The NAR antidote to coronavirus

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, I’ve been wondering how New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) leaders and their churches have been responding.

It’s interesting that, despite their alleged miraculous powers, the movement’s apostles and prophets didn’t predict coronavirus and they haven’t been able to stop it. But after examining their responses to the virus, I’ve noticed that many boil down to this: They claim that “prophetic proclamation” — especially the proclamation of Psalm 91 — is the key to breaking the grip of coronavirus and launching a worldwide revival.  This type of prophetic proclamation is also called making a “decree” or a “declaration.” The theological idea behind it is that God’s children have the authority to create or alter reality through their spoken words, similar to the way God created in Genesis 1.

Let me show you what I mean. Below I highlight the responses of some influential NAR players and one notable NAR church.

What NAR Leaders Are Saying and Doing

Bethel Church in Redding, California, is probably the most influential NAR church in the nation. In response to coronavirus, the church canceled its in-person services and is holding them online. During last Sunday’s online service (March 15), viewers were led in the recitation of several spoken “declarations” before the offering was received, which included the following declaration, “Everywhere I go becomes a perfect-health zone.”

Despite their declaration of “perfect health,” the church has instructed students enrolled in its Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry to refrain from visiting the local hospitals where they often attempt to heal people. A local newspaper, the Sacramento Bee, pointed out the irony of the church’s prohibition in an article stating, “Big ‘faith-healing’ CA church not immune to coronavirus fears.”

Bill Johnson, the senior leader of Bethel Church, preached last Sunday (March 15) from Psalm 91 — a favorite psalm of many in NAR, especially during this coronavirus outbreak. They erroneously interpret it as promising that believers will not be victims of any pestilence or plague. During Johnson’s sermon about the psalm, he taught that when believers make decrees — including decrees against plagues (as implied in his larger sermon) — those decrees become angels’ assignments to carry out. He also stated that God’s solution to this pandemic is “supposed to be the ignition point for a massive healing and revival unlike the world has ever seen.” At the conclusion of the service, he led his online viewers in taking communion, an act he said would result in a “prophetic release of power” for the church, its families, and the nations of the world. (Bethel Church leaders teach that taking communion releases power for miracles, including healing from diseases like coronavirus.) Johnson said Bethel Church is in the process of setting up its technology so that people with coronavirus from around the world can call or FaceTime with church volunteers and receive “prayers” (i.e., decrees) for their healing.

Shawn Bolz, a pastor, prophetic minister and author, gave a prophecy about coronavirus that appeared to miss the mark big time: “The Lord showed me the end of the Coronavirus … the tide is turning now!” That was three weeks ago (on Feb. 28, 2020) while Bolz was speaking at an event in South Africa with Bethel Church apostle Bill Johnson. He also told Fox News, “It’s not going to be the pandemic that people are afraid of.” Less than two weeks later, the World Health Organization confirmed coronavirus to be a pandemic. Since then, the number of cases and the death toll have skyrocketed.

The International House of Prayer of Kansas City (IHOPKC), continues to livestream the 24/7 prayer with worship held in their Global Prayer Room. These sessions have run nonstop since 1999. IHOPKC founder Mike Bickle believes the organization has been given a mandate directly from God to maintain around-the-clock, non-stop prayer until the Lord’s return. Indeed, he teaches that 24/7 prayer is crucial to the fulfillment of God’s end-time plans for the world. To that end, IHOPKC is implementing practical and technological solutions to keep the prayer room and webstream going without interruption while complying with the social distancing and event limitations currently required by the government. IHOPKC leaders also announced that the Global Prayer Room is going to dedicate a 30-minute session daily to “contending against” (including making decrees against) the virus and praying for healing and revival.

Notably, Bickle suggests that IHOPKC was prepared for coronavirus in advance through a prophetic warning given by Lou Engle (a prophet in NAR). During a recent panel discussion with other IHOPKC leaders, Bickle said that, two years ago, in 2018, Engle told him that IHOPKC should take part in a 40-day fast to be held in the spring of 2020. Bickle thought, “What are you talking about?” He said Engle told him there had been a series of prophetic dreams indicating that the spring of 2020 would be a key time. So Bickle agreed to promote Engle’s “Jesus Fast” on March 1 through April 9. Several hundred thousand people were taking part in the fast when coronavirus hit, according to Bickle. He now sees the timing of Engle’s fast as indicating that the prophecy truly came from God. He believes it shows that God — in mobilizing Christians around the world to fast — already had a solution for coronavirus before it even made the headlines. “What’s the chances of that?” Bickle said. “In the human arena, it’s one-in-a-million chance he [Lou] could hit that. In the heavenly arena, it’s one for one. It’s an absolute, perfect bulls-eye hit.” During the same panel discussion, Bickle called the virus “a plan in the kingdom of darkness against the body of Christ.” He said the “enemy [Satan] wants to stop” the 20 stadium events Christians [including Engle] had planned this year in America.

