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Identifying New Apostolic Reformation churches in your city

Google search for NAR churchesAfter I speak about the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and its dangers, a question I’m often asked is, “Do you think there are any NAR churches where I live?” My answer is “Almost certainly. Churches that hold to NAR beliefs can be found in pretty much every city and town.”

The next question is, “How do I know which churches those are?” That’s a very good question since most NAR churches don’t put the words “New Apostolic Reformation” on their street sign or website. So how are you supposed to know if they’re part of NAR?

Here are five tips to help you locate NAR churches your area. Keep in mind that some of these churches have formally joined an “apostolic network”–that is, a network of churches that’s governed by an apostle or group of apostles. These are typically hardcore NAR churches, and may be easier to identify. Yet many other churches have come under significant NAR influence, even though they have not formally joined an apostolic network. These churches may be part of a Pentecostal denomination, such as the Assemblies of God or Foursquare Church. Or they may be independent charismatic churches that are not affiliated with any denomination. These tips will help you locate those NAR-influenced churches, too.

5 Tips for Identifying NAR Churches

Search the Internet using the name of your town or city along with the keywords “church” and “apostolic” or “prophetic” or “fivefold ministry” (also sometimes hyphenated as “five-fold ministry”). Be aware that the search term “apostolic” might provide links to churches that are not generally associated with NAR, but rather use the word “apostolic” to refer to their conviction that they hold to the teachings of Christ’s original apostles. For this reason–in addition to a church’s use of the word “apostolic”–it’s helpful to look for additional signs of NAR beliefs.

Read their statement of faith. These statements can often be found on a church’s website. Some churches’ statements will include the core NAR belief that the church’s government is supposed to include present-day apostles and prophets. See, an example, of this NAR belief stated on the website of Bethel Church in Redding, California, on a page titled “Our Mission.” It reads:  “We embrace the biblical government of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.” This NAR belief is also known as “fivefold ministry,” a term that can sometimes be found in statements of faith, such as this statement from Agape Church, in Sunnyvale, Texas. Notice how this particular church mentions “five-fold ministry,” without using the terms “apostle” and “prophet.” Is that because they know how controversial their belief is and don’t want to draw too much attention to it?

But keep in mind: many other NAR churches have adopted fairly standard statements of faith that make no reference to their NAR beliefs. So don’t look only at a church’s statement of faith.

Pay attention to guest speakers and how they’re introduced. Are they referred to as apostles or prophets? This is an important clue since the defining teaching of NAR–which sets it apart from historic, Protestant Christianity–is its teaching about present-day apostles and prophets who possess extraordinary authority and reveal new truths for the church. Other Protestant Christians, including Pentecostals and charismatics, have not typically believed that there is a role in their churches for governing apostles and prophets.

Look for distinctive NAR practices, such as a church hosting SOZO sessions or operating a 24/7 prayer room or a “Healing Room.” NAR churches often offer courses that train people to prophesy or learn to work other types of miracles. Some NAR churches have even started their own “School of Supernatural Ministry,” utilizing curriculum developed by Bethel Church in Redding, California.

Watch for promotion of well-known NAR organizations, such as Bethel Church in Redding, California (founded Bill Johnson), or the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri (founded by Mike Bickle). Some ways a church might promote a NAR organization is by providing links to their websites or advertising the organization’s upcoming conferences. They might share the leaders’ Facebook comments or even invite them to speak at their church. Any church that invites Bill Johnson to speak is almost certainly steeped in NAR.

Of course, just because a church has started a 24/7 prayer room–or the pastor retweets  a message by Bill Johnson–doesn’t guarantee that it’s a NAR church. These tips are not foolproof. But, more often than not, they can help point you in the right direction.


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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35 Responses to “Identifying New Apostolic Reformation churches in your city”

  1. Brandon Says:

    Holly –
    I’ve found myself referring to your writing and discussions on this topic a lot lately, in light of some extremely divisive behaviors I’ve taken notice of from people who were once very close to me in the church. I will be praying for you in your work and efforts, as I have noticed recently that it is a lot easier for me to become cynical towards others, so I can only imagine how finding a lot of these very dangerous teachings can be a heavy burden to bear.

    I do have a question with regards to teachers like Robert Morris and Gateway Church and those in the umbrella of “Association of Related Churches”. I know that Kari Jobe does come out of Gateway Church, and her association with Bethel clearly is a huge warning sign, but on the whole is Gateway Church part of the NAR movement as well? I know the biggest criticism about Gateway is Robert Morris’ regular insistence that a tithe is a requirement, or else we are stealing from God. Is the use of the tithe and confusion between tithe/offering common in NAR teaching as well.

