New Apostolic Reformation Kryptonite

Remember the one thing that could strip Superman of his unstoppable powers? If this thing was found in the vicinity of the “Man of Steel,” he’d be as helpless as a baby Giraffe on ice. That thing was Kryptonite. 

No matter your position on the continuation of gifts that produce signs and wonders, there are certain truths that orthodox Christians have stood together on for millennia. When taught faithfully and proactively, these truths are Kryptonite to destructive doctrines that creep into the church.

Throughout church history, subgroups of mystically-inclined movements have spun off the reservation and well into heretical theological territories by their overzealous seeking of signs and wonders. When this occurs, there is often a fog of confusion that sweeps over the Church. What are the grounds for calling someone a “heretic?” Should we, as some suggest, simply “chew the meat and spit out the bones?” Shouldn’t we avoid controversy and just love people? 

Regardless of varying position, people can’t follow a leader who isn’t clear. With that said, there are certain truths that every pulpit must be clear in presenting lest people be swept into doctrines that destroy. Perhaps there is not a more destructive force sweeping through the church today than the so-called, “New Apostolic Reformation.” This movement’s beliefs trample the deity of Christ, falsely guarantee healing for all who will follow their formula, and claim that their anointed leaders are a part of God’s reinstating of the Apostolic Era once again. Meanwhile, those leading the movement live like prosperity preachers and keep a tight grip on their positions of power. Don’t be deceived, this is a serious issue in the church today.

Here are five proactive truths that every pulpit should preach in order to protect those you serve from the winds of New Apostolic Reformation doctrine (Ephesians 4:14):

  1. Earthly healing is not guaranteed in the atonement.

This truth counters one of the more common lies that was birthed out of the early phases of the charismatic movement. Over the last several decades, it’s caught on like wildfire in the word faith movement, prosperity theology, and New Apostolic Reformation. The teaching goes something this:

Jesus paid for your sin and your sickness. He was wounded for your transgressions, and by His stripes you are healed! Isaiah 53:5 says so! Why are you holding on to that sickness if He already paid for your healing? Let go of that cancer. Release infirmity. Receive your healing by faith. 

Some basic questions should be asked, and answered. Are the problems of sin, sickness, pain, tears, and death all solved because of the atoning work of Christ on the cross and His subsequent resurrection from the grave? Absolutely.

Does that mean that all of the benefits from the atonement are fully realized on earth? Absolutely not. We still have to die (Hebrews 9:27). We aren’t yet in our glorified bodies (1 Corinthians 15:35-58). And God has not yet taken away all sadness, tears, and sorrow (Revelation 21:4). Further, I don’t experience the fullness of salvation until Christ is revealed (Colossians 3:4).

So, is salvation and healing a “package deal” as many faith healers claim? If so, what’s wrong with so many sick Christians? Is Joni Eareckson Tada sick because she’s simply not “tapping into” the atonement?

The answer is clearly and logically, no.

Teach your people how to praise God when He heals and even when He doesn’t. Say like Job, “He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

  1. Not all can heal and prophesy

This one isn’t hard to understand, but many “schools of signs and wonders” are charging people tuition under the illusion that they can learn to heal and prophecy. Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry does this in Redding, California. But, can we guarantee that everyone is going to operate in all of these gifts, move in signs and wonders, and heal people? Can you bundle gifts of the Spirit like you bundle home and auto insurance?

Let’s let Paul do the talking through the Holy Spirit’s direct and final revelation:

All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? (1 Corinthians 12:29-30)

Those are rhetorical questions from Paul. Teach your flock to be discerning and steer them clear of schools and teachers who promise signs and wonders for students. You’ll save them money, and maybe even their soul.

  1. There are no more Apostles

This used to be an open and shut case. Few, if any, were arguing that the office of apostle was in operation today. However, this is now something preachers must be clear about time and time again.

Two distinctions should be made here.

First, in a sense, there is such a thing as being apóstolos (ἀπόστολος) today. This Greek word means “a delegate” and is synonymous with those who are commissioned to pioneer new gospel-work through planting, missionary work, or other frontier-like ministries. This is being a gospel-ambassador!

Second, there is no such thing as being an apostle in the sense of the New Testament office. This was restricted to a very specific group who met a specific criterion. When you survey the New Testament, you can gather that real apostles were:

  • Commissioned and appointed personally by Christ (Mark 3:14; Luke 6:13 John 15:16; Romans 1:5; 1 Corinthians 15:7-9)
  • Personally with Christ from baptism to ascension (Acts 1:21-22; Acts 10:38)
  • Fulfilling prophecy when Mathias replaced Judas’ specific office (Acts 1:19)
  • Performing undeniable and instantaneous signs and wonders (Acts 5:12; 2 Corinthians 12:12)
  • Given direct revelation from God (John 16:13)
  • Operating as the initial foundation for the Church (Ephesians 2:20; 4:11)
  • Distinctly gifted for their uniquely foundational office (1 Corinthians 12:29)

While many people will be “apostolic” in their ministry in the sense that they are sent forth to do gospel work, based on what the Bible teaches about the requirements for being an apostle, it’s impossible for there to be any more apostles today.

