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End-time apostle and prophet, Lou Engle–The new Billy Graham?


Lou Engle prophesied, Sunday, at
Door of Hope Church in Fairbanks,

Lou Engle, founder of The Call and a leader in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), has been making an audacious claim to audiences in large stadiums and churches across America: that the “mantle” of the aged Billy Graham is about to fall on him and his followers. In other words, Billy Graham isn’t dead yet and Engle has billed himself as the Holy Spirit’s chosen successor to Graham. Of course, Engle doesn’t word his claim quite that directly; you have to read between the lines. Let me explain.

For those who don’t know, a “mantle,” in the NAR, refers to a special empowerment given by the Holy Spirit to a specific individual for a certain purpose. When that individual dies, the mantle can be given to another person. Think of the transfer of empowerment and leadership between the Old Testament prophets Elijah and Elisha, or between Moses and Joshua.

Billy Graham is seen, by those in the NAR, as having been given a mantle for the effective proclamation of the gospel in large stadiums. But Engle claims God has revealed to him that Graham’s mantle will soon pass, not to just an individual, but to an entire nation. And it won’t be limited to proclamation of the gospel with words; it will be a souped-up mantle for the proclamation of the gospel accompanied by miraculous signs and wonders. The ultimate result of this baton pass will be a spiritual “awakening” and the turning back of America to God. Of course, Engle, who happens to host stadium-sized prayer-and-fasting events through his organization The Call, will receive a pivotal portion of this mantle.

By positioning himself as heir apparent to Graham–one of the most widely respected and admired Christians of all time–Engle is borrowing credibility for the aberrant NAR movement. What’s more, he’s claiming to be a gatekeeper for participation in God’s end-time plans and purposes to transform America and the other nations for Christ. Namely, if you want a share in this mantle, you need to embrace NAR teachings, including the belief that God has revealed to NAR apostles and prophets, like Engle, essential new strategies for transforming the world. If you don’t embrace these new strategies, you’re not going to be a co-recipient of this mantle. In short–in line with other NAR teachings–if you don’t get on board with the new thing God is allegedly doing, you’re missing out.

The present strategy that has been revealed to Engle is the importance of the practice of corporate fasting to see  a release of miraculous power on earth–that is,  thousands of Christians voluntarily abstaining from eating food, or drinking coffee, or taking part in some other form of abstention, for 40 days, so they can open themselves up to the spiritual realm. He discusses this revelation in his new book The Jesus Fast: The Call to Awaken the Nations.

Most recently, Engle promoted his 40-day fast at two services last Sunday hosted by two churches in Fairbanks, Alaska: Mountain Movers of Alaska Church and Door of Hope Church–stops he made during a tour of churches throughout the state. Engle was introduced as an end-time apostle, and also called a prophet. He prophesied that Alaskan churches will play a pivotal role in bringing revival to America through their participation in an upcoming statewide evangelistic initiative called AK One Day–an initiative he has partnered with along with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Focus on the Family, YWAM, and Every Home for Christ. But to ensure that the outreach will be accompanied by miraculous power, Engle urged those present to take part in a 40-day, NAR-style fast starting on Jan. 2.

One might wonder if the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association knows about Engle’s thinly veiled claims to be a chief recipient and gatekeeper of their founder’s mantle.


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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19 Responses to “End-time apostle and prophet, Lou Engle–The new Billy Graham?”

  1. Chris Says:

    It saddens me to see respected evangelical organizations becoming entangled with the NAR — it seems like that movement is everywhere these days.

  2. Lina Says:

    Hi, I’m leaving in Geneva Switerland. In 2012, Lou Engle, Cindy Jacobs & Co went in Geneva to give The Call conference. It was supposed to be a time of unity, fast and prayer. They wanted to bring a new Reformation here in the city of Calvin. After the conference, the Reformed Church (which lend the Cathedrale for the occasion) was very upset because of teachings on dominionism and Reformation. The gap btw the Reformed and evangelical churches increased. They wanted to bring unity: Failed!
    But The Call still continued to come.
    In 2013 when the movie “God loves Uganda” released, there had been a huge polemic about the coming of The Call and Lou Engle In particular. The autorities of the state of Geneva was very angry against the conference and those who organised it. They refused to rent any buildings for The Call. Once again: What witnesses are we?
    Finally, Engle didn’t attend to the conference. And since, The Call Geneva has changed its name to become Revival Hope. The organization here explained they’d received a prophecy to change the name. But it’s obvious the reason is to get round the suspicions. Hope my english is clear. Thank you Holly for this blog and books that teached me a lot of things.

