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One to Watch: Torben Sondergaard

Sondergaard headshotMany people have asked me what I know about Danish evangelist Torben Sondergaard, the founder of the Last Reformation movement, and whether he’s part of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).

In short, he is part of NAR. Although my area of focus has been on American leaders of NAR, I do want to draw people’s attention to this European teacher as someone to watch. Three things are clear about Sondergaard, based on a five-minute video clip from one of his teachings. This Youtube clip is titled “How to Remember the 5 Fold Church Ministry” and is part of a longer teaching by Sondergaard, titled “Reformation of the Church System.”

Three things you need to know about Torben Sondergaard

1. Sondergaard advocates a view known as “restorationism.” This is the belief that the church, after the first century, lost important truths and fell into apostasy. Those lost truths are now being progressively restored by teachers such as Sondergaard. Restorationism is promoted by aberrant groups, such as the New Apostolic Reformation movement, along with cults of Christianity, including Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

last reformation cover art2. Sondergaard promotes the present-day governing offices of apostle and prophet, which is the core teaching of the New Apostolic Reformation. Notice, in the video clip, how he references the NAR “fivefold ministry” teaching that the church is to be led by apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds (pastors), and teachers. He describes a prophet as one who points out sin in individual’s lives and gives direction to the church–functions typically reserved for an individual who holds an authoritative office in the church, not just someone who has a prophetic gifting. He also says that a prophet and apostle work in tandem–a common teaching in NAR.

3. He’s very influential. The video teaching I linked to above is No. 17 in a 20-part series produced by an online school founded by Sondergaard, called the Pioneer School. His school teaches people, among other things, how to do miraculous healings. The first lesson in this series, titled “Come Out of the Box,” has received over 300,000 views. In addition to starting a school, Sondergaard has produced full-length Youtube movies, including The Last Reformation: The Beginning (2016), which has received over 800,000 views, and a new movie “7 Days Adventure With God.” These movies claim to document miraculous healings Sondergaard and his followers allegedly perform when they go out on the streets and interact with people they encounter there.

This map from the Last Reformation website shows Sondergaard’s extensive reach. Have you personally encountered his teachings?

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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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68 Responses to “One to Watch: Torben Sondergaard”

  1. Notdecievedanymore Says:

    David you had some experience in this movement. So did I. But that does not make them true Christians.

  2. Chris Coghlan Says:

    Before I give my own personal experience with TLR, I would like to know how Torben can call himself an apostle when one of the criteria for this position is to have witnessed the resurected Christ.

    Now for my story.

    I recently did a ten day tour of Israel with a group or people from The Last Reformation. I did not know anything about them as I was blindly led into it.

    The tour leader knows Torben Sondergaad personally and put a very heavy emphasis on what Torben taught and his interpretation of Acts. There was very little emphasis placed on the Gospels and any other books of the Bible.

    I have arthritis in various joints of my body which gives me a lot of pain.

    On the first day one of the TLR team laid hands in me and prayed for healing of my arthritis. Nothing happened so she said that sometimes it takes time.

    Two days past and she asked me if the pain was gone and I told her it had not. She then blamed me by saying that I did not have faith and that I have to ask God for the healing.

    Should this be the case then there is no need for anyone to lay hands on someone and pray for healing.

    Throughout the tour there were times for evangelising TLR style. Once back on the coach the TLR leader would ask for “testimonies”. These to me appeared to be boastful as it was about what they had done not God. Quite a number would make claims that people were healed of pains.

    One claimed to have prayed for a wheelchair bound woman and that her deformed leg was partially straightened. The woman was still wheelchair bound so I do not see why God would only partially heal a person and still leave them unable to walk.

    There were no miraculous healings of the lame walking, blind seeing type.

    On day six I was asked by one of them if I had healed anyone, if I was baptised by full immersion, baptised in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. I said that the Holy Spirit indwells all believers and that my tongue is English. I was told that I am not saved because I was not baptised by the Holy Spirit and did not speak in tongues as they are heavenly languages that we do not understand.

    From my own personal experience they came across as very cultish with a strong emphasis on Torben’s teaching and healing.

  3. Josh Says:

    The Last Reformation is a dangerous cult with a very mentally disturbed leader. Period. There are many (legal) reasons why Torben Sondergaard left Denmark overnight after the release on the Danish TV2 of a 3hrs documentary filmed inside his “movement” where one could see all kind of abuses and manipulations. He now claims that God ask him to move to Florida but it appears that Torben’s God never heard of “permanent visa” and therefore Torben Sondergaard is assigned to a residence and has to report any of his moves to the authorities. Hopefully the US immigration will soon get tired of this bozo and send him back to Denmark where he can face the justice of his own country.

  4. Bev Says:

    Hi, My name is Bev and God lead me to The last reformation where I received healing from ME and Fibromyalgia which I had had for 28 years, for 15 years I was in a wheelchair to go out as was in pain 24 hrs a day That was two and a half years ago and I have gone from being a very luke warm christian to one that has a very personal and real relationship with Jesus Christ now. My whole life is devoted to reaching others and sharing the gospel now and thats only possible through Christ and his faithfullness to me. The Last Reformation isn’t something you join but it is something to encourage you to go out and live your faith. I don’t follow Torben I follow Jesus and never have I been encouraged to do so. But his teaching got me back into my bible checking things out for myself. My life has so changed and my relationship with Jesus is back on track thanks to TLR. Please don’t be so quick to judge as I know there is a real heart for Jesus at the root of TLR.