    Bless you in your work.

  2. Sandy Says:

    Thank you, Holly. Beside “five-fold” ministry, “apostle” and “prophet” I have noticed a new term, “General,” which seems to be a kind of informal title for leaders in the NAR movement. They are “generals” of “Joel’s Army,” or “the New Breed,” the elite group of Christians endowed with supernatural powers.
    Churches in this movement also talk about being a part of the “revival,” but it is not the kind of soul-winning evangelism that most Christians would associate with the term revival. For example, a new church in our city states that it wants to bring about revival by “mass supernatural encounters.”

  3. Holly Says:

    Yes, thanks, Sandy — all good points.

  4. Byron Wilson Says:

    Hi Holly,

    You can add Jubilee worship center at st cloud, Minnesota to the list of NAR Churches..

    I went there one Sunday to check it out and asked God to confirm that I if was not supposed to go there by three different things..

    I never ask God for confirmation of a sign but this time I did..

    1) If anyone was to just lay hands on me without my permission
    2) If someone came over and Prophesied to me.
    3) If tithing was Brought up..

    I could sense/feel the soulpower..The songs were all focused on I gonna do this and be great for God…me me me..

    Normally Charismatic/NAR types Of Churches take up tithes and Offerings after worship time and announcements.

    Right when the Pastor came up to welcome people to church a lady sitting on the front row went up with a note pad and the Pastor handed her the Mike..

    she then proceeded to tell the Church that the pastor did not push her to say anything but during worship the “Lord” gave her a word..

    She went onto say to bring all the tithes in the store house and your 90% will go further if you tithe..she mentioned the curse and so on in a manipulative way..I got up and walked out..Thanking God!!!!

    One thing I that Know is that Jesus and the Apostles never quoted :

    “you are cursed for not tithing”

    So anyone who says you are cursed for not Tithing is Deceived and heading into being a false teacher plucked up by the roots twice dead awaiting the everlasting Punishment…

  5. Robert Says:

    Holly,thank you for sharing this article I was going to a full gospel non-denominational church 5 fold ministry. So I been praying to find a church that is true at teaching God’s word. I wanted to ask does all charismatic movement churches make them NAR

  6. Holly Says:

    Robert, what makes a church NAR is the belief in the present-day governing offices of apostle and prophet. Classical Pentecostal and charismatic churches have not believed in present-day apostles and prophets who govern churches.

  7. Roz Says:

    My husband and I just left a church like this. I was there for almost 2 years but the past 6 months God really started opening my eyes. I knew some things they were doing made me uncomfortable but I brushed it off. I started studying prophets in the Bible.. how were they deemed a prophet..how did God speak to them..how do you test a word or prophecy given. It’s funny in 2 years we were never taught how to test a prophetic word or how to recognize a false prophet. I do believe God still chooses men to reveal prophetic words to. I do believe scripture so to say that the gifts of the spirit aren’t real anymore or aren’t relevant to today would be ridiculous if you are a scripture based believer. In saying that, I never read about a class being given to learn how to prophesy. When God wanted to give someone a dream or a vision, He did it. When he wanted someone to say something He told them what to say. You don’t have to “try” to conjure this stuff up. And I also don’t think Prophets are floating around like loose change. From what I read in the scripture, man didn’t get to decide who a prophet was..God always named the prophet. I also felt very uncomfortable with the fact that the “apostle” had no covering. He submitted to no one while everyone was submitted to him. One reason I started getting uncomfortable was they are so focused on signs and wonders and miracles.. all good stuff.. all things that sometimes come along with being a believer. But it got to the point where it was almost mystical. In fact they used the word mystical a lot. One night I was studying the New Testament about false prophets.. it said that many will come and perform signs and wonders so people will be deceived.. they will even try to deceive the elect. I asked myself “would my church know the difference between what was from God and what was from Satan” my answer was “I don’t rethink they would”. Because they are so caught up in the supernatural they follow anyone who can operate in it. I began to look a tough the leadership.. how did they behave outside of he church.. what were they teaching.. and found some major life style inconsistencies and scripture twisting. I felt like the Holy Spirit was warning me that I was not under sound leadership. Now that I’m gone I’m struggling with what was real and what wasn’t. I’ve been indoctrinated for 2 years. I didn’t realize it until we left that it almost felt like a cultish environment. Our “apostle” did not like to be questioned.. he was very harsh and aggressive with people who questioned him or any of his staff. That’s when we decided to get outback of there. He also did something else that was weird to me. The highest contributors had reserved seats on the front row. I never understood that. Anyway, I gave you plenty to read. That’s been my first experience with a nondenominational church. I am a spirit filled believer, that in itself may scare you if you don’t believe scripture and have never experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but some of this stuff boarders on sorcery. I’d say you have to be very careful when trying to conjure up the supernatural. And you best know the scripture for yourself because had I not been familiar with scripture I may have fallen prey. I knew enough to question what I was seeing and hearing. It was just so hard to come to terms with because I guess I imagined false prophets to look false. I imagined them with spells and magic boards.. no, they were worshiping and teaching scripture..but it wasn’t the very subtle things that caught my attention. They are in our churches. They look like we do. 90% of what they say and do may be right but it’s the 10% that can have devastating affects.

