The New Apostolic Reformation – Part Four: Is the Assemblies of God Part of the NAR?

Technically, the answer is no. The AG position papers separate themselves from the teaching found in the NAR. However, AG churches are congregational, and have a lot of autonomy from their district leadership. As such, it is up to the pastors and leaders in those individual churches as to what extent they allow NAR influence in their congregations. Unfortunately, there are many which offer no filter for NAR influence.

I am thankful for the wisdom and leadership from the General Council of the Assemblies of God, urging their ministers to be aware of such issues that affect their churches. One of these issues is the New Apostolic Reformation, as seen here in a letter to all AG ministers:

http://ag.org/top/General_Superintendent/Ministers_Letter/2015_issue_01.pdf     (See pages 6-8)

All of the following Assembly of God Position Papers clarify the distinct differences between what the AG Denomination promotes as sound teaching and what the NAR teaches. Reading through these position papers should convince AG pastors that The New Apostolic Reformation contains teachings contrary to the positions of the Assemblies of God, and should, therefore, be monitored closely in their congregations. Furthermore, these position papers should provide a guide for those attending an Assembly of God church where the influence of the NAR is growing. Remaining in such a church should be a prayerful consideration and should include respectful conversations with your pastors and boards regarding the NAR components concerning you in your church.

Apostles and Prophets:
http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/Position_Papers/pp_downloads/pp_4195_apostles_prophets.pdf

Rapture:
http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/Position_Papers/pp_downloads/pp_4182_rapture.pdf

Impartation of Spiritual Gifts:
http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/topics/sptlissues_imparting_spiritual_gifts.cfm

Kingdom of God/Kingdom Now
http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/Position_Papers/pp_downloads/PP_The_Kingdom_of_God.pdf

Prophets and Personal Prophecy
http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/topics/sptlissues_prophets_prophecies.cfm

End-Time Revival
http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/Position_Papers/pp_downloads/pp_endtime_revival.pdf

8 comments on “The New Apostolic Reformation – Part Four: Is the Assemblies of God Part of the NAR?

  1. Sara, this is absolutely incredible! Thank you so much for your courage in printing this! I definitely know some of these names on the list and some of them for some reason (now I know) just didn’t sit well in my spirit. What a deception that is being played on the church, which of course is nothing new! That verse in Matthew “or false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” is a warning to us today that these things will happen. It makes my heart so sad to see that the sheep are being led by a pack of wolves and they have no idea it is even happening! I am so thankful that I sat under a pastor that stressed time and time again how important it is for us to read the Bible and hide it in our hearts and I sit under the teaching of another pastor that preaches and believes that the Bible is the inerrant, immutable word of God. Please do not stop bringing truth to light, and know that I am praying for you!

  2. Dear Sarah,
    Thank you for your careful treatise on the NAR.
    First, Let me say, concerning your misuse of the term “concerning” that, while the statements of NAR “leaders” may be troubling or of concern, to say that they are concerning is grammatically in correct.
    In speaking to the main points of your treatise let me say that I share your concerns. I have seen the tactics that you ascribe to the NAR used by various groups that have gained followings over the years. Re-defining terms, using phraseology that presupposes the “understanding” of the hearer, and other subtle nuances that only initiates are privy to is the stock and trade of the Deceiver from the Beginning. The most susceptible are those who seek experience confusing it with relationship. This was the fallacy of the “Toronto Experience” and whatever went on in Florida. I also see this in the lives of many of those I know who are strongly drawn to Bethel.
    Many of the points that you use in “exposing” the error in the NAR, however, are not as convincing as you make them. In the Gospel of John didn’t he write, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”? In his Epistles he wrote, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” And, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” Didn’t Jesus say, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”? You are well aware of the statements where God said to Messiah, “You are my Son, this day have I begotten Thee.” Would not these support some of the teachings of those you oppose? Is it not possible those who detract from these teachers misunderstand their statements?
    The thing is; according to the Apostle Paul, “… there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” God ordains that heresies exist so that those who are drawn to the truth WILL be drawn to the truth. Why do you think Darwinian Evolution exists? Why do you think Humanism exists? Error exists to manifest truth. God gives to all men the choice of truth and error. His Elect are manifest in that they know the truth and hear his voice.
    “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” None of those who are born of the Spirit will ever be influenced to their peril and will instead be able to draw the truth from the error.
    Contrary to their “great revival” a great persecution will arise, even as recent Supreme Court rulings have made inevitable, as Scripture indicates. Go ahead, blow the horn; but those who may be swayed may not be the ones you think.
    Sorry for the rambling form and lack of cohesiveness. It’s been a while since I’ve done much writing and this situation floods me with more thoughts than I have time to coalesce.
    Thank you for your diligence and your love of truth. Keep seeking.
    Tom Lorz

