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Heidi Baker’s claim to be an apostle

Heidi baker

Heidi Baker, co-founder of Iris Global

Recently I wrote about Bill Johnson’s attempt, in a Christianity Today cover story, to distance himself from the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).

Now I address Heidi Baker’s denial—also reported in Christianity Today– that she’s part of the NAR. It appeared in a May 2012 cover story about Baker, titled “Miracles in Mozambique: How Mama Heidi Reaches the Abandoned.” The author, Tim Stafford, indicates that the reason people lump Heidi Baker and her husband, Rolland Baker, with the NAR is because of their association with the Toronto movement and loyalty to its leaders, many of whom are part of the NAR. But, unlike those leaders, Stafford writes “the Bakers do not promote the New Apostolic Reformation or consider themselves to be modern-day apostles.”

Contrary to what Stafford was told, Heidi Baker does claim to be a modern-day apostle and, thus, is part of the NAR. He must not have seen a video of her personal testimony–posted on YouTube in May 2011, a year before the article was published. If he did see it, he missed her claim to be an apostle. Though she does not directly state the words, “I am an apostle,” she clearly claims to be one. Anyone who understands the NAR and watches the video knows that’s exactly what she’s claiming. Watch it for yourself and see if you can spot the indicators.

A commission and a public affirmation

Here’s a brief recap of the portion of the video where she claims to be an apostle.

Starting in the video at about 6:16, Baker recounts the story of her appointment as an apostle, which occurred while attending a revival in Toronto led by the NAR apostle Randy Clark. After being miraculously healed of double pneumonia, she has a visionary experience when she sees Jesus, face to face, and receives a specific commission by him regarding her work with orphaned children in Mozambique.

Also while at Toronto, Clark–while speaking to the audience at large–suddenly publicly affirms her appointment as an apostle. He says, ““I have to change my message. I need to speak about the apostolic anointing.” (Those in the NAR know that to have an “apostolic anointing” is a NAR euphemism for being an apostle.) As Clark prophesies to her about her appointment, Baker is flipped on her head by God and she hears the Lord speak to her again about being an apostle. While Baker is still on her head, another senior leader of the Toronto revival, Ian Ross, asks her if he can pour water on her—a prophetic act and, apparently, a public symbol affirming her appointment as an apostle.

Miraculous signs and wonders

In the video, Baker describes how, after this apostolic commissioning and public affirmation, amazing miracles began to occur through Iris Global, her missionary organization in Mozambique. These miracles include seeing bread, literally, be multiplied supernaturally to feed hungry people—similar to the way Jesus multiplied bread. And the work of Iris Global exploded—going from a small organization working with just four churches and 320 children to becoming a massive organization working with thousands of churches and children.

In short, this is how Baker claims to be an apostle in the video without directly stating that she’s an apostle.

  • She claims to have received a personal appearance and specific commission by Christ.
  • She claims that the commission is publicly affirmed through a prophetic word given by a well-known apostle, accompanied by supernatural phenomena and a prophetic act symbolizing her appointment.
  • She claims the commission is validated by miraculous signs and wonders and explosive ministry growth.

Silence that speaks

It’s telling that when Clark first identified Baker as having an “apostolic anointing,” she felt uneasy. Why did she feel uneasy? Because she understood the implications of his words—namely, that he was calling her an apostle. Recalling the moment when Clark first refers to her as having an “apostolic” anointing, she said, “Well that word kind of bothered me because I had seen a lot of arrogance surrounding the word. So my little theological brain was ticking.”

But notice what she doesn’t say. By recounting this incident–and never suggesting that Clark was wrong to identify her as an apostle–she’s drawing her listeners to the same conclusion.

Take a look at Baker’s words describing Clark’s public affirmation of her commission.

Suddenly Randy says, “apostolic anointing” and God just flips me up on the side of my head, on top of my head. … I’m like, “What are you doing God?” And I’m on my head. And I remember this song. I said, “Take me and use me. Bruise me if need be.” And I was singing about white fields of harvest and children crying and dying. … And I’m on my head and then—bam!– I’m down. And I was literally bruised from head to toe. And as I’m up on my head, the Lord said, “Apostolics upside down. It’s the lowest place.”

Pay close attention to those last words: “Apostolics upside down. It’s the lowest place.” In other words, she claims to be an apostle, but one of great humility. That’s why she doesn’t claim it directly.


Holly Pivec is the co-author of A New Apostolic Reformation?: A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement and God’s Super-Apostles: Encountering the Worldwide Prophets and Apostles Movement. She has a master’s degree in Christian apologetics from Biola University.

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11 Responses to “Heidi Baker’s claim to be an apostle”

  1. Jeff Says:

    There’s no doubt she thinks she’s an apostle. She, and a number of other NAR leaders, have begun to draw their followers to embrace the Catholic Church since they placed Francis in the pope’s seat. Francis, by the way, is a charismatic catholic. They may be cooking up an end-time, ecumenical false revival like the world’s never seen before. In the video below, Heidi Baker shares a “vision” she’s having at Bethel Church last year. What’s the vision of? Oh, just the pope’s crown! What? Doesn’t everyone have visions of the pope’s crown? 

  2. Al Mariano Says:

    What is her commission?

  3. Amy Spreeman Says:

    Thank you Holly, for this important article. The NAR is quickly growing and morphing as more anointed ones distance themselves from the name and the players.
    We’ve published a snippet on our Berean Research blog linking back here.

  4. Holly Says:

    Wonderful! Thanks for letting me know, Amy.

  5. Hope Wingo Says:

    Holly, may I share my own story of deception?

