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Bill Johnson and Mike Bickle’s mutual admiration society


Mike Bickle (right) introduces Bill Johnson
at OneThing 2016.

Anyone who has studied the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) knows how difficult it is to pin down. One reason it’s so hard to pin down the NAR is because it’s a movement. It’s not a formal organization or denomination–with an official list of beliefs, leaders or organizations. So you can’t simply go to a website and find an exhaustive list of NAR churches and teachers.

So how can you tell if a teacher is part of the NAR?

The first thing, of course, is to take a look at their teachings. They are part of the NAR if they teach that there are men and women today who are prophets and apostles, with similar authority and functions to the Old Testament prophets and Christ’s original apostles. This teaching is a dead giveaway because it contrasts sharply with the majority of Protestant Christians, who believe there are no prophets or apostles today who possess the same level of authority as the biblical prophets and apostles.

But even after looking at their teachings it still can be tricky to identify someone as part of the NAR. It’s tricky because denials of involvement with the NAR–or even knowledge of what the NAR is–are not uncommon, even from some of the movement’s most influential leaders. See examples of such denials by NAR apostles Bill Johnson and Heidi Baker in these two Christianity Today articles: Inside the Popular, Controversial Bethel Church and Miracles in Mozambique: How Mama Heidi Reaches the Abandoned. And see my responses to their denials here: Yes, Bethel Redding and Bill Johnson are part of the New Apostolic Reformation and Heidi Baker’s claim to be an apostle.

Yet, though NAR leaders may claim ignorance about the movement, they clearly have formed a mutual admiration society–publicly praising each others’ work, sharing speaking platforms, and promoting a common body of NAR teachings.

Evidence of this mutual admiration society can be seen at the OneThing conference, yesterday, at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City, Missouri. This annual conference draws thousands of young people, and many more watch online via a live webstream broadcast in eight languages. Johnson was the conference’s big draw this year. IHOP founder Mike Bickle introduced Johnson with glowing words about him and his teachings. He made it very clear that Johnson’s teachings have greatly influenced his own teachings: “He’s a dear friend. I have such affection and respect for him. … I have read his books, watched his videos, stole his material shamelessly, been instructed by the Lord through him.” Bickle went on to promote Johnson’s new book, God is Good: He’s Better Than You Think, which is selling very well on Amazon right now–thanks no doubt, in part, to Bickle’s endorsement.

After receiving such a complimentary introduction, Johnson returned the favor with his own over-the-top praise of Bickle. He said he views both Mike Bickle and Bickle’s colleague Lou Engle (a NAR prophet/apostle and former IHOP staff member) as “the two most important people alive.”

Before Johnson came to the stage, an announcement was made about a women’s conference to be held at IHOP in the spring featuring Heidi Baker.

What’s the bottom line? Even if these leaders claim they don’t know what the NAR is, or deny they are part of it, they certainly know how to identify and promote other teachers who share similar NAR visions, goals, and teachings.

You can watch recordings of the entire conference here. Johnson’s message can be found in “Session 8 Full Service.”


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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14 Responses to “Bill Johnson and Mike Bickle’s mutual admiration society”

  1. AriseMyLove Says:

    Yes, it is a spirit behind this movement.  Baal.

  2. mo Says:

    Yes all of the mentioned are NAR leaders. A good place to get a bunch of names of the people part of this “admiration society” would be online at the elijah list. I use to be involved with these people but the more I studied the bible I had to part with it and it is clear to me there are no longer any modern day apostles and prophets. Christ the cornerstone and his apostle and prophets have already laid the foundation. Now we have the rest of the fivefold ministry (teachers, pastors, and evangelists) building upon that already laid foundation. What these guys are trying to do is destroy the foundation and they are doing it very cleverly.

  3. Dave Says:


    Thank you for your “watchman on the wall” alerts and teaching on this heresy which is becoming mainline and pervasive. NAR teaches a different gospel but sadly, due to a lack of comprehensive Biblical preaching and teaching, isn’t discerned for what it is by many believers. I refer many church leaders, friends, and colleagues to this blog.