  1. Jesus was always truly God and truly man while on earth

One foundational (and false) teaching proliferated by the New Apostolic Reformation is that Jesus did His miracles as a man in right relationship with God, and not as God. The idea is that since Jesus wasn’t God when He did signs and wonders, you can do them too. This very twisted interpretation of the kenosis takes the “emptying” or “humbling” of Christ in Philippians 2:3-8 beyond biblical boundaries. Bethel Church pastor, Bill Johnson, and Todd White (Lifestyle Christianity) are two of the leading voices for this heretical belief more formally known as ontological kenotic Christology. Space in this article does not allow for extensive treatment here, but we offer plenty of footnotes and direct quotes from their teachings and their books in Defining Deception. OKC is essentially the belief that Jesus laid aside His deity and takes variants of kenotic theory much too far. Any claim that Jesus was ever “not God” is deceptive heresy. In fact, Jesus Himself makes the claim that His signs and wonders were displays of the “works of God” (John 9:3). He was, as R.C. Sproul put it, “Truly God and truly man” while fulfilling His purpose on earth.

Never once does the Bible ever teach that Jesus laid aside His deity and ceased to be God. He was in perfect balance as the God-man; humbly adding humanity to His divinity. This was subtraction by addition.

Many evangelical churches have become holding tanks for heretical teachings whether it be through inviting these false teachers to headline conferences, using their music and endorsing their worship bands, or by downplaying the seriousness of their errors.

Make no mistake about it, this is a tier one issue. Preaching a proper view of the kenosis is essential for equipping your church faithfully.

  1. Judge a teacher’s words against Scripture

Teaching this will be a valuable way to equip discerning Christians. People being deceived are taught never to question their anointed leader. Therefore, it will be a distinction of a biblical church and a faithful pulpit that people are taught to weigh every word taught in light of Scripture. This is the right kind of “judging” and believers are wise to exercise discernment.

Pro-active preachers who want their flock to be well guided and guarded do well to encourage them to weigh every word from any pulpit by the word of God.

More truths can certainly be added to this list, but if you’re looking for key ways to assess your own ministry or to be more proactive in shepherding the flock of God, this list of teachings is a great place to start.

***If this is your first time encountering this kind of doctrinal indictment on Bethel Church (and music), the New Apostolic Reformation, or leaders like Bill Johnson and Todd White, please refer to the following article and read the sources linked in it for further research.

59 replies
  1. Julia Pomeroy
    Julia Pomeroy says:

    Whilst I am not a teacher in the way you are, my beloved and I were part of this ‘movement’ without realising it for years as we had come to know Jesus through the charismatic movement in the 70s! We were definitely deceived but, thanks be to God, we finally came to our senses some in late 2016 and we have become increasingly appalled at how deceived we were. We were like frogs who had been placed in a pot of cold water and very slowly the water was heated up. I do believe that, at the beginning these well known people were disciples of Jesus but I cannot see how any one of these ‘leaders’ can be any more.
    We have been warning people for the last 2+ years about the dangers. The founders, if that is the right word, of NAR are Peter C. Wagner and Bill Hamon. The dreadful sadness is the number of young people who are being taken in with all the ‘worship’ which takes you, over a couple of hours, into an altered state of consciousness therefore rendering you a lot more susceptible to suggestions and teachings. All the manifestations which happen which would not be out of place in a Hindu meeting.
    I think God, for us, started the ball rolling, if you like, when we were at Catch the Fire, Toronto, in the sanctuary they have a map of the world on one of the walls. During a time of worship some people started proclaiming that cities were lighting up and it was God showing where He was going to bring Revival. People stopped worshipping, got out their iphones and started snapping away, even standing on chairs to see better. Worship went by the board as they ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ at what they were seeing. Even the MC of the evening which, I think was Mary Audrey Raycroft, could not bring even a semblance of order to the meeting as people became more and more excited. My husband and I stood there absolutely gobsmacked, we saw nothing, no lights, nothing and I even went into condemnation (my default position if I am not careful) because I could not see anything. But it started my beloved wondering and, finally we saw the truth. As somebody said not so long ago when referring to the manifestations – these things are received by faith not feelings.
    If anybody wishes to read up more about this Douglas Geivett and Holly Pivec have produced two books on the subject, one a lot more detailed than the other: “God’s Super Apostles” and “A New Apostolic Reformation?” Both are very bible-centred and they also quote extensively from the books of Hamon and Wagner.

    Reply
      • Julia Pomeroy
        Julia Pomeroy says:

        Wow, I have only just posted it, thank you, I should have proof read it first though but I trust people can read through the mistakes.
        I have also emailed you about the same topic. We now live in Cyprus and NAR is even here but I do believe one of their ‘churches’ has ceased to exist but I do not know where the other one is in its teachings these days as it is in another city.
        PS You really need to write more Geivett and Pivec’s books are a bit past their sell-by date in that matters in NAR are becoming even worse. In fact we have had to cancel our subscription to Charisma, which we were monitoring, because the articles became so offensive to read!

        Reply
    • Rhonda Jamison
      Rhonda Jamison says:

      Thank you Julia. You’re story is very similar to mine, except that I grew up in the AOG. But after I moved to CA, I learned about Foursquare in the 90’s. Then the “Toronto Blessing” Vineyard took hold of my pastor. Then the Kansas City Prophets started making their way here, including Bill Hammon, Cindy Jacobs, and Paul Cain. The Holy Spirit opened my eyes in 2016 upon researching The 7 Mountain Mandate Kingdom Now Dominionism. Then I too was appalled and repented. Then all the memories of the “laughing baptism”, signs of gold teeth, etc. flooded back along with the false condemnation because “it didn’t happen to me” or “I didn’t see it” (how the Lord preserved me!). And the long drawn out, repetitive “trance-like” worship would leave me exhausted – and I used to be on the worship team. Growing up in the Word, I was already groomed… guilted into never questioning the leaders’ “anointed” authority. At Foursquare I was shamed because I didn’t measure up to “prophesy”. I left that place in 2004. Then in 2015, my eyes were opened to what was happening within the AoG and how they are also embracing NAR and even Emergent Church leaders and trying to emulate the Hillsong (C. Peter Wagner) mega-church model. It’s so hard finding a solid Bible teaching church in my area since the infection of NAR, even after the Foursquare church as I knew it disintegrated, it spawned an IHOP Healing Rooms and former pastors started their own NAR churches. Even my current church, CC is promoting THRs because my pastor is Lou Engle’s brother-in-law. At least the pastors do teach the Word faithfully and also teach eschatology and that Jesus is coming soon.

