The Call

November 2, 2008
Dr. James Dobson speaking at The Call, San Diego.

Dr. James Dobson speaking at The Call, San Diego.

Thousands of Christians gathered at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Nov. 1, to fast and pray in support of Proposition 8 — which would ban same-sex marriage.

The Call” received support from prominent evangelical leaders like Dr. James Dobson (who spoke at the event) and from many Southern California churches — even though its list of organizers reads like a “Who’s Who” of the apostolic-prophetic movement. Well-known “apostles” and “prophets” behind the event include founder Lou Engle, C. Peter Wagner, Che Ahn, Rick Joyner, Bill Hamon, Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, Dutch Sheets and more. See the national board and advisory board.

What’s the problem with this? The apostolic-prophetic movement promotes modern-day “apostles” and “prophets” who claim to wield unlimited authority and give new doctrinal revelation in addition to Scripture. It’s teachings have historically been considered outside orthodox Christianity.

Why would mainstream evangelicals like Dr. Dobson, Michael W. Smith (Christian musician) and Steve Douglas (president of Campus Crusade) partner with this fringe movement? (See other prominent evangelicals here.) My guess — and hope — is that they aren’t aware of the organizers’ teachings. But in their zest to support marriage and family values, their participation gives the movement greater visibility and credibility in mainstream evangelicalism.

As a result, many Christians who never heard of Lou Engle or Cindy Jacobs or Dutch Sheets before are going to want to learn more about them, buy their books and attend their churches. Then they’re going to start being exposed to dangerous apostolic-prophetic teachings.


‘Apostles’ From Well-Known Ministries

May 14, 2007

I just finished reading C. Peter Wagner’s new book, Apostles Today (Regal Books), and plan to comment on it in upcoming posts. In this book, like Wagner’s past books, he argues that modern “apostles” have an extraordinary amount of authority that Christians must submit to — or else be outside of God’s will.

Though I will address this teaching more in a future post, the reason I mention it now is because I recently saw a discussion board where people were praising the New Apostolic Reformation. Someone had posted a statement from my blog where I said that this movement promotes apostles with unquestioned authority and prophets who give new doctrinal revelation not found in Scripture. Someone responded and said my statement was untrue. Yet, my statement is true, and I will continue to show — from Wagner’s own writings and from other leaders in the movement — what they teach about modern “apostles” and “prophets.”

In this post, I want to briefly point out leaders of some well-known ministries who are members of Wagner’s “International Coalition of Apostles.” Many Christians may be surprised to learn of these leaders’ affiliation with Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation. Their participation shows the movement’s growing influence in the church. Some notable members include:

Notable ICA Members

• Chris Hayward, president of “Cleansing Stream Ministries,” based in Van Nuys, Calif.
• Jane Hansen, president of “Aglow International,” based in Edmonds, Wash.
• Dick Eastman, international president of “Every Home for Christ,” based in Colorado Springs, Colo.
• Hal H. Sacks, founder and president of “BridgeBuilders International Leadership Network” in Phoenix, Ariz.
• Lee Grady, editor of Charisma magazine, and Stephen Strang, founder of Strang Communications (publisher of seven Christian magazines, including Charisma).

See the full list of members of the International Coalition of Apostles here.

Cleansing Stream Ministries
Cleansing Stream Ministries has “deliverance ministry teams” in over 2,500 U.S. churches and over 500 churches in other countries. Many of these churches wouldn’t consider themselves part of the New Apostolic Reformation or even know about this movement. Upcoming retreats led by Cleansing Stream are scheduled at many churches, including “New Life Church” in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Ted Haggard’s former church) and “The Church on the Way” in Van Nuys, Calif. (the church Jack Hayford founded). See the full list of Cleansing Stream retreats here.

One of Cleansing Stream’s books that they use with their teaching materials is written by “prophet” Chuck Pierce, and Cleansing Stream links to Wagner’s Web site from theirs. When one understands that Cleansing Stream president, Chris Hayward, is a member of Wagner’s International Coalition of Apostles, the reason for the organization’s promotion of New Apostolic leaders becomes clear. Apparently, Hayward has bought into Wagner’s movement. Unfortunately, through Cleansing Stream many people will be unwittingly introduced to New Apostolic teachings.