  5. Ex TLR Says:

    Hi Bev

    Are you completely healed and can document this?

    Reason. As part of TLR and being leader (green dot) we saw many so called healings. People would experience less pain and or symptoms would disapper for a short period of time. Nearly always the people would have the problems again.

    On investigating this we discovered striking similarities to hypnotic healing. We saw videos of people being operated on using hypnosis and no pain killers. We concluded that most of the healing we were seeing was like this. When the hypnosis wore off then the pain amd symptoms came back. We do not believe that many were actually supernatural healing from God.

    This lead into a second thing. The deliverance side of things. Similarly, people who were open to hypnosis could put themselves into a state where they could manifest any thing you made them believe. It was the power of their mind which was doing the manifestations and not demons in them.

    Then there was a 3rd angle of what happened. Other people were doing more extreme deliverance stuff in TLR circles. They were talking to demons etc. Now i believe they were channelling. I do not believe the people had the demons but it was necromancy intonthr underworld. All of people continued to have demon related problems for a long period of time. I strongly feel most of it is actually psychological and not spiritual problems.

    I hate to shatter dreams. I believe God does heal. I believe he does do miracles and set people free. Basically, do not believe we need to go around proving God thru mircales or desperate people will start faking it or making money from it. Also dont believe in demon hunting like some in TLR do as it rrally puts people into bondage in the ling term.

    Wish you all the best with your recovery and healing.

    Blessings in Jesus

  6. Bill Sterling Says:

    Imagine what it was like for Peter and that bunch of rag-tag Jews. They didn’t hang out with all the cool rabbis at the Temple. There were all these wild stories going around about craziness and healings and mass feeding sessions. The authorities were worried that the Romans might not look kindly on such disorderly conduct and it might have “consequences.” But don’t worry THESE folks. The Pastor will let you know how to respond appropriately. Service is at 11:00 am sharp. Don’t be late. Don’t forget to bring your Bible. That’s YOUR responsibility.

  7. Sean Says:

    My wife Linda was healed of going blind from Chiari malformation. We had an MRI done before, and after much prayer and fasting, and seeing the 2nd woman healed on the TLRthelife.com movie she had a 2nd MRI before going for risky brain surgery. and they reversed their diagnoses. A bigger help was Andrew Wommacks’ “God wants you well”
    I believe these things are hidden from those who deny the Holy Spirit.
    Because they are double minded they get nothing.
    “These are the signs that follow those who believe” So if someone is not walking in “the signs” they really aren’t spirit filled believers and one should not look to them for gospel revelation.

  8. Josh Says:

    @Bill, # Sean … that is great ! So why Torben Sondergaard fails in everything he does whatsoever and why did he flee his home country overnight claiming he was being persecuted by a law that doesn’t even exist ? 😉

  9. Mats Rydin Says:

    I´v read all the comments and I cant be silent over the discussion. I´v been in the church for almost whole my life without knowing Jesus personally, I´m 67 years old now. How can that be? Yes, I think because of lack of understand what sin really is. I´v tried to do all things right, but I missed the most important He who takes all sin away. When I understood that I was a sinner and needed deliverance I met some from the TLR-movement who asked me if I could consider being baptized. I was baptised as a teenager and even ones more into a messianic church. I went to this sectliked messianic church 10 years and was subjected to deliverance without any results. After my conviction of sin and wanted be delivered I admitted to be baptised of this TLR group They took me out in the forest after the baptism and prayed four hours for deliverance. I was delivered from demons that has plagued me all my life.I give Jesus the glory not the TLR. Even I do agree with some of the things that You have said about TLR I don´t know what I´v been today. I don´t think You have to be baptised to be saved and I don´t think You have to speak in tongues to confirm that You have the Holy spirit but I believe that God can deliver people from bondage even if the doctrines not are all right. I´v not been an active member of TLR and I´m sceptical to much of Torben Sondergaard.

  10. AbandonedFamily Says:

    My wife (a longtime Christian) found the TLR movement about 8 weeks ago and was ‘baptized’ in a bathtub. She hasn’t stopped talking about how wonderful and enlightened Torben is and how he has suffered such great persecution. At first I watched his videos but then the Holy Spirit warnings started flashing with his description of works and he emphasis on baptism. Torben emphasizes baptism far more the Jesus or Paul. I shared my reservations with her but she still decided to attend a ‘Kick Start’ in early March. On her return she has broken off contact with all of her friends, left our church, won’t return calls from our pastor, and has abandoned a very happy marriage of 22 years. Any time anyone brings up her concerns she says in essence: Torben warns that we will be persecuted for our faith-you are the persecutors.

    This has all transpired over the course of 8 weeks. TLR is a classic cult and Torben Sondergaard is a classic cult leader. The Holy Spirit doesn’t require a cookbook instruction manual the TLR promotes.