Cindy Jacobs, viewed as a prophet to the nations by many in NAR, has called on Christians to “pray Psalm 91 over your families and nations” and to “make a decree that the coronavirus will cease worldwide, and that God will heal all who are currently affected by it.” According to Jacobs, many prophets are in agreement that a great, worldwide spiritual “awakening” is coming and demonic forces are using coronavirus to delay or disrupt the coming revival. She called on believers to pray that this will not happen. “God wants this season to turn into a catalyst of revival instead of contagion,” she said.

Doug Addison — an author, dream interpreter, and prophet commissioned by the influential apostle Che Ahn — claims God revealed to him that the coronavirus is a “direct attack” against the coming revival that many of today’s prophets have foretold. Addison said, “The enemy is trying to prevent public meetings and cause fear of coming together.” But he told his followers not to fear because, as of March 8, “God has already released the solution and  cure… This is a temporary storm that will indeed blow over, and it will usher in a coming move of God.” Like other NAR leaders, he has advised his followers to decree Psalm 91:7: A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it [plague] will not come near you.”

A Powerless Placebo

The responses I highlighted above don’t include every NAR leader and organization. But they do provide a sampling from key players. When you look at the responses of others, I wouldn’t be surprised if you see similar themes: that Satan is attempting to put an end to the coming revival the prophets and apostles have been prophesying and that their followers must make decrees to put an end to the virus.

Of course, their teachings are contingent on the notion that God has promised a great, end-time revival under the leadership of present-day apostles and prophets. They’re also contingent on the idea that Christians have been given the authority to alter reality with their spoken words. If those beliefs can’t be supported in Scripture — and I don’t think they can be —  then the NAR response to coronavirus is a powerless placebo offering false hope.

About the author

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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49 Responses to “The NAR antidote to coronavirus”

  1. Denise Michels Says:

    I wondered if anyone has seen the latest from Kris Vallotton of Bethel Church in Redding. He states he had a prophetic vision that God was placing everyone in a protective purple bubble & that believers would be immune to the virus as well as other terrible things. He also states that he wants to send the virus to Mars.
    I am not kidding. You can find this on Famine in the Land’s FB post. There is also an audio & video of Kris stating these thing. I would not have believed it if I hadn’t heard/seen it for myself.

  2. Holly Says:

    Yes, Denise, I did see Vallotton’s peculiar comments.

  3. Lance Wonders Says:

    Though I have defended some in the NAR circles on limited issues, the Bethel Church reactions, as mentioned above, are beyond defending. On behalf of charismatics everywhere, I ask the forgiveness and prayers of Evangelical brothers and sisters for this spiritual craziness that is an embarrassment to the saner and more sober and more balanced Body of Christ in the earth, and that can only bring confusion to the saints (and to others who are listening in, hoping for a true word and help and direction from us). — Lance Wonders

  4. Janis Says:

    Well spoken Holly!

  5. John Winlow Says:

    Thank you for your detailed post. I just can’t believe that these folk take themselves so seriously. In the face of reality they proclaim unreality, and people go along with them (check out the comments.)
    The more we see of this teaching (which is evidently affecting the Body of Christ in Israel now,) the more misguided it appears. God the Holy Spirit leads the Church; the Church does not get to direct the Holy Spirit.
    God anointed the twelve apostles to go out Ito the world with the Gospel of redemption through Christ Jesus. If and when He decrees a revival with signs and wonders, it will happen in a way that is distinctly His way, without any planning or assistance from us!
    Yes we pray for revival and we pray for healings, but it Is God who decrees the outcome.

  6. bill (cycleguy) Says:

    I’m just waiting to hear the “spin” they put on their visits to China to stop the virus. They would be Bill Johnson, Todd White and Benny Hinn. Any news Holly? With much fanfare they went. Have they come home quietly realizing they are hucksters? (I doubt it).