‘Aglow International’ and Others

The same goes with Aglow International. Its international advisors include prominent “apostles” and “prophets” like Che Ahn, Rick Joyner, Cindy Jacobs and Wagner. See the full list here. And Charisma magazine regularly features favorable articles on modern “apostles” and “prophets” (like Wagner and Pierce), which is no surprise given both the editor and publisher’s memberships in the International Coalition of Apostles. Many Christians also would probably be surprised to learn of the involvement in the movement by Dick Eastman (Every Home for Christ).

Of course, many Christians have probably been saved or otherwise blessed through their involvement with these ministries and have no knowledge of the leaders’ involvement with the New Apostolic Reformation. My point in mentioning their membership in the International Coalition of Apostles is not to pick on them or disparage their entire ministries. It’s to show how this movement is expanding its reach — and to show the importance of informing more Christians about this movement so they won’t be misled into its aberrant teachings.


Unfair Caricature?

May 4, 2007

As I was reading through old comments on my blog, I saw that one poster said I took the most extreme examples of error on the fringes of the apostolic-prophetic movement and unfairly applied them to the whole movement. I want to respond to this charge.

First, I want to be clear that the apostolic-prophetic movement is a huge, worldwide movement made up of many different people and strands of thought. I don’t believe that all Christians who are part of this movement are equally in error.

I define the apostolic-prophetic movement as a charismatic Christian movement that is seeking to restore apostles and prophets in the church. Historically, Protestant Christians have believed that apostles and prophets who give new doctrinal revelation have ceased and that the Bible is our sole source of doctrine.

While the apostolic-prophetic movement is seeking to restore apostles and prophets to the church, not all people in this movement view modern “apostles” and “prophets” in the same way. Many believe that “apostles” are simply gifted, visionary leaders who have a strong, evangelistic calling to a specific geographical region or people group (like church planters) and that “prophets” simply have the New Testament gift of prophecy. My blog isn’t critiquing people who define “apostles” and “prophets” in this way (though I do think the terms can create confusion when not clarified).

C. Peter Wagner headshot But others in the apostolic-prophetic movement believe that “apostles” and “prophets” are giving new doctrinal revelation to the church (new teachings not found in the Bible) and that all Christians must submit to the “apostles” and “prophets” — in fact, the whole world must submit to them. A well-known supporter of these teachings is C. Peter Wagner (pictured here). He calls the apostolic-prophetic movement the “New Apostolic Reformation.” I may also start using this term to clarify which part of the movement my blog is critiquing — the part that shares Wagner’s unorthodox views of apostles and prophets.

Charisma Cover, May 2007 I’ve talked about Wagner in past posts, so I won’t go into much detail on him now other than to say that he’s a former professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, he’s written many books on the New Apostolic Reformation, and he leads several influential organizations of “apostles” and “prophets” — including the “International Coalition of Apostles” (ICA’s Web site) and the “Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders” (see the ACPE’s “Word of the Lord for 2007”). Some of the well-known “apostles” and “prophets” in these organizations include Chuck Pierce, Cindy Jacobs, John Kelly, Dutch Sheets and Steve Shultz (founder of Elijah Rain magazine and the “Elijah List,” a Web site that e-mails prophecies daily to more than 130,000 subscribers). These people are becoming very influential in the U.S. charismatic movement and are regularly featured in Charisma magazine. See the current issue (pictured here), which has Chuck Pierce and Dutch Sheets shown on the cover.

My blog focuses mostly on Wagner’s circle of “apostles” and “prophets.” I realize that some people in the apostolic-prophetic movement are concerned about Wagner’s teachings and oppose them. But his teachings aren’t on the outer fringes of the movement — as the poster on my blog claimed. They represent a prominent and growing force within the movement.


Rick Joyner’s ‘Final Quest’

April 9, 2007

Rick Joyner — co-founder of MorningStar Publications and Ministries based in Fort Mill, S.C. — is one of the most well-known leaders in the apostolic-prophetic movement and is regarded by his followers as both a “prophet” and an “apostle.” The Final Quest is perhaps his most popular book. It contains a vision that, Joyner claims, God gave to him to equip the last-days church for its final battle against darkness. The Final Quest is followed by two sequels, titled The Call and The Torch and the Sword. Together, these books have sold over a million copies.

