Tom and Mark Dinsmore discuss: Who Are the New Apostles and Prophets?
In today’s program, Tom continues his discussion of the New Apostolic Reformation with TBC staff member Mark Dinsmore. Now, along with his guest, here’s TBC executive director, Tom McMahon.
Tom: Thanks, Gary. Last week, Mark Dinsmore, a staff member here and a good friend in the Lord—as I said last week, Mark, I could spend the whole day talking about just what you contribute here, which I greatly appreciate. Last week, we discussed and we will discuss this week a movement in the church called the New Apostolic Reformation, which is…maybe some of you haven’t heard of it, but it is basically influencing millions…
Tom: …of Christians. Millions—and that’s no overstatement. And you turn on TBN, you can find most of the leaders—these characters—pick up…I don’t know if you can pick it up anywhere, but Charisma magazine, for example, since their beginning has been a promoter of these individuals, and so on.
But the New Apostolic Reformation—Apostolic Reformation. Mark, I’ll start off, but then I want you to jump on this. Basically, it’s a movement that moves away from the Word of God—even though they claim to be in the Word of God, they actually transcend, usurp, the Word of God through, basically, they claim to hear from God directly. They would call this the Rhema—hearing from God—and that supersedes the written Word of God. And now, in this, those who receive…or hear from God, as they claim, would be called the New Apostles, the New Prophets, and what they say, they’d say, “Well, no, this isn’t a ‘Thus saith the Lord.’” Actually, it’s more than “thus saith the Lord," because in their teachings, in their writings, what they’re hearing from God supersedes what’s found in the Scriptures.
So, the problem there, obviously, is there’s no way to check these guys out. There’s no way to be a Berean, as the Bereans of Acts:17:11—“they searched the scriptures daily to see what the apostle Paul [the Apostle Paul] was saying, to see if it was true.”
So, they’re disarmed. Any believer, true believer, who falls into this teaching, basically has no recourse to object to the word that these prophets bring forth. Or, the methodologies, the techniques, the new doctrines that they’re being taught. So that’s the way they go about things. But, Mark, what about their objective?
Mark: Yeah, Tom, you could sum up their overall overriding objective in this phrase: “Bringing heaven to earth.” They seek spiritual awakening, they seek spiritual transformation, but they also seek political, social, and cultural transformation through signs and wonders; through the manifestation of what they believe to be the presence of God on this planet as it is manifested through a new breed of Christians, which they believe is now coming upon the earth. So just in the last few years, the last decade, really, this cultic movement has come out of the fringe and is now part and parcel of mainstream Christianity.
Tom: Mark, let me take you back to…and take our listeners back to the late 1970s, early 1980s. Those who would be called part of this—although, this is, again, back in the ‘70s, ‘80s, would be individuals like so-called Bishop Earl Paulk and others, who claimed that Jesus is held in the heavenlies until we restore the earth, and we’re going to restore the earth through signs and wonders, and all of these things.
Now what is unique about this—because, Mark, I want our audience to know this isn’t just some kind of small group. We’ve talked about the millions that they influence, but I want to point out here how they’re connected to other movements.
Now, what…if you were going to connect somebody with them, they’d say, “Oh, no, Tom, these people are so far removed doctrinally, experientially, all of that, that I couldn’t see a connection with…” Calvinists? Particularly those who are part of the Reconstruction—Christian Reconstructionism.
Tom: Well, what was their deal? Their deal was they wanted to restore the earth—remember, they’re either amillennialists or post-millennialists, in that case…
Tom: So the goal was very similar—is very similar—to what the New Apostolic Reformation is about, Latter Rain, Manifest Sons of God, and so on. But in this, back in the ‘80s—late ‘70s, early ‘80s, you have an individual named Gary North, or Rousas Rushdoony, Gary North’s father-in-law, and they promoted the idea that the world could be transformed by applying the law…
Tom; …and they said if we do things God’s way, according to the law [putting us under the law again] that the world would be transformed, that people would see how fruitful this is and productive, and many people would be drawn to Christ through the application of the law. Now, Gary North, one of the leaders in this movement—and they’re still around today, okay? Not quite as effective, but their time is coming to come back again, I think, based on what we’re seeing happening.