  8. JSL Says:

    It looks like the author does not really understand the NAR, and is conflating certain sectors of the Charismatic movement and the Prophetic movement with the New Apostolic Reformation, which is inaccurate.

    The Charismatic and Prophetic movements share certain commonalities with the NAR, because they are both rooted in Pentecostalism. But commonalities should not be construed as “equality.” Many denominations baptize by immersion. This commonality does not mean every denomination that baptizes by immersion is essentially the same denomination.

    I don’t think the author really understands the differences and the nuances that separate various streams of the Charismatic, Prophetic, and modern Pentecostal movements. Many churches and denominations that exhibit the author’s “signs of an NAR church” have never heard of the New Apostolic Reformation. Trust me. That is because the NAR is not this massive umbrella she is making it out to be.

    This is what happens when someone in a discernment ministry latches on to something they think is an egregious error and gets overzealous about “exposing” it. They begin to see it everywhere. Before long, any person or ministry that shares even the slightest similarity gets fully identified with the “error.”

  9. Holly Says:

    My article states that the core NAR belief–that sets it apart from classical Pentecostals and historic charismatics — is in authoritative, governing apostles and prophets. This belief is often referred to as “fivefold ministry.” The other signs I mention are clues that a church may be NAR — and, for good reason. 24/7 prayer, for example, is a practice that has been popularized by Mike Bickle. We explain in our books how his teachings about 24/7 prayer are related to NAR. Sozo has been popularized by Bethel Church in Redding, which is one of the most influential NAR churches today (led by the apostle Bill Johnson. So, how exactly, was my article inaccurate?

  10. Grace Says:

    Almost every church in Singapore is influenced by NAR …..
    Even non denominations have it subtly happen by the speakers they engage to preach and teach….
    I can smell it whenever I converse with such people…

    There is a dead giveaway…
    It is spiritual discernment.

    Really sad, some pastors and leaders just compromise so as not to cause division.

    Almost every pastor I met do not make a stand, or they are ignorant or arrogant, or being deceived!

    This makes me wonder how close are they walking with Christ , and to think they wanna lead and shepherd God’s Flock put under their care?

    Really disheartening … No conviction, only compromise…
    Are they so confident to stand before God to give an account?

    God bless

  11. Sandy Says:

    The New Apostolic Reformation is so big that it has caught the attention of secular researchers Brad Christerson & Richard Flory, sociologists at the University of Southern California. They studied the fastest growing independent networked charismatic Christian groups from 2009 to 2016. Their findings were published in The Rise of Network Christianity (Oxford 2017).

    Worldwide, the numbers of these independent charismatics are approaching the numbers of Roman Catholics. The fastest-growing subcategories of Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians were charismatics not affiliated with any denomination, and Apostolic groups, who emphasize living apostles and prophets. They characterize the growth rate of the apostolic sub-group as “phenomenal.”

    Christerson and Flory define Independent Network Charismatic Christianity (INC) as charismatic groups that have replaced traditional church structures with informal networks and replaced traditional church governance with “apostles,” who they call “religious entrepreneurs.” They trace the history of this movement and note that Peter Wagner, one of the prominent leaders, called it the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).

    The NAR groups studied were Bethel (Bill Johnson’s church in Redding, California), International House of Prayer (IHOP), Harvest International Ministries, and the Wagner Leadership Institute. They also interviewed leaders in other associated groups, such as Youth With a Mission.