  3. Holly Says:

    Lina, thanks for sharing your observations on the influence of the NAR in Switzerland. It’s ironic how Engle and other NAR leaders speak of unity, but actually create disunity with their divisive and unbiblical teachings. I’m glad my blog and books have helped you.

  4. Jeff Says:

    Hi holly.  Is there a direct quote from Lou Engle claiming this that can be seen or heard?

  5. Mark Meizner Says:

    I believe it is the Lord that promotes, not man. I do not know of, or ever heard off Lou Engle, therefore, I would lean toward him being an “incorrect prophet” and being more full of himself then the leading of the Holy Spirit.

  6. Jeff Says:

    Hi Holly. Where can I find the source where Lou Engle says that Billy Graham’s mantle is going to fall on him?

  7. Holly Says:

    Jeff, Engle has been giving the same message about Graham’s mantle in many meetings. Here’s a link to the message he gave at HRock Church in Pasadena, Calif.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mi_q4omzljE

  8. Sally Says:

    Where has Lou Engle been this whole year when Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, has held prayer meetings for corporate repentance in every State Capitol of our nation, with thousands in attendance?  I’d say by obvious observation that Billy Graham’s mantle has fallen onto his son, Franklin.

  9. Brenda Culver Says:

    Billy Graham is a universalist. He believes people that don’t even know Christ or never heard His name will be saved because they have something missing in their life and they don’t know what it is. He praises the pope and the catholic church. Why aren’t Christians more discerning? Jesus said they hated him the world will hate you to if you are my disciple. The whole world loves Billy Graham! Don’t believe me, do your research with a heart for truth. Lou Engle’s is certainly a wolf, but Billy Graham has done more to hurt the body of Christ than any man of our time.

  10. Looly Says:

    Amen Brenda Culver! I too have researched Billy Graham. Take Heed Ministries has good information for anyone interested.

  11. Jack Morrow Says:

    I notice that Bill Johnson has written the foreword to Lou Engle’s book, which speaks volumes right there.  A call to a 40-day fast–where have I heard that before?  Bill Bright of Campus Crusade promoted this, beginning in 1994, and said that the Holy Spirit revealed to him that a big revival would come by 2000 (see his book The Coming Revival (1995)).  I don’t remember such a revival occurring, which leads me to conclude that it wasn’t the Holy Spirit who was predicting it.  And of course, the Lord Jesus Christ told us in Matthew 6 not to do these things to be seen of men.

  12. John P. Says:

    I agree with Brenda and Looly.  Billy Graham has supported kooks like Robt. Schuller, Norman Vincent Peale and Pat Robertson, aNFL others of similar ilk, and who cannot know of Grahams efforts to unite Rome with “evangelicals”?
    Billy Graham and his weak stand for scripture, and his strong stand for Rome was one of the many reasons why our family left the SBC years ago.

  13. Jeff Says:

    Hi again Holly. Thanks for your response. I listened to the link you gave and did not hear Lou Engle make the claim that he was or will soon be the new Billy Graham. The reason I asked you to provide a source is because I was doubtful that one existed since that is not the type of thing Lou Engle would say. I have listened to his sermons for a decade and have a general idea of what would be out of the ordinary for him, and I could not envision him claiming to be the new Billy Graham. What I could envision him saying (or praying for) is that the call and ministry on Billy Graham’s life (NAR may use the term “mantle”) would be taken up by young people all over the world once he dies and they would carry on his great evangelistic work. To me, this seems like a noble prayer, for young people to follow in Billy Graham’s evangelistic footsteps. 

    I will admit I was mistaken about Lou if you are able to provide me with a clip where he actually makes the claim that Billy Graham’s mantle is about to fall on him. Of course, if he made a claim about it falling on the body of Christ in general he would necessarily be included but that is not the same as it falling on him as an individual. 

    Like you, I am interested in identifying people who pose genuine doctrinal threats to the body of Christ, and I think anyone who claims to receive new truths from God that are binding on the body of Christ is a false teacher, a heretic, and I will publicly condemn them from my lectern. I don’t however, think Lou poses such a threat, neither does Mike Bickle. They both believe that the Bible is the only infallible, authoritative word of God and no on-going revelation can be added to it. The sense in which they believe God still speaks today is the same sense in which most believers hold that God speaks by answering prayer today: an answer to prayer is an act of God, and God’s acts are revelation. But this is not “new revelation” in the biblical sense. 