So Gary hooked up with Earl Paulk. Earl Paulk, charismatic, a Pentecostal, but what Gary North recognized was that these guys have money and the media. You know, back at the PTL network, CBN, Pat Robertson’s deal, TBN, Paul and Jan Crouch, and so on, and all the people on there were into this, to a degree, maybe not according to the likes of North and Rushdoony, but here’s the point. They tried to combine with these guys to come together in terms of a common goal, and that is to restore the earth so that Jesus could return.
Mark: So would you call that a “match made in heaven,” Tom?
Tom: Well, according to them, that would be their word from God, according to what they’re hearing. So, I want our listeners to understand. This is no small deal. These people—and as you pointed out, the connection of restoring the earth—we’re dealing with this now. We have a booklet called The Temporal Delusion, and it deals with the coming together of these diverse groups.
And, folks, just to throw one other in there, in terms of objective and goal, Mark, would I be wrong to say that Rick Warren and his Global PEACE Plan, fixing and solving the problems of the earth, at least in some ways is connected to this?
Mark: Oh, there’s no question.
Tom: Yeah, so that’s a foundation to what we’re dealing with. Now, because they claim to hear from God, they come up with new doctrines, new techniques. One of the things that I am sure has turned off many conservative Christians would be things like Pensacola Revival, Fire Revival, the Toronto Blessing, in which you have…well, let’s talk about the manifestations there, which are new doctrines, right? I mean, if they say God is doing this, this is a work of the Holy Spirit, it is a doctrine.
Talk about those doctrines.
Mark: Right. Well, you mentioned the Toronto Blessing, Tom, and that was partly birthed out of the teaching and ministry of Randy Clark, who took the “holy laughter” teachings of Rodney Howard Browne to the Toronto Airport Vineyard, John and Carol Arnott.
Tom: And this was a Vineyard, a John Wimber-related organization, although he had some problems with it later. But anyway, go ahead.
Mark: Correct. Well, of course, as you know, they had all manner of manifestations, not just the laughter but animal sounds, growlings, people crawling and writhing out of their seats, on the floor, tumbling and rolling, and they all believe this to be, of course, an outpouring of the Spirit.
Tom: And to show how that, well, you’d say, “Oh, no, people would just laugh that off. That wasn’t going to go anywhere.” No! It went to England, Holy Trinity Brompton, so, this moved on, not just to England but also to Pensacola, Florida, down to Lake…I think it’s Lakeland, Florida.
Mark: Right, Todd Bentley.
Tom: Todd Bentley, and so on. So these things manifest themselves in outrageous ways, so where do we find these doctrinally? They’re doctrines—they have to be doctrines, because they claim the Holy Spirit led them to this, this is the work of the Holy Spirit. But it’s false doctrines, it’s false teachings! Go ahead.
Mark: Yeah, just to kind of update, we’ve talked about some of the historic false signs and wonders that have kind of got this movement rolling, but today, it’s not uncommon to hear people testifying of manifestations of angels, of “holy smoke” in the room, of oil dripping from Bibles, from hands, so-called glory dust manifesting on people—even gemstones from heaven are allegedly dropping in some of these gatherings.
Tom: Right. Last week we mentioned a major player in all of this would be C. Peter Wagner. I remember doing an article for The Berean Call called, I think it was “The New Strategic Spiritual Warfare.” And this is what they claimed to develop. And those things—again, doctrines, methodologies, techniques—for what purpose? Because “We’re going to take over the world for Christ.”
So it isn’t just a matter of the spiritual anointing on individuals, as we mentioned last week, Joel’s Army, working through young people—these are going to be more powerful…Just turning the Bible upside down! You remember the counselors for Rehoboam? Well the elders told him what to do—what God wanted. But he went to the young people!
Tom: And we know young people can have a love for the Lord, and so on, but they lack the maturity to really minister through what God has taught them through the Word. They’re not that mature. You know, in some cases, there might be exceptions, and so on, however, now we have methodologies and techniques in which to apply…and Mark, you know of these, but I’m going to go through a list of them, and come back and explain any one you want.
