The Acceleration Of The New Apostolic Reformation’s Influence In South Africa

The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) has infiltrated churches in South Africa at an alarming rate.  While not all churches have morphed into full blown NAR churches, many accept and teach some of the doctrines and practices found in the NAR.   Ways to identify whether a church has fallen for the aberrant teachings of the NAR, is to examine their statements and associations, and to listen to their sermons.  It does not take long before certain catch phrases will alert you to the fact that a church has fallen for the lies of the NAR.  In this post we look at a family of churches, which include South African churches, and show without a doubt that this group has espoused certain teachings of the NAR.

To be clear – this is not judging the salvation of those currently caught up in the teachings of the NAR.  There are saved individuals and individuals who are saved in NAR or NAR influenced churches.  God knows those who are his, and like myself and thousands of other believers who have come out of the NAR or charismania, our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will open their eyes, and that the truth will set them free.  Many who have bought into these false doctrines are passionate for God and may have good intentions, but have failed to exercise discernment.  It’s not loving to watch brothers and sisters in Christ being “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine” and remain silent.  

Church of the Nations (COTN) is an “international family of churches relating through love and commitment to see the Kingdom of God extended on earth.”
They embrace values such as:  “Apostolic alignment… Accountability (being under authority releases authority)…The principle of spiritual Fathers and Sons.”
An international Apostolic council protects and watches over the various churches.  They are responsible for overseeing doctrine, as well as “casting corporate vision.”
COTN have churches in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, Oceana and South America.  There are various church clusters within COTN, and “Apostolic cluster leaders personally relate into COTN directly through a member of the Apostolic Council. This Council has no direct government into any local church except through its cluster leadership.”  Not every church within COTN might subscribe to the false doctrines of the NAR, but nevertheless remain under the authority of the Apostolic council, and their corporate vision.

COTN describe their relationship with the body of Christ in part as follows: “The leaders of COTN will continue to build relationships into the wider body of Christ. This will happen through the Apostolic Council relating to apostolic streams, gatherings and other ministries…”

If you happen to be a NAR denialist like Dr Michael Brown, then simply ignore the term NAR and compare the statements from COTN in this article to what scripture teaches.  Do the leaders of this movement believe and teach the false doctrines of dominion/kingdom now theology?  For example, does scripture instruct us to change culture and transform nations by discipling literal nations?  Has God clearly outlined a “seven mountain mandate” for the church?  Does God speak directly to current day apostolic leaders and give them annual words regarding His latest strategy or supernatural moves?  If apostolic leaders claim to have such important words from God, then surely scripture is insufficient in that it has left ordinary believers in the dark unless current day apostles hear correctly? Do COTN leaders associate with false prophets?  These questions will be answered in this article.  

What do COTN envision?
“We envision the world learning about, accepting and focusing on Jesus and His Kingdom on earth. We see authentic Christianity as coming under the loving Lordship of Jesus Christ and being joined to a community of believers who are learning to live a new life in a new way. We want each and every person given to us to live a self-governed life while fulfilling their God-given destiny within a community of believers.

The Great Commission was given by Jesus as an apostolic mandate to disciple nations. This was based on God’s original purpose stated in Genesis when He gave man a dominion and a domestic mandate. Jesus commanded us to preach the gospel of the Kingdom, not the gospel of the church.

So we see local churches reaching their destiny when aligned to an apostolic vision. This allows Jesus to fulfill His promise when He said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it”

Those who are familiar with the aberrant teachings of the New Apostolic Reformation would have to read no further to know that catch phrases in bold indicate that we are dealing with a movement heavily influenced by the NAR.

The true apostolic vision from God is clear; it’s called scripture.  When building a house, an architect is brought in to design the plans. This blueprint for the structure must be implemented by the builder. The builder does not use his imagination, vision, or feelings to decide how the structure should look. In similar fashion, God has given a blueprint to build his church – not only has he supplied the plans, but He is also the builder.  The blueprint is called scripture, and the foundation is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone” Eph 2:20. The prophets wrote most of the Old testament, and the apostles brought us the New Testament – inspired and infallible teachings they heard directly from Christ, as well as the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (John 16:12-14)  This foundation has been laid, it is complete, and the blueprint does not need any corrections. This is why Jude wrote:
“I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” Jude 3.

We don’t need any new revelations or annual words from God to be build a local church:All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

EXAMINING WHAT COTN ENVISION :

COTN: “international family of churches relating through love and commitment to see the Kingdom of God extended on earth.”
On the surface, this sounds biblical, but when the “kingdom of God” is associated with the seven mountain mandate or discipling literal nations, we are dealing with NAR doctrines.  As we will see, this is indeed the case in this instance.

