By Rick Becker 2 November 2017

God has opened your eyes to the deception in the New Apostolic Reformation and other aberrant teachings such as the word of faith and prosperity gospel.  You have made the necessary, yet painful decision to leave your church.  You are flooded with emotions and fears.  Perhaps you are even regretting your decision as you may find yourself isolated.  Questions arise such as why did God allow this to happen, who can I trust now, what is the alternative?

Reasons why the NAR & CO have such a powerful grip on their followers can be found here .  It can be daunting to leave a church once you have discovered the deception within it. Disillusioned with church and even God can weigh you down.  Your journey into the somewhat unknown comes with it’s own set of challenges.  Here are some simple and practical steps that may be helpful:

1 Deal with the hurts and emotions that inevitably accompany this process

Leaving a church is a painful experience, even for those who leave on amicable terms. Leaving the NAR is usually a messy affair due to the controlling nature of this movement, and few come out unscathed.  Very often just prior to your departure, things may have been heated.  There may have been a certain amount of miscommunication, which added to the confusion and frustration you feel.  False accusations may have been made and  bonds as close as a tightly knit family have been shattered.  Few things are as painful as broken relationships and these words from the book of Psalms may resonate with you:
For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; Then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; Then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, My companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together,
And walked to the house of God in the throng.” Psalm 55:12-14

It’s imperative that you confront your emotions without delay.  The longer you harbor any resentment, and replay events in your mind,  the harder it is going to be for you to move forward.  At this particular junction, it may feel as though you have nothing to lean upon.  You may feel stripped, empty, and a little lost.  Feelings of rejection and self pity are paralyzing, and it is crucial to bring your pain to the cross of Christ.  This is where you will find peace.  Inherent in this movement is the dependence on people and experiences instead of God.  This will be an opportunity to discover that God is able to heal the brokenhearted and bring restoration.  It goes without saying that you need to forgive those who have hurt you, and begin the next chapter of your life.  In time, you will see that you have learnt many invaluable lessons through the whole situation.

2 Why did God allow me to be deceived is a question many ask

You may have forgiven the people who have hurt you, but you may be bitter towards God for allowing you to be deceived.  However, It’s never a case of God deceiving his children – the Holy Spirit leads us into truth, not deception.  Some in the NAR are unbelievers, and will not be able to discern error because they are not saved. They have rejected truth, and as a result God will send them a strong delusion: The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,  and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12.  

So why have some been deceived, albeit temporarily:
• Some are new in the faith and not well versed in scripture.  Due to their lack of knowledge and their inability to discern between truth from error, they believe the lies taught in this movement. 
• Some have been deceived by their own hearts.  The painful truth is that the man centered teachings of the NAR  appealed to self.  It may have been the attraction of guaranteed health and wealth, or perhaps the thought that they would become the next celebrity teacher. The lure of being part of a special new breed of anointed end time revivalists who will usher in the kingdom is just as attractive.  We know how to spiritualize carnal motivations in order to justify what is essentially just appeasing self.
• Some are ensnared by these teachings when looking for solutions to hardships. Sickness, poverty, and other hardships can often blind people to the false teachings of the NAR, as they seek the answers the NAR have on offer.  Those who are suffering in some way are desperately looking for deliverance from their afflictions.  Yet even during trials, we cannot blame God if we look for solutions outside of his word:  “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.  Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.  But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” James 1:13-14  The desire to be healed, the desire to be free from any form of hardship, can tempt us to compromise on what is clearly written in scripture.

One reason God allows the testing of our faith, is to reveal what is in us.  We are new creatures in Christ, but until we leave this earth we will have to crucify our flesh daily.  The temptation to be our own little god and work miracles appeals to the flesh.  The NAR is a movement that elevates the flesh instead of crucifying it.  What really matters is that God has rescued you from a deceptive movement.  You have not rejected the truth and are not amongst those who stand condemned.  It’s time to be grateful, and learn to rightly divide the scripture in order to grow and be in a position to help those caught up in the NAR.