Many people, including dear friends of mine, reported feeling very edified by The Final Quest when they read it. They appreciated the book’s heavenly perspective on the spiritual battle Christians are fighting on earth. It reminded them of the eternal significance of how we spend our time here on earth and the glorious rewards that await us. It encouraged them to be humble by reminding them that many of the Christians who will be the greatest in heaven will have been regarded as the least on earth. It also stresses the importance of simple devotion to Jesus and of love for others.

Concerns About Joyner’s ‘Final Quest’
I just finished reading The Final Quest and also appreciated these emphases in the book. The book also contains teachings, however, that should concern Christians — teachings that directly contradict the Bible’s teachings. Some of them are especially troubling and, I fear, will hinder many people’s relationships with Christ.

When I spoke with my friends about these teachings, they were surprised and said they didn’t remember them being in the book. This may be the case with other Christians who’ve read The Final Quest, so I wanted to point out, specifically, some of these troubling teachings. I will deal with one of them in this post and continue to address more in future posts.

I will dedicate several posts to Joyner’s teachings because of his influence in the apostolic-prophetic movement and because these teachings are promoted by other leaders in the movement. I’m not trying to pick on Joyner, but believe serious errors in his teaching need to be noticed so Christians won’t be misled by them.

For those of you who’ve read The Final Quest, I encourage you to go back and read the pages I cite so you can see these teachings for yourselves (if you didn’t already notice them). Note: I’m using the 1996 edition published by MorningStar Publications, so the page numbers may vary in later editions.

Joyner’s Troubling Teaching No. 1: He claims the book’s vision is more accurate and important than revelation contained in the Bible.
On the back cover and in the book’s introduction (pages 7-14), Joyner says he received the vision from God in parts — over a period of one year. He goes on to explain that there are “many levels of prophetic revelation.”

Joyner’s ‘Levels of Prophetic Revelation’

The first level of revelation is, what Joyner calls, “prophetic impressions” — these can be very specific and accurate when those who receive them know how to interpret them correctly. However, these lower-level revelations also can be distorted by the recipients’ biases and incorrect understandings, according to Joyner.

The second level of revelation is a “special illumination to our minds” given by the Holy Spirit, according to Joyner. He says this level gives us “greater confidence” in the “importance” and “accuracy” of the revelation. However, this level can “still be influenced by our prejudices, doctrines, etc.,” according to Joyner (page 10). He believes this is the same level of revelation the apostles received when they wrote the New Testament letters. Joyner’s exact words are:

“I believe that this was probably experienced by the apostles as they wrote the New Testament epistles” (page 10).

The third level of revelation is “open visions,” which, according to Joyner, is more accurate than the second level (the level at which the apostles received their revelation recorded in scripture).

The fourth level is a “trance,” which Joyner defines as “like dreaming when you are awake.” This is the level at which Joyner received the vision recorded in his book, according to Joyner. He says:

“The visions contained in this book all began with a dream. Some of it came under a very intense sense of the presence of the Lord, but the overwhelming majority was received in some level of a trance” (page 11).

The crucial thing to notice is that Joyner is claiming that the vision he records in The Final Quest is more accurate and important than revelation contained in the Bible. This should alarm Protestant Christians who believe that the Bible is error-free and the final authority for Christian teachings (doctrines).

Joyner’s Inconsistencies
After listing the different levels of prophetic revelation, Joyner makes two important qualifications. Yet, unfortunately, he contradicts both those qualifications in his book.

His First Qualification

Joyner warns that modern prophetic revelations can’t give new teachings in addition to Scripture. He says:

“I must state emphatically that I do not believe that any kind of prophetic revelation is for he purpose of establishing doctrine. We have the Scriptures for that”
(page 12).

He goes on the say that — rather than giving new doctrine — the purposes of prophetic revelation are: (1) to reveal the Lord’s present or future strategic will about certain things; and (2) to illuminate biblical doctrines we have not seen before.

If Joyner truly believes that modern prophetic revelations can’t teach new doctrines, then he should be commended for this. But, unfortunately, he contradicts this statement throughout his book, which gives many new doctrines that can’t be found in the Bible or that directly contradict doctrines taught in the Bible. I will look at these unbiblical doctrines in a future post.