COTN: “We see authentic Christianity as coming under the loving Lordship of Jesus Christ and being joined to a community of believers who are learning to live a new life in a new way.”
Once again, not problematic on the surface; it all depends what they mean by “a new way.”  If by “new way” COTN mean the pattern laid out in scripture, applicable to the church through the ages and relevant today, then I agree.  If by “new way” they mean believers are dependent on new shifts taking place, new methodology, new revelation being given, then I disagree.

COTN: “We want each and every person given to us to live a self-governed life while fulfilling their God-given destiny within a community of believers.”
Believers live a life submitted to God, and community does play a role. However, when that community of believers is governed by leaders who hear from God on their behalf, the community are in effect being governed not by God, but by their leaders.  Does this destiny include NAR teachings such as shifting atmospheres, transforming culture, or experiencing God’s favor due to God supposedly declaring 2018 is a year of acceleration?  We shall find out shortly.

COTN: “The Great Commission was given by Jesus as an apostolic mandate to disciple nations.”
We are called to preach the gospel and be witnesses for Christ in all nations.  There is no apostolic mandate to disciple literal nations, simply an instruction to make disciples of people from all nations.

When COTN say “disciple nations” they mean literal nations.  John Scholtz is one of the leaders on the COTN “apostolic council.”  On 19 February 2017, he delivered a message entitled “Making Disciples of the Nations” in Port Elizabeth.  In the message, Scholtz laments the fact that the gospel of salvation replaced the gospel of the kingdom.  This false dichotomy of two gospels is being promulgated by those who teach dominion/kingdom now theology.  There is only ONE gospel, and it includes salvation and discipleship – both possible because of what Christ has done. 

Scholtz concedes that the church has not managed to disciple a nation, and for that reason he believes: “the church has never accomplished what it was called to do.”
Scholtz therefore believes that the church has been called to disciple literal nations, whereas scripture teaches the church must preach the gospel in all nations, and that people of all nations will be saved (Revelation 7:9)  Scholtz has fallen for the lies of dominion theology of the NAR and other movements that fall under the NAR – Manifest Sons of God, Joel’s army, Latter Rain etc. Scriptures teaches that prior to our Lords return the world will be marked by godlessness not godliness (2 Timothy 3) and a falling away, not revival (2 Thess 2)

On Sunday, May 3rd, 2015, Scholtz preached a message entitled “Encounters with God.” In the message he said “if we don’t disciple the world, the world will disciple the church, somebody’s going to win that battle and we are going to win it and….the task of transforming the world takes on an enormity”

We are not called to disciple or transform the world, this is NAR/dominion theology language, and cannot be supported by scripture.

Unfortunately members of Harvest Christian Church (John Scholtz was senior pastor for many years) can access these kinds of teachings from their own library.  Apart from authors which teach false doctrines such as the word of faith heresy and prosperity gospel (Joyce Meyer, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, John Bevere), the Harvest library carries a host of NAR books by none other than the founder of the NAR – the late Peter Wagner.  They include:  “Territorial spirits: insights on strategic-level spiritual warfare from nineteen Christian leaders” and “Warfare prayer : how to seek God’s power and protection in the battle to build his kingdom” – a NAR strategy to take dominion!
Bill Johnson’s book “When Heaven Invades Earth” is also available.  This book has been described as “a modern day heresy.”  The other Bill Johnson book available: “When heaven invades earth : a practical guide to a life of miracles” has been summed up as follows: The popularity of books like this evidence how far contemporary Christianity has drifted from Scripture. We have wafted a long ways from the most fundamental and essential truths of the Christian faith, such as the doctrine of God, man, Christ, and salvation. Sadly, the book, When Heaven Invades Earth, is a stark reminder.

COTN: “This was based on God’s original purpose stated in Genesis when He gave man a dominion and a domestic mandate. Jesus commanded us to preach the gospel of the Kingdom, not the gospel of the church.”

Jesus commanded us to preach the gospel, not dominion theology.  The Jews were hoping that Jesus would bring dominion to earth and change their government, but Jesus disappointed them: “my kingdom is not of this world.”  The NAR however demand visible change by transforming and dominating the kingdoms of this world – transformation in arts & culture, government, media, education, religion, family, and business (the seven mountain mandate).  This seven mountain mandate has become the gospel of NAR churches, and in their haste to increase their sheep have allowed goats into the flock by offering the world a cross free Christianity.