      I have given away my free copy of DEFINING DECEPTION to a pastor. Such a great book that came at the perfect time!!

      Reply
  2. Sharon Leutschaft
    Sharon Leutschaft says:

    I started attending a very small church that was meeting in a private home. I was bothered by a couple of things – people going forward for healing and falling on the floor and a man who yelled out “Praise God” after ever sentence spoken by the Pastor. I have always been skeptical and have never been a follower of “fads”. None the less, I continued attending this small church, which never really grew very large, for about 5 years. Several times I went forward for healing and two men always stood behind me. I thought something was definitely wrong with me because I never fell, nor was I ever about to fall backward. Still I kept attending and then the pastor began talking about “sozo”??, “sewing seed money”, and then expecting huge gifts of money (money not owed me or earned by me) during the week. My cynical mind questioned this but I continued to attend. The Pastor’s wife continually spoke out in her version of “tongues” and I always waited for someone to interpret – no one ever did. Apparently she was just using her “prayer language”???. Still, I attended although when service was over, I never stayed to talk with anyone and made a hasty retreat. A woman member occasionally shared what she had “heard from God” during the week and when she told me that God had given her a message for me, I promptly wondered why God didn’t tell me directly? I left the “church” when the Pastor called to tell me they were having a special meeting that night because several people were leaving the church and he wanted to discuss it. The words “I’m not coming back” either just popped out of my mouth – I had not been actively thinking about it but it was coming. I left and am so thankful. I now attend our only Baptist church but I watch and listen carefully because even though the Pastor doesn’t hesitate to tackle very tough issues that our society is faced with, he has yet to warn people about the “hi-jacking of Christianity and the demeaning of God. I have read reams about the WOF, NAR, Prosperity Gospel, etc. etc. and have boiled it down to this. These “movements” are demeaning God and stomping all over the pain and agony that Jesus suffered on the cross. I have plenty of “faith” but my faith is in God. I love God and worship and fear Him – he is not my daddy or my drinking buddy. In short, in my opinion, these mentioned “movements” are obscene and insulting to God.

    Reply
    • Julia Pomeroy
      Julia Pomeroy says:

      I love your last sentence, that was one of the things that would really creep me out, loved your testimony. It would be good to know what you thought of mine. I presume you are in America?
      My best friend in the UK goes to a baptist church and is very frustrated that this topic is not addressed nor is eschatology but the choice in the UK is exceedingly limited.

      Reply
  3. Jemima felix
    Jemima felix says:

    Hi Julia, could you clarify your stand on healing.You say healing is not in the atonement, could you give solid and direct proof of it?
    What you mentioned, was, that sin,sickness,etc is not fully guaranteed on earth. If Christ is not able to fully guarantee us from the clutches of sin then his death and resurrection is useless.
    Also you mentioned one verse from Isaiah regarding healing,should I assume it to be untrue? It is a prophecy isn’t it. What is the basis for you to say that signs and wonders cannot happen?

    Reply
    • Julia Pomeroy
      Julia Pomeroy says:

      No I will not, I am not a Bible teacher I just read it. How about you doing the same and seeing what Jesus said about the woman Jezebel who was deceiving the church in Thyatira – see Revelation 2. Also how about reading the earliest book of the Bible (the annoying thing is that the Books are not in chronological order) Job and tell me Who it was Who permitted satan to attack Job? God is God and He will do all His good pleasure and, part of that for all of us is that, if we are serious in our walk with Jesus, we will all suffer in one way or another, (or have you forgotten what it is that God does to the vine – John 15?) or do you consider yourself better than Apostle Paul when you consider his life and what he went through? I will not use the Word of God like bullets to shoot another person down as the only one I have ever read who did that was satan. I prefer to encourage people to read the Word for themselves. It is all there for those who have the eyes to see and the spiritual mind to understand it.
      Sickness is not necessarily as a result of sin it can be because we live in a fallen world. As for my saying “sin, sickness, etc is not fully guaranteed on earth.” I did, really? Are you sure it was me? No, I refuse to be drawn into a bible battle, read God’s Word without preformed opinions and ask Holy Spirit to speak to you. Just one thing if we say we are without sin we lie and the truth is not in us but if we confess our sins God is just and failthful to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 – a scripture I know by heart.

      Reply
      • Jemima Felix
        Jemima Felix says:

        Tell me Julia, do you believe that sickness is caused by God or that God uses sickness as a tool to teach/chasten someone or God allows sickness to bring glory to Himself?

        Reply
        • Julia Pomeroy
          Julia Pomeroy says:

          Tell me Jemima do you read the Bible? If you did you would know the answer to that question. I have referenced Revelation 2 Jesus’ letter to the church in Thyatira – what do you think it means, hmm? I ceased trying to declare God’s motives a long time ago because I have read in His Word that His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts. He is infinite I am not so I dare not say God does such and such because of such and such. I have done that in the past and He has called me out on it so to speak.