  7. Holly Says:
  8. Ian Says:

    Holly, this is so incredibly bad [what the NAR ]what these churches are doing. They proclaimed not so long ago that a little girl who died would be restored. They did not learn anything from that tragic behaviour and now they are making even more ridiculous claims. We must state quite clearlt that they have absolutely no idea what God has said or is doing. Bill Johnson especially is not a believer in Jesus Christ and teaches/preaches another gospel. We have been warned by our Lord Jesus that false teachers will arise in the last days and lo, here they are. Beloved we seek to call many to the real Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who died upon that wicked cross and rose again having allowed my sins – and yours- to be placed upon Him so that we may be forgiven. Yes we must repent, turn ti=o Him, now before it is too late.

  9. Julia Pomeroy Says:

    I have come to the conclusion that the best way to respond to this ‘cult’ is to laugh, afer all what they are saying is utterly ludicrous and smacks of witchcraft – the vain repettion of set phrases!
    My heart goes out to all the young people who have been sucked into this ‘movement’ – I know, along with my husband, we were sucked into it for a good long while. However, God is bigger than this and as He has brought us out I am sure He will bring others out because, at the end of the day, I am sure they each have a Bible and His Spirit will finally get through to them to read it without taking on board any of the rubbish interpretations they have been given.
    There was a time when I, innocently, believed that all these leaders had been deceived, but looking back on my own experiences in this movement I have come to the horrifying conclusion that there are some who know exactly what they are doing and, as a consequence, are living off the fat of the land.
    Personally I would rather ‘starve’ here and live off the ‘fat of the land’ when Jesus calls me home than the other way around.
    I am horrified at how it is all progressing but really “I declare this a perfect-health zone’ how utterly ridiculous is that?

  10. Jerry Kopec Says:

    Hello Holly We have written before. I’m the guy that lives in Redding near Bethel. Your right on about this. Also it struck me funny that Bethel was the first Church that our local media reported had cut and run and close all operations before any recommendations of social distancing from the State. I have heard a couple of non-Christians say where is Bethel in all this? I know some churches in Redding are taking care of their own seniors needs with shopping etc, but as far as a know the Media is only reporting that the Redding Socialist Party, and a Roofing Company are offering the general public help with shopping etc. Have a quiet Sunday, oh I think we will. Thanks Jerry

  11. Janice Anderson Says:

    So scary!How many people will become infected and then infect many more due entirely to the false belief that they are supernaturally protected.

  12. Martha C Says:

    Have been praying that through this crisis, the NAR crowd would be exposed for the powerless placebo that they are. Thanks for your work, Holly

  13. Holly Says:

    Thanks for your encouraging words, Martha C.

  14. John Winlow Says:

    “..I have come to the horrifying conclusion that there are some who know exactly what they are doing and, as a consequence, are living off the fat of the land.”
    I think in part you are right Julia, but I also suspect there is a certain amount of pride and the desire for control through authority. I think movements or groups with this same sense of authoritative attitude manifest this same claim to higher knowledge and revelation. They then go on to encourage obedience – and of course sacrificial giving.. We Christians are led by the Holy Spirit. We trust in the Word of God and put no man or woman on a pedestal, mo matter how anointed the ministry.

  15. Petra Smith Says:

    I’m a little confused here, I was praying Psalm 91 over my husband when he was in war and when he was fighting cancer and God pulled him through. Why can we stand on Psalm 91 for this virus?

  16. Holly Says:

    Hi Petra. Thanks for your question. We can learn something from Jesus’ response to Satan when Satan tempted him to “claim” Psalm 91 by jumping off the temple (Matt. 4:5-6). Jesus didn’t deny that God promised protection. But he did point out that Satan was misusing Scripture by not taking all of Scripture into account (Matt. 4:7). So, we must follow Jesus’ example and not claim isolated passages of Scripture for ourselves without taking into account what the Bible also teaches us in other places.

    So what do we see when we take all of Scripture into account? We see that God often does deliver his people (for example, Daniel in the lion’s den or the Israelites in the parting of the Red Sea). But we also see that bad things, including illness, still happen to his people (for example, the apostle Paul’s illness referenced in Galatians 4:13). Yet none of these bad things are outside of God’s control or purposes (Romans 8:18-39).