COTN: “So we see local churches reaching their destiny when aligned to an apostolic vision. This allows Jesus to fulfill His promise when He said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it”

The apostolic vision was in fact presented by real apostles and recorded in scripture. Local churches reach their destiny by teaching and obeying scripture, not by aligning with the vision of current day apostles who receive extra biblical instructions directly from God.  In many places today, this destiny includes sufferings, imprisonment and martyrdom, a far cry from the American dream that has conveniently become the NAR envisioned destiny.  We don’t “allow” Jesus to build his church; He is building it without the permission or help of any apostolic council.  The not so subtle message in this statement means that without an apostolic vision, local churches will fail.  This is a way for the leadership to elevate themselves above mere members, and stamp their authority on the flock. I cannot recall Jesus saying – ‘I will build my church but I will need contemporary apostles to hear my words which I will give exclusively to them on an annual basis.’

NAR ASSOCIATIONS:

One of the leaders on the “apostolic council” is Tony Fitzgerald.  Knowing what he teaches, and who he associates with will help us evaluate COTN in terms of being influenced by the NAR.  Tony Fitzgerald is no stranger to the apostolic move.  In 2002 Fitzgerald attended an ICAL gathering in Dallas, “taking part in the forums and discussions included: Cindy Jacobs, Bill Hamon, Alan Langstaff, David Cartledge, John Eckhart, Ted Haggard and Bart Pierce”

In 2009 he “had the privilege of participating at the International Coalition of Apostles. I spoke on a panel dealing with Apostolic Mission to the Nations…In preparation for the panel, Peter Wagner in his report highlighted a prophecy by Chuck Pierce given in 1986.”
In other words, Fitzgerald is more than familiar with the New Apostolic Reformation.  The late Peter Wagner is the founder of the NAR, and Chuck Pierce is one of the false prophets in the movement. For a host of articles on Wagner, click here.

In 2013, Fitzgerald was at another ICAL conference, which included false NAR prophets  Lance Wallnau and Dutch Sheets – both taught at this conference.

NAR BELIEFS:

Perhaps you have noticed that the main players in the NAR such as Bethel church, refuse to accept reality.  The reality is that this world is in a mess, and it’s not getting any better.  In the light of their beliefs, they are forced to construct their own narrative of reality.  Only good news will do, and in many cases facts are exaggerated to suit their agenda.  Contrary to scripture that teaches of a departure from the faith and increasing wickedness on earth during the last days, the NAR believe in a mass revival (a billion soul harvest) and growing influence of the church over the world.  While the visible church has certainly made their presence felt through the establishment of mega churches and countless meetings in packed out stadiums, the falling away continues at a rate second to none as false doctrines dominate the industrial evangelical complex. So what exactly does Fitzgerald believe? Has he fallen for the NAR narrative that portrays a world dying to know Christ, resulting in an influx of converts and a growth in the number of believers on earth?

Let me begin by asking you a question: what percentage of the visible church in your opinion are true believers?  I’m referring to the visible church, not the earth’s population. Keep in mind – millions call themselves “Christians” because they believe in God, but even the devil believes in one God – “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” James 2:19.  Millions within the charismatic and NAR churches point to their gifts as evidence of salvation, yet Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23

Tony writes:
” We could be fast approaching the day of the restoration of all things that could usher in the return of the King to His kingdom rule on earth. As I mentioned earlier, we are winning! The prophet Isaiah wrote that the Kingdom of God would know only increase.  A group called World Revival Network from Kansas City, reported on the spread of Christianity the following: By AD 100, 1 out of every 360 people of the world were followers of Jesus  By AD 1000, this had grown to 1 out of every 220.
By 1500, it was 1 out of every 69.  By 1990, the number of followers had risen to 1 out of every 7.  By 2010, It was estimated that with over 7 billion people on the
earth, 2.3 billion of these inhabitants, were followers of Jesus {1out of every 3}.
During the last century there has been great growth intraditionally ‘non-Christian’ areas such as India, China, Africa, and the Middle East pushing the percentage of Christians on the earth towards 1 out of every 2.”

Seriously? – every second person on earth is a believer?  If this were true, we would have to edit scripture:  “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:14

Tony Continues: “2000 years ago, 500 years ago, and 50 years ago there were seismic shifts in Christianity on the earth. Let us draw on treasures old and new and embrace this new shift, as we don’t move on from, but build upon all that has been restored.”

Another NAR catch phrase, but sadly the real shift we are experiencing is a shift towards greater delusion as the NAR continues to dupe millions.  The past two decades we have been hearing about breakthroughs, outpourings, mantles, a new move, and now a new shift, yet nothing changes.

In December 2015 Tony wrote:
“The prophets are prophesying that in this Jewish year of 5776 or what the Israelis call Ayin Vav, is the year where we will see heaven invade earth at an unprecedented level with the most powerful force in the universe… LOVE. Ayin meaning “seeing” and Vav, “the connector”, where we will see the connection made between Heaven and Earth.”