3 You are not alone.  Find fellowship and encouragement as soon as possible

Once you have left your church, you find yourself in no mans land.  This period of isolation can be the breeding ground to foster bitterness.  You now find yourself in a vacuum, and the best thing to do is fill it with truth.  Finding a new fellowship takes time, and you have now learned not to place your trust in any individual or ministry. If possible, find others who have come out of these movements as they can be a source of encouragement and will identify with what you have been through. They may also be able to point you to resources that are helpful, and even a church to fellowship at. There are many free resources available that will help during this time. Start studying the word of God, use commentaries, listen to podcasts, read books exposing the NAR and their doctrines so that you can understand their error and learn to rightly divide the word.

4 Don’t make the same mistake twice

A hallmark of NAR & CO churches is that they:
• teach topically, using proof texts to substantiate their false doctrines.
• employ eisegesis – they ignore the rules of interpretation and original meaning of the text; instead they subject it to their own interpretation, and narcigesis – a self centered interpretation of a text.
• relate experiences and tell stories which are usually not verifiable and are contrary to scripture.

What you should be looking for in a church is one with a detailed statement of faith so that you know exactly where they stand on various issues.  Don’t be attracted to personalities, the atmosphere during the service, the size of the church, the amount of friends who go there etc.  You have just come out of false teaching, so your primary concern should be good teaching.  Teachings should be primarily expository in nature.  A pastor that rightly divides the word of God (2 Tim 2:15)  will employ the principals of interpretation, something ignored by NAR teachers.  This critical analysis of a text reveals the true interpretation.  This is what’s going to feed you and mature you in the faith.  Some people come out of the NAR and immediately gravitate towards any fellowship that is as far removed from the NAR as possible.  Within months they may find that they are now in another church or movement full of doctrinal error.  On the other hand, some find error in every church and cut themselves off from any form of fellowship.  Keep in mind that there will always be something you disagree with, and not one of us will get to heaven and find that our own theology was perfect.  Differences in non essential doctrines are always going to exist.  What we need to avoid is blatant false teaching as espoused by the NAR & CO, and any other movement/denomination that teach false doctrines.

5 Don’t view the alternative as lacking what you believed was “spirit filled” and exciting.

A typical NAR service is no dull affair.  Lively worship with Hillsong or Jesus Culture music can stir up the emotions.  Gold dust, glory clouds, angel sightings and fantastic stories of encounters with God leave followers drooling in their seats.  After the message,  it is time for the spirit to move and prophecies are given, people are slain in the spirit, impartations and declarations seal the deal.  But now that you have left, there is silence.  What stirred your soul is gone, and you wonder if a dry alternative is all that God has to offer.  What you may not yet have realized is that the “more” you were seeking was actually poison.  People who live on junk food and a high sugar diet live in a state of toxic hunger.  They are perpetually hungry because their bodies are not being fed the nutrients that they are so desperately craving and needing.  Instead they keep giving their bodies what they think it wants, rather than what it truly needs.

In the same way, people who are fed on the NAR teachings are not receiving the nutrition that their spirits need, and so they are in a perpetual state of hunger.  They believe that this is a good hunger, but in fact it’s a sign that they have been poisoned.  Their senses have been stimulated and entertained, yet their spirits are starving.

Each year brings more prophecies of great outpourings, greater breakthroughs, double anointings, more blessing, increase, more outlandish testimonies of encounters with God, trips to heaven etc.  Stadiums are filled, and before the dust has settled, the date for the next life changing meeting is announced.  You need a spiritual detox from this garbage.  We all need to come to the point where it is Christ alone who is sufficient.

• We don’t need Shawn Bolz to tell us our dead relative is happy in heaven – we trust God that his judgement is just.
• We don’t need a global leadership seminar from Willowcreek listening to experts in their business field – experts devoid of the gospel.
• We don’t need an impartation from Patrica King, Kris Vallotton or Bill Johnson because we realise we have an anointing and God is able to fill us when needed.
• We don’t need Todd White to pray for our sore back – we can ask the elders to lay hands on us, and ask God to heal us.
• We don’t need the latest book from T D Jakes, Brian Houston, John Bevere, Beth Moore, Bill Johnson or any other teacher who twists the scriptures.
• We don’t need repetitive worship songs with lyrics devoid of truth