  11. Holly Says:

    AbandonedFamily, I’m so sorry to hear about the devastation that has been caused to you and your family. I have to say, from my own observations of a family I know who got caught up in Sondergaard’s teachings, that your experience, sadly, is not unique. This family abruptly left their church family (the church was a healthy, Bible-teaching church), started bashing the church and portraying it as being spiritually dead, and even cut off ties with their own family members who would not go along with Sondergaard’s teachings. This movement is very destructive. I will pray for you and your family.

  12. a.m. Says:

    @AbandonedFamily: Hi Brother, it’s really shocking and sad to read your story… But a thought came to my mind: Did you try to directly contact Torben, or the TLR “leadership” about your problem?
    Maybe I’m wrong, because I have different experience with TLR after following them up in the last 2-3 years. But I have never ever heard Torben anything similar like ‘leave your friends or especially your spouse/family’.
    He is really-really much against divorce and destruction of marriages… So you may give it a try. Maybe he could speak to your wife and show her that leaving/separating from family has nothing to to with following Jesus (not even following Torben, if somebody wants to do that)
    I think you may find his email here, I think it’s still valid:
    http://www.oplevjesus.dk/butik-hidden.html
    Or try using the TLR Contact page, I hope they will answer and trying to help you.
    I pray for restoration of your marriage, and blessing on you and your wife!

  13. FormerTLR Says:

    I was once a follower of Torben and I’ve seen a lot of destruction in the wake of this man.

    Sure, if you watch it all from a distance or you’re just an attendee at a conference, it’s seems fine. And when you defend this man it’s because you do not know any better, and you haven’t been that deeply involved in or do not know someone who was involved in this up close and personally.

    Do people leave their spouses because of Torben? Yes. I know of several marriages and relationships that were broken due to people feeling the need to follow the radical teachings of Torben (no, not Jesus, but Torben) more than taking care of their family or buying into the “remarriage is adultery” stuff and so on.

    Yes, fathers have left their wife and children because of Torben and his teachings. And you may not like what you read here and you may feel the need to go “Oh, I’ve never personally heard Torben say this”. Do so if you wish. It doesn’t matter. It’s a fact that families and individual lives are broken because of Torben. Period.

    Don’t believe it? Go look up all the former people in his “films” or those who used to be in his video 2-3 years ago. I dare you. Go find them and ask them how it all ended with Torben.

    If you want truth, do that.

    You’ll find there’s a reason this guy is an always-travelling-one-man-show. He’s not persecuted. He’s on the run.

  14. Michael Says:

    He was formerly from a charismatic church, although he denounced the charismatic movement he seem to have carry with him that same practice but now he emphasize on a holy lifestyle. He uses Mathew 7:22 to explain that Jesus did not reject them because of their prophesying or healing but because they are living in sin which justify that his healing ministry is from God because he did not live a sinful lifestyle. His analysis is problematic because not only were these people who came to Jesus claiming to have done great things living a sinful life but are using a counterfeit spirit. (Mar_13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.) If we were to take away his speaking in tongues and healing ministry, I think his ministry would not get any attention from people because people are hard of hearing and are always looking for signs and wonders. Even before the Pharisees and Sadducee demanded a sign from Jesus, Satan too demanded signs from Jesus in the wilderness to prove that He is the Son of God. But Jesus know that the power to save is the word of God and not His miracles. (Rom_10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.) Like the Israelite who wandered in the wilderness not because they didn’t witness and believe that God performed miracles but it was their harden hearts towards God’s word that led them to die in the wilderness. He isn’t very careful with scriptures and failing to do that can lead to very dangerous grounds. I just heard 1 of his testimony about the interpretation of tongues, he said he met a guy who had a 666 tattoo on his fingers and he started to pray for him. He claimed that a demon came out of the man and when he started praying in tongues this man understood what the words are. I thought wow, he must have spoken in a foreign language like what happened at Pentecost. But to my dismay, what he have spoken in tongues was a coded language that this guy and his brother had created when they were younger. Was the man and his brother members of a cult because satanic members also practice in coded or secret language and they like to make their speeches backwards. (2 Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ). The saving grace of the gospel is simple, no need to be dramatic but because people are dull of hearing they are attracted to signs and wonders. I want to make it clear that I am not negative or out to destroy something they feel God is doing. I just hope that they understand what Paul told Timothy (2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works). Paul emphasized ALL scripture is above everything to guide our walk with God not signs and wonders. Demanding that we need to manifest speaking in tongues and power to heal is very dangerous. Paul warned the babes in Christ in Hebrew 5 that they are in danger of apostasy but TLR has no hesitation of sending out their new believers without much grounding into the field. I’m sure if someone as well verse in scriptural knowledge like Paul would never send anyone new in faith to do such thing. Not that God cannot use people who are new in faith but telling them they need to speak in tongues as a sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit seems like the hallmark of the charismatic movement. Speaking in tongues is a subject that confuses many Christians because many fail to truly understand how Paul addressed it.

  15. Jeff E Says:

    You couldn’t be more wrong about The Last Reformation.

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