I’m not sure which prophets he is referring to, but do you recall 2017 as being the year that heaven invaded earth through the powerful connector called love?  I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “heaven invading earth” before.  This is Bill Johnson language, and if you are familiar with Johnson’s theology you will know that he is a master at twisting scripture.

On Sunday, April 19th, 2015, Tony delivered a message at Harvest Christian Church. He gave his defintion of kingdom alignment, which included: “living a naturally supernatural life under the kings governmental rule – the church, through fathers and sons knowing that his determination and zeal is fulfilling his original intent, a biblical world view reconciling all things back to himself that is funded through a monetary system that will provoke the world to jealousy regarding the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdoms of our God.”

Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of this world, Jesus wasn’t interested, but the NAR are definitely interested. Unfortunately their method and timing are out.  Christ alone will bring the kingdom in it’s fullness at the end of the age. Prior to that, the world will be in a chaotic state, and the wrath of God will be poured out on the wicked – a fact those in the NAR simply ignore.  The world will be provoked by believers who stand firm in their faith; this provocation will not lead to jealousy on the worlds part due to any “monetary system” in the church, but will lead to persecution.  This world that preaches “tolerance” will be intolerant of believers who reject lies and stand for truth.  Even worse – the majority of the visible church will reject true believers who refuse to bow the knee to a post modern gospel and the lies of the NAR.

It must be patently clear by now to any reasonable person that Tony Fitzgerald has accepted the teachings of the NAR.  He participates in their conferences, and does not warn COTN members of all the false prophets he surrounds himself with.

THE INFLUENCE OF ICAL ON COTN:

The International Coalition of Apostles (ICAL)  – a network of NAR apostles, define an apostle as: “a Christian leader gifted, taught, commissioned, and sent 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 growth and maturity of the church”

Does the apostolic council of COTN fulfil this role?  As we have seen, they cast corporate vision, and the local church apparently need their “apostolic vision” to reach their destiny.  But do they hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches?

CHURCH OF THE NATIONS (COTN) has two influential churches in the Eastern Cape –  Harvest Christian church (Port Elizabeth) and Victory church (Jeffreys Bay)  Louis Els  is the pastor of Victory church. 
Louis Els:
“As an Apostolic Family it is important for us to hear together and agree with what Father is saying so that we can FOCUS on what He has for us and where He wants us to go. Only through hearing and seeing accurately we contribute to the whole effectively in advancing the Kingdom!

Wrong!  The kingdom is advanced (and by that I don’t mean in NAR fashion) by faithfully preaching the gospel: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:1-4

Paul would have been one of the worst apostles if he neglected to tell Timothy that success depended onhearing and seeing accurately.”
Note that it’s important to agree with what Father the apostolic leaders are saying.  What if they are wrong and a member questions their doctrine or vision?  We all know how that usually works out.  This is what happens when the subjective – fresh revelation, replaces the objective – the revelation of God’s word.  Many of us have witnessed or experienced the chain of events following legitimate questions.  The leaders are always going to win this battle because the truth of scripture is not the final arbitrator – the opinion of the leaders is what counts.  Leaders have power, and if you question their word from God you will be called into a meeting where your allegiance to God himself will be questioned.  Many do not even reach the upper echelons of leadership.  Leaders or assistant home and cell group leaders deal with the initial query.  The next step would be area leaders, or leaders who have completed the required leadership courses.  In smaller churches the pastor may have the time to step in, or will step in if the individual or family are influential in any way.  Either way, the leadership will close ranks, and questioning members will be labelled rebellious, divisive, and be accused of quenching the Spirit and operating out of hurts.  These Bereans will not be commended for comparing what is taught to the word of God, but shamed and shunned.

Has Louis Els seen and heard accurately?  Els received a word for 2018:
“THE WORD FOR 2018 IS – TIME OF ACCELERATION
God is saying, “I have brought you and positioned you at this place for this time. Find your space and your place quickly! For I am going to put all of what I’ve spoken in the previous years together and create a momentum that will propel and accelerate the Body of Christ into a position of favor, authority and power, that will give God the glory and produce an amazing harvest.” It is very important that we understand that it is NOT our own power, effort or acceleration that we refer to, but the Divine Enablement, Empowerment, Energizing and Quickening of the Lord! It’s His anointing that enables you. The God of fine design, intelligent progression and process causes an acceleration that supersedes natural laws!
“Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings!” Amos 9:13
So he answered and said to me: “ This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘NOT BY MIGHT NOR BY POWER, BUT BY MY SPIRIT,’ Says the LORD of hosts. ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of “GRACE, GRACE to it!” Zechariah 4:6-7 NKJV
We are trusting that as we ALIGN with God and His Word, we will see an ACCELERATION in all the Kingdom Mountains, the Church and also in our personal lives, that will give Him Glory. May we continue to Advance His Kingdom together”

If Louis aligned himself with God’s word, he would know that “kingdom mountains” is an NAR construct.  It’s been the “year of acceleration” since 2009 according to some NAR “prophets.”  COTN is a little late in receiving this specific word, but finds itself in the company of a host of false teachers who received the word acceleration -Joel Osteen, Chuck Pierce, James Goll, Cindy Jacobs and many more.

