The leaders of the apostolic-prophetic movement state openly that their teachings are those of the Latter Rain movement of the 1940s. Why, then, are these teachings — which were considered unorthodox back then — being embraced by so many, so openly, today?
Proponents of the movement include C. Peter Wagner (pictured here), a former professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary for 28 years and author of books on spiritual warfare and gifts of the spirit. His books Churchquake! and Changing Church are popular sources that promote the movement, and Wagner is also the founder and “presiding apostle” of the “International Coalition of Apostles,” a network of over 330 “apostles.” ICA Members
The ICA membership, at one time, included Ted Haggard (pictured here, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals), who worked closely with Wagner for some years, including creating the World Prayer Center together at Haggard’s church, where the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders was birthed (more on the ACPE later). Haggard also has endorsed many books promoting the movement, including Moving in the Apostolic (Regal Books, 1999) by John Eckhardt; Apostles and the Emerging Apostolic Movement (Renew Books, 1996) by David Cannistraci; and The Future War of the Church (Regal Books, 2001) by Chuck D. Pierce and Rebecca Wagner Sytsema.
And fifty well-known charismatics held a symposium on the movement, January 6-7, 2004, in Orlando, Florida. Hosted by the magazine Ministries Today, the symposium was moderated by the magazine’s senior editorial adviser, Jack Hayford (president of the Foursquare Church). Other participants included Wagner, Haggard, Rick Joyner (a “prophet”), Reinhard Bonnke, Myles Munroe, Rod Parsley, and Joyce Meyer.
Hayford (pictured here) also wrote the foreword to Understanding the Fivefold Ministry, a 2005 book that promotes the movement, featuring contributors like “prophetess” Cindy Jacobs (founder of the Generals of Intercession prayer and spiritual warfare ministry). While it is true that one can hold to the fivefold ministry doctrine without embracing the aberrant teachings of the apostolic-prophetic movement, those aberrant teachings are taught by Wagner (who contributes a chapter to the book and whose books on the movement are recommended by the book for further reading) and Bill Hamon (whose books are also recommended by the book for further reading). As I pointed out in my last post, Wagner teaches that apostles have unquestioned authority, and Hamon teaches that prophets give the church new doctrinal revelation. I am surprised and disappointed that Hayford’s credibility is being used to support these teachers.
Also, Thomas Nelson — a leading evangelical publisher — released a book promoting the movement in 2001, The Restoration of the Apostles and Prophets by Héctor Torres.
These are examples of how the apostolic-prophetic movement is entering mainstream evangelicalism. The question is: Were the Latter Rain teachings unorthodox, as long believed? If so, then why are they being embraced now? What has changed?