His Second Qualification

Joyner warns that only the Bible is free from error, so he urges his readers to separate the “chaff” from the “wheat” in his written vision. He states:

“Only the Scriptures deserve to be considered infallible” (page 14).

Again, if Joyner truly believes that his vision is subject to error, then he should be commended for this. He should also be commended for teaching that the Bible alone is error-free. But he contradicts these statements by claiming that the level of prophetic revelation recorded in his book is one of the highest and most accurate levels — even higher and more accurate than New Testament scripture. So, Joyner seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth.

Final Thoughts

Toward the end of The Final Quest, Joyner records a conversation he claims to have had with the apostle Paul during his vision. During this conversation, the apostle Paul equates Joyner’s written vision with Paul’s own New Testament scriptures (page 135).

Christians should be alarmed to see Joyner equate his own writing with scripture. Yet, he not only equates his writing with scripture; he actually elevates it above scripture by claiming that his revelation is from a higher level than the New Testament writings.

Given this troubling teaching, I was disturbed to discover that, in 2001, Thomas Nelson (a leading, evangelical Christian publishing house) published Joyner’s The Final Quest and its sequel, The Call, in a one-volume book titled The Vision. Either some editors at Thomas Nelson lack doctrinal discernment, or they were willing to set it aside to make some bucks. Either way, Thomas Nelson bears responsibility for promoting a book with such an unorthodox teaching (and other teachings I will discuss in the future).


Bill Hamon’s Dangerous Doctrines

March 13, 2007

Bill and Evelyn Hamon You may never have heard of Bishop Bill Hamon, but you should know who he is. This man (pictured here with his wife, Evelyn) is one of the most influential “prophets” in the apostolic-prophetic movement, which has entered many charismatic churches — the fastest-growing churches in the world according to church growth researchers.

Hamon’s also one of the most influential charismatics in general — attending the invitation-only “Charismatic Leaders Council,” sponsored by Strang Communications (publisher of Charisma magazine), Jan. 15-16, in Lake Mary, Florida. Yet, Hamon’s teachings are some of the most unorthodox teachings in the church today.

Hamon’s Teachings
Hamon teaches that Christ can’t return to earth until Christians form a “militant” army — under the leadership of modern apostles and prophets — that will physically subdue the earth and start to establish God’s kingdom in the earth’s governments. Hamon compares this army to the Crusaders, who he describes as the church’s only bright lights during the Dark Ages.

Apostles. Prophets and the Coming Moves of GodGod’s end-times army will achieve victory, in part, by striking God’s enemies with blindness and calling down natural disasters on them — causing entire nations to convert to Christ, according to Hamon. The apostles and prophets will be so powerful that Christians who come into their presence with sin in their lives will be struck dead. All members of the army will become sinless and extremely powerful — as they become more and more enlightened through new doctrines given by the apostles and prophets — finally attaining their own immortality (this is Hamon’s unorthodox take on the rapture). See these teachings in Hamon’s book Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God (pictured here).

Hamon’s Influence in the Apostolic-Prophetic Movement
C. Peter Wagner The apostolic-prophetic movement’s most prominent leader may be C. Peter Wagner (pictured here). Yet, Wagner admits that he got many of his views from Hamon, calling Hamon one of his “closest prophetic colleagues” and confessing his great admiration for Hamon (see page 11 of Wagner’s book Changing Church and the foreword Wagner wrote to Hamon’s book Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God).

Many in the apostolic-prophetic movement regard Hamon as one of the most influential “prophets” today, and those who’ve endorsed his books include Oral Roberts, Tommy Tenney, Cindy Jacobs, Emanuele Cannistraci, David Cannistraci, Earl Paulk and Ed Silvoso.

Background on Bill Hamon
Prophets and Personal Prophecy As the founder and bishop of Christian International Ministries Network based in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, Hamon oversees over 600 churches in 19 countries (see the list here), and he’s authored several books that have been influential in the apostolic-prophetic movement, including Prophets and Personal Prophecy (pictured here). He conducts popular seminars that teach people how to prophesy. (I attended one at the Azusa Street Centennial in Los Angeles last April, and the line of people went out the door. His questionable methods for “activating” people into prophetic gifting are topics for another post.) He also founded Christian International School of Theology, from where he earned his own two degrees: a bachelor of theology and a master of theology. According to his Web site, he also was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity degree in 1973 from an unnamed “national university,” which was when he assumed the title “Dr. Hamon.”

