New Apostolic Reformation—a Mountain of Misleading

New Apostolic Reformation

A Mountain of Misleading

By Dr. David Bowen

Diabolical: False Prophets, Cults and Demonic Deceptions

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The book of Acts introduces a man named Simon, who practiced magic.

“Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, ‘Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’ But Peter said to him, ‘May your silver perish with you because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.'” (Acts 8:18-22, NASB)

Two thousand years after Simon the magician, the world still has “spiritual leaders” who want to have spiritual authority. The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a dominionist movement based on the belief that God is restoring the offices of Prophet and Apostle. The movement’s premise is that prophets and apostles alone have the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth.

C. Peter Wagner

The movement is traced back to C. Peter Wagner, who claims Apostles and Prophets will rule the Church of the 21st Century. This movement began as Wagner became known for teaching and promoting church growth and spiritual warfare. He gradually claimed to be the visionary Apostolic leader he espoused and anointed himself NAR’s “Presiding Apostle.”

The New Apostolic Reformation does not have a formal membership but is well received in the Pentecostal and charismatic circles. In 1998, Wagner authored a book entitled Churchquake, with the subheading, “The New Apostolic Reformation is shaking up the church as we know it.” In this work, Wagner examined present-day apostolic church networks that are unofficially bound together by a shared theology. He claimed that the NAR was not involved in politics; however, in June 2022, his original book, Dominion, was republished as Dominion!: Your Role in Bringing Heaven to Earth. This work clarified the separation of the NAR from the biblically orthodox evangelical Christian Church. Wagner’s dominion theology, or what he called a new paradigm, is used to promote topics such as the second apostolic age, social transformation, and God having an open mind.

NAR Teachers

Kingdom Now and the Seven Mountain Mandate

The NAR movement is also known by other titles. The most common are Kingdom Now and the Seven Mountain Mandate. The seven mountains are family, religion, economy, government, education, media, and entertainment. Those named mountains represent the arenas NAR advocates believe the new Apostles can and will gain dominion—ushering in the Kingdom of God now.

It is true believers should be active in all aspects of society, but we do not believe the Kingdom of God will be realized on the earth until the Prince of Peace reigns from Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Also, Scripture reveals that after Moses spent time on Mt. Sinai with God, Satan used the mountaintop experience as a counterfeit. In that regard, mountaintops and “high places” were often associated with idolatry, where people practiced paganism and did not follow God’s Word (i.e.: Ezekiel 20:28; Hosea 4:13).

The Passion Translation

NAR leaders such as Lance Wallnau, who introduced the “Seven Mountains of Culture,” and Dutch Sheets, who proclaimed himself to be an NAR apostle, have passed the baton to the next generation of NAR preachers, teachers, and heretics. Brian Simmons, a NAR apostle, has publicly stated that in 2009, Jesus Christ personally visited his room and commissioned him to write a new translation of the New Testament and the Hebrew Bible, a work he called The Passion Translation. On the Passion website at, NAR pastors such as Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, California, praise the translation as “One of the greatest things to happen with Bible translation in my lifetime.” Bobbie Houston, Co-Founder of Hillsong Church, also praised this NEW translation.

Isaiah 2:2 and Deuteronomy 7:1

Because Isaiah 2:2 mentions mountains, the Apostles of the Seven Mountain Mandate use the passage loosely and completely out of context to support their “mandate.” This is actually what Isaiah prophesied: “In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.” Another passage the NAR uses to support their theology is Deuteronomy 7:1, which speaks of the seven kingdoms Israel was to drive out of Canaan.

Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry

Modern-day leaders of the NAR are misleading millions of followers. For example, Bill Johnson’s Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry website promises to “equip you to walk in the gifts of the Spirit.” How will they do this? They will teach you to “become a modern-day revivalist, get equipped to bring the Kingdom of God to your sphere of influence.” They proclaim, “We’ve spent the last 20 years equipping revivalists like you.” Bethel offers a free e-book entitled “The Supernatural Ways of Royalty.” Its website proudly proclaims to have over 13,000 graduates and operate in over 100 countries.

Shawn Bolz and Michael Todd

Shawn Bolz of Bolz Ministries, whose bio says he is a “TV host, news commentator, media producer, and a Christian minister, has been driving a positive narrative in news stories, the entertainment industry, and social justice.” He has written books such as The Keys to Heaven’s Economy: An Angelic Visitation from the Minister of Finance. Bolz also has a spiritual growth academy in which he offers courses such as:

  • School of the Prophets with Gary and Sarah Morgan
  • Shut Hell Up with Real Talk Kim