    Wishing you God’s continued direction and blessings for 2017.


  4. Holly Says:

    David, thanks for your encouraging words!

  5. Born again Christian Says:

    You can add my old Church “River of life” near Brisbane Australia to this list. The Head Pastor their is a Woman named Royree jensen. They have a big sign on one of the main walls all about the “7 Mountains” theology and have been very closely aligned with Bethel church and its teachings for many years now. A missionary Lady recently was called a “Mystic Prophet” by the head Pastor not long ago. Just the use of the word “Mystic” in a Christian church should ring “new age” alarm bells off in any Christians head.
    The Lord himself got me out of there years ago. The truth is that this disease started in this church in the 90’s and it has steadily become completely taken over with this nonsense bit by bit. They see it all as a “new move of God” always but unfortunately cannot see the truth anymore thanks to a lack of proper biblical teaching.

  6. Jaeson Says:

    Hi Holly,

    You should start gathering exit stories on how this movement has personally impacted people and families.  I think that would be very telling.  Maybe not on this blog or page, but another one you could set up.  There are people out there who would read facts and be like “but oh my feelings” if they see the ruination of many believers however, they will pause.


  7. Holly Says:

    Yes, I think you have a great idea, Jaeson. Do you or someone you know have an exit story?

  8. Jae Says:


  9. Elon Moreh Says:

    The denials aspect is also seen out here in Israel as well. Wayne Hilsden is a high profile NAR leadership figure who leads King of Kings Community in Jerusalem, which has an IHOP style prayer tower room and he recently founded a new organisation called FIRM (Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries).

    Hilsden is part of the leadership of Empowered 21, provides apostolic eldership to the Rez Church of Jonathan Wiggins (another NAR style fellowship) and the FIRM board contains the likes of Jack Hayford, Samuel Rodriquez, Don Finto, Yan Tuck Yoong and Paul Zink, who are either recognised as “apostolic”, or are well known NAR figures. Despite all this, Hilsden’s FIRM organisational manager Michael Mistretta recently asserted that: “There is no connection between FIRM and the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation). We know a couple of the people who are involved in that group, but we don’t have any connection or relationship between them.”

  10. Drew Says:

    I have an exit story…MINE….how can I get it to you?

  11. Claire Jenkins Says:

    I been dong  alot of research on this,,because our Pastor  is visiting  Bethel and the Church has   Pastor Evang,Teacher,,,but no one declaring  Apost,yet here
    What i hear being taught by Bill Johnson   definatly sounds good,and deep in my heart,,i would desire that we could  and we would be instruments used by God,,in supernatural ways

  12. andrea dearnley Says:

    hmmm…JESUS says…John 14:12 New International Version (NIV)
    12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and THEY WILL DO EVEN GREATER THINGS THAN THESE, because I am going to the Father….

  13. Elon Says:

    For all the NARites and fake apostles claims to do greater works than Jesus; laying aside the dodgy doctrines and twisted scriptures, verified evidence of their greater works is conspicuous by its absence.

    How many four days dead people have you raised this week Bill Johnson? How many blind people now see through your ministry Mike Bickle? How many truly crippled people are walking again, how many lepers have you cleansed recently? Not too many I would think. Therefore, in spite of their claims to have meetings filled with the “Presence” nothing real is coming out of there; only boastings and people going crazy under whatever spirit it is they are dishing out there.

    When will people wake up to these charlatans?

  14. Pablo Lescano Says:

    Holly, soy de Sudamerica,más bien Argentina, en este preciso momento estamos teniendo la visita de lou eagle, y todo este movimiento, claro está que es mucha habladuría charlatanería, pero no hay señales, coincido con muchos que aquí comentan este artículo, Pasaran los tiempos y las cosas cambiarán, pero la palabra de Dios no cambia, permanece para siempre, creo que el Deberían centrarse más en predicar el evangelio verdadero y no con estrategias Humanas, más viniendo desde paul Cain y toda esa camada de manipuladores de la palabra…me encantaría que incluyas la traducción al español, sería de mucha Bendicion para nosotros, Bendiciones.

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