    Consider Jesus’ own life. He suffered. Yet in John 7:30 we see that, for a certain period of time, evil people were not allowed to lay a hand on him because he was under God’s supernatural protection. Yet, the time came when they were allowed to arrest and crucify him. Jesus did not want to suffer, yet he wanted God’s will to be done above his own and was willing to suffer if that was what God willed (Matt. 26:39). God had larger purposes for Jesus’ suffering in mind.

    The bottom line is that God is sovereign and He often does protect his people. (Ultimately, of course, he will always protect his people when we are with him in eternity.) But even when he doesn’t spare us from present trials, it’s for his bigger purposes.

    So what is the takeaway for us? Should Christians “pray Psalm 91”? The answer depends on what you mean by “pray.” The wrong way to “pray Psalm 91” is to “decree” or “declare” it in a name-it-and-claim-it, magical worldview type of way. To decree Psalm 91 seems like an attempt to manipulate God if someone thinks that, by speaking certain words, they are somehow guaranteed protection by God from troubles in this present life. The right way to “pray Psalm 91” is to believe the words of the psalm and have a peaceful confidence in God, trusting him to protect us as we go about doing his will. But if we do get sick or experience some other type of trial, we still have peace and trust that he has greater purposes for the trial he has allowed us — in his love and wisdom — to endure.

    One more point worth mentioning is that the promises in Psalm 91 appear to be promises for protection of believers from the judgments of God against the wicked. The interpretive key seems to be Psalm 91:8. The terrible things mentioned in the psalm, including “disease” and “destruction,” were judgments God specifically sent against his enemies or against unfaithful Israelites (see Ex. 5:3; 9:15; Lev. 26:25; Deut. 32:24). This it noted in the ESV Study Bible in the comments on Psalm 91. So the promises are not promises that believers will never get sick or get killed. They’re promises that they won’t face God’s wrath. This is where having a good study Bible can be very helpful.

  17. darla kearce Says:

    Thanks Holly, for this summary.
    This NAR “event” “Transform Our World Acts 19 – God’s Response to COVID-19” happened last night, Sat March 21. Three apostles, Ed Silvoso (the SLSW-city transformation-promoter-apostle not as well known) BJ and Che Ahn with prophets KV and SB will declare against COVID-19, “…the Scriptures declare that it has been defeated by the Lord Jesus at the Cross and that by His stripes we have been healed. It is done. Now it has to be proclaimed and appropriated” (Ed Silvoso).
    I viewed the first 5 min, and BJ spins John 15:7 “ask anything.” I advanced through and I caught Shawn saying that for the “cast” of this “event” “it’s really scary right now.” Yes, money flow will slow. I have not heard or read any headlines today that COVID-19 is eradicated. This is a tragedy heaped upon a tragedy. They are promoting a cruel lie – globally.
    https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=683699715769733
    https://www.facebook.com/transformourworld/

  18. Holly Says:

    Darla, thanks for informing us about the Transform Our World event responding to coronavirus. I will check it out.

  19. Ed Says:

    I’ve read many articles written with regards to the response of the major NAR players to the pandemic. Usually, there are defenders that pop up to put some kind of a spin on things (something I’m very familiar with, having been heavily involved with charismaticism in the ‘80s). To date, I’ve seen no real attempts to defend the teachings or response of the NAR to their dismal performance thus far. Could it be, their followers are catching on? Wouldn’t it be ironic if the revival they’re predicting turned out to be a wholesale rejection of the NAR by their own?

  20. Julia Pomeroy Says:

    It seems to me that those who make ‘declarations’ and ‘decrees’ are practicing witchcraft and using incantations with their vain repetitions. The one which really got to me was the declaration made wherever one of these poor deluded souls that where they are is a ‘sickness free zone’ or some such rubbish!

  21. Donald Bate Says:

    Thank you Holly for yet another excellent post, and also your comprehensive reply to Petra which details much of what I was also going to say. Prior to 2013 when I used to be involved in NAR-type churches (and thereafter left, thankfully now with many deceptions purged from my mind), I too used to “declare” Psalm 91 over me. Actually on a daily basis as I cycled to work along a busy highway. I was erroneously taught that “speaking forth” is what “activates” it in my life. I was blind to the first verse, which clearly states to whom the promises apply: he who dwells in the shadow of the Most High. In other words, those who live close to God, by being faithful and obedient to Him. What it does NOT say is “he who militantly declares out loud the following verses, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty…” or “he who speaks forth these words…” etc.
    Of course we must pray, but Jesus never taught to pray by incantations, chants, declarations (or whatever one wants to call them), as if that’s how God will answer!