          Reply
  4. Josh
    Josh says:

    this article is misrepresentation and heresy itself. fight heresy with heresy. yeah, that’ll work.
    while there are a lot of fruit cakes in the NAR, charismatic church, and both streams certainly do need correction; it does not serve anyone to have a theologically shallow and misrepresentative stance to do anything towards making it better.
    modern apostles… yes there are. while i think most running around toting the title “apostle” are not apostles and do not know what one is, to say there are no longer apostles necessarily means there aren’t pastors. rightly divide ephesians 4; if the purpose requiring one is fulfilled, the the purpose requiring ANY of them is also fulfilled.
    Healing is in the atonement. see cross referenced scriptures in Matthew 8, and think them through.
    “all can heal/prophecy” according to Jesus and Paul, if you are a believer, you actually can.
    I have never heard anyone teaching on healing say that Jesus was not God when He healed the sick. that’s a gross misrepresentation. it works towards getting fellow critics excited, but it’s untrue and misrepresenting to the core.

    if it’s the truth that sets people free, how is this article going to help people you know and love?

    Reply
    • Costi W. Hinn
      Costi W. Hinn says:

      Josh,

      Hope these two notes help you:

      1) You mention, “all can heal/prophecy” according to Jesus and Paul, if you are a believer, you actually can.” However, it was Paul who was quoted in the article and Paul who said all cannot do those things.

      2) You said, “I have never heard anyone teaching on healing say that Jesus was not God when He healed the sick. that’s a gross misrepresentation.” Brother, please go read page 29 of Bill Johnson’s book, “When Heaven Invades Earth.” It’s right there. He says that “Jesus did His miracles as a man in right relationship to God…not as God.”

      Praying for your discernment my friend. This teaching is in plain sight. You must seek the truth.

      In Christ,

      Costi

      Reply
      • Josh
        Josh says:

        thanks for the prayer for my discernment. but keep in mind, I was done listening to Benny Hinn, and others caught up in that long before you were. 🙂

        You are construing Johnson’s statement to mean that Jesus was not God in the moment He healed. I’m not buy any of his books. not interested. but helping these people is not going to be done on account of misrepresenting what he said. It’s a big difference for someone to say that Jesus’ Healings were done from the position as a man, versus saying “Jesus was not God when He did these things.” They do not say that and teach that.

        Reply
        • Julia Pomeroy
          Julia Pomeroy says:

          Josh
          You have been given proof, if you cannot be bothered to go and look for yourself do not continue to insist you are right and Costi is wrong because you are just causing us to think you are refusing to be a good Berean but have decided you are right and the rest of us are not. That is no way to conduct a reasonable debate.
          Bill Johnson does say “Jesus was not God when He did these things.” I will give you another quote of his which can easily be found on YouTube,. he says that there are two kinds of truths in the Bible, the superior and the inferior, everything Jesus said (that is those words which are in red in some bibles) is superior and everything else is inferior. Now if you are happy with that fine. But please do not accuse Costi Hinn of lying because he actually is not.

          Reply
          • josh
            josh says:

            Julia,
            I did not call him a liar. but please give the discussion a chance before assuming i’m not being a Berean. it is within the realm of possibility that someone could be a Berean and disagree with a view point you hold.

      • josh
        josh says:

        as to your point 1).

        Paul said “are all prophets” in 1 cor 12; then in 1 Corinthians 14 he said, “you may ALL prophesy”.

        the gift in operation in chapter 14 is distinct from the office mentioned in chapter 12. someone operating in a gifting of prophecy is not a prophet… or a prophetess (and how I wish the charismatics understood THAT) 🙂
        thanks for the prayer.

        Reply
        • Carol Berubee
          Carol Berubee says:

          Josh, the 1 Corinthians 14 reference about “all can prophesy” is not addressed to each person in the entire assembly. Reread the passage (vv. 29-32) in context, line by line. Who is Paul talking to in v. 29? “Let the prophets speak…” He is addressing a specific group within the assembly: prophets. Let the prophets speak, only by two or three, and let the other prophets discern. If another prophet has a revelation, the prophet who is speaking should yield. The admonition in v. 31 is that each prophet can prophesy one by one so that all the hearers may learn and be comforted.

          Reply
  5. Josh
    Josh says:

    I was at a Wycliffe Bible translator’s conference in 2008. They stated 1 of the top two reasons why people who know they are called to missions and never go is chronic illness. They are too sick to fulfill the call. The gospel is not going to the nations as it ought to due to chronic illness… because the church is too double minded about God’s provision of health.
    You’re compromise on healing in the atonement helps to make this a continued possibility. Thanks, homie.

    Reply
    • Costi W. Hinn
      Costi W. Hinn says:

      So what would you say about Paul ministering to the Galatians in “bodily illness” in Galatians 4:12-14? I think your argument lacks biblical support but it’s not short on support from teachings developed by mere men. My encouragement to you is to search the Scriptures.

      Reply
      • josh
        josh says:

        forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your sin and heals all your diseases.

        is it justifiable to forget His present tense benefits because Paul or some other believer has had a season of struggle?

        Reply
        • Julia Pomeroy
          Julia Pomeroy says:

          Now you are just being silly and behaving suspiciously like a troll. I have one gift to give trolls and that is, should you respond to this post, I will not respond back thus giving you the total joy of having the last word for all of maybe two or three nanoseconds. After all trolls are those saddest of people who truly do not have any self-respect, do not love themselves and so have to fight and fight to be noticed, or so they think. So sad.

