How to spot a NAR book

NAR book cover art rectangularWe documented in our books that the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) has penetrated mainstream Christianity. Many people find this hard to believe, claiming they’ve never heard of the NAR. I suspect one big reason this movement has flown under the radar for so long is because people don’t know what to look for.

So how do you spot the NAR? Let’s take a look at some top-selling books and I’ll show you how.

Look at the publisher.

Destiny Image Publishers was founded by Don and Cathy Nori specifically to “publish the prophets.” If you spot their telltale logo– a capital letter D with a flame of fire inside–you know you’ve encountered the NAR. Charisma House has also published many NAR books, though they also publish more traditional Pentecostal and charismatic books.

But don’t stop after looking at the publisher. Some mainstream Christian publishers also publish NAR books, like Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing Group). That’s why you must also look at other giveaways, like a book’s author.

Look at the author and endorsers.

Some popular NAR authors to watch out for include Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton (both of Bethel Church in Redding, California), Mike Bickle (International House of Prayer), Rick Joyner (MorningStar Ministries), Randy Clark (Global Awakening), Cindy Jacobs (Generals International), Heidi Baker (Iris Global), Che Ahn (Harvest International Ministry), and Dutch Sheets. Endorsements from any of these NAR leaders should also give you pause.

Countless NAR authors (as well as NAR musicians) have come out of Bethel Church in Redding, California, and it’s affiliated Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. So watch for references to all things Bethel in author bios.

Look for NAR buzzwords.

Certain words in a book’s description can be useful clues for identifying it as NAR. Pay special attention to words like “apostolic,” “prophetic,” and “revivalist.” Also watch for phrases like “bringing heaven to earth, “manifest presence,” and “supernatural ministry.” “Sozo” is a very popular practice in NAR churches. The “fivefold ministry” teaching is typically NAR. And so are teachings about “releasing” angels, “operating in the courts of heaven” and “breaking curses.” There are many more NAR teachings and terms, but you’ll pick up on them over time.

A wake-up call

When I started writing this post, I expected to find NAR books selling well within the “Pentecostal and Charismatic” category. What I found instead was NAR books topping the list of all books sold that fall under the much larger category of “Protestantism.” Below you can see a screen capture I took earlier this week of the top 12 best-selling Protestant books at that moment in time. You may click on it to enlarge it. Eight of the 12 books are NAR!

This should serve as a wake-up call to anyone who doubts the NAR‘s influence in the mainstream church. More people need to be trained to spot the NAR–starting with its books.


Top Selling Protestant Books on Amazon 2016-8-29 cropped———-

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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16 Responses to “How to spot a NAR book”

  1. Lance Wonders Says:

    Just a reminder to Holly et al. that the actual “head” of NAR is Chuck Pierce, and its still-living founder is Peter Wagner.  Peter’s writings especially “launched” NAR —  Churchquake, Changing Church, Apostles, the Queen of Heaven, etc. (since about 2000).  The origins go back to both Latter Rain theology in the late ’40’s and 50’s and to the eccentric ‘Word of Faith” theology of the 1980’s.  Bill Johnson’s “signs and wonders” emphasis is dominant right now, but the false understanding that one is not a part of a true “New Testament” church unless it is “founded” upon at least one modern-day apostle and one modern-day prophet’s authority is the most dangerous of their teachings.  In Changing Church, Wagner opening espouses “open theism”, claiming that God Himself does not know the future, but is open to letting His children determine it with Him or for Him. (Greg Boyd even rejects the role of traditional prophecy in Scripture as a result).  Whenever a writer tells you to “break off” sin or to let the Holy Spirit “burn sin out of you”, instead of teaching repentance and faith in Christ’s own death and life to change us, one is wandering into heterodoxical NAR territory.  The issue is not the gifts of the Spirit but rather us supposedly becoming “little gods” through additional “Christian” experiences of “transformation” and/or “equipping”.  Then everything becomes all about US, instead of all about the Lord.  Then WE “bring in the Kingdom” instead of the returning Christ doing so at His return in power and glory.

  2. AlexFoo Says:

    here in Malaysia a local Methodist bookstore openly endorses books by the Pope, as well as Hillsong’s beloved Darlene. I asked the pastor if these books should be first screened and taken down.