Hamon also serves on the faculty of the Wagner Leadership Institute, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Prophet-Apostle Hamon
In addition to the titles “Bishop” and “Doctor,” Hamon calls himself “Prophet-Apostle.” In fact, he believes God has chosen him to restore doctrines that the church lost through the ages and to reveal new doctrines and final assignments.

Many of Hamon’s doctrines can’t be found in the Bible — but this doesn’t concern Hamon, who teaches that modern “apostles” and “prophets” give the church new doctrines that supplement those given by the original apostles and prophets. In Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God, Hamon says:

“He [Paul] also reveals that this anointing for divine revelation was not just given to the prophets of old but has now been equally given to Christ’s Holy Apostles and Prophets in His Church” (page 140).

This teaching — that new doctrines are needed to supplement Scripture — is a mark of the cults of Christianity, like Mormonism. In contrast, Protestants believe that Christians get their teachings from the Bible alone, which God revealed through the original prophets and apostles.

Hamon’s New Doctrines vs. the Bible
While Hamon claims that his new doctrines supplement Scripture, they also contradict it. The revelations given by the apostle John in the biblical book of Revelation, for example, teach that the judgments against the wicked will be brought by God, not Christians, and that the rapture will be God’s means of sparing Christians from the effects of those judgments, not a means of attaining their own immortality.

‘Manifest Sons of God’ Doctrine
Hamon’s teachings are consistent with the heretical “manifest sons of God doctrine,” which teaches that a breed of super-Christians will arise and subdue the earth. Another common strain of this doctrine is that Christians are gods, whose divinity will be revealed — or using King James Language — be manifested. Read more about this doctrine here.

Supporters of this doctrine misapply the biblical teaching about the church being Christ’s body, using it to argue that the church actually becomes part of God. (See pages 266-267 of Hamon’s book Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God, where he seems to be misusing this teaching this way.) Also, in his books, Hamon capitalizes the words “Church” and “Bride” to show the church’s “union with Deity through Jesus Christ,” according to an explanatory note. Statements like these, which appear throughout Hamon’s materials, make it appear he is teaching that the church actually becomes part of God.

Of course, 2 Peter 1:4 does teach that we “participate in the divine nature,” but this refers to the Holy Spirit who indwells us, enabling us — as the passage goes on to state — to “escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” It does not teach that our nature actually becomes divine. The teaching that human beings can become divine is the same lie that Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden.

In light of these troubling teachings, Hamon’s influence on so many Christians today disturbs me. I plan to read more of his writings and discuss more of his teachings in future posts.


Casting Out Demons, Miracles and the Real Test for a Prophet

October 30, 2006

The Exorcism Can Christians cast out demons, prophesy and perform miracles in Jesus’ name? Yes. Can false prophets cast out demons, prophesy and perform miracles in Jesus’ name? Yes.

Since the Bible teaches both these realities, we can’t automatically assume that someone who does a supernatural feat in the name of Jesus is from God.

The only sure test we have for these people is their teaching. What teachings accompany their ministries? Are they sound teachings that come from the Bible? Or are they unbiblical teachings that have another source?

The Bible gives us this test in Deuteronomy 13:1-5, where it says that if a prophet gives an accurate prophecy or performs a miracle, but he encourages his followers to worship another God, then he is a false prophet. The apostle John tells us that there are many false prophets, so we must test their teachings (1 John 4:1-3). We are also told in Matthew 7:21-23 that many people will not enter heaven — even though they called Jesus “Lord” and cast out demons, prophesied and performed many miracles in Jesus’ name. In Revelation 13:11-15 and 19:20, we are told that, in the end times, the False Prophet will perform mighty miracles that will deceive many people into following the Antichrist.

Chuck Pierce headshot So, now, let’s apply this test to some of the “prophets” in the apostolic-prophetic movement. How about Chuck Pierce (pictured here)? I chose him because he is a key player in movement. Pierce is the vice president of Global Harvest Ministries in Colorado Springs, Colo. (C. Peter Wagner’s organization), and he’s the president of Glory of Zion International Ministries in Denton, Texas (both are apostolic-prophetic ministries). He’s also on the executive boards of the International Coalition of Apostles (a network for apostles) and the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders (a network for prophets).