Spirit Mapping, Binding Territorial Spirits, Prayerwalking, Prayer Journeys, Prayer Expeditions, National Repentance, Deliverance from Generational Sins, Mysticism, Contemplative Prayer…. It’s amazing, because they begin to be experiential and now it develops quickly into mysticism and occultism, and so on.
Tom: But again, they describe them as “new things God is doing in order to take over the world,” take dominion back from Satan, as though we ever lost it.
Tom: So what about some of these?
Mark: Well, Tom, you’ve named quite a few trends that have gained and lost momentum through the years. The entire realm of the NAR and the charismatic movement of the Latter Rain is like a giant sticky goo ball that picks up any and all junk that it rolls over, so it’s constantly attracting new adherents from whatever fad or trend seems exciting.
Some of the newer things that the Latter Rain teachers are into, because folks used to be content to come to a revival—so-called revival—and just hear about the exploits and the adventures of the speakers themselves. But beginning in the late ‘90s and certainly in the last decade, the latest trend is actually “schools of supernatural ministry,” so called, where young people can enroll for a week, a month, even a 2-year program, to learn to “do the stuff.” They call it “learning to do the stuff,” because they’re hungry for the things of God, and a lot of these are sincere young men and women—born-again believers—but they’re actively seeking to perform signs and wonders.
Tom: As though you could practice a gift of the Spirit. In other words, these things are—they come by the Spirit, according to Corinthians, okay? They’re the work of the Spirit, as the Spirit manifests. It’s not something…you know, I love Dave—Dave Hunt, I’m referring to—he said, “Well, if you’re going to move along those lines, and you’re going to practice miraculous…the miraculous in the gifts of the Spirit, why not try walking on water? Go home and practice that.”
Mark: Well, Tom, it’s almost as ridiculous as that notion. Some of the more bizarre teachings that have come into this movement through one individual, Prophetess Patricia King of Extreme Prophetic in Arizona—her ministry school has even had teams of interns and students visiting morgues all over Phoenix in an attempt to literally raise the dead.
Tom: And what’s their success rate?
Tom: (Laughing) You know, folks, we laugh because on the one hand it hits us in a funny way, but this is tragic! These are…we’re talking about our young people. Mark, I’m going to go through a list—you know, we can’t talk about all of them, but I want people to be aware of it. Here are some of the organizations that are connected in some fashion with the New Apostolic Reformation:
The Elijah List; the International House of Prayer (which is also known as IHOP, although I think they were being sued over using that from the pancake place), but nevertheless, we’re talking about—in this particular…International House of Prayer, that draws young people to tune in.
Tom: Because, again, it’s connected with Joel’s Army, and parents unwittingly send their children there because they think it’s more spiritual—they’re going to grow in the faith, and so on. No, they’re being trapped into a cult, basically.
Tom: At least an organization that has manifestations that you couldn’t call anything but occultic.
Tom: Bethel Church, Redding, California; Identity Network; Morningstar Ministries; Streams Ministries International; Glory of Zion, City Bible Church, Portland OR, and the Christian International Apostolic Network.
Now, here we go back to C. Peter Wagner, his International Coalition of Apostles has a membership of hundreds of those who profess to be apostles manifesting apostolic authority. This is ludicrous! But it’s also tragic, because people wanting, seeking after, spirituality that’s not according to the Scriptures, are being led down a primrose path.
Mark: Right. Tom, do you think we should mention some of the individuals involved?
Tom: Yes. Yes.
Mark: Well, one of the unique things about the NAR and the Latter Rain Movement is they give equal authority for male and female teachers, so they recognize women as “Prophets” and “Pastors.” But of the men involved, Steve Schultz, Elijah List; Mike Bickel, Bill Johnson, of Bethel Church, and Kris Vallotton, Che Ahn, Rick Joyner, Todd Bentley, John Paul Jackson, Chuck Pierce, Frank Damazio, Matt Sorger, Randy DeMains, Bob Jones (not of Bob Jones University), Bobby Connnor, James Gall, Francis Frangipane, Bill Yount, John Belt, Kim Clement, and many others.