    Apparently there is no safeguard measure in filtering these influences these days =(

  3. Nellie Says:

    Let us not forget “kingdom church” and how we are to pray the prophetic back to God to initiate the release by their prophets and endorsed by the horizontal apostles.

  4. curt bond Says:

    There is a five fold ministry, BUT most churches don’t practice this design that Jesus HIMSELF established. He operated in all five, and today this is HIS ministry on this earth.
    Man has established the pastor as the head of the church (not Gods design). I met a man one day that gave me his ministry card: It read that he was Evangelist so an so, and at the bottom it said he was “the Pastor”. See how corrupt this is, the one in authority is always ‘the pastor’, no function at all, just top authority . Corruption at the highest level, following man, not God. I know many ‘pastors’ that have no anointing to pastor, they make  our church people sick. We need people who summit to God’s Authority, a church school diploma does NOT give that! Yes, there are prophets and apostles today, but their training is severe enough that most people would chose something else. God Himself appoints the five fold ministry, man has nothing to do with it!

  5. curt bond Says:

    Prophet—4%–in use
    Pastor—50%–in use
    Evangelist–!5.5%–in use
    Apostle—.5%—in use
    Teacher—30%—in use
    This is the five fold ministry to mature the church body of Christ. Why do you think the church buys so many diapers, 95% of the body of Christ wears them, that’s why! Diapers are very popular, as the dress code requires them. We do not want to walk through crap!
    Sorry to say this, but MOST PASTORS are hirelings, they want paid, require it, demand it, and get it. What do we get from them,(lie one) you must pay 10% of your gross income, they quote many scriptures proving this, calling us robbers of God, and twisting the scripture to prove this. When pastors are in charge, the people being sick, eat to much of the Word, digesting very little if any, so we have a very fat group of people, with minds filled with the Word, which will kill them, for life only comes through the Spirit, the letter kills.  They say pay your tithes where you are fed, but you fail to tell them that you cannot swallow dry bones from them! Wake Up, and follow the Lord, and find the other members of the five fold that God raised up to help you!

  6. curt bond Says:

    I have been called of God to be an apostle, but have been rejected by NAR, because I do not qualify because of their rules.
    Rule one=Lead a major ministry for at least 5 years, man in charge
    Rule two=Pull in at least $50,000, but it’s better to make more, like $150,000
    Rule three= Pay dues of $300 per month to NAR
    Rule four= Support other NAR members and do not question their authority
    Rule five=Domination is the name of the game,hic
    Rule six=Drive a late model monster truck with large off road tractor tires.

    This is really not their requirements except for number 3. Just being funny!!!!
    I do not support any of these people mentioned, I have read some of their white washed books, but find the same theme over and over, which could be called ‘traditions of man”