Pierce claims to be a prophet. According to his Glory of Zion Web site, he is “known for his accurate prophetic gifting which helps direct nations, cities, churches and individuals in understanding the times and seasons we live in.” The book Understanding the Fivefold Ministry (Charisma House, 2005) — endorsed by Jack Hayford — holds up Pierce as a true prophet of God and states that he accurately prophesied Saddam Hussein’s capture a week before he was captured.

Right now, we won’t focus on the fact that Pierce, himself, has admitted that he has given inaccurate prophecies in the past (which would disqualify him as a true prophet of God, according to Deuteronomy 18:20-22). Instead, we will focus on his teachings. When we do, we will discover that his ministry is built on the promotion of teachings that have no basis in the Bible and that contradict the Bible. Let’s briefly consider some of those teachings.

First, let’s look at his ministry’s doctrinal statement on his Web site. Notice how it doesn’t even address essential Christian teachings, like the Trinity and Jesus’ death and resurrection. Of course — from this sparse doctrinal statement — we can’t conclude that he doesn’t believe in these essential doctrines. But we can see that he doesn’t seem to emphasize them. One may rightly wonder why doctrines that are so crucial aren’t included here?

Side note: I am sometimes contacted by people who want to know if so-and-so is a false prophet. The first thing I often do when researching Christian teachers is look at their ministries’ doctrinal statements. If they don’t affirm essential Christian doctrines, then there may be cause for concern. However, even if their doctrinal statements are orthodox, that doesn’t necessarily mean the teachers are. I’ve found that many false teachers have orthodox doctrinal statements, but what they teach at their conferences and write in their books is anything but orthodox.

Now, let’s go to a second step in evaluating Chuck Pierce’s claim to be a prophet. Let’s look at his writings. In his book The Future War of the Church (Regal Books, 2001), Pierce claims God gave him a vision of the end times that shows that God is establishing a new government for the church. This government is led by apostles (with great authority) and prophets (with new revelation). Their goal is to form an end-times army to establish God’s kingdom on earth before Christ returns. Pierce compares the current church to a prison that Christians need to be freed from (and the church leaders, by implication, are compared to prison wards). He says, soon, all church leaders will have to submit to these new apostles and prophets.

Pierce’s teachings are consistent with those of the apostolic-prophetic movement and the Latter Rain movement of the 1940s (which was declared heretical by most evangelicals). In his book, Pierce directly ties his teachings to the apostolic-prophetic movement, stating on page 35: “I have come to believe that this new Church structure, the Church of the Future, is what C. Peter Wagner has termed the New Apostolic Reformation” (another name for the movement). Interestingly, this book is endorsed on the back cover by Ted Haggard, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals — yet, Haggard denied any involvement in the movement during a 2005 radio interview aired on “Issues, Etc.” in St. Louis, Mo. Listen to the interview here (at the end of the interview). Windows Media Version or MP3 audio

Yet, nowhere in the Bible do we see a great end-times army led by apostles and prophets with unquestioned authority and new revelation. In fact, we are warned about false teachers who seek to take the place of the original apostles and lord it over us (Galatians 4:17). We are also told to test all teachings by comparing them to the teachings of the original prophets and apostles as recorded in the Bible (2 Peter 1:19, 3:2 and 2 Timothy 1:13, 3:14-17). If their teachings deviate, then we are told to reject them. We are also told that Scripture contains everything we need to lead the Christian life (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Furthermore, the Bible teaches in Revelation (and in other prophetic passages) that Christ must return to earth to establish His kingdom Himself. Christians won’t establish it before He returns.

All Pierce’s teachings add up to significant departures from orthodox Christianity. Yet, Pierce has dedicated his ministry to them. Similarly to the founders of Christian cults — like Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism — Pierce argues that Scripture is not sufficient for us, but that we need new doctrinal revelation from new prophets (like himself) for victory in these last days.

So, if Pierce gives a prophecy that is fulfilled, then does that make him a true prophet? No.

Other people who claim to be prophets — or miracle workers or whatever — can be tested in the same way.


Prominent Evangelicals Promote ‘Apostles’ and ‘Prophets’

September 21, 2006

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?

C. Peter Wagner 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

Ted Haggard 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.

Jack Hayford 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?


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