    On a more practical note, here is a link to an excellent article from my Christian doctor friend about how to beat the coronavirus. This is the kind of useful information that would help everyone better than ridiculous NAR “proclamations”!

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZiJ3LpTpvSukyF2VXKm_-z66q_E7wa_Ea7rMLcgUM_I/edit?usp=drivesdk

  22. Holly Says:

    Donald, thanks for the link to the document written by your doctor friend. I read it, and it does contain much useful information.

  23. Rusty Says:

    There’s a WOF/NAR prophet in the Fort Lauderdale area named Prophet Fire (real name Marlon Bolton; ironically he’s a city commissioner for the suburb of Tamarac). Yesterday (2020-03-22), he claimed he “very accurately” predicted COVID-19, the stock market crash, and food shortages back on 2019-12-22.

    Unfortunately for the city of Tamarac, the state of Florida, and the rest of the world, he never bothered to tell anyone. In fact, he apparently didn’t take his own prophecy seriously because he had to take up five “seed offerings” across two services yesterday in an attempt to make up for the current economic impact.

    See https://youtu.be/GSDW-jJ6hpA for his claims. (The channel contains numerous other videos documenting this false prophet.)

  24. Steven Loh Says:

    A very good sermon by Ps. Tim Keller on how Satan is using Psalms 91 to mislead Christians.

  25. Holly Says:

    Thanks for the tip, Steven. I think I found the Keller sermon you referenced here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNAx3Dyzscw I haven’t listened to it yet.

  26. Julia Duin Says:

    I have been struck by the shamelessness of these prophets and how none of them are apologizing for totally missing the worst plague in a century. Any respect I had for these folks has been lost in the past month. I was interviewing a student from Bethel (in California, not Fairbanks) today and asking him why the members can’t get the mentally ill homeless folks in Redding healed. He had no answer.

  27. Julia Pomeroy Says:

    @ Rusty, thanks for the link, if I am in need of a good laugh I know where to go. I have found that laughing at these people the better way to go in that I then don’t get stressed and, maybe, in the fullness of time, they will actually be humiliated and start seeking for themselves what it is that God really says in His Word

  28. GJ Says:

    Among what’s currently expanding… outbreaks of diseases, pests, and natural rumblings… cancer is continuing to affect my brethren, natural family, and friends. Some have lost the battle. I continue to pray for those still fighting it. Like most with “some mileage on their odometer”, I also deal with personal health issues.

    I written thoughts I’ve had over the last few weeks in the study, “Willing”. They’ve helped bring some perspective for me in the “churning”. You can download at… https://hopeishereblog.wordpress.com/willing/

  29. Annette Gaardlykke Says:

    Here is a very good article about “decreeing and declaring” and it’s occult roots.
    Here’s the opening:
    Do you realize that for the same function a magician will say, “Abracadabra!” to pull a rabbit out of a hat, Christians will say, “I decree and declare!” to conjure up their own supernatural experiences?

    And no wonder! “Abracadabra” is a real word with a real meaning: “I create as I speak” (Aramaic), or “It came to pass as it was spoken” (Hebrew). If you don’t see the parallel here with the “you have what you say” practice among Christians’ trying to literally speak their wants, dreams and desires into existence, then you refuse to see it, or you’re willfully biblically ignorant.
    http://www.reluctantfirstlady.com/abracadabra/

  30. Michelle Says:

    I honestly think this is God’s way of finally shutting this movement down. Deception after deception is being exposed. This epidemic has proven they cannot prophesize, they cannot heal, and they they cannot raise the dead. I predict their followers will drop off in droves. We must pray for those who finally wake up to the deceptions of the NAR after all of this.

  31. Julia Pomeroy Says:

    What a glorious thought Michelle, (but hardly a prediction) but it is so not going to happen, this is part of the foundation of the New World Religion, but we will not see that because we will be celebrating our wedding!

  32. Kati Says:
  33. Julia Duin Says:

    Hi Holly – I have been struck by the shamelessness of these prophets and how none of them are apologizing for totally missing the worst plague in a century. Any respect I had for these folks has been lost in the past month. I was interviewing a student from Bethel (in California, not Fairbanks) today and asking him why the members can’t get the mentally ill homeless folks in Redding healed. He had no answer.