    Cristerson and Flory are researchers, not a discernment ministry, so their interest was in the size and growth rate of Independent Network Charismatic Christianity, how they govern themselves, their networks, beliefs and practices, and innovations in finance and marketing.

    For their research, they attended events, conferences, leadership training events and church services from 2009 to 2016, interviewed leaders, and examined financial and other documents and records from the ministries themselves.

    The innovative marketing and finance methods of INC (NAR) bring in millions of dollars not dependent solely on donations. For example, Bethel Church takes in $37 million dollars a year, and only $7 million comes from direct donations. IHOP’s annual budget is $100 million.

    The researchers report a shift in mission from individual salvation to the transformation of social units (cities, nations), and unprecedented financial support through innovative marketing that does not rely on donations.

    But the defining element of the fastest-growing subgroup of Christianity is the shift from the authority of the Word of God and governance by the church to governance by living apostles and prophets who speak for God. And that is precisely what Holly has been warning the church about.

  12. Lynn Holzinger Says:

    As a girl, I often wondered why our church taught that certain gifts were not for today. Since that time, I realized not everyone believes this. The church I now attend is not NAR, but certainly embraces some of its teachings. We teach that anyone can speak prophetically, that all the gifts are for today and that healing is something that happens regularly. Earlier this month, we hosted Hillsong and Brian Houston and next month, we host Bethel Music and John Bevere. I was so excited. But we had to miss the first one due to a family wedding we had to travel to and we are missing the second one due to a family gathering. Recently and quite out of the blue I had a desire to research Bill Johnson as I have heard conflicting things about him. Some of the things people in our church get excited about have made me uncomfortable. I attended a conference with David Herzog and Doug Addison and came home traumatized (they are definitely NAR). I attended the Call in LA with Lou Engle and other NAR leaders (except I knew nothing of NAR at the time) and loved the worship but left early and thought I missed most of the good stuff that happened. I was not freaked out at all, but later wondered if anything supernatural had actually happened. I didn’t come home changed. I have been on both the prophetic and prayer teams at our church. Now, and its hard to explain, I am having serious doubts. I attend a large church but hope to get in to see the elders to talk about my concerns about where our church stands on dominionism and restoring the offices of apostle and prophet. I’ve never heard most of the lingo used in our church except maybe some among a core group of the prophetic and prayer teams. I have done quite a bit of research on Mormonism when I was interacting with Mormon missionaries and believe it or not, I see some similarities between Mormonism and NAR. This concerns me a great deal.

  13. Holly Says:

    Lynn, I’d love to hear an update after you meet with your church leaders.

  14. Susan Lathrop Says:

    Holly I am really disheartened in San Diego. There are so many NAR churches and often they are big churches that no one knows is connected to a NAR leader. I know many of the leaders in the movement and so I recognize when one comes to speak to a church. My church is not a NAR church but recently the youth went to Bethel influenced singing concert. Our worship pastor believe that Bethel is off but that the music is okay to use. I am so confused. It has seeped into so many churches in San Diego I don’t know where to turn. The more I research the more that is revealed. I was around in the 80’s when this first came around and the churches mostly rejected it. Now alarmingly it is coming full force a second time….although it never did die. I was involved in a church in the 80’s that was deceived and finally recognized it. But to all of a sudden find out that a pastor you trust has been connected to a NAR person….I just don’t know where it is safe. I am a church person without a church and that means you are really at risk doing Christianity without believers around you. The pastors at the church I go to do not understand what the youth are getting involved in. I don’t even know if the Youth pastor realizes what is happened. FREAKED out and UNSAFE in San Diego. Can you private message me if you can recommend me to any churches that are charismatic and okay in San Diego. I live in Mission Valley. North County…Carlsbad, ect too far. I am in the urban part of San Diego. That you if you have any referrals. I am really in despair over this as I deal with mental health stuff also and I need the support of the church in prayer and to keep me out of isolation.

  15. Charity Jackson Says:

    We recently attended a conference that we now realize was NAR associated. We heard really good stuff the first two days. We heard from the Holy Spirit continually. Then on the third day, we also heard from the Holy Spirit. He said leave and leave now. That’s exactly what we did. I swear as the day is long I saw demonic stuff happening. I saw a very cultish environment and the supernatural school students worshipping their leaders. I’m not passing judgement. I’m still glad I went. I needed to see how evil is infiltrating the churches. Obvious new age and Hinduism practices shining through what they try and say is moving in the spirit but nothing I saw glorified God. It is truly saddening to me because they are all so deceived. It also saddens my spirit that they are targeting these kids. Satan is twisting scripture ever so slightly and pulling the church off the truth. I never would’ve believed it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes but boy did I see it. So grateful for discernment. My husband and I have been and will continue to be in prayer for all of them. 😢

  16. Anna C. Says:

    This was helpful!
    There seems to be a fine line that is being crossed with the NAR ways of operating and theology.

