By Rick Becker 1 March 2018
Mere hours after the passing of Billy Graham, New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) apostles and prophets were gleefully salivating at the prospect of receiving yet another mantle. Mantles, double portions, impartations and downloads are sought after commodities in the NAR. Followers of these NAR false teachers lap up their nonsensical notions and teachings with delight, hoping to be the recipient of yet another anointing or mantle. We are supposedly on the brink of the final great awakening, a worldwide revival, and these mantles supposedly help achieve that goal. NAR disciples want a piece of the action so to speak, and like Simon the sorcerer they ask “Give me this power also..” Do the scriptures teach that there will be a world wide revival in these last days? Do the scriptures teach that we need mantles and double portions?
The word of God teaches a great falling away will take place just prior to Christ’s return: “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first” 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
There will be no revival that the NAR anticipate; instead there will be a departure from the faith, and mass deception in the visible church. “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 4:3-4
Ask yourself if this is the picture Bill Johnson & co paint of the last days:
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.” 2 Timothy 3:1-8
Ironically, this passage describing the last days not only refutes the claims of the NAR – that a revival will take place where literal nations will be discipled, but actually describes those who oppose the truth. Jannes and Jambres were Pharaoh’s magicians, and they were instructed by Pharaoh to perform the same miracle that Aaron performed: “Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’ ”So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.” Exodus 7:8-12
Like Jannes and Jambres, there is a new breed today intent on copying true miracles. Their “secret arts” include destiny readings, glory clouds, leg stretching, gold dust, and other signs that make you wonder. This new breed attend NAR supernatural schools of ministry where they are taught how to perform miracles and chase after mantles. I find it strange that they are selective in what they teach their students. They train all students to prophesy, speak in tongues, heal the sick, chase out demons, but ignore two signs that are included in the great commission: ” And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”“ Mark 16:17 – 18
They have opposed the truth and neglected sound doctrine. They will indeed perform signs and wonders, and sadly many will discover that their supernatural endeavors were a sign of their deception, not salvation: “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 7:22-23
Apostasy and deception in the visible church and not revival, is what we are witnessing today. The voices in the NAR crying out for revival and making claims of a final harvest of a billion souls for Christ, are by and large merely adding false converts to the visible church.
Well known voices in the NAR and Charismania such as the now deceased Kim Clement, Lou Engle and Benny Hinn have made this claim that we are on the verge of a new move, a final great awakening. The sign of course being Billy Graham’s death, and the subsequent release of a new mantle. Naturally the up and coming “revivalists” and prophets of the NAR need to echo and confirm this word. God apparently told Hinn in 1989 that the deaths of Oral Roberts and Billy Graham would be the sign of the beginning of the greatest revival on earth. Lesser prophets Ben Fitzgerald and Lana Vawser received this revelation two years ago:
Ben Fitzgerald, son of Ken and Jenny Hodge of the now infamous Christalignment said “God told me very clearly, nearly two years ago, that when Billy goes home the Lord will pour out the spirit of evangelism…don’t you want the legacy that Billy Graham has had, I want that legacy on my life”
Lana Vawser :”I knew this day would come and I knew the significance in the earth that this day would hold. I knew this would be the day that I would release this prophetic word that two years ago, over the span of two months, the Lord took me into encounters and dreams regarding what would be heralded and released on the earth beginning with the passing of Billy Graham.”
Vawser then recounts a dream she had of Billy Graham, and then writes:
“At the end of this dream, a prophetic decree was made. This was the decree:“When Billy Graham dies a DOUBLE PORTION of the Elisha anointing will be released upon the earth!!!”
“This decree heralded a time coming to the earth of great increase of signs, wonders and miracles unlike anything we have ever seen. The decree established such a branding over this new era that the signs, wonders and miracles that would accompany the proclamation of the Word of God, would be UNPRECEDENTED. A significant shift, a time of a greater increase of the mantle of evangelism being released onto the earth.”
South African Lindey Ann Hopley, a product of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, repeated the claim that “when Oral Roberts and Billy Graham pass away it will be the sign of the great third awakening that’s going to sweep the world“. She then goes on to release the mantle of Bill Graham as well as an awakening.