  34. Holly Says:

    Julia, yes, I haven’t seen any of these leaders offering any type of explanation for why they failed to foresee or forestall coronavirus. Their silence has been deafening.

  35. JG Brooks Says:

    Maybe it will spark a true revival. You know the “humble ourselves before God and get convicted by His word and actually repent of sin” kind of revival? We could use that kind of revival, and if the COVID 19 and all of its effects results in that—then it is certainly worth it isn’t it?

  36. Rusty Says:

    It appears the NAR (at least in Canada) is starting to realize they don’t have as much power over COVID-19 as they originally thought and are now beginning to walk back their decrees. According to the following Facebook post, they are only going to pray “to minimize the effects of the Coronavirus” rather than outright stopping it: https://www.facebook.com/ICALeaders/photos/a.1554876271418004/2606588096246811/

    Also at http://www.nationaldayofprayer.ca

  37. Rod Says:

    Answer to NAR critics:

    I’m fascinated by this discussion – and note in particular the criticism lodged against the NAR and specific role figures in this movement. There are some serious accusations lodged against them. What I am curious to know is what alternative does this audience (gathering of critics) have to offer? If I read scripture carefully then I do come to the conclusion that Jesus intended His followers throughout the ages until He returns to continue, in like manner, His ministry of preaching the Kingdom and demonstrating the power of the Kingdom of God by destroying the works of the devil. He said that the signs of raising the dead, healing the sick, casting out demons would accompany believers. It seems there is a faction of Christians who only value the cross for forgiveness of sin and live a lifestyle of sin management and moral goodness focusing of being nice to others. Isaiah 53 prophecies that the process of suffering He went through paid for physical, emotional and psychological healing. Paul claims that the reason for premature death of “believers” is failure to appropriate the true effect of the Suffering and Sacrifice of Jesus by crucifixion when participating the the “Lord’s Supper”.

    I see a commonly quoted verse by unbelieving Christians is where Jesus denies access to people who claim to have prophesied, cast out demons and performed many miracles in His name. Can it be assumed Jesus is not questioning the credibility of the prophecies nor the validity/ authenticity of the casting out of demons nor the miracles performed? He did not say they were false prophecies nor suggest the miracles were confabulated. Did He mean that prophesying, casting out demons and performing miracles were evil acts or was He reflecting on the purpose of the persons using His name to perform these things? He calls those who used His name to do these things “evildoers” – and all this while He honored the use of His Name. These were GOOD WORKS consistent with the kindness and love of God. The work of the devil was destroyed through these works. The Kingdom of Heaven was being demonstrated and advanced.

    Using the definition of “evil” suggested by Ravi Zacharias where evil is “failure of purpose”, then one must ask how can someone do these works yet fail their purpose? Easy: all I have to do is trust in my work to earn my access to the Father (heaven). Trusting in my (good works) as leverage for validation/ acceptance by the Father is a violation of purpose – evil doing.

    So, is Jesus is saying that people who use His Name to do GOOD WORKS in keeping with His loving kindness (deliverance, redemption, restoration), yet rely on these to earn their salvation are evil? After dispatching the disciples with authority and power to cast out demons, heal the sick and raise the dead; on their return they testified to their achievements. Jesus warned them not to “rejoice” in their achievements but to rejoice that their names were written in the Book of Life. Jesus invited each disciple into relationship with Himself, said He had authority to give them eternal life and claimed eternal life to be knowing the Father and Son experiential in the same way They knew each other. This is our purpose. Sin separated us from God, Jesus gives Eternal Life which means intimate reconnection with God for which God enables us for through the new birth (New Nature, New heart) by the Holy Spirit. Our purpose is to live in loving submission to the Father as Jesus demonstrated through His life as Man.

    So, if Jesus was saying that even if you perform all the MIGHTY WORKS THAT MANIFEST THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, yet cannot earn salvation and access to His Dwelling Place through performing them, how much less can anyone who trusts in their own works pertaining to moral goodness (benevolent, loving, kind, self-sacrificing acts) earn access to Him. Nothing along the spectrum of good works gets one’s name into the Book of Life.

    It seems there are many “gospels” being preached. It seems the church is divided and Christ’s Name is being blasphemed throughout the earth. He is misrepresented in so many ways – and the most profound form of misrepresentation is a “form of religion without power” – an impotent gospel.