    I actually think a prayer room and intense focus on prayer and praise is crucial in ANY Christian church. We must not forget that God makes beautiful fruit out of fervent, constant, intentional prayer.

    The thing that helped me understand from this article was the fine line between the faith-driven acts that the church should participate in and the acts/practices that the NAR is currently doing. My father is a pastor of a non denominational church. One of our key focuses is on prayer…we even have a “Prayer Garden” time in the middle of service where we take 10 minutes to pray at the altar and lay hands in prayer on those who need it. However, we are nothing close to NAR beliefs or practices. We are just doing what we feel God has asked us to do.

    I came to this article because I have run into some seemingly NAR friends of mine and have been wondering for months why I do not have peace in my heart about what they say and do. It almost seems like they are projecting God’s favor on their own lives or ministries and I end up feeling left out (and then I remember that God doesnt operate that way). I was wondering why I felt so inferior to these friends, and how I DID NOT feel this way with my friends at my church or my fellow brothers and sisters from other denominations.

    I was confused on how I could agree with them about intense prayer and worship…and even believe that God is still in the miracle working business, yet still feel such a lack of peace everytime we would hang out. They didn’t bring up Biblical references and if they did it was very vague and unfamiliar…sort of used to project their point. This article was very helpful for me and it helps with some of the wonder I have been feeling! It’s always good to do our research! Thank you so much!

  17. Holly Says:

    Anna, I’m glad this post was helpful for you. Yes, prayer is certainly a very good thing! I would never challenge prayer in and of itself — even the practice of 24/7 prayer. But many of the 24/7 prayer rooms being started today are undergirded and driven by NAR theology and are often modeled after the 24/7 prayer room at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri, led by Mike Bickle, who promotes NAR teachings.

  18. Gayle Says:

    I was brought up in a church of christ and followed the dealings of Holy Spirit at age 15 or 16 to except Him. They believe baptism is method of salvation so I did yhat. Felt His glorious presence all day. As got older, married, divorced, lost God in my life. Got into many sins and when God delt with me years later to return to zHim, I did, but ended up in a full gospel type church because I wanted Gods ways. Not mans ways..and because of errors found on CoC theology visited my cousins church, had a dream about Jesus … exceped Him again and got immediately free from addictive sins and bad language. Have enjoyed sprit filled churches for many years but now because of things reading on internet realize I may have been decieved again on some things, especially watching the groups seem to get more worldly and out of balance as reported on youtube and some things I’ve witnessed in person. So, wheres the happy medium? What kind of churches are the nar heresy watchers recommending?

  19. bill Says:

    thank you for your work,recently attended a local church and they
    were saying you could be a little god and you can create your own
    reality, does not sound right to.
    they are really strong in there beliefs.they did not like me asking questions.many folks in this area are leaving churchs
    to join them.


  20. Link Says:

    Michael Brown posted an article recently that referred to this site. He has a radio program and is a Hebrew and Old Testament scholar with a doctorate, the author of several books. The article made it onto the Charisma News site. https://www.charismanews.com/opinion/in-the-line-of-fire/70844-dispelling-the-myths-about-the-new-apostolic-re?fbclid=IwAR30bk8oH5m_7v5132F42sAeZ3tzYTCQ5z1fp9W3yXE_Np280J7hrwZATKo

    He’s said some things I’ve been thinking for a long time. When I hear someone say that this movie start or that musician or politician is a member of the Illuminati, I want to ask, “Do they have to know they are a member of the Illuminati to be a member? Maybe you are a member and don’t know it.”

    The NAR is kind of the same way. Wagner had an organization actually called the New Apostolic Reformation. People who disagreed with him theology and therefore did not join are now being labeled ‘NAR’, which is weird.

  21. Holly Says:
  22. Mike Says:

    I agree that the NAR influence is bad. But it still is not as bad as Roman Catholicism.