The transition from a feeling based to a faith based walk in Christ is but one of the incredible blessings when you leave this movement.  In the NAR, the word of God has lost it’s power;  the two edged sword has been replaced with a dull blade which is unable to discern between soul and spirit.  The word of God will take on a new meaning as you study it in context – something that rarely happens in a NAR church.  Your false view of the nature of man and of God, will be replaced with the correct view.  The declarations or readings at Bethel church during the offering, are a prime example of the wrong view of the nature of man.  Their narcissistic gospel is shameless:
I am powerful. And what I believe changes the world…I am important….Everywhere I go becomes a perfect-health zone”

Once free from this self elevating gospel, you will discover that the gospel is about God, not you, and that true Christianity is not about your comfort in this world, but about conforming to the image of Christ.  Once again, Bethel confuses the gospel with the American Dream in their offering reading:
“As we receive today’s offering,
We are believing the Lord for:

Jobs and better jobs
Raises and bonuses
Sales and commissions
Favorable settlements
Estates and inheritances

Interests and income
Rebates and returns
Checks in the mail
Gifts and surprises
Finding money
Debts paid off
Expenses decrease
Blessing and increase..”

The continual search for impartations, anointings, manifestations and being led by what you feel, is replaced with something far more secure – the word of God.  More from Bethel, a church that flirts with the new age and demonic realm:

“As we receive today’s offering
We are believing You for:

Heaven opened
Earth invaded
Storehouses unlocked
And miracles created
Dreams and visions
Angelic visitations
And divine manifestations

Anointings, giftings and calls
Positions and promotions”

There is nothing new about the New Apostolic Reformation.  It is not a reformation, It’s  a deformation of the truth – repackaged false doctrine.  Thank God that you have come out of this movement that will be part of an ecumenical movement that welcomes the antichrist with open arms.


  1. Thank you Rick Awesome article, well written, quicken by the Holy Spirit… I will repost over and over . I encourage others too as well . We all know family, relatives, friends, etc deceived by this garbage “doctrines of demons “ . It’s close to Christian , sounds good , appeals to the flesh , exciting , lights , colors , sounds … Thankful , prayers for those under the deception. Be Bold , Contend for the faith, Fight the good fight of faith. We are living in the latter times, Don’t shrink back !!!

  2. Very helpful. I still get times when I miss the excitement, the hype and the intense music and worship. However, never once was I taught about the nature of God or the true gospel, never once was I shown the truth on total depravity of man and his constant need of a saviour and never once was I challenged to submit all experience to the word of God. It was all about self and about the leaders we had elevated to a special status, even a super star status. Yes it was exciting, but it was the self that was being gratified and it never lasted. Like junk food, you always needed another sugar rush. The sad thing is all those you once walked with now think you have either back slidden or have come under a curse after leaving apostolic covering. It can be lonely, but better that than being deceived.

    1. Thanks Jackie for sharing your insights! I think most of us who have come out share a similar story. It can be lonely, but imagine the loneliness that awaits those described in Matthew 7:22-23. At the end of the day, all we lose is self, and what we gain is Christ.

  3. Please pray for deliverance for my children that have gotten deeply involved in Bethel, Redding. We are now estranged from each other. Pray they repent from their wickedness and self centered lives. Thanks

  4. Rick, I can so relate to everything you shared regarding the NAR. It is very subtle and is tickling to the ears. Emotionalism is something that is very strong in this movement. I am sooooo thankful that God opened my eyes to this great deception about 10 yrs ago. I have to admit, I listened to mans prophecies and was very excited to hear what God was going to do in my life and through me. Such deception when its from man and not aligning with the truth of the Word of God. Im sharing with everyone I know who is involved in it finding that many do not think its false. Yes, its a very lonely walk when you come out of it BUT GOD IS FAITHFUL and gives HIS Truth to all who are eagerly seeking HIM and not a movement of fluff without substance.

    1. Thanks Trish for your comment. Grateful to hear that people are coming out of this awful deception. We all have a story coming out of this madness, and there is a cost, but what we gain is simply incomparable to the “fluff without substance.”