    There are too many authenticated testimonies of miraculous healing, signs and wanders, and demonic deliverances to support a sessationist world view. In the midst of this there are people being born again and encountering the Father and Jesus, and being baptized in the Holy Spirit because of His Goodness – the healing of minds and bodies and the saving of souls. And you’re getting upset by the imperfections of those engaging intentionally – the mistakes, not getting it right.

    What gospel are you offering to a broken and devastated world?

  38. John Winlow Says:

    Well done Rod for speaking up, even if I can’t agree with your position.
    I do believe in the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit.
    I believe God heals. I believe we should pray believing God heals.
    I certainly believe in John 15, in being a new creature in Christ Jesus, and that Christ is head of the Church and that He wants us to love and care for one another as well as the unsaved.
    I guess the real issue for me is that God is sovereign. He can and does heal, does guide, does prompt.
    But He doesn’t do it to either order or formulae.
    I struggle with the idea of Christians proclaiming themselves apostles or prophets. The only prophets I can truly accept are those from the Scriptures and the apostles that Jesus clearly anointed to be Apostles.

    I struggle with angel feathers and clouds of gold dust, of uncontrollable bodily manifestations, or ‘grave sucking.’

    I think we shoud pray for our family friends and others God lays on our hearts to come to Christ, and pray for healing and provision; but always recognising that as our Lord said about God the Father, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven..”
    So the Gospel I think we should be offering is first and foremost the Gospel of salvation, and that whatever we may go through in this life God will always walk through it with us.

  39. Julia Pomeroy Says:

    Dear Rod,
    The gospel we are offering to a broken world is that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners of which I am chief and that all we deserve is God’s judgment for our disobedience whether deliberate or not. However God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does NOT believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. Therefore if a person truly believes in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and puts their faith in Him is saved. BUT. . . . . . . . . .
    having been part of NAR for more years than I care to remember (now no longer thank God), and having worked with and for some very well-known names, it is essential we are aware of which Jesus is being taught. It is not necessarily the Jesus of the New Testament – the Messiah. It is another Jesus entirely and, according to NAR (having read the books of the founders of this heretical movement – C Peter Wagner and Bill Hamon who is rarely mentioned these days) we have to get the world ready and obedient before He can return and we then, meekly hand it back to Him – which totally disagrees with the Word of God and the orthodox doctrine of the early church Fathers before the School of Antioch was superseded by the School of Alexandria from which Augustine came. The fact that the founders of Antioch were disciples of Jesus’ disciples and the School of Alexandria’s founders had no connections with the early church seems to be totally irrelevant.
    Then when you add on top of that Hindu style worship (go on the net and see a Hindu meeting it is exactly the same) and the New Age ‘ideas’ entering into Bethel with their Tarot Cards (renamed Destiny Cards) and their Ouija Boards (renamed Angel Boards) then I do believe we have every right to ‘out’ these heretics.
    Especially in the light of the heretical doctrines of modalism and kenosis just to name two, in that Bill Johnson claims Jesus was only fully human when He walked this earth He left His divinity behind so He was not divine when walking this earth and that Jesus went to hell, fought Satan and was then born again.
    Jesus and Paul warned us that in the very last days we have to be careful we are not deceived as there will be many false teachers/prophets/apostles around. NAR abounds with them and you cannot build up a doctrine from silence. The Bible clearly says that Jesus’ Apostles and Prophets were to build the foundation of the church with Jesus as the cornerstone. After over 1,900 years the foundation is still not built?

  40. Julia Pomeroy Says:

    Dear John Winlow, There is no greater miracle than somebody becoming a new person. This is something which could not happen until AFTER Jesus had risen and, therefore, I believe this is the greatest miracle and is what Jesus was referring to when He said “greater things than these shall you do.”

  41. John Winlow Says:

    Hello Julia,
    and I totally agree with you.
    As a young man I suffered with severe eczema then at 17 it became severe asthma. The Lord graciouslt brought me to salvation at 22yoa, and then people caringly directed me to healing, to reading Oral Robert’s books etc.
    Long story short, I stopped trying to have enough faith to believe for healing and got on with being a Christian.
    Being truly born again because you suddenly realise that you are a sinner in need of salvation is the greatest miracle of all.

  42. Circuit Rider Says:

    John posted some great points, and permit me to add some of my own: I come from Pentecostalism, fully believe in continuation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and that God still speaks today. I have personally experienced the hand of God in healing, provision, and protection. I have personally been used by God in more than one gift, but I also have the sense to know it has nothing to do with my natural abilities. God is glorified in our weakness, not man’s notions of wisdom and strength.