          Reply
    • Julia Pomeroy
      Julia Pomeroy says:

      Josh,
      You truly do need to read the Word of God, especially the Pauline epistles. I also recall in one of those epistles his comments about a friend of his almost dying which would have broken his heart. I am so sorry for you because you have been told what to believe and how to interpret the Word of God instead of relying on Holy Spirit. My beloved and I were part of all this NAR rot for at least a decade if not longer and it was the Word of God which finally brought us to our senses. There are thousands like us who speak out of knowledge of the Word of God (without being pastors like Costi) and experience. Sweetheart, how about talking with Jesus about your concerns and asking Him to, through His Spirit, lead you into all truth, however you have to lay aside all your preconditions!

      Reply
      • josh
        josh says:

        If I was to interpret the word of God the way you expect I would not be able to walk today. No thanks.

        I don’t think you’ve read enough of my writing, or heard enough of my speaking to determine how I came about believing what I do, or how I interpret. You are not soberly in a place, yet, to make a judgment like that. It could be that I’ve done due diligence in these things… how would you know?

        Reply
    • Julia Pomeroy
      Julia Pomeroy says:

      Josh,
      My beloved husband and I are missionaries, or let’s put it this way, this is the label some friends have put on us because we moved to the country where we live now some seven years ago because God called us to live here. We are in our mid 70s and have all the usual problems which the elderly can be subjected to. However, that has never stopped us speaking about Jesus whenever we have the chance. Nobody is truly ever too sick to fulfill the call, unless, of course, they were not called at all which is highly possible. Which is, I believe, a far better way of looking at things.

      Reply
    • Carol Berubee
      Carol Berubee says:

      Josh, I know that it’s common practice to include physical healing in the atonement, but compare how Isaiah uses “healing” in 6:9-10 and 53:5. Clearly, he is talking about spiritual healing.

      Could physical healing also be included in the atonement? Yes, but just as we are forgiven of our sins (Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14) and have died to sin (Romans 6:5-6, 11), yet we have not been set free from the presence of sin. Even though we are saved, we haven’t yet received the fullness of that salvation. Likewise, physical healing, while having been encompassed in the atonement, is not guaranteed to be given at the present time. (Consider, also, that Satan was judged at the Cross, but he is still the god of this world [John 12:31, 16:11; Ephesians 6:11-12]. The work was accomplished at the Cross, but not yet fully manifested and completed).

      Reply
  6. Susan
    Susan says:

    Hi Costi, I grew up watching Benny Hinn’s tv show and when I was a young adult I would even give money monthly believing it was a seed. It wasn’t until I watched the American Gospel that I realized the truth. I grew up listening to prosperity gospel speakers and listened to Bethel music so I’m shocked about everything I’m learning about them recently. Does Bethel have some songs that are Biblical and acceptable to sing? Your posts are helping me unlearn wrong teachings and learn about the gospel.

    Reply
    • Christy
      Christy says:

      Hi S.usam, I thought I would jump in to take a moment with you in concern to bethels music. I came out of new age, Hindu kundalini, Wiccan, lesbianism, on and on movements and when I was saved saw very clearly the deception and force behind these movements. In short, music is the main principle Satan uses to infiltrate the church. It works on the mind. We are to have our minds renewed by the words of the Bible, meditating on them for regeneration. Bethel is of Satan, and as such cannot produce good fruit. Satan was beautiful and the worship leader of the heavens…it is obvious he will use what he knows to unwittingly set us against worshipping God in Spirit and truth. Pray on this and I am sure like I was, you will be freed from the chains of deception. God bless you!

      Reply
      • Julia Pomeroy
        Julia Pomeroy says:

        A person who has ‘been there and done that’ has so much more weight in what they say, thank you so much. I am sure you would add this goes for Hi$$song too!

        Reply
    • Julia Pomeroy
      Julia Pomeroy says:

      Personally, I wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole because they were not birthed via the Spirit of God. What’s wrong with the old hymns, the words are brilliant they just need, perhaps new tunes, although personally I find them just great as they are and I used to love modern worship songs but not so much now. Even if Jesus is mentioned in Jesus Culture music how do you know that it is the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth only unique Son of Almighty God you are singing to and not some other ‘jesus’?
      See my testimony above.

      Reply
      • Rich
        Rich says:

        Julia,

        Check out Joanne Hogg’s ‘Looking Into the Light’. Her album is from 1999 and she has taken some fantastic hymns and redone them. I never grew up in a church that used hymnals, but when I heard her versions I was totally swept away. They are marvelous.

        Reply
        • Julia Pomeroy
          Julia Pomeroy says:

          I have just come across your suggestion, I will be looking into that and have written down the name of the artiste and the title of her album, thank you.

          Reply
  7. Rhonda Jamison
    Rhonda Jamison says:

    Thank you Julia. You’re story is very similar to mine, except that I grew up in the AOG. But after I moved to CA, I learned about Foursquare in the 90’s. Then the “Toronto Blessing” Vineyard took hold of my pastor. Then the Kansas City Prophets started making their way here, including Bill Hammon, Cindy Jacobs, and Paul Cain. The Holy Spirit opened my eyes in 2016 upon researching The 7 Mountain Mandate Kingdom Now Dominionism. Then I too was appalled and repented. Then all the memories of the “laughing baptism”, signs of gold teeth, etc. flooded back along with the false condemnation because “it didn’t happen to me” or “I didn’t see it” (how the Lord preserved me!). And the long drawn out, repetitive “trance-like” worship would leave me exhausted – and I used to be on the worship team. Growing up in the WoF movement, I was already groomed… guilted into never questioning the leaders’ “anointed” authority. At Foursquare I was shamed because I didn’t measure up to “prophesy”. I left that place in 2004. Then in 2015, my eyes were opened to what was happening within the AoG and how they are also embracing NAR and even Emergent Church leaders and trying to emulate the Hillsong (C. Peter Wagner) mega-church model. It’s so hard finding a solid Bible teaching church in my area since the infection of NAR, even after the Foursquare church as I knew it disintegrated, it spawned an IHOP Healing Rooms and former pastors started their own NAR churches. Even my current church, CC is promoting THRs because my pastor is Lou Engle’s brother-in-law. At least the pastors do teach the Word faithfully and also teach eschatology and that Jesus is coming soon.