In this letter, Els writes: When God first spoke to us about Acceleration
for 2018, our first response was, “We don’t want to run faster or do more in this busy life,” especially as changes were happening so quickly, both on a personal and global level…”

Why would God repeat a false word spoken by false prophets?  Has God not spoken clearly through Christ: Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world”
Hebrews 1:1-2

Are the scripture not complete, is God adding to the blueprint?

Els then asks “So how can we position ourselves for acceleration? Well, in Hebrews 4:1-16, the author shows us how to prevent the enemy (or ourselves) from robbing us during this season of acceleration.”

The book of Hebrews reveals the superiority of Jesus Christ, and the new covenant.
The author had no intention of helping believers position themselves for a season of supernatural acceleration!

Els believes we need to hear what God is saying to have faith, but confuses the issue: Els:  “Hebrews 4:2-3 says that “Some entered into rest because of faith while
others not because of unbelief” (paraphrased). My friends, you need faith to enter into this rest. Faith comes from HEARING, not from what you’ve already heard. Did you get that? Faith comes by hearing, not by what you’ve already heard. Too many people say, “I have heard that before,” but faith doesn’t come from what you’ve heard before.
Faith comes by hearing what God is saying NOW. We need to hear (and keep on hearing) the Word of God to see strong, consistent, and reliable faith at work in our lives.”
Compare this to what Bill Johnson writes in his book When Heaven Invades Earth:
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Notice it does not say, faith comes from having heard. The whole nature of faith implies a relationship with God that is current. The emphasis is on hearing…in the NOW

Els fails to point out that this faith refers to saving faith, not faith to hear from God on a daily or annual basis.  Bill Johnson and others who cannot exegete God’s word correctly, quote Romans 10:17: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” and use it to justify a fresh “word from the Lord.”  The context however points to saving faith as the preceding verses indicate: “For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” Vs 13-16

MORE NAR BELIEFS:

Another church that is part of COTN is Harvest church in Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-Natal.  Included in their “values” are: 

“RISK-TAKING – We are called to be courageous believers that step out in faith to see God’s kingdom released on the earth. Whether we fail or succeed, we celebrate taking bold steps of faith.” – sound familiar?  This is Bethel terminology.  Scripture never instructs believers to take risks, but to obey scripture. Read more here and here about how Bethel’s risk taking has led them into deception.

“SIGNS & WONDERS – Jesus promised that signs would follow believers and that we would do even greater works than he did while on earth. We value and make room for the Holy Spirit to move in power.”

I’m not certain what this particular church believes regarding signs and wonders, but I can tell you what the NAR believe.  The greater works are certainly not what the NAR teach – greater in power.  Bethel have signs that make you wonder, because they are not found in scripture – angel feathers, gold dust, glory clouds…. a far cry from walking on water, raising rotting corpses from the dead, changing water into wine, feeding five thousand etc. I believe this passage refers to the effect and scope of the gospel such as the Gentiles being included in God’s redemptive plan.  These two articles shed further light:

Is it really possible for Christians to do greater works than Jesus?

Doing Greater Works Than Jesus (John 14:12-14)


The NAR teach that the gospel is incomplete without signs and wonders.  Bethel teach that all can prophesy, and their supernatural school teaches students how to be activated in the supernatural – EXCEPT two of the signs clearly mentioned in Mark 16 – picking up serpents, and drinking deadly poison….a little too difficult to fake.  While I believe God is able to perform miracles, and does still heal if it is his will, I don’t believe signs and wonders are common place, or that individuals have the gift of healing.  Bill Johnson on the other hand, believes that any theology that allows for sickness, is a false gospel.  In other words he believes total healing for every sick person is guaranteed in the atonement. Clearly his theology is not working, as I have previously noted – Bill and his wife Beni Johnson wear glasses and both underwent surgery recently.  Without medical intervention the son of Bethel Music CEO Joel Taylor may have died, and Bill’s son Eric is 85 to 90% deaf in both ears.  The healing rooms at Bethel have failed their own “papa.”

We don’t owe the world an encounter with God in the form of signs and wonders, instead, we owe it to God to faithfully preach the gospel:For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:22-23

MORE NAR ASSOCIATIONS AND INFLUENCES:

Harvest church will also host the “Renaissance Conference” from 27 – 29 June 2018.