    I also believe in apostolic gifts and the gift of prophecy. I know a man who has planted hundreds of churches in his native Asia – some might say apostolic. To God’s glory alone, I have shared words of knowledge and discerned demonic spirits – some might say prophetic. However, I regard with suspicion anyone who introduces themselves as “Apostle” or “Prophet”. More often than not, an exercise of their “authority” shortly follows, along with personal financial and material gain. I have met people who moved so powerfully in the Spirit, there was no question God’s anointing was on them. Not a single one introduced themselves that way or used cheap parlor tricks to authenticate the Holy Spirit.

    The problem with much of NAR is the “what” of completing the sentence “We need Jesus and” in pursuit of what they define as revival. Jesus and an Apostolic covering? Jesus and meditating in a cemetery? Quantum vibrations? Angel feathers? Jesus and glory clouds? Never forget that Pharaoh’s magicians turned their staffs into serpents, too, and that assumes it’s not just a staff member dumping gold glitter into the HVAC. Do you really believe the Holy Spirit is not grieved by all of this?

    Rod, it all comes down to what is really needed for true revival. Not people dancing in the aisles and walking on the pews, but an utterly profound encounter with Almighty God that cannot be mistaken for anything else. For that, God only needs His people to seek His face and surrender their very lives to His will. No cheap tricks. No fancy stage lighting. No holy men. Just God and Him alone.

  43. John Winlow Says:

    Amen brother,
    The awareness of the abiding Holy Spirit in our hearts, the laying hold of our adoption into God’s family and that He can use us in blessing others is so much more wonderful. I am so grateful and blessed that He has kept me in all the places I have been overseas, and now in a local church. The sadness is that many young Christians are not grounded in the Word of God and only have experiences on which to build their spiritual foundation.

  44. Julia Pomeroy Says:

    @ Circuit Rider – Stunning, absolutely stunning and I could have written something similar but not nearly as well!

  45. Julia Pomeroy Says:

    @John Winlow, Superb, utterly superb. I started suffering from chronic clinical depression at the age of 9 due to an absolutely appalling childhood. I put my faith in Jesus at the age of 32 but it was not until I was 64 years old that God graciously healed me.
    Now I have had 12+ years without the diabolical disease after being informed that the bouts would become longer and more severe, the gap in between the bouts would be less and I would be on antidepressants for the rest of my life. Even in these days, life could not be sweeter but I still would prefer to be with the Lord. Maranatha!

  46. Kim Says:

    I believe that it is really important to take an actual look at the scriptures when it comes to the issue of making “decrees.” NAR cites Job 22:28 as proof that Christians can decree. “What you decide on will be done….” In this passage, Job as a leader in his immediate community, was accustomed to making simple decisions on civic matters and his “decrees” had nothing to do with the super-natural world. NAR folks seem to use this lone scripture to justify the decreeing of supernatural events. “I decree…..” What I find interesting is that the Apostle Paul, nor any of the original Apostles, ever decreed a thing, nor did Abraham, Moses, Daniel, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah – all intercessors and/or true prophets! In searching the scriptures I have found only one incident where a man decrees anything and the Lord responds affirmatively and that is Joshua 10:12-14. Check it out! 🙂

  47. Julia Pomeroy Says:

    Excellent observation, thank you.

  48. Ruth Says:

    This is such a good discussion! There are a number of the comments I would love to re-share, especially Holly’s in explaining the proper/improper use of Psalm 91. (Can I do that?)
    I did want to say, for the number of you that talked about this virus becoming the thing that woke up a lot of NAR followers – I was one. I had had local integrity/honesty questions for the last two years, but it was the difference between what is preached versus the reaction to the virus that finally got me asking doctrinal questions, which has led to a complete turn-around and a departure from NAR/WoF, as well as discussions with friends still within.
    God does work all things for good! (am I quoting that in context?) I just know what He used this year’s national issues as the final straw to get me, and others, out from under false teaching. Hallelujah. Praise to Christ alone.

  49. Holly Says:

    Ruth, thank you for your comment and sharing your encouraging story about how God used recent events, and the NAR response to them, to open your eyes to the dangers of NAR and WOF teaching. Yes, please feel free to share my article with others.

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