    I have given away my free copy of DEFINING DECEPTION to a pastor. Such a great book that came at the perfect time!!

    Reply
    • Julia Pomeroy
      Julia Pomeroy says:

      Thank you Rhonda, the main difference between us is that I had no Christian upbringing at all, quite the opposite in fact. Have you read “God’s Super Apostles” or “A New Apostolic Reformation?” both by Douglas Geivett and Holly Pivec. Both exposes of NAR using the Word of God and even Hamon’s and Wagner’s own words to show how heretical it is? I never thought that my need to know and understand everything would actually lead us to seeing the truth of NAR! I always thought I was the one who was wrong!
      We live in Cyprus a small Greek island and so the choice of ‘churches’ is seriously limited. One NAR church (yes it has even reached here) has folded we believe but we think there is another one but have no intention of finding out, it is not in our city.

      Reply
      • Fran Whitlinger
        Fran Whitlinger says:

        I was badly deceived by a lot of ministries. I felt that i something was wrong with me. At a “laughing show” i remember praying that i would get the laughter. It too me while to realize that the new spiritual experiment was NOT from Him. But i was hard headed and still went on more bunny trails. Hen i cried out for TRUTH, it was simple. Just follow Him as He taught in the gospels. Now i never look back and can look forward to what His purpose is for me. Blessings, fw

        Reply
  8. jake
    jake says:

    Great article!
    I am currently making an exodus from much of the Charismatic movement. However, I do have a question. Hagin taught that Jesus needed to be “anointed” thus proving he ministered as a mere man instead of out of His divinity. This is used to make the case that we too ought to seek and operate in greater anointing to do the works that he did. Thoughts?

    Reply
    • Julia Pomeroy
      Julia Pomeroy says:

      Jake,
      Can I add my tuppence worth as a reader of the Word of God but not necessarily a gifted teacher? I believe that when God came down upon Jesus as John baptised Him it was to show those watching His approval of Jesus and, also, at this point Jesus had done nothing. This was not, per se, an anointing but a revelation. And upon reading the letter to the Philippians I would hate to hear that there are others who are teaching the heresy that Jesus ministered purely as a man. He was fully human and fully divine. As for the ‘greater’ things which we will do – try going back to the koine Greek and then seeing how it should be translated.

      Reply
  9. Brian Baillie
    Brian Baillie says:

    This is a “Must Read” article as this false teaching is everywhere and needs to be confronted head on.

    Reply
  10. Stephen R Leach
    Stephen R Leach says:

    The only glaring problem I see with your well done explanation of what to look for by those who would continue to deceive is your understanding of who replaced Judas. You did well in a previous point in saying that Jesus personally selected His Apostles, His choice as to whom was going to teach the Gospel to others.
    Although a common mistake among Christians (I do not go by the name ‘christian’ but am I spirit filled new creation in our Lord) is that Mathias replaced Judas. Remember, Peter and the boys still in Jerusalem decided to ‘cast lots’ as to whom would replace Judas, but Peter forgot one HUGE and important thing about the replacement….he never asked the Lord whom HE wanted.
    Peter cast lots and it fell to Mathias, but the Lord personally selected Saul, who became Paul and we know it was Paul who probably had one of the greatest influences in the growing Apostolic Church. Mathias, we never hear from again. That’s why it’s so important to go to the Lord with all things and not make assumptions. We don’t tell the Lord, “Hey Father….here’s a couple of choices for apostle replacement we like, pick one and we’ll say you chose him”, rather than asking Him, “Father, who would you have us replace Judas with to teach your word? Your will be done, not ours”. Jesus personally calls upon Paul and the Holy Spirit teaches Paul everything he needed to know to equip him for his mission. 🙂
    There truly is a reviving Apostolic Church out here, but you won’t see it within the walls of modern ‘christianity’ and those who are being led, are not being led into spiritual captivity, but into spiritual liberty and coming out of the captive church which is holding the Church hostage. Come out of her my people lest you share in her sins and partake of her plagues. Rev 18:4.
    Thank you again Costi.
    His will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven.

    Reply
  11. Julia Pomeroy
    Julia Pomeroy says:

    As someone who was taken in with all this dreadful teaching for too many years until I finally decided to believe the Bible and not these men, Costi is actually writing truth and there are thousands of us who can testify to that, having come out of NAR in all its forms.