The conference is described as follows:Beauty is intrinsic to the very nature of God. Whether you’re in church leadership, the arts, business or politics, God wants to partner with you to release the kingdom in a fresh wayRenaissance is a three-day equipping conference for pastors, leaders and influencers that want to partner with God to see His beauty released in their families, communities and cities.”

Tickets cost R450.00 and the main attraction is Eric Johnson (Bill Johnson’s son) Other speakers include: Bob Hazlett, Julian and Katia Adams.

Eric Johnson has learnt his theology from his father, so what COTN members will be subjected to is pure dominion theology and other false doctrines taught by Bethel.  Eric, for example believes that “every government, every structure, every system, fundamentally and theologically must start with the concept and idea that people are good, and they mean to do good, even if they’re not saved.  We have to start from that premise.”  In other words Johnson is teaching the Pelagian heresy.
Compare what Johnson teaches to scripture:And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Ephesians 2:1-3

Does that sound like people are inherently good?

Eric Johnson was happy to receive a “finger reading” from false prophet Bob Jones.  
Eric apparently “knew that the third finger represented pastor.” Is this how the Apostle Paul confirmed Timothy’s calling – through a finger reading?  Is each of the five fold ministries represented by a finger?  Who came up why this, why is it not in scripture?

 Bob Hazlett is described on his own
website as “a proven prophetic voice. His teaching and prophetic ministry has been featured on GodTV, TBN, Daystar and Bethel TV.  Bob Hazlett is a friend to leaders and a sought-after speaker and author. Strong healing and prophetic gifts follow his ministry.”

On their website: Julian Adams is described as “an author, spiritual advisor, revelatory teacher and leadership consultant in political, business and creative spheres. A world-renowned prophet, Julian has a proven track record in the fulfilment of words released over individuals, communities and nations.”
Adam’s will be speaking at  Victory Church when they host their FAMILY FEST 2018 gathering.
False prophet Shawn Bolz has interviewed Adams on his podcast – Exploring the Prophetic, Bolz and NAR false prophetess Patricia King have both endorsed a book written by Adams -THE KISS OF THE FATHER.  Frequentsee, the name of the ministry  led by Julian and Katia Adams, have in turn interviewed Patricia King.

In one of his blog posts, Adams quotes Bill Johnson: “You reflect the reality you are most aware of,”  and then writes:  “Jesus ministered out of being aware of the unseen reality of his fathers world. If we can understand and learn to be aware of the co-existing reality of heaven, we will be able to shift the atmospheres around us. What heaven looks like is meant to be revealed here on earth.
You can search the scriptures for decades, you will not find any teaching on shifting atmospheres – another NAR construct and Bethel’s speciality.  Earth is only going to look like heaven when Christ returns, don’t these atmosphere shifters read scripture?  Adams has clearly been influenced by Bethel’s ludicrous doctrine.

Katia Adams is “an apostolic teacher who is known for releasing revelation and breakthrough. Katia teaches in theological courses, church conferences and leadership events internationally.”

That word “revelation” really doesn’t impress me, neither does breakthrough.  The only revelation we need is God’s word, and the job of a teacher is to teach the word of God.  How does one “release revelation” anyway?  Who is holding it back?   If it’s new revelation it should be added to scripture, if it’s not new it’s redundant anyway.

On their homepage they state: “You were created to hear God’s voice and live a life of significance. We’re here to help you reimagine your world and transform culture around you.”
Um, no thanks, I’ll stick to Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:5
There is no biblical mandate to transform culture, once again another NAR construct.

This specific conference at a COTN church is clearly a NAR affair!.

CONCLUSION

It is clear that COTN have been influenced by the New Apostolic Reformation.  Whether they acknowledge the existence of the NAR is irrelevant as they condone some of the false teachings common to the NAR.  The fact that one of their leaders is in involved with the International Coalition of Apostles and rubs shoulders with false prophets in the NAR should be grave cause for concern to members of COTN.  Furthermore, dominion theology has clearly embedded it’s poison in COTN.  The false doctrines emanating from Bethel are well documented, yet Eric Johnson will be a key speaker at a COTN church.  COTN endeavour  “to build relationships into the wider body of Christ. This will happen through the Apostolic Council relating to apostolic streams, gatherings and other ministries…”
This is part of the problem, there can be no relationship with the polluted streams of the NAR or other ministries and teachers that should be marked and avoided.  How is the apostolic council “overseeing doctrine”  when they give false teachers, false prophets, and false doctrines a voice in their movement?

But shouldn’t those of us who disagree with churches who have been influenced by the NAR just pray, keep quiet and let God sort things out?  No, because : “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
There are many believers (members, leaders and pastors) in COTN churches, my prayer is that they would compare what they believe, teach, and are being taught with scripture.  Ultimately, allegiance to God and his truth as revealed in scripture, must supersede any earthly allegiance.