  5. Please help me a bit here.
    My wife and I got duped into moving to one of these churches and I started serving in media ministry after many years under sound teaching. We quickly realised that our ears were just being tickled and the false signs and wonders and cunningly interwoven false doctrine became apparent to us and as such we left after about 5 months. The statement of faith in the church almost flawless in terms of what it said but when you spend some time there you start to realise what exactly is going on. We were indeed deceived but at least we made the really tough decision to leave. I also wondered why the Lord would allow us to have gone there in the first place but it has given me refreshed awareness of just how bad the apostasy is in the church and how much the NAR has infiltrated. We are definitely at the end of the church age…
    I would really like some help though on how to approach the people who we made friends with and how to go about talking to them regarding the false teachings. Some advice would be great as from the various testimonies i have come across from people coming out of this movement, the reactions seem fairly aggressive in some cases and in our case it would seem that nobody actually even wants to deal with the error at all… I hope it’s not the case but I suspect we should be ready to possibly lose some friends as in the Podcast i listened to today where you interviewed Andrea.
    Thanks again for you great work brothers!

    1. Hi Jarred, thanks for the comment, grateful you both saw through the deception! Unfortunately in many cases it’s like trying to reason with a Jehovah’s Witness. I don’t know the details of your case, so I can only give some general guidelines which may help. You say that you have friends in the church, I’m not sure if you are still in contact with them or not, but from your side, keep the channels of communication open. If you spent time with them outside of church activities, keep that up. There is no reason to sideline them because of what has happened (i think this is your approach) If the leaders of the church have not given them any instruction to avoid you (as is often the case) then they would be free to meet you for coffee, or engage in some activity etc. I would begin with those you were close to, and have a burden for. Keep them in your prayers at the same time. If there was someone specific you had in mind, and even if you have not seen them since leaving, just call and ask if you can meet. If you do manage to get to spend time with anyone, it won’t take long for you to know if you are dealing with ears that are willing to hear. If you get asked the question: “why did you leave” that will be your opportunity to give an explanation. Avoid discussing people, go straight to the reason you left – false teachings. If you can, give some examples of how scripture was twisted, or simply ignored. Go through any old notes you may have, or any teaching material from the church where you can point out the error. The discussion usually goes back to what nice people the leaders are, or what amazing fruits they have etc. Bring it back to the scriptures. If they are not prepared to reason from scripture but simply argue, don’t engage. It’s the truth that will set them free. The Holy Spirit can open their eyes, our job is to simply present the truth. One has to be patient, loving, and be prepared to meet for however long it takes if they are willing. Be faithful to Christ and his word, don’t shrink back. Praying for you and your wife. Please keep in touch and let us know of any developments.

  6. Thank you so much! Here in Norway too, so much deception. I thank God for delivering me and my family out of the NAR. For so long I wondered how we were ever deceived in the first place. This article really helps me to understand the complex process of getting entangled in false doctrine as well as getting out. God bless you!

  7. I think people coming out of NAR and Wof churches shouldn’t go looking for fellowship right away. Spent time in God’s word the bible to get rid of all the false teachings you have been fed for years. Spend time in the bible, pray and listen to old hymns. Junk all of man’s teachings and books that are cluttering up your life

    1. So true. The Word by itself, is like pure water from an artesian well, washing off the ilk of what isnt pure.

  8. Hi. I stumbled upon this article, but I wanted to let you know that I too had to be ripped away from an NAR church, and when I started there, it wasn’t NAR, but it was taken over by a real bully, who slandered and kicked out anyone who didn’t follow his “new teachings”. Many years after the fact, after my anger had long since died away, Jesus led me to write my story, and it is “Abba’s House, Dr. Ron Phillips, and The Silence of the Spirit.” It was my experience that what was really happening was a silencing of the Holy Spirit for a sinister spirit. Thanks. Pam Austen

    1. Pam,
      I have been visiting Abba’s House for several months. I have felt conflicted ever since I walked in, but I have dear friends that I love that attend there. I have been watching videos about the New Apostolic Reformation and before I even read your book, I told my family my concerns about the leanings of the church into its practices. I actually feel that God led me to your book. I believe you 100 percent about Ron Phillips. His son, Ronnie, is the pastor now, but the legacy of NAR continues. I hope and pray that you have found a church. May God continually bless you for your courage.

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