    I see many dangerous teachers with many followers who claim to be the mouthpiece of God, but I don’t see this at IHOP. There may be exceptions of people formerly connected with IHOP but Bickle would clarify that. I heard Lou teach in person recently, and he gave a verse-by-verse exposition of Psalm 139. On other occasions he preaches against abortion and homosexuality (moral issues of our day and he compares them to apostasy in biblical times). 

    My point is that Engle did not make the alleged claim so the article appears to be slanderous at worst or misrepresenting the truth at best. My goal is not really to defend Engle but to make sure the truth is spoken about him so he can be critiqued accurately, and not receive a straw-man critique. 

    One of the major problems in the NAR/Charismatic movement is a lack of biblical and doctrinal understanding, and it adds to the problem when those who are theologically educated misrepresent them because they will know they are being misrepresented and write the theologically educated off. 

    Blessings on your ministry. I pray for fruitfulness, and the truth to be declared.


  14. Holly Says:

    Jeff, I wonder if you read my article closely. I tried to be clear in stating that Engle doesn’t directly claim that Graham’s mantle is going to fall on him; you have to read between the lines to see his claim. I also explained that he claims the mantle is going to fall on not just an individual, but on an entire nation. However, I made a case for why he is, in effect, claiming to be a chief recipient and gatekeeper of the coming mantle. I believe the math adds up. Bickle and Engle have brought new doctrines and practices to the church they claim are needed for the realization of God’s end-time purposes–in effect, treating their doctrines on an authoritative par with Scripture, even if they deny this. I can’t get into the details about their new revelations here, but see my co-authored book A New Apostolic Reformation? for documentation.

  15. Jaeson Says:

    I feel like the problem with many of these people is that they want so much to “do something” for God they become deceived.  What Christian doesn’t want to see dead people raise, etc?   But, instead of seeking God in scripture to live a holy life and be examples in society, they instead seek man to get “impartations, “prophetic words” etc.  Nothing of the sort was ever done in the Bible.  In the Bible we see GOD seeking out man.  Just the opposite of what this movement does.  This movement is a man-seeking-man pretending to be seeking God.   I think when that happens the things they want – like raising the dead or to be used by God become an idol, and another god enters – one which will make them feel self important, feel good when they give false prophecies, etc- and ultimately lead both them and others astray as they slowly accept false doctrines.  People involved in this movement get further and further away from the doctrine of repentance and deeper into theological lies.  It doesn’t happen overnight, but years.  Eventually they are just shells walking around “talking” like Christians, but at home they don’t behave like it, they live unbiblically (don’t work, etc), and think they are better than others who don’t have the same theological ideas.  It’s sad and virtually impossible to take the scales off their eyes.

  16. Luke Says:

    In this video Lou Engle claims Billy Graham’s mantle is coming on the nations around the 30 second mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRjbbdljTdA

    I just constantly see this guy promoting his own movement and promising great new things to his followers to keep them enthralled with the promise of some new movement or power. I have seen so many people that come out of these movements totally disillusioned because none of their promised power or revival ever happened. Sadly, many of them end up leaving the faith entirely because their foundation was not on Jesus Christ but instead the plans of kingdoms of men.

  17. David Says:

    “What’s more, he’s claiming to be a gatekeeper for participation in God’s end-time plans and purposes to transform America and the other nations for Christ.”  

    Just goes to show he doesn’t know what the Scriptures say.  In the end times, the nations worship the beast and his image.  These people are prepping the world for the Antichrist, not Jesus Christ, IMHO.  An Antichrist will need anti-Christians to fill the seats and carry out his commands.

    First time to this site.  Much to read.

  18. Curtis Benson Says:

    Brenda Culver is right Billy Graham is a DECEIVER, he is a 33 degree mason, that Lucifer-an Oath taken to be one, supersedes any oath to Christ. He is the most popular Roman Catholic ‘christen’,the world has ever known, but He doesn’t even walk with the God of Jesus. I would not want his mantle, He has nothing I want or need. He has deceived the nations, he delivers messages to our leaders, to follow the ‘pope’, not the Holy Spirit. He is a man highly respected, but not of God. He believes in many ways to God, not just one way.

  19. Matt Says:

    Hi Holly, I can understand your decrying Lou Engle and NAR here, but I come away thinking that you agree with Graham theologically. You make it seem that Engle makes illegitimate usage of Graham’s deserved prestige. Yet you do not point out the fact that Graham himself is completely unworthy of said prestige. Graham’s apostasy & universalism is easily provable (2006 Newsweek profile, interview with Robert Shuller, etc, etc).

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