  7. Lance Wonders Says:

    In Eph. 4 Paul is sharing the various ministries Jesus has implemented to bring His Body on earth to maturity.  He is giving us an overarching view, not necessarily a definitive view of some sort of formula for church government.  The Church takes the form of local churches and of associated/so-called “para-church” ministries that are supposed to be accountable to the  churches and their leadership. Paul himself functioned in accountability to the church at Antioch, giving them ongoing reports of the progress of his and Barnabas’ missionary journeys, even though he was an “apostle” directly called by Jesus Himself.  The true, “foundational” apostles had to have had time with the incarnate Messiah whereby they were instructed directly by Him, and needed to be actual eyewitnesses of the Resurrected Jesus Himself.  They were thus grounded in that pivotal time-frame in salvation-history and the events of our redemption in ways that modern-day “apostles” are not and are incapable of being.  For that reason alone, we should not be calling them “apostles”: it is like single people on Facebook claiming that they are now a “couple”, as if married, just because they have some level of commitment to another person.  This is misleading to others and dishonoring to those who truly ARE “married”. Meanwhile, the Book of Acts makes clear that the successors to the apostles in the local church are people like Timothy and Titus, who appointed elders: they themselves functioned neither as “apostles” nor as mere “fellow elders”, but rather as “first among equals”, representing the apostles, but then sharing their authority locally with the rest of the leadership, under the inspired apostolic Word (which became the New Testament once it was completed).  Evangelists and prophets then functioned, as indicated in the Didache and the book of Acts, as “para-church” ministers who SPREAD the Gospel and thus the “outreach” of the churches (in the case of the evangelists) and brought “ADJUSTMENT” to the focus or direction of the churches themselves (in the case of the prophets).  What we nowadays are calling “apostles” were actually missionaries given the “keys” to unlock new culture groups to the reality and presence of the Gospel, founding new churches but in continuity with the Church down through history that has always existed by the working of the Word and the Spirit under the direct headship of Jesus Himself (though “shaped” with the help of human leadership).  Finally, most “teachers” were likewise pastors/senior elders (a’k.a. “bishops”, like Timothy and Titus, though culturally the Romans took this in too much of a regional and hierarchical direction over time), and only rarely were considered as a “separate” ministry from that of pastors generally).  Attempts to put too much authority in the hands of modern-day apostles and prophets, then, misreads Eph.2:20: the OT testimony by the prophets to Messiah’s coming and the NT witness by the true, original, inspired apostles to His work, His deity, and saving ministry among us by His Spirit, is the once-and-for-all “foundation” of the Church, that can be laid again and again by church-elders and by para-church ministers down through time, but not with any changes in substance or essence.  Holly’s website blogs and books exist precisely to underscore the dangers that occur when the “foundations” are falsely expanded to include “authority” Jesus Himself never gave us, or “revelations” not rooted and grounded in the Scriptures themselves as properly interpreted in the Spirit through the ages. The true Church is not “safe” in the last days unless we are careful to distinguish what is genuinely biblical from what is a sort of “charismatic humanism expansion” of powers by today’s self-proclaimed apostles and prophets.  The devil is and always has been a deceiver, and Jesus Himself, before ending His earthly ministry, in Matthew 24, warned about even the elect being subject to being “deceived” if they did not hold tightly to “the faith” in doctrine and to His imparted “love” in Christian practice.  Utopian/post-millennial charismatics — much of the make-up of the so-called “New Apostolic Reformation” — are, to the contrary. so convinced that they themselves have the wherewithal to “drive out the darkness” by their own allegedly “Spirit-led” efforts, that they reject the obvious signs all around them that Satan is gaining ground and thus the much-prophesied “tribulation” and rise of an “anti-Christ” spirituality is quickly coming to a head.  Sometimes Holly does seem to overstate things in her warnings — but certainly no more so than many of the NAR leadership (like Peter Wagner’s call to Open Theism, for instance) have done in the opposite direction in the past!  So please be careful and sane and biblical and balanced in your criticisms of this website: it is a much-needed “corrective” for those of us struggling to remain faithful to Scripture within the ever-morphing charismatic subculture within the Body of Christ in these days….

  8. Nick Says:

    I had an incident where I was waiting in a parking lot alone to meet somoene for a deliverance after-care session, when a missionary traveling the world showed up. He said his wife had a dream to visit only one church in Maine on their drive through to Canada, and that it was ours because ours had a lighthouse on the sign. He told me he had been waiting for me and then he called me an apostle and said I would be leaving Maine in a trail of fire in my path and lightning in my footsteps.

    I do not accept this apostle impartation. If I am one sent out from God, let it be in obedience to the Word. And like someone said, there are 12 apostles recorded in Revelation. I am not one of them. And I will not lay a new foundation of illegitimacy.

  9. Sheri Says:

    Thank you and Praise Jesus for exposing these wolves in Sheep’s clothing right along w/their books. Jesus snapped at the money changers well this fits right in w/their doctrine of demons and leading men/women who are undiscerning to Hell. The NAR/Dominion Theology doctrine of demons is the false, lying, sign and wonders by no other than Satan himself. Like the Pharisees people want a sign. We are to walk by faith, not by sight, or feelings like this movement which follows the NWO and is part of the One World Religion and follows the Harlot Roman Church where it get’s its roots from The Vatican/Pope Francis which it will bow down to the Antichrist.