  23. Brandon Says:

    Mike –
    Any false gospel is dangerous. The NAR has actually made it a regular practice of engaging in ecumenical events. There Mike Bickle of IHOP actually kissed a Roman Catholic priests feet. Todd White said he believed that the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches would soon come back together. And sadly, recently Francis Chan seems to be drawn into this type of behavior, being prayed over by Roman Catholic priests and having his feet washed and blessed by the same priests.

  24. Pamela Austen Says:

    The Baptist church I once attended had a hostile take over by Dr. Ron Phillips, and he renamed the church Abba’s House, and he converted the theology to NAR doctrine, and hundreds of people poured out of the church, and the rest were bullied and dominated into silence, or they were kicked out. He never said what he was doing, and it took me many years to figure it all out. A few years ago, I wrote my true account of the facts, as one who had been abused and kicked out, and it’s called “Abba’s House, Dr. Ron Phillips, and the Silence of the Spirit.” What is written there will prove the dangers of that awful new teaching. It turned everything upside down. Thanks for writing your article. Pam Austen/Entirely Jesus Press

  25. Matt A Says:

    I’m praying in toungs right now for every person who has ever read this.. you know it’s funny, I have seen MANY people judge the ministries that have Holy Spirit moving through them and having supernatural healing after healing and people getting set free from addiction, etc.. I guess you would call them NAR ministries.. but I’ve never, not once, heard one of the NAR ministries speak negativity towards a ministry that doesn’t believe/worship/dance/preach/etc like they do. The negativity (at least from what I have seen) only comes from one side of the isle. I personally believe same Kingdom, different neighborhoods.. the Bible says judge the fruit.. there have been to many people I know have come to Christ, been set free from a plethora of demonic activity, and are living wonderful, romantic lives with their husband Jesus Christ from most of the ministries mentioned to call that fruit bad. Are there bad things and demonic stuff, wrong teachings etc in the NAR churches? Sure! That’s every church though lol!! We are human after all. I love all of you, whether you agree with this article or not.. Jesus said the world will know we are His by how we love.. not by how we pick each other apart. Once again, I love each and every one of you. The Kingdom and knowing Jesus should be fun.. let’s stop letting the world know us by what we hate or disagree with and let’s let them know us by how great our love is for the lost and hurting. Blessings to all.

  26. EJ Says:

    I pray that each of you reads God’s Word for yourself with Berean diligence the same way you’re reading the endless, ever changing, opinionated words of men. No one, except you & God should have a say in what happens to you after you die; and you will. Dig in the Word of God.

    God speaks to us from His Word and if you don’t read it on a regular, recurring basis, you can be pulled away by the doctrine of men. A good place to start would be with Acts 5:38-40.

    I pray that all of you will see our brief journey in this world through the eyes of The Father. Read the Lord’s Prayer paying very careful attention to Matthew 6:10. Ask God about Apostles. One would be Paul who never walked with Jesus as a friend while Jesus walked the earth. See what God says about them, not blogs. Ask God what Heaven on earth looks like TODAY! He & Jesus are still very alive & very active you know.

    Read your Word! Not other men’s opinions. If you’re seeking God that hard HE will meet you where your faith is and grow it exponentially!

  27. Charles Says:


    Thank you.

    I saw your interview with Doreen Virtue. My wife and I have been attending a small church for over 3 years. We helped start the church. It belongs to a much larger organization with Apostles and Prophets. This bothered us but thought it was a “cultural thing”. There have been flags through out the years but I have tried to overlook them because I formed a relationship with the Pastor and didn’t want to let him down-as a man and friend. I believe I have sinned by not listening to the quiet still voice of the Holy Spirit and the not so quiet (but long suffering and loving) voice of my wife. I thank you for for what you do.

  28. Holly Says:

    Charles, I’m so glad my interview with Doreen was helpful.Thanks for your encouraging words.