Christine Beadsworth wrote on Z3 News – End time news before it happens:
“When He Dies, It Will Come -The transference of Billy to Heaven has marked the trigger point for the final season of rich harvest to begin…For those who have prepared the soil of their hearts and nurtured the seed sown in it, we are entering the season of hundred-fold increase, of radical and sudden change, of the fire of God being deposited and shut up in your bones, propelling you into the harvest field. Are you willing, waiting one? Will you go where He sends you daily? Heaven has a download for you and the graduation of Billy Graham has clocked us over into the chapter when the scrolls of Heaven are about to be imparted in a fiery download. Position yourself for encounter and impartation to equip you to possess your allotted portion of inheritance in Christ. Dense darkness is about to cover the earth but His glory will rise upon you. Billy Graham’s baton is available to the whosoever!”
While some NAR prophets are hoping for full stadiums and larger crusades, Beadsworth heard the opposite: “From what I am hearing, this new season of evangelism will be totally different from the last. Many are preparing stadiums for mass salvation, and looking for the next big ‘man of power for the hour’, but I believe the greatest move of the Spirit of God in this area of evangelism will be one on one, the true Church released to operate in the power of the resurrected Christ to bring in the harvest!”
Michael Koulianos of Jesus Image: “Today I felt a holy fear of God as I heard of Billy Graham’s passing. I spoke with Lou Engle and pastor Benny Hinn early this morning. They were in full agreement. I’ve preached to much larger crowds than this crowd today, but I felt the weight of the moment at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry today. I couldn’t help sense that one or more of these young people would hear the invitation from Heaven to fully surrender their lives to Jesus. We believe the mantle of Billy Graham and Oral Roberts is being released on a company of people who’ve been in hiding…all alone with Jesus. They’ve learned to host Him and kill lions and bears in secret. There has never been a more holy time to give our “full yes” to the Lamb of God.”
Not to be outdone, another voice from the charismaniac swamp is Charlie Shamp. Shamp reminds us to not be offended when Jesus appears to us in a “different form” after Jesus appeared to him while in a trance – in the form of a Lamb. He goes on to say that God had spoken to him regarding Billy Graham’s death, and that his mantle would drop this year. The mantle of that ministry would be passed to the “wild ones” – “the radical revival culture” The video on his facebook page where he shares this revelation is entitled: “Prophet Charlie Shamp accurately prophesies the death of Evanglist Billy Graham on January 13, 2018 while in Charlotte, North Carolina.We pray that this generation takes ahold of this prophetic word and many young Evanglist’s arise around the world with a double portion mantle for Evangelism!”
Does it take a prophet to know that an ill 99 year old will shortly pass away?
We should expect signs and wonders in the last days, possibly through many in this new breed but not from the source they imagine. This new breed have a veneer of humility and outward righteousness, but many want to be the next great miracle worker. Their personal destiny and legacy overshadow the cause of Christ. Their methodology and teachings contradict scripture because they don’t have a love for truth.
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
What do the scriptures teach regarding mantles, and is that how God operates today?
The NAR look to the old testament to justify their claim that God gives mantles. Prophets in the old testament wore cloaks, or “mantles.” This mantle was an outward sign of God’s calling. When the prophet Elijah called Elisha, he “threw his mantle on him.” This prophetic act indicated that Elisha was called to the office of a prophet. Towards the end of Elijah’s ministry, just prior to being caught up to heaven, Elisha asked Elijah: “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” 2 Kings 2:9
When Elijah was caught up in a chariot of fire, his mantle fell, and Elisha picked it up, and struck the waters of the Jordan. The waters parted, as they had earlier when Elijah struck the water. When some sons of the prophets from Jericho saw Elisha, they said “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.”
To see whether mantles and double portions are still available, we need to examine the new testament, as this is the covenant we fall under and describes God’s operations in this dispensation. False teachers have the habit of taking a descriptive text to justify their current teachings and methodology. In other words what was described, is not always prescribed or applicable to us. Every believer has received a spiritual gift from God: “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11
These gifts, help us to build one another up in the body of Christ and spread the gospel. There are instructions in scripture regarding our gifts. We should for examples: not neglect them, use them to serve others, and stir ourselves up in our gifts.