 

ENEMIES OF THE CROSS

17 AUGUST 2017

Not only is the cross the only beacon of light for a fallen world, it is also a clarion call for those who claim allegiance to Christ to pick up their own cross and follow in their masters footsteps. There are, however, “enemies of the cross.” Philippians 3: 18 – 19: “For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.”

Let’s go back 2000 years, when the cross became a reality and Jesus was about to be crucified. Initially, the hopes and aspirations of many Jews was at an all time high. A carpenters son from Nazareth seemed to fulfil the criteria of the long awaited messiah. By the time Christ entered Jerusalem during his final days on earth, crowds spread their cloaks and placed branches on the road praising Jesus as he entered Jeruslam proclaiming: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Matthew 21:19

A short while later, it is highly likely that many of those same people who shouted Hosanna to the Son of David! now shouted crucify him! and chose a criminal by the name of Barabbas to be pardoned over Jesus. (This is a marvelous picture of the gospel; the guilty are freed because an innocent man has been condemned and taken their place)

Many of the Jews thought that Christ had come to seize political power and ease their burden under Roman rule, but Christ’s kingdom is not political, neither is it of this world. Jesus made this clear to Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” John 18:36

Many hoped that this prophet who changed water into wine, fed 5000, walked on water and raised the dead, would take the throne and fulfill their dreams of a restored kingdom. Life in Israel would be far more comfortable after their messiah had freed them from Roman oppression. This was however not the purpose of Christ’s first coming, and dreams were shattered when the Lion of Judah became a Lamb, and was silent when charged, thereby fulfilling Isaiah 53:7: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth”

This was not the time for a crown, but for the cross; it was not the time to restore the kingdom, but for the kingdom to reject him. The Jews expected all the prophecies concerning the messiah to be fulfilled at his first coming. They failed to understand that many prophecies, specifically pertaining to the kingdom, would literally be fulfilled during and after his second coming.

Today we still find enemies of the cross, and many are within the visible church. They are those who teach the prosperity gospel, word of faith heresy, and all the self appointed prophets, pastors and teachers in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). The NAR specifically, like the Jews at the time of Christ, are hoping for the kingdom of God to be fleshed out on earth to such an extent that kingdoms will be brought under the messiah’s rule. They are looking for political, social and economical transformation; they are seeking the comfort and security of a world that has been transformed through the “Seven Mountain Mandate.” They make the same mistake as the Jews did in believing that prophecies relating to the millenial reign of Christ on earth can be obtained now, and even worse , they believe that they are able to usher in this new dispensation. For this to take place, God is apparently raising up a new breed of anointed people: they are lifestyle evangelists and revivalists who roam the streets with cameras in tow, recording their so called exploits for God. At times they are probably a few blocks away from hospitals where terminally ill patients who could do with a miracle are conveniently ignored. Far from “bringing heaven to earth” they instead prey on the weak, hurting and ignorant, leaving a trail of false converts or disappointed people in their wake.

This new breed, who are intent on engineering revival, have been activated into what they believe is a supernatural power. Prophetic activations, downloads and impartations are big business these days and like Simon the sorcerer, passionate yet gullible people are paying to receive impartations from men. Supernatural schools are flourishing as young people from around the globe are attracted to the idea of creating a legacy, as they transform the planet through their supernatural powers. They have been told that their works will make the works of Christ seem ordinary, and with their miracles alone they will spark revivals and transform cities. What they have not been told is that true revival comes when the message of the cross is preached. This is a far cry from the current methodology of revivalists who merely stretch legs and perform subjective miracles and exclude the message of the cross. What they offer is “another gospel” – one that offers a crown instead of a cross, a throne for self in place of a grave for the carnal nature. Furthermore, this culture of “taking risks” when it comes to stepping out in the supernatural opens the door to spirits that are not from God. Manifestations that are clearly demonic or resemble a seizure are seen as the hand of God. There are no boundaries in the NAR when it comes to chasing after the supernatural.

Enemies of the cross have their minds set on earthly things. Peel away the spiritual veneer of these anointed celebrity apostles and prophets and you will find their minds are set on earthly things. Not the blatant sins we can easily condemn, but subtle sins such as seeking honour among people, pride and boasting in their experiences. The revenue they receive from peddling their books, conferences and courses enble them to live in comfort. Every year they come out with a new teaching, a new method, a new prophecy. Like addicts their followers ultimately pay to receive the latest information that promises victory, intimacy with God, assorted impartations etc, yet they are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Compare the lives of these comfortable and sought after modern apostles and prophets to the real biblical ones; there is no comparison whatsoever because the way of the cross is absent.

