do we find Peter or John touching people and causing them to fall over. The New Testament has no people lining up waiting for the “anointing” to be passed on from another in a “FIRE TUNNEL” either. No one was yelling, “Fire” or “Touch” or “More, Lord!” Far from being “slain” as a good thing, in Genesis 15:12-18, Abraham was put to sleep and horror and great darkness fell upon him. This was a special event signifying God’s covenant with Abraham that was not to be repeated. Gen. 17:3—Abraham falls on his face, but this “falling” was not an involuntary act of “being slain in the spirit” as some claim. Scriptures used to validate this as biblical are: Gen. 15, 17:1-3; Joshua 5:13-15, Ez. 1:28, 43:1-5; 44:4; Matthew 17:5-6; Revelation 1:7, 7:11; 11:16-17; Acts 9. Many fell backwards in Scripture, but it was not a blessing! 1 Samuel 4:18; Isaiah 28:13; 1 Samuel 28:20. In Ezek. 1:28, 2:1, the prophet is overwhelmed by the vision he saw and FALLS FORWARD in worship. Those who are holy fall forward in conscious submission to God’s holy presence. They do not become dazed and confused. Daniel 10:4-11, Daniel fell on his face and fell forward—he was receiving revelation that would become Scripture. Now that we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and the canon is closed, this experience cannot be used as normative for the Church today. What about Saul on the Damascus Road? He “fell back” but no one was there to catch him! (Acts 9). The Greek seems to indicate he went to the ground on his own volition. He was not saved and was knocked to the ground by a light and had a revelation of Christ.
Paul was CONSCIOUSLY carrying on a conversation with the Lord, unlike the trance state of those being “slain” in the NAR. In John 18:46 the pagan sinners DID FALL BACKWARDS; the soldiers “drew back and fell to the ground,” but they FELL TO THE GROUND IN JUDGMENT. There is no mention of the Spirit, no relationship between “Spirit” and “power” and “Jesus.” Those who are “being slain in the Spirit” today are denying these biblical facts in order to embrace an experience.

The Bible teaches that no one can see the glory of God without death. 2 Corinthians—Jesus revealed the glory of the Lord. This glory is revealed in the PERSON OF JESUS, period. The glory of the Lord was veiled in Moses, just as it was in Christ. Any other “glory’ is a demonic manifestation. Intrinsic glory is the sum of all of the attributes of God; ascribed glory is the glory we give to God alone. That is it with any biblical glory. Furthermore, the Lord gives the Holy Spirit without measure (John 3:34), and there is no “calling down” the glory or the Holy Spirit or any such thing, according to Scripture. What is being called down is another spirit and perhaps Satan himself. Charismatics “calling down the glory” have no knowledge of what it even means to be saved obviously, much less biblical knowledge, trafficking in dark, devilish spirits. For a saved person, we are to give MORE OF OURSELVES TO GOD, not ask for more of God in perversion, for power that is based on lust and ego. When John saw Jesus glorified in heaven in Rev. 1:17, he “fell at His feet
as dead.” John did not recognize Him as the Jesus he knew on earth, which further leads to the demonic error of “CALLING DOWN GLORY,” as if anyone who sees God can even

JOHN 10:41-42: “John performed NO sign…”But, people believed, and it was TRUTH that converted them, not a sign. We are cut by the Spirit, which is the Word (John 6:63; Hebrews 4:12). So, salvation comes through the Gospel, according to the Bible, not “signs and wonders.” One is objective through which the Holy Spirit teaches and convicts, and the other is subjective, by a person touching you or imparting a power or doing the “work” of praying a certain way. Matthew 12:39 says only an evil and adulterous generation will seek after a sign… Also, see Matthew 24:24

“Love the Lord with all of your…MIND…” (Matthew 22:37); Fruit of the Spirit is SELF CONTROL (Galatians 5); This false worship is also idolatry because it is not worship to the
true and living God. There is no one saved in the Bible barking like a dog or rolling in laughter.