  6. Curtis Benson Says:

    Rebecca Brown’s book “He Came To Set The Captives Free”, she states that women are NOT Apostles,period. They are NOT Pastors,Evangelist,Teachers,Apostles,or Prophets IN OFFICE.  They may FUNCTION as one of the five fold, but DO NOT HOLD THE OFFICE. Only men, called of God qualify for an OFFICE, and thereby be called one of “Christ’s gift’s to the church”. Christ’s functioned in all five, as well as standing in all five OFFICES. No women stands in an OFFICE, just functions in ministry. Adam WAS NOT deceived like Eve was, God established HIS AUTHORITY through the man, NOT the women, this is fact! Also a true Apostle MUST go through GOD’s training, it is heavy with 14 Tests and then a final exam. TESTS: 1:Time,2:Word,3:Character,4:Motivation,5:Servant,6:Wilderness,7:Misunderstanding,8:Patience,9:Frustration ,10:Discouragement,11:Warfare,12:Self-Will,13:Vision,14:Usage,Final Exam: Promotion. Moses had a 40year test, Paul 17 year test, Jesus 30 year test. So if you call yourself an Apostle prove were you had your testing with God, one on one. Training under God is more important that having a man speak over you.

  7. Curtis Benson Says:

    I was called of God, 26 years ago, while I was ending a 5 year campaign of evangelistic work, in a major US city. I was told where to go, and provision was provided for me there. “If you have food and clothing be content’ I did not understand, but I was obedient and went, I was disappointed by the order, but did not question the Great Commander. Later, at a few meetings, that I was allowed to attend, God spoke through men to me, Also He spoke in a dream, and spoke directly to me, proving HIS call, and a 26 year preparation, that is not over yet. This training is severe, many sided, with testing over and over to PROVE ME. I have learned to obey, and NOT think my way will do anything. I yearn to be released, but He is not yet done. I now have had 6 years of physical afflictions, and have received the sufferings of Christ (which by the way is NOT taught in our churches), nobody wants pain, but the word says”That Jesus learned obedience through suffering”. What? He was the Son of God, yes, but also a man. “Are you higher than our Lord, then if HE suffered for righteousness sake, so we also will suffer.” I lay claim only to what HE has told me, and nothing else, I answer only to HIM, A man, or prophet may affirm what God has said, but if he gives anything else, that becomes witchcraft, and the devil may give you what you want, with satanic benefits attached . Seek God, not man.

  8. Jason Says:

    First, I want to thank you for your efforts in Pointing out false teachings and your desire to be faithful to the word of God. Jesus said, you will know a person by their fruit. You have to ask, what is the fruit of Heidi Baker’s ministry? I believe it’s the salvation of thousands, the feeding of the hungry, taking care of widows, and expanding the knowledge and love of Christ that has been the fruit of her ministry. Furthermore, Jesus does not encounter people all in the same way in scripture. He healed people through different means. What Randy Clark refers to as “apostolic anointing“ could be a misuse of words from God’s perspective. However, what she testifies is an amazing encounter with God. I can not deny that God is doing incredible things thru Heidi Baker and she seems to be someone who loves the Lord and is humble before Him based on her ministry and messages. Wouldnt you say she is living out the two greatest commandments mentioned by Christ then? It seems that you may be questioning the validity of ones healing on the Sabbath day, all the while missing the Lord Jesus through this person’s encounter and glorifying God. I personally want such a life changing experience that would make me love Jesus more. People can call that experience whatever they want. I just want more of Jesus and His presence to dominate me. God bless you!

  9. Angela Maddox Says:

    This all is so confusing. Jesus tells us to go to the orphans and the widows, to care for the poor. I don’t know enough to know if this ministry is innocent, is of God, of Jesus. One thought that comes to mind is Mark 9:38-40. How can she say the name of Jesus so much and not be of him?

    “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

    “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us.” Mark 9:38-40


  10. Ian Says:

    Angela M
    One can’t argue about the service to widows and the orphans – that is part of pure relgioun or piety, and it does please God of from a pure heart. But the motive and, if there are any strings attached (IF you come to our meetings you can get some food) is another matter. It is God alone who knows our heart’s motive. We can only judge by what comes out of the mouth.

    While we must not put God in a box, we must not accept anything that comes in the name of the ‘Lord’ or in Jesus’ name.
    We are to test the spirits – John.
    We are to make sure that NO ONE deceives us – Jesus.
    We must watch and pray against false prophets, false apostles, false teachers, and falsely ‘anointed one'(s; Christs). – Jesus, Paul, Peter, Jude, John.
    So, to accept someone on the basis of their ‘good works’ is insufficient, unless they are mute and commit no wrong.

    What does a preacher say about the Roman Catholic popes, their doctrine, and their practice; the push of that system for unity of all faiths – ecumenism?
    Is social justice taking front stage over the preaching of the Lord Jesus Christ and His pure and full gospel?
    Is it ‘Jesus’ they are preaching and the Lord Jesus Christ?
    Do they major on the ‘Spirit’, or the ‘Holy Spirit’, rather than on the Lord Jesus Christ?
    Do they preach that we must repent from our sins because we have offended God, and flee to Him for mercy and call upon the name of Jesus, and obey the commands of Jesus Christ?
    Do they talk more about their experiences rather than preaching about Jesus Christ and His good news?

    These are just a few things that we need to use as benchmarks.

  11. Ian Says:

    also listening to this message by the late DErek Prince – no relation to Jospeh Prince; it may help too.
    – how to discern religious deception; 1 hr 11 min.

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