Tom: Again, folks, these individuals they’re following, I think of the Scripture in Acts, Acts 20, where Paul is speaking to the Ephesian elders that “After my departing, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock, and they will draw away disciples after themselves.”
Tom: And this is in the church, folks.
Tom: So these people obviously claim to be a part of the body of Christ.
Mark: And, Tom, we don’t want to be accused of any bias, so let’s include some of the women, shall we?
Tom: Go ahead…
Mark: Women prophetesses in the movement would include Patricia King, Charnelle Wolverton, Cindy Jacobs, Barbie Breathitt, Paulette Reed, Victoria Boyson, Sandie Freed, Kathie Walters, Kim Hadaway, Catherine Brown, Reeni Mederos, Kathi Pelton, Stacey Campbell, and others. And, Tom, I’m almost afraid to say it, but the teachings and manifestations of many of these individuals [are] tantamount to witchcraft.
Tom: Look, if we’re challenged on this, here’s our…it’s not even a fallback, it’s our position. “To the law and testimony,” Isaiah, what is it, 8:20, I think. “To the law and testimony. If they speak not according to this word, there is no light in them.”
It’s not like an individual may miss out on some things and have something correct, but with regard to these women or these men, show us! Give us chapter and verse. Show us. Don’t give us some experiential, subjective, “Oh, I heard from God, and He told me this…” If I’m going to support any of this—and this is our encouragement to people who may object to us naming names and bringing these people forward—look, if the Jews in the synagogue in the Greek city of Berea—these were not even believers. These were Jews in the Greek synagogue—well, the Jewish synagogue in the Greek city of Berea. Again, the book of Acts, Luke is commending these Jews for listening to what the Apostle Paul had to say, but the real commendation is “then they searched the scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” That’s not just for me, or Mark, or…this is for everybody who claims to be a believer in Christ. That’s the basis for discernment. If we don’t have an understanding of the Scriptures—and, look, we have different levels of maturity there, but what does it take to say, “Hey, Brother, Sister, give me chapter and verse for this so that I can be confident that what you’re saying is really true to God, true to the Word of God. I’ve got to be a Berean.
Mark: That’s right, Tom. The grand irony in all of this is that while the NAR are prophets and apostles, hold conferences and rallies, in which they’re free to declare and decree literally whatever they feel like at the moment, whether in an apparent tongue, or even in plain language, there’s practically zero effort to test, confirm, or authenticate by anyone else either during or after the “new revelation,” or supposed Word from the Lord is delivered. They fail to test the spirits, 1 John:4:1: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, because there are many false prophets that are gone out into the world.”
Tom: Right, and so the sad part is they are leading millions down a primrose path. And how many of those millions are true believers? You know, that’s the thing about being a believer, we can go astray, we can buy into a false teaching, a false doctrine, but a true believer has the Holy Spirit within him. To do what? To bring about conviction when we go away from the Word of God.
So the Holy Spirit is there, but they have to be willing. They have to buy into what the Word of God says, not what so-called prophets and apostles, new “prophets and apostles” are saying. We need to get back to the prophets that by God’s grace, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, put down in the Scriptures…
Tom: ...what we need to know. I mean, it’s God’s… we call the Bible the Manufacturer’s Handbook, giving us instructions as to how we’re to go about these things, as opposed to ideas and things that men make up.
Mark: Well, the tragedy, Tom, is that those who even dare question or try to test the writings or teachings of these men and women are regarded as “Jezebel spirits,” because Jezebel sought to kill the prophets of God.
Tom: “Jezebel spirits.” The issue has always been, down through history—biblical history, church history, and so on—if you don’t like what the prophet has to say, you kill the prophet, shoot the prophet, come up with something to put down the prophet so that your teaching can go forth. But again, if we don’t have the Word of God to reference them, all discernment is gone.
Tom: There’s no basis for discernment, so we’re up for grabs with whatever the person teaches.
Mark: Tom, it’s just like the lament of the Lord through the prophet Jeremiah, when he wrote, “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means, and my people love to have it so. What will ye do in the end thereof?”