Elisha performed his first miracle shortly after picking up the mantle: “Then he took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the water, saying, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over” 2 Kings 2:14 The mantle was not only an indication of a calling, but also a sign that the Holy Spirit had anointed the person who was called. This anointing was often accompanied not only by accurate prophetic words, but signs and wonders. This is ultimately what the new breed are after – signs and wonders. NAR proponents argue that the mere preaching of the gospel is insufficient; what we need according to them is power evangelism and prophetic evangelism. The irony is that their prophetic evangelism and power evangelism usually leaves out the message of the gospel. Instead of the gospel being presented, people receive an “interpretation” of what the tattoo on their arm means, or they are the recipient of the old leg stretching trick or receive a “destiny reading.” That’s about as far as their signs and wonders go. You will never find this new wild breed of revivalists empty a ward for the terminally ill at your local hospital.
Under the new covenant, believers have received the Holy Spirit. Under the old covenant, the Holy Spirit would come upon God’s chosen vessel to fulfill a task and then leave. Under the new covenant, the Holy Spirit dwells within all believers, and never leaves: “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:6-11
“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:13
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever” John 14:16
” There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:4-6
Scripture does exhort us to be filled with the Spirit. We are instructed to surrender to the workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We should immerse ourselves in the word of God, not quench or grieve the Holy Spirit. If we do the latter, we cannot expect the the fullness of the Spirit to operate in and through us, despite the fact that He still dwells within. The NAR & co are always looking for something to fall from heaven: a mantle, an anointing or an impartation. Scripture teaches that we have already received an anointing: “But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him” 1 John 2:27
Under the new covenant, God has already supplied to every believer what they need:
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” 2 Peter 1:3
What believers need is not some new addition from the heavenlies, but a greater surrender within. Instead of chasing after the callings of others (rarely legitimate callings when it comes to those whom the NAR admire) we should be content with our gifts and calling. It is clear that the new testament does not teach that mantles are available or necessary for believers.
Now we must ask the question: are some believers graced with a double portion?
Once again, we need to find the answer in the new testament, because as we observed, the Holy Spirit has now been given to all believers and dwells within.
A “double portion” in the old testament refers to a double blessing, conferred upon the firstborn, a chosen vessel, or the nation of Israel. In Elisha’s case, the fruits of double portion included performing twice as many listed miracles as that of Elijah. Scripture is clear regarding spiritual gifts for believers – God “apportions to each one individually as he wills.” 1 Corinthians 12:11
Scripture never instructs us to align or position ourselves in order to receive an anointing that a deceased person carried. Scripture does not teach us that we can get by with half or single portions, but double portions are what really gets the job done.
It’s not a case of seeking from above what you lack; it’s a case of realizing what has already been given in and through Christ: “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.”
There is nothing wrong with a desire to see souls come into the kingdom of God. There is nothing wrong with an urgency to spread the gospel. The problem is when our motivation, methodology, or actual message is a departure from what scripture teaches.
When we focus on our legacy – our motivation is wrong
When we think the right atmosphere, mantles, double portions, hordes of people, manifestations and signs etc are needed to spread the gospel or a sign of revival – our methodology is wrong.
When we teach a gospel that promises a great destiny in terms of earthly comfort; a gospel that helps fulfill our personal ambitions and dreams – this message is wrong.
There is no rest in the finished work of the cross when it comes to the New Apostolic Reformation. To use their own phrase – “there’s more.” In their world, what Christ has done on the cross is insufficient. Scripture is insufficient. The focus shifts from what Christ has done, to what we must do – a man centered theology!
There is always a need to chase after something: a new mantle, anointing, impartation or revelation. The “more” always lies outside of the believer in whom Christ dwells. Naturally this is good news for the apostles and prophets in the movement, as they are the ones with the latest scoop on what God is doing. They have a new course, new revelation, new mantle on offer. They point to God for the “more” but have positioned themselves as the playmaker – the essential cog in the whole process. The result being that they climb the NAR food chain, and watch their income climb at the same time.
The good news is that there is no need for us to chase after mantles and double portions. Those who do, have fallen for myths and ear tickling doctrines that oppose the truth.