When we talk of the cross, we must talk of justification by faith alone. The clear message of the cross is that we cannot save oursleves; however we should take a step back and ask ourselves: “Why the cross” in the first place. John Stott reminds us that “Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, we have to see it as something done by us.”  This is the part of the gospel that enemies of the cross ignore. They shout “Hosanna” as they perform their exploits on the streets and in packed conferences, but they ignore the Barabbas that dwells in their gullible hearers. A whole new vocabulary has been invented by these peddlers of the gospel, one that excludes biblical words such as sin, repentance, hell and the wrath of God. Sinners are mere victims, basically good people who have “made mistakes” – they deserve better and the false gospel on offer is nothing less than a personal genie in a bottle. They focus on the “positive” – man needs modification they say, when the truth is we need annhilation of self so that Christ may be formed in us. Enemies of the cross offer a substitute cross; one that promises to save, but not to slay. These enemies of the cross appeal to the carnal nature of their hearers; their ear tickling message is all about self: your dreams, your destiny, your legacy, your purpose. The apostle Peter made no such mistake. In his first sermon he accused his hearers by saying “this Jesus … you crucified” Acts 2:23. Perhaps some of them had actually been involved in the crucifixion, other may have chosen Barabbas to be pardoned, but in effect we all put Jesus on the cross. It was our sins that caused the son of God to sacrifice himself in order to redeem us.

Our DNA can be found on the hammer that drove the nails through his hands.

Enemies of the cross are not merely those who think works can save them, or those who partake in the lusts of the flesh or don’t restrain their passions. Those “whose glory is in their shame” are also regarded as enemies of the cross. That is to say, they boast of things of which they ought to be ashamed of.

When artificial smoke and glitter are exchanged for the real glory of God, we are boasting in flesh and robbing God of his glory. Like Jannes and Jambres who opposed the real work of God and were pretenders, we have apostles and prophets in the NAR who teach from their own vain imaginations and glory in lying signs and wonders. They have no shame, because they have rejected the love of the truth and God has given them over to believe a lie. Their followers are raised in a “culture of honour” where they honour their self appointed apostles and prophets and never question their teachings, false prophecies and tall stories. These leaders evade all accountability for their heretical teachings and false prophecies; their followers have been brainwashed into think that being a Berean and testing their teachings is the equivalent of “touching God’s anointed.” They have their minds set on earthly things, believing that this earth is so good that it is worth saving, whereas Christ himself will come and destroy it. (2 Peter 3) These self appointed prophets and apostles in the NAR are intent on “bringing heaven to earth” to such an extent that when Christ returns, he will have very little to do. While on the surface the intentions of those who teach this may seem spiritual and even biblical, their faulty exegesis of scripture leads to a man centered theology, a breeding ground for spiritual pride. Who would not want this god-like status on offer where it is possible to decree and declare things into existence?

It is ironical that the very thing that this new breed in the NAR rely on to bring people to Christ – that is miracles – is what Christ himself condemned. Jesus said: “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah” Matthew 16:4. Today’s enemies of the cross are trusting in signs and wonders to transform the world, but they neglect THE only sign necessary, which is the death and resurrection of Christ – the cross.  Did Jesus have faith that his own signs and wonders would save people or cities? We find the answer in John 2: 23-25: “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” Thousands followed Jesus when he performed signs and wonders, and although they claimed to believe in him, Jesus knew the fickle nature of man. Once again, it is possible that many of those who “believed in his name” due to signs and wonders were among those who shouted “crucify him.”

In the case of those who teach the prosperity gospel and word of faith heresy, you become your own god, creating the world you choose to live in. Health and wealth are guaranteed, and their messages are mere motivational talks that ignore the message of the cross. The cross that offends has been replaced with one that entices the natural man; the stumbling block has been removed and counting the cost of following Christ has been replaced with worldly benefits.

True followers of Christ are not coveting greatness or status in the kingdom of God. They may be momentarily deceived by these false teachers who offer a crown instead of a cross, but at some point the unavoidable will take place – their cup will come. James and John once asked Jesus if they could be at his side when he ruled. Like those in the New Apostolic Reformation, they were looking for honour in a temporal kingdom on earth: “And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized,” Mark 10: 35-39

“The cup” refers to suffering, affliction and persecution, and it is inevitable that true believers will partake of this cup. Beware of a gospel that offers a crown instead of a cross – a gospel that does not teach self denial but instead elevates self is a gospel from Satan. Many have been deceived by these eloquent enemies of the cross; they have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof. The comfort and power a crown offers will rob you of a resurrected life only the cross will bring. The cross is an instrument of death, and it is only through death to self that the life of Christ is formed in us. Will we follow in our masters footsteps and choose the cross over a crown?