    Reply
  12. Barry Boyd
    Barry Boyd says:

    Brothers and sisters the scriptures are black and white and need to be read in the light of how the Holy Spirit breathed them.Jesus the Messiah fulfilled the prophecy found in Isaiah when he walked this earth, he bore their sicknesses, infirmities and diseases thus fulfilling the prophecy. The scripture is more than clear about what he died for on the tree, it was our iniquities that he died for. I do not see anywhere in scripture that healing is quaranteed in the atoning work of Christ, if that be so than everyone would be walking around completely whole and healed . Does God heal, yes he does but that is no guarantee that everyone will be healed. It is God who chooses to heal, who, when and how and he has a purpose in it.To prey upon desperate hurting people with a message that Declares that if you send God your money he is obligated to heal you or bless you financially is a combination of the flesh and demonic. Be rest assured God knows all those who have pimped his word for profit, those who have trafficked in the sale of cheap religious knick knacks, those who have prostituted the name of Jesus for personal gain,those who have said thus says the Lord but the Lord did not send them,those who have taken his word and built a falsehood doctrine and teaching around it so as to lead multitudes of unsuspecting souls astray,those who when they saw the wolf coming either fled or joined up with him to skin the flock,those who deny the master that bought them,etc.etc.etc.Deep darkness is reserved for them, they have forsaken the truth and gone the way of Ballam. God help them and all the little ones. I twould be better that they had not been born than to have led so many little ones astray.

    Reply
  13. Josh
    Josh says:

    on Healing and Job
    Job lived long enough to have a second batch of children, and got to see the offspring to the 4th generation. A very long and blessed life.

    the period of time of Job’s sickness was a very small fragment of his life. He ended up healed, and so did his friends. not much of a mention of that though. It IS in there. Not much of a mention that his life as a rule was characterized as other than having horrendous sickness. It’s in there. So I agree, we praise God no matter what we go through. But the point about sickness is we don’t camp out and stay there… we go through. Just like Job did.
    Psalm 103 He Heals, present tense, all- the sum total of your diseases; right side by side with forgiving all your sin.
    But it says, “forget not all His benefits”. that means to be in a constant state of remembrance, constantly mindful. we hold on to that benefit when it comes to forgiveness, but not so much when it comes to healing. Why? someone, a friend or ourselves, suffered and that nullifies this benefit?
    to the degree that any of us ‘forgets’ His benefits, we will not walk in possessing them.

    More, it amazes me how we hold to God as shepherd from old testament to new testament; and to God as provider; in the OT He was Jehovah Shammah, the Lord is there; reiterated in the new covenant He says “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you”… He is always there. He is the Lord our Peace in both testaments, but somehow the issue of healer is lost between testaments. Just as much as He’s revealed Himself as our righteousness, our sanctification, our wisdom, peace, provider, shepherd… He’s also revealed Himself as healer. But that’s set aside from one testament to the other, while all the others are held to. doesn’t make sense at all. All that He has revealed Himself to be is Who He is. It’s Who He always is.

    Matthew 8 is the commentary on Isaiah 53. see the cross reference. think it through. see what is says.

    that does not mean it comes easy. like over coming sin, sometimes there is quick instantaneous deliverance; and sometimes it means walking things out for a season. healing is no different. but whether instant, or by course of time and process, it is nonetheless God’s provision to be thankful for however it comes.

    Reply
    • Christopher
      Christopher says:

      And if it doesn’t come, who’s the bottleneck, the sufferer and their lack of faith or God and His lack of faithfulness?

      Blaming the former is heartless. Blaming the latter is blasphemy.

      Reading any text in isolation with no regard for the rest of Scripture’s testimony is a recipe for misinterpretations and misapplications. Paul was never delivered from his thorn in the flesh despite his earnest prayer on three separate occasions. Was his knowledge of God as revealed in the Old Testament lacking?

      Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Josh, with all respect and I don’t mean this to sound morbid but you say Job ened up healed. In reality he ENDED up in death to this life just like we will all experience. That is why people say healing is not guaranteed in this life and that physical healing is not part of the atonement in this life. If it were so, we would all live forever in this current state and we would already be in our eternal state of glorification.

      To believe physical healing is part of the atonement, you would have to believe you are going to live forever and never experience physical death. You simply can’t have it both ways. The fact is, barring being called up when Christ returns, we will all experience physical death. It doesn’t matter how much anyone believes that physical healing is part of the atonement, all will experience death.

      the fact that we will all die a physical death is all the proof one should need that physical healing on this earth is not guarnteed but is guarnteed when we receive our new glorified bodies. The fact that Christians are promised new gloified bodies tealls you that our bodies are in a state of wearing out over time with the ultimate end result physical death.
      Physical healing on earth is not the ultimate goal. Glorification in the presence of the Lord is.

      Reply
  14. Chris White
    Chris White says:

    Hi Costi – I was raised Presbyterian, attended a Pentecostal church in college, and have been a part of the Assembly of God Church for a number of years. I want to point out up front that I believe scripture is the authority as the Word of God, and I believe in the Apostles Creed. Suggesting you are in agreement on those two points, I’d ask you to reexamine a few thoughts, and consider my points below and if you give me a response I will be happy to do the same:
    1) Earthly healing is not guaranteed in the atonement – Correct, practically speaking that is impossible to refute, people pray for healing and are not healed all the time.
    2) Not all can heal or prophesy – I’d have ask you to re-look at this paragraph, the points you make like “bundle home and auto insurance” or “You’ll save them money, and maybe even their soul” you never substantiate, and it’s scare tactics to feed your readers that already want to agree with you. If you are really seeking truth in an honest way, which I believe you do, you shouldn’t need this. It’s comments like these that in my opinion are how we end up with social media storms with no one changing their mind. Getting to your point, Paul says in 1 Cor 14:1 “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” I read that as an open invitation indicating that spiritual gifts, if pursued and desired, then Paul insinuates God is willing to give to anyone. If people pursue it, is it really that crazy to believe that our good God would offer that “any good thing?” The question you present is maybe He doesn’t give it. Which I agree, it is entirely up to God and pursued requests are not always received for mysterious reasons only God can answer. I do fully agree that Bethel and other Pentecostal churches go too far in the way they promote, market, and advertise their teaching or schools making it seem like Disney World. I think it is misleading to the younger generation that may throw themselves into something they might not be called to and could in effect displace their lives and careers.
    3) There are no more Apostles – I have heard this point before. Could you explain to me where you find in scripture the description or resume of what it takes to be an Apostle, and where it says that it was only the ones delegated as such in scripture? I read in 1 Corinthians 4 detailing out the trials of being an apostle, but not the prerequisites of an apostle. The only thing I’ve found in my research, is that the word apostle is defined in the Greek as “a messenger;” or “one sent forth on a mission,” which sounds a lot like a missionary. Examples being, Paul and Barnabus commissioned by the laying on of hands by the early church in Acts, and the disciples who were sent out two by two by Jesus in the Gospels and given the Great Commission. It should be noted that Paul calls Junia, a woman in the letter to the Romans, an apostle, so it is not a description or title designated to just the disciples and Paul. I’ve heard others condemn churches for titling elders or pastors as an “apostle,” however, I don’t see anywhere in the Bible why we consider it a heresy as a sacred title, other than it by held in high regard due to church tradition. I do think churches misuse the word calling their pastor an Apostle, as I’m not sure how the pastor is being “sent out” if he’s staying at the church, but I don’t see how that is a cardinal sin. If you could help me understand this I’d greatly appreciate it.
    4) Jesus was always truly God and truly man while on earth – Absolutely. I have heard this argument before and I believe it is a misunderstanding of the position of Bill Johnson, however I have not heard any teachings from Todd White to comment on it. Bill’s position is that Jesus did not lay down His divinity at any point, but in fact He chose to do his miracles on earth through faith as dependent upon God. A scripture that offers some consideration on this perspective is in John 5:19 “So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” In Hebrews, it goes on to state how Jesus chose to be submitted to the Father and was then appointed by the Father as High Priest in the order of Melchizedek, as our intermediary between us and God: Hebrews 5:5-10 “In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, so also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you’; as he says also in another place, ‘You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.’ In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.” Again, Christ did this in submission to God the Father, not taking the “glory” or role on His own even though it was rightfully His. That submission shown in the above two passages points to a chosen path of submission Christ took on Earth. To extend that to the way he performed His miracles as submitting to and dependent upon God, is an interesting perspective, and if such, His submission to the Father in no way removes His deity. If you have other teachings that suggest otherwise that you’ve seen from Bill or Todd on this teaching that I missed, I’d be very interested to read so please send them to me.
    5) Judge a teacher’s words against Scripture – I agree, that does go for all of us. Miracle or faith teaching is an easy target to throw stones at because it is not based on logic and it’s considered crazy by the world. My opinion is that the most destructive Christian doctrine that we should be confronting is not necessarily that of the Pentecostal church, but instead, the doctrine that looks like the world, and pollutes our church with .

    I do not believe Pentecostals are all fools, there is some correct reasoning behind their beliefs that the mainstream church could learn from – To give the Pentecostal church credit, they actually have the courage to pray and go after miracles and things that only God can do, and they are willing to look like fools doing it. That said I am also a strong critic myself of the Pentecostal church. So many I have met do more damage than good because they throw out moral responsibility to others and use “faith” as a placeholder, but the Pentecostals I’ve known for many years who love others well, embrace humility, take instruction and submit fully to God, I have found to be the most impactful and spiritual men and women I have known

    Appreciate you taking the time to read these points, please feel free to email me with any counter arguments.

    Reply
    • Koe
      Koe says:

      This verse is absolutely true if you make a conscious decision
      to believe That it is. The word of God is not dependent on what we see .
      (Move mountains). Mark 11:23 (NKJV)
      23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

      Reply
  15. Paula Lucas
    Paula Lucas says:

    Costi, I am wondering about your statement
    “When you survey the New Testament, you can gather that real apostles were:”
    1. Do you mean they had to meet all of the criteria, or at least one of them?
    The reason I ask is because of This one…”Personally with Christ from baptism to ascension (Acts 1:21-22; Acts 10:38)”
    2. What about Paul…he called himself an Apostle, yet he was not personally with Christ from baptism to ascension.

    Reply
  16. HB COETSEE
    HB COETSEE says:

    Hi
    In view of you article, please explain the scripture below.
    I do not want to sound disrespectful but why would God anoint God?
    Acts 10;18: How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

    Reply
  17. Joe
    Joe says:

    Mark 11:23 (NKJV)
    23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

    This verse is either the absolute truth or a lie!

    Reply
  18. Joe
    Joe says:

    I believe we don’t receive our healing because we really don’t believe, and so we start to believe strange doctrines to justify what we see with our eyes. You need a healing, you need to contend for it and never give up!!!
    )Jeremiah 23:29

    Does not my word burn like fire?” says the LORD. “Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?

    If you apply the word to your circumstances
    And not give up even when you don’t see results, if you keep on smashing you problem with the Hammer of Gods word you will get your breakthrough!!

    Reply
  19. Joe
    Joe says:

    I believe we don’t receive our healing because we really don’t believe, and so we start to believe strange doctrines to justify what we see with our eyes. You need a healing, you need to contend for it and never give up!!!
    Jeremiah 23:29

    Does not my word burn like fire?” says the LORD. “Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?

    If you apply the word to your circumstances
    And not give up, even when you don’t see results, if you keep on smashing your problem with the Hammer of Gods word, you will get your breakthrough!!

    Sometimes it takes a while, but you must remain persistent, and the key is to never give up .

    Reply
  20. Joe
    Joe says:

    Mark 11:23 (NKJV)
    23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

    Reply

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