  29. Randy Says:

    I knew some things at the church our family was attending seemed a little off, even vague, but I trusted our church leaders and friends so I let them slide. But as I became aware of the NAR and their dangerous doctrines, I became more aware of what was going on and we left the church post-haste!
    1. Endorsement of Bethel Church, Hillsong, Elevation – probably 99% of the songs we sang were from these NAR groups. The pastor made sure the people in the sound booth had the lights toned down and colored just right. The songs with their repetitive, shallow and vague lyrics would get louder and louder, stirring up the congregation to jump, shout and dance, but I could never understand why all the hype. There was nothing of much substance to shout about in the lyrics most times.
    2. Many of our young people have attended and graduated from Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry including our worship pastor and his wife, and a missionary family from our church who left the mission field to study at BSSM.
    3. A few times, when the youth led the Sunday morning services, we recited Bethel’s Offering Reading #1 (I thought of it as a type of responsive reading at the time – see Bethel’s website: https://www.bethel.com/offering-readings/).
    4. The pastor, whom I deeply respected, preached often on The Lord’s Prayer, emphasizing “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;” Jesus’ emptying Himself of His “divine preogatives” (Phil 2:6-8) and performing His miracles as a man in right relationship to God and full of the Holy Spirit; and that we too can perform the same miracles Jesus did – and even greater (in quality) than Jesus did (John 14:12). I had never heard it explained this way before, but it seemed to make sense because he was using scripture. However, the scripture was taken out of context. After investigation, I discovered this is a heretical teaching known as the Kenosis Heresy.
    5. Little emphasis on holy living
    6. Sin was spoken of as “doing stupid.” This never sat well with me. Sin is much more that doing something stupid, like locking your keys in the car or forgetting where you left your cellphone.
    7. Little teaching on the second coming of Christ. As a matter of fact, our pastor even said we might be surprised at His coming – it might not be as we expect because the Jews missed His first coming, we could also miss His second coming. However, the Bible is very clear, “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matt. 24:27) and “‘Look, he is coming with the clouds,’ and ‘every eye will see him…'” (Rev. 1:7).
    8. The pastor would make other small comments without explanation in his sermons, like “I’m not Pentecostal, I’m charismatic. Pentecostals are legalistic.”
    9. Emphasis of healings, miracles, signs and wonders. Before we started attending, the pastor often spoke of such signs and wonders as gold dust appearing on Bibles, oil appearing on hands, feeling the literal weight of God’s presence so much that people were not able to stand up straight. During the time we were there, the pastor stated gold dust and feathers had appeared in one of the previous services and we witnessed people “laughing in the Spirit” (aka “Holy Laughter”). My wife and I saw some of my friends jerking and twitching, and we saw one lady shaking here head back and forth uncontrollably as she spoke out “Shama!” over and over again. We were also taught that since all Christians have the Holy Spirit, we’re able to be led by the Spirit and we’re able to hear His voice, therefore all Christians are able to prophesy. For a month or two he had taught us from the pulpit how to heal the sick and try it out during the service. I’m not sure anyone was really healed though.
    10. Endorsements of NAR ministries and guests who would sell their books in the foyer: Nicky Gumble’s Alpha Course was a requirement for church membership; yearly guest speaker Leon Von Rooyen of Global Ministries and Relief Inc. (who I later discovered is described as an “Apostlic Leader: on his website: https://www.gmrinc.org/team/dr-leon-van-rooyen/); Robbie Evans – a man with “a prophetic anointing;” missions trips with Steve Stewart of Impact Nations who teaches people how to heal others on the mission field and at home and the author of many books which are endorsed by such NAR leaders as John Arnott of Catch the Fire in Toronto, Leif Hetland of Global Mission Awareness, Steve Sjogren Pastor Emeritus Vineyard Cincinnati, Randy Clark Founder and President of Global Awakening, and others.

    I hope this is helpful to others who might be wondering if their church is at least under the influence of the NAR as our former church still is.

  30. Randy Says:

    P.S. I left that church in June of 2019 and my wife left a couple of months later. We still haven’t been able to find a good Bible-based church that doesn’t promote the NAR in some shape or form, especially through their music. My thought is that even though some of their music might be doctrinally sound, the endorsement of their music tells everyone that they accept and agree with the false teachings and practices of the NAR and that they’re safe to follow, not to mention they are being paid a royalty with each song that is played and sung at each participating church to advance their spiritually dangerous false teachings around the world.

  31. John Teets Says:

    I enjoyed reading the experiences of people. I am an Evangelist with a Radio and Internet Ministry but we go to Philadelphia’s Calvary Chapel where the Bible is taught verse by verse. Pastor Joe Focht says he prays in tongues every single day, but with 2500 people in a service – they have three on Sunday mornings – it isn’t practical to have Congregational participation, so people could argue whether or not the church is “Charismatic”. Fine with me, as so many Charismatics have migrated to Health and Wealth and NAR anyway. I am just a basic non-denominational Spirit-Filled New Testament Christian.