  10. Lance Wonders Says:

    Please, people, let’s stop throwing stones at one another! The Pope is not the Anti-Christ and neither is N.A.R. or its primary teachers and authors in ministry right now, however errant they might be in some areas of doctrine. Christ will sift them — perhaps have to judge them — but He looks at hearts, not just at areas of doctrine…and He can’t be pleased when we too readily consign one another to Hell. Instead, please write to these people and pray for their correction. These people all hold allegiance to Christ Jesus, even where their orthodoxy is suspect. Many Catholics read Scripture daily, are filled with the Spirit, and pray with Evangelicals regularly — and many N.A.R. folk are more obedient in evangelism than so-called “Evangelicals” often are. Remember, 1 John warns that our main “commandment” we are to be obeying is LOVE for one another. God help us to do a better job of that than we sometimes have been doing….

  11. Jaeson Says:

    I will be honest, having come out of a NAR church and also WoF – I do think many of these people ARE damned . I know that sounds harsh or terrible, but in the extreme NAR churches they are no longer serving the Jesus or Holy Spirit of the Bible, or even God of the Bible. They have made a false God in their own image, one who is not in control, not sovereign, and that you can “command on demand,” for any of your whims and wishes as long as you hashtag #jesusname at the end of your prayer. It is nothing more than witchcraft using Christian terms. They don’t teach the Bible, they teach their version of the book of Acts. They say others not in their movement are “deceived” for reading their Bibles, or even “behind.” That they are “old wineskins” and will be basically conquered and divided by them (yep heard that in church). They ascribe to a violent Jesus that wants us as church goers to get on board with their program and take over the world. If you’ve ever heard Rick Joyner’s nonsense that is what he is saying. Lou Engel ran around cursing politicians and people he disagreed with, hoping God would strike them dead. This is how absurd this movement is. Quite frankly I think the government should shut down the most extreme places – like Bethel (which is basically 1 step away from being like the Rajaneesh town) and Morning Star, and Lou Engel’s weird school of prophets. These people are full of a spirit- but it does not appear to be Holy as it leads people away from the Bible and sound doctrine. If that is the case, then many of the leaders are in fact possessed by this same not-a holy spirit. They are however, 100% convinced it is god. But this god is drawing them into mysticism and the occult and giving them messages which perfectly align with the new age. No one in these places questions anything, in fact you are told to check your brains at the door and just encourage ‘what the spirit is doing.’ Now I see it all as blasphemy after coming out of it and staying out. I tried to listen to some messages of my former pastor and I just want to throw up from hearing it. Every week it is the same message- the church is not enough, we need ‘holy spirit’ or we fail and god cannot do what he wants, and only by the special anointed apostles leading us and the prophets with their direct connection to god then can we take over the world. It is so sick and twisted.

  12. Petra Smith Says:

    I’m just learning about the NAR, Randy Clark and Heidi Baker. I went to a church that is affiliated with them and when Heidi Baker was the guest speaker in this church, something just didn’t fit right, I didn’t like her laugh (sounded like a witch) I didn’t like her “more Lord” repeated over and over. First I liked this church, but after doing more research and maybe the Holy Spirit protecting me I have no desire to go back. Thank you for all the information on here!

  13. Holly Says:

    Petra, you may also want to read one of my co-authored books on NAR. A New Apostolic Reformation? is in-depth and heavily documented, and God’s Super-Apostles is the quicker, introductory read.

  14. Petra Smith Says:

    Holly, I was reading both books of yours! What makes all of this hard for me is that my daughter and her family are still going to this church. Her mother in-law was threatening me “you don’t want them to choose over us that go to that church and over you that isn’t anymore!” All I can do is pray for them.

  15. misa Says:

    Thank you for this. I became very frightened by one author and sure enough he is on this list. I have stopped reading his book. If the message appears to run counter counter to Alistair Begg or Charles Stanley , then I stop listening then and there. I know who brought me to Christ.

  16. Eldon Workman Says:

    Thank you for this. I recently found a copy of “How to pray for lost loved ones” by Dutch Sheets. Sections of the book gave me pause, therefore I researched him, found your page, and confirmed the problem. Glad I only paid $1 for the book at a thrift shop.

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