Tom: Mark, I want to mention…we’ve just got a few minutes left…certainly much of what we’re talking about, down through the years, you could search the archives of The Berean Call, Dave Hunt has written about these things, I’ve written about these things, some of the things that you’ve put in our newsletter refer to these things. So that’s a resource.
But I also want to encourage people who are concerned about this, especially if they know people whose children have gone off to IHOP, to the International House of Prayer, or these other organizations—the schools that you mentioned, of prophets and so on—oh, a side note: we mentioned this last week, but it’s worth mentioning again. Now, Mark, if they’re a prophet, okay, they claim to be prophets, we now have schools of the prophets, and so on, slight difference between the prophets of old and the “new prophets,” in terms of accuracy. What would you say about that?
Mark: Right. Well, Bob Jones, who’s one of the founding fathers of this movement…
Tom: Not the Bob Jones of South Carolina…
Mark: Right, the false prophet Bob Jones set forth the idea that you only had to be about 60 percent accurate. Any less than that, I guess, and he said that God would be striking people down left and right like Ananias and Sapphira.
Mark: He actually credited God with giving false prophecies through false prophets. He called it “shooting blanks.”
Tom: In terms of discernment here, you’d think that just on the basis of logic people would object to this. Because as we’ve stated here the last program, this program, that these individuals are higher in terms of their accuracy, in terms of … these are new prophets, new apostles, and so on. So they transcend…they basically are above the Scriptures, so come on! If they’re better than the prophets of old, and the prophets of old were stoned when they got one thing wrong, now you have these new prophets that only need to have 60 percent accuracy?
Tom: I mean this is incredibly…it’s stupid! But, sadly, tragically, people are drawn into this. Now, we offer a book, and I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It’s called Wandering Stars by Keith Gibson. The subtitle is Contending for the Faith with the New Apostles and Prophets. Mark, would you give that book some thumbs up?
Mark: Oh, there’s no question. It is probably the most up-to-date, comprehensive look at the movement, and it does so from an objective, loving point of view…
Tom: Without a doubt. Without a doubt. Now, folks, here, as we said, millions and millions are buying into this. There are connections between other movements, from the environmental movement to the Tea Party, I mean we see it, the New Christian Right, and now we have the New Christian Left, okay, which is really a new thing, but there it is in spades. So there’s a connection between all of these things.
Nevertheless, folks, I want to end with this. From God’s Word, these are our marching orders. I don’t see this thing turning around. It is moving toward the development of the kingdom of the Antichrist, the religion of the Antichrist, without a doubt, and we’ve documented this over and over again. But here is what God’s Word has to say. These are our marching orders with regard to what we’ve been talking about. This is 2 Timothy:2:24: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive [in other words, we don’t go about this stridently]…must not strive but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, …patience, in meekness instructing those who oppose themselves.” There’s an interesting phrase, because for a true believer, he’s just gotten in the way of himself being fruitful and productive in the Lord…
Mark: His own worst enemy.
Tom: Exactly. “…in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God peradventure will give them repentance…”
Tom: God gives them repentance. We don’t coerce, or force, or whatever. We just inform. “…give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth, and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil.” Many of these things are doctrines of demons. You can’t get away from that.
Tom: “…out of the snare of the devil who are taken captive by him at his will.” So that’s our prayer. If some of our listeners object to what we’ve said, be a Berean. Search the Scriptures. You, you know, this isn’t just hearing from Mark and me. This is on your shoulders to check these things out. But check them out through to Word of God.
Gary: You’ve been listening to Search the Scriptures 24/7 with T.A. McMahon, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. We offer a wide variety of materials to help you in your study of God’s Word. For a complete of materials and a free subscription to our monthly newsletter, contact us at PO Box 7019, Bend, OR, 97708; call us at 800-937-6638; or visit our website at thebereancall.org.
In [an upcoming] program, Tom will be joined by his guest Jim McCarthy, author of The Gospel According to Rome and John Calvin Goes to Berkeley, as they discuss discipleship.
I’m Gary Carmichael. Thanks for joining us. And we encourage you to search the Scriptures 24/7.