    I come from a church where I Corinthians 14 was the norm and people would share words from the Lord every Sunday and they were subject to the elders. We never had any apostles (I have met any number of those who claim to be but not ONE has ever simply preached the apostles’ doctrine, but lots of add-ons or subtractions of their own choosing so goodbye to them). We did have some people acknowledged to have the prophetic gift, but they stuck to the Bible and would generally bring out something that was appropriate much like a pastor chooses a text for his sermon.

    The church played around the edges with the NAR, though. My best man ended up being the Pastor who seemed more open to that. I remember going to a meeting which looked like the third wave with people trying to wave the Holy Spirit into someone. If was ecumenical. I must have had my head in my hands because a Catholic Priest came up to me and said I needed to pray before Mary and things would improve. That as the last time I was there. The pastor flipped on moral issues tp agree with Obama and he could not understand what happened to ME! Never the same after that. The church seemed to retreat from that, though I think some are into that. The current Pastor’s wife is from India and she was watching T.D. Jakes and Joseph Prince on TV, two men who have had devastating effect on a close member of our family as well as millions of others.

    We moved on to an independent Pentecostal Church which was essentially like an Assembly of God. There were many ex-Catholics there, and a very special healing gift which was manifest in our own family. The Pastor was very careful to try keep things well-controlled, freezing when my wife gave a message in tongues which was not common there. His keyboard man interpreted it though so he relaxed. They are governed by a Board of Directors not elders which I found strange (not good when the Bible establishes Elders and Deacons in the New Testament). He retired and his son took over who wants to see more manifestations of spiritual gifts and seems to really like Bill Johnson. He contradicted scripture one Sunday which I called to his attention and his response was very curt.

    The Pastor of Calvary Chapel used to be in Word of Faith when in California, but scooted out of that and constantly reminds the congregation to steer clear of those false teachers. Ironically, he also had to steer clear of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and those affiliated with that, which is now into a lot of unbiblical teaching. They have a dozen pastors rather than Elders, but they appear to function like them. Will see how all this goes.

    The truth is that Satan wants to get every church off course, but if you are filled with the Holy Spirit and feast on the scriptures every day, avoid religious excesses that seem holy but are not like prolonged fasting, overnight prayer, and 24 hour worship, God will direct your paths, and if you wander into a deceived church or your sound church goes off course into error, he will alert you. Just do not ignore his still, small voice. Just like in temptation, he WILL provide a way to escape. I remember walking into a client church we never attended late on a Friday night with women laying all over the altar praying for their kids. These were mostly single mothers an they were in church leaving their daughters home alone, some probably with boys doing things that cause pregnancy. God wanted them home being PARENTS! Christians really need a lot more common sense.

    Holly, thanks so much for what you do.

  32. Randy Says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and for the encouragement. Yes, we must stay in the written Word of God. Maybe we say with David, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps 119:105).

  33. Michele Says:

    Where can I find a list that shows what churches are a part of the NAR?

  34. Holly Says:

    Michele, thanks for your question. At one time, long ago, I attempted to put together such a list. But I didn’t get very far. There are so many churches that are NAR (meaning they are directly governed by NAR apostles) or NAR influenced (in varying degrees) that, in my view, it would be virtually impossible to compile such a list. It would require researching each of those many churches. Also, if a church wasn’t on that list, someone might think that church was not NAR. Therefore, I’ve found it more helpful to list some characteristics of NAR churches that will educate others to make their own indentifications.

  35. Denise Says:

    The church I’ve belonged to for c25 yrs was slowly being infiltrated by the NAR. I knew in my spirit that there was stuff wrong. In the early days I was being drawn in too. Later a voice inside of me would scream ‘that’s not the Holy Spirit’. Then I found views on utube that explained what was troubling me, particularly that false, kundalini spirit they think to be the Holy Spirit. I had to repent of being taken in. I stepped back from this church at the end of last year but haven’t officially left as yet. I was biding my time in prayer and with Covid shutting churches I didn’t have to do anything. However, have just been through an immense Spiritual battle and realized I’d have to state my case. This last week I was anointed to speak to the Pastor about my concerns. Last year I had sent him Holly’s utube message about NAR and last week one by Roberta Morrison Gilbert. The Pastor rang me, he pleaded ignorance of the NAR and Dominion Theology. We had a good chat and he let me pray for him.
    My main query is as follows:- is it normal to get spiritual attacks when one stands against this stuff and one informs others because I feel like I’m going through a hedge backward. I was ok the first 2 months of Covid despite being shut in and lonely. When this stuff of the NAR and talking about it’s dangers came up I seemed to be in a Spiritual war. Am I experiencing something others identify with?

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