    • Hi Tom –

      Thanks for taking the time to read, consider and post a response on the blog. I’m not sure I’m understanding all the points you were making, but I definitely want to respond to the verses you mentioned about us being the sons of God. Again, it all comes down to definitions, but the Bible speaks clearly about us being adopted into God’s family, heirs with Christ, etc. We are his children in this sense. However, we will never be “sons” in the way that Johnson teaches in his books, in that we can share the same nature as Jesus. They teach repeatedly in their writings and their messages that Jesus was simply and only a man while on earth. He lived in right relationship with God, and that’s how he received his anointing. This is a complete misunderstanding of the nature of the God-man. Jesus, as God, could never give up his divinity. And, even though we become children of God in some sense, we do not become little gods (like Volloton was teaching and other NAR teachers teach as well). Finally, Jesus was not born again, as they teach, when he resurrected. So, I would disagree, because their understanding of the nature of God is completely mistaken, and that’s a big problem. Next, I have no problem with the Pentecostal understanding of the gifts of the Spirit. I believe that the Holy Spirit still moves in the lives of believers. However, 1 Corinthians also clearly teaches us that God is not a God of chaos but of order. He also gives us discernment and 1 Thess. teaches us to weigh every practice and prophecy according to the established rule: The Word of God. I’m not out to say that there is no good or right thing every done in an NAR service, but on the whole I see a significant and overwhelming lack of discernment and apathy towards doctrine that, in my opinion should concern church leaders. That’s why I appreciate the clarification that AG leaders have tried to bring with their official position papers on the matter. Finally, I agree that there will always be wrong teaching (atheism, humanism) that is being taught and believed outside of the church. However, when that wrong teaching is growing within our churches, that’s also a problem. That’s what Paul spent much of his time weeding out in the churches. As always Tom, I love a good theological conversation, and I appreciate your thoughts and you taking the time to weigh in…even if I still think your wrong 😉

  3. First of all, INCREDIBLE work. You’ve put a lot of time and effort into this and it shows. A lot of these things have been on my radar for a while (friends who seem to be moving toward these movements) but they always put me off (just no desire what so ever to go to these concerts or conferences. A friend sent me a link for Jesus Culture once and I felt really uneasy after looking them and decided to not pursue it further) so I appreciate all the work and prayer you’ve put into putting this together. These posts are very easy to navigate through and tying it all back to the very important differences in essential Christian Doctrine is incredibly important. It’s easy to miss the subtle difference, for as you mentioned, they disguise them quite cleverly. People need to know their doctrine and be alert to false teaching!

  4. Thanks for your reply Sara. You know I love you and enjoy theological sparring.
    I would like to address the idea of things done in order. Much of the order in our churches is a matter of culture and practice. When I first came to understand the fullness of the Spirit I was in high school and was attending a Nazarene Church. Having grown up with the “Sanctification” doctrine of Holiness denominations, it was quite easy to follow the references on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Of course my first effort was to school my former Nazarene pastor on his error. Having all of my ducks in a row, and also having a very patient and loving pastor, we spent hours discussing the gifts of the Spirit and whether they were valid today. Eventually, he accepted the premise that they were indeed for today and I asked him, “If someone stood in your service and began to prophesy, what would you do?’ His response was, “I would have to stop him and have him removed.” “Why?” I asked, “You just conceded that such gifts are valid.” His response was very interesting, “It would be out of order. It would be disruptive and we do not have a practice of such things so God would not work that way.” He was right and I didn’t even try to argue. Over the years I have seen this demonstrated repeatedly. Even at VRCC, if someone was to behave like they do in many Pentecostal or even Assembly of God churches it would be out of order; even though we share the same doctrines.
    Tom

    • I love you guys too Tom! And, I really appreciate the dialogue and the thoughts you’re presenting. I think I may need to clarify what I meant by referencing 1 Cor and 1 Thess in my last reply. First of all, one of the experiences I am most thankful for in my life, is the chance to worship with believers in other countries. It is often different from my personal background, but it is also beautiful. I believe there is a lot of liberty in style of worship. When I made the comment about certain Bethel practices being “out of order,” and needing to be “weighed according to Scripture,” I was meaning to point out that several of their practices are Scripturally confused, and thus, should be corrected. For instance, the fire tunnels, which are common practices in NAR services, rest on the NAR teaching of impartation. This is the belief that a believer, can and will by laying hands on another believer, impart to them a spiritual gift. Classical Pentecostal interpretation of the verses surrounding the gifts (1 Cor. 12 and 14), teaches that only God gives spiritual gifts. We may agree with those seeking a gift of the Holy Spirit, but one believer does not impart, on command or by his or her choosing, a spiritual gift to another believer. If I’m understanding your comments correctly, I would agree that each church that believes that the gifts of the Spirit are for today, will have a way in which they create room for them in their service. But what is out of order in all churches, are false practices. When false spiritual practices are employed in heightened emotional situations, it is my opinion that disorder will always be the result. I’m thankful that AG leadership has put out papers explaining the interpretation of verses between gifts of the Spirit and the NAR teachings on impartations. (http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/topics/sptlissues_imparting_spiritual_gifts.cfm) I look forward to your next response. Cheers! 🙂

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