The end of the New Testament is the end of divine revelation. Rev. 22 warns that nothing is to be added. Prophets do not exist today because we have the Bible. No new apostles needed, because we have the Bible, the canonization we need.

Acts 1:21-23—They had to be eyewitnesses to Jesus; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. Acts 9: Paul saw the Lord on the Damascus Road. No new apostles today.

NAR bases this on Ephesians 4:11, but the original apostles never grabbed that title to themselves. The Lord picked them; this movement is based on the ego with false prophecies and false signs and wonders to deceive. Matthew 24:24.

This is egotistical madness to think any group of human beings would have the kind of power to pull this off. NAR is built on the notion that there are apostles today, and these “apostles” “anoint” themselves or each other! No such thing in Scripture and totally based on the ego, which goes totally against the Holy Spirit which sets itself AGAINST THE FLESH SO WE CANNOT DO WHAT WE PLEASE. (Galatians 5:17) According to the Bible, Christians are never called to dominate the culture (1 john 5:19) and the world gets worse and worse and then Jesus comes to judge the world with fire. In Daniel we read that the Son of Man
is given the kingdom, not Christians. See Revelation 19 for the real kingdom of God with the coming of Christ. Until then, things are predestined to get worse and worse.

Philippians 1:29—we are called to suffer for His sake. 2 Timothy 2:3—“suffer hardship with me as a true soldier of Christ Jesus.”

As people seek after “angels” or angel guides in this movement, they do not know that Lucifer parades himself as an angel of light (Isaiah 14:12-13; 2 Corinthians 11:14); demons are fallen angels, too. (Matthew 25:41); We are not to seek after the worship of angels (Colossians 2:18)

I would be afraid to even be in one of those services. Those who are in Christ, according to the Bible, are driven by the MIND; those who are not in Christ are driven by feelings. In the NAR services there are people jerking like those of the kundalini spirit in Hindu cults! It is like a spiritual narcotic. Yes, we are to be “filled by the Holy Spirit” (Eph. 5:18) but this comes with the fruits of the Spirit, not the fruits of the demonic.




ISAIAH 5:20: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light ad light for darkness…” Also see 2 John 8-11


NAR vs. the Bible – Part Two (PDF Download)


In Jude 9, even Michael the Archangel, much more powerful than a human, did not pronounce judgment against Satan, did not try to go to war with Satan, but instead said, “The Lord rebuke you.”

The Bible teaches the battle is the Lord’s, not ours. (1 Samuel 17:47). THE EMPHASIS IS ON JESUS, not Satan. Our victory is in Jesus. The devil flees, as we “abide in Jesus” through prayer, sound worship, and OBEDIENCE. Our victory is in KNOWING THE BIBLE, because to abide in Jesus means to abide in what the Bible teaches. (John 1:1). Satan is defeated when we have the faith to obey Scripture over our feelings. 1 John 3:8 “He who sins is of the devil for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested that HE might destroy the works of the devil.” John 15:4 says, “Abide in Me, and I in you.” To stay away from the devil, according to the Bible, is to stay away from sin.

Romans 16:20 says “the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet…” It does not say that we will crush Satan under our feet. God is the One taking the action on our behalf. The battle is between Christ and Satan; as we abide in Jesus, we win. As we belong to Jesus and live for Him, we have all we need for victory IN JESUS. When we are tempted, it would often be much easier to “cast out demons” and walk around anointing doorposts with oil than to simply OBEY by walking in the Spirit and not the flesh (Galatians 5:17).  We are told in Ephesians 6:10-17 to “put on the full armor of God.” This means to know God’s Word and live in obedience to it. Nowhere are we taught to talk to demons. Victory for the Christian is in self-denial, picking up our cross and dying daily,” much more powerful than merely “casting out demons” left and right, apart from surrender (1 Corinthians 15:31).


Our words do not create reality; God’s Word does. Our faith is not omnipotent; God is. When God told Abraham he would have a son, he did not believe it and Sarah “said” she was too old. They still had Isaac. Moses “said” he was not a good speaker, and God still sent him to talk to Pharoah. Moses said, “Please, Lord…I am slow of speech and slow of tongue…” (Exodus 4:10). He did not “claim” a perfect tongue but even believed he was inadequate, and God overruled his fear and spoke through him for His glory. It is what God wants that matters. God is about bringing Himself glory, not sharing His glory with people thinking they are “speaking things into existence,” which is a practice that goes against how Jesus taught us to pray.

God overrules our words. He is God. Our words are not. God is sovereign. (Acts 4:28). We see a plan that He has predestined, and whatever He has predestined will occur. “Can anyone change His sovereign plan?”  Isaiah 43:13: “I act and who can reverse it?” “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways.” Isaiah 55:8-9. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”  Psalm 19:14. God is God, and He will not be overruled by my words. Isaiah 46:9-10: “…I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure…”

 Notice, the “apostles” in the NAR never “name and claim” suffering; yet, the Bible says we are called to it: 2 Timothy 2:3, (The Lord suffered Luke 17:25); Phil. 1:29, 2 Timothy 3:12


Verses proving it is NOT God’s will for everyone to be healed: Exodus 4:11: “Who made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf or seeing or blind? Is it not the Lord?” John 11:4: “This sickness is not unto death but for the glory of God that the Son of God may be glorified. God also “blinds” and “hardens” (John 12:40). Why would God let anyone be sick to begin with if He never wanted anyone sick?

Acts 3:10—Lame beggar had no faith, yet God healed him.

How much faith does a dead person have? When Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead, it had nothing to do with the faith of Lazarus. (John 11:43-44)

So, if there are really apostles today, why not go to the hospitals and heal everyone there? The miracles of healing that Jesus and the true apostles did were to show that Jesus was the Messiah and to spread the Gospel for that time and purpose. “Healings” in the NAR are either undocumented, when pressed for truth, or done apart from belief in the Jesus of the Bible, Second Person of the Trinity, which puts the healings in the satanic realm of signs and wonders. Same with the miracles of healing from witch doctors into voodoo and healings and signs and wonders in Hindu ashrams and cultic leaders from Jim Jones to Sai Baba.


Genesis 40:8—dream interpretations belong to God, not man. (New Age cults like Eckankar and Christian Science teach dream interpretation much like the NAR). “We renounce the hidden things.” 2 Corinthians 4:2; Even the personal visions or messages to Paul, Peter and Cornelius were directly related to preaching the Gospel, or their protection while doing it. (Acts 9:10-12). There is nothing for our own personal careers, marriage plans, financial success or whatever when it comes to dreams or visions in the Bible mentioned in the first place.


Man is not divine, and man is not God: Ezek. 28:2, Hosea 11:9.

“I am God and there is no other. I am God, and there is no one like Me.” Isaiah 46:9; The Bible teaches “the flesh profits nothing.”  John 6:63, John 2:24-25; “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick…” Jeremiah 17:9.  The flesh cannot be both sacred and desperately sick. “…the intent of man’s heart is evil…” Genesis 8:21; “Stop regarding man” Isaiah 2:22.

Many cite John 10:34-35 as basis for believing that Christians can be “little gods,” as Kenneth Copeland put it or divine, as is widely taught in the NAR, but when Jesus said, “ye are gods,” He was quoting Psalm 82:6-7, and that word translated means judges. After all, if it really meant “gods,” the Scripture Jesus quoted from Psalms would have not gone on to say, “but you will die like men.” So, Psalm 82:6-7 refers to judges “who will die like men,” and John 10:34-35 is not at all referring to man as divine. (We interpret Scripture by Scripture, never just isolating a verse to make it mean whatever we want). Isaiah 47:10-11: “…Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; for you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’ But, evil will come on you…”


Jude 3 says we contend for the faith ONCE FOR ALL handed down to the saints. There are no “new words from God” coming. We have the Bible. Psalm 19: 13: Keep us from presumptuous sins…Rev. 22:18-19: we are forbidden to add or take away from the Word of God.

If God is still giving revelation today, it seems He is only coming to the cultists and charismatics, because the rest of professing Christians are trusting in God’s already revealed prophecy, through His Word, to lead them. And, could it be that that is because obedience is much harder than the ego driven prayers for power, no suffering and ruling the world?


Matthew 12:25-30—Jesus judges anyone who gives credit to the Holy Spirit when indeed demons are in control.

Test the Spirits 1 John 4:1


“…the days are evil” Ephesians 5:16, not days for our “dominion.”

1 John 5:19 “The whole world lies in the domain of the evil one” (not the NAR apostles) Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) Jesus is coming again, and we are to long for His coming instead of “a coming of apostolic dominion” not found in the Bible. The second coming of Jesus is not a metaphor for “new apostles.” John 1, 14, 20: Jesus will come “in the flesh” not upon flesh. (John 20:27, John 21:14)


Genesis 11:6 (Tower of Babel) There will never be a “universal consciousness” or “oneness with the universe”. What the “new apostles” are attempting to do in uniting the world under their control is not biblical.


According to the Bible there is only ONE BAPTISM FOR ALL who are in Christ—EVERYONE WHO IS SAVED HAS “HAD THE BAPTISM,” ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE. Ephesians 4:5 “There is one Lord, one faith, ONE baptism” in the work of regeneration. We all have the Holy Spirit if we are saved, and the Lord “gives the Holy Spirit without measure.” John 3:34. God is a God of order. 1 Corinthians 14:33, 40: “For God is not the author of confusion…” There is a lot going on in these NAR, IHOP (International House of Prayer) meetings, but one of them is not the baptism of the Holy Spirit when everyone starts speaking in tongues. We know this, thanks to the Bible.


Ecstatic experiences, like drug addiction, takes larger and larger doses to satisfy. Tongues are only mentioned in three books in the Bible: Mark 16:17, Acts 2, 10, 19 and 1 Corinthians 12-14, never again in the rest of the Bible when the spiritual gifts are mentioned. This is an interesting point if they are a gift for today. When it appears in Acts it was a known language with a specific and historical purpose for that time. Paul wrote about tongues in Corinthians to CORRECT THE CORINTHIANS FOR PROSTITUTING THE GIFT OF TONGUES into something PAGAN. In 1 Corinthians 14:39 Paul says not to forbid it, but to regulate it. It was a sign to unbelievers that God is speaking. If used in the church, it must always be translated. (1 Corinthians 14:5). Chaos, confusion and disorder is not of God and would violate the legitimate use of tongues in the Bible.

The NAR “prophets” and “apostles” claim that when they speak in tongues it is the “tongues of angels” mentioned in the Bible in 1 Cor. 13, but when angels spoke to people in the Bible, it was always a language that was understood, never gibberish.

THERE IS NOWHERE IN THE BIBLE THAT SAYS WE ARE TO HAVE A PRIVATE PRAYER LANGUAGE. In Romans 8, the Holy Spirit is the One making the intercession; He is the Person (not us) doing it with “groanings that cannot be uttered.” He is doing it without uttering anything, and He is doing it without us uttering anything!

The tongues at Pentecost was a fulfillment of prophecy in Isaiah 28:11, 12 when God told the nation of Israel He would talk in a Gentile language, which happened at Pentecost. Tongues was a sign of God speaking, not for a private prayer language, but for the spread of the Gospel.

Mystery religions were involved in trance-like experiences with ecstatic speech, both privately and publicly, and the Corinthians were involved in counterfeiting tongues, too. They were doing this to build themselves up, to build up one’s ego, and this was happening in Corinth. Paul was admonishing them against this. It is akin to ecstasy. See 1 Cor. 12:2. Flipping out in a trance-like state and speaking in tongues in private or public worship is not a part of prayer or worship to the true and living God. What is happening is either self-induced gibberish or satanic.

To go off and do this privately is not the biblical use of a spiritual gift, as the legitimate gift is not for self-edification but for the body of Christ. It is not for the person’s benefit but for others. (1 Peter 4:10). This eliminates the “private prayer language”

1 Cor. 13—Love is better than “showy” gifts. 1 Cor. 13:8: “…tongues will cease” Tongues were a sign to unbelieving Israel in the time of transition to the New Covenant; no need for such a sign now.

TONGUES IN CHURCH HISTORY: From AD58-AD96 when John finished the book of Revelation no tongues or sign gift were even reported. By Hebrews 2, 3, 4 tongues were already something in the past. In the post-apostolic age, no mention of tongues in the first few years of church history. Augustine considered tongues obsolete. During the first 500 years of the church, the only time there is a mention of tongues is in connection with heretics. In the late 17th century a group of Protestants began speaking in tongues and making prophecies that went unfulfilled. A sect of Catholics who opposed the Reformers claimed to speak in tongues, and there were The Shakers, an American sect of Quakers in the 18th Century who spoke in tongues. They were led by “Mother Ann Lee” who claimed to be the female equivalent of Jesus Christ and claimed to speak 72 languages and believed that sexual intercourse in marriage was sinful. 19th Century “Irvingites” became the Catholic apostolic church and also spoke in tongues. These are all examples of counterfeit tongues, because the biblical tongues ceased.

The “final outpouring of the Spirit” is not speaking in tongues but will be in the millennial kingdom. (See book of Joel). This is not the millennial kingdom.

Ecstatic tongue speaking is part of many religions in Africa, and Muslims, Mormons, Eskimos, Tibetan Monks, Hindus, Hare Krishnas, and occult groups all speak in tongues in their trance-like states. Joseph Smith also spoke in tongues. Whether it is learned behavior, self-induced or demonic, it is not biblical. The burden of proof should be on the people speaking in tongues to prove it is of God, and they cannot based on the Bible, especially in a public service with no interpreter.


Can we judge whether this NAR movement is sound? Yes! We are called to judge those “inside the church,” and since the people involved claim to be Christians, we are called to judge truth vs. error: 1 Cor. 2:15; 1 Cor. 5:3,12-13; 1 Cor. 6:1-4. The passages that command us TO judge are in context with judging according to what the Bible teaches to differentiate sound doctrine from heresy. God commands us to judge according to the standards of His word, so we will not be deceived. 1 John 4:1, Matthew 24:23-25; Acts 17:11, 1 Cor. 14:29; 2 Timothy 4:2-4; 2 Thess. 2:8-12


We are commanded to preach the Word (not experiences). 2 Timothy 4:2-4; Matthew 16:24: If anyone wishes to come after Jesus he must deny himself. The true Gospel is all about self-denial. Matthew 7:14: the way is narrow that leads to life. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30; True Christians boast only in the cross—Galatians 6:14; Repentance, a turning from sin, something not taught in the NAR, is what it means to follow Jesus: Luke 24:47; Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30; We must follow Jesus and not just believe Mark 10:21; and if we follow, we will suffer—Luke 17:25; we are called to suffer– Phil. 1:29. The fear of the Lord, not experience, is the beginning of wisdom.– Psalm 111:10. We have a Savior who did all of the work for us on the cross and said, “It is finished,” never leaving any mandate for us “to take authority” over all the land (He cursed in Genesis) and “claim rulership over territories” like we are “little gods.”


Paul preached the truth, not experience, and “reasoned” with them in Acts 17, based on the Gospel. Nowhere do we find that he chased experiences like “being slain” or “fire tunnels” and certainly never “holy laughter.” He was persecuted and promised that anyone who wishes to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, too. 2 Timothy 3:12. His message was the Gospel and “to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified.”


Jesus prayed in Mark 14:36, not His will but His Father’s be done. The NAR “prophets” know nothing of this because they only claim whatever they want and assume that what they want is what God wants. In Psalm 50:21 God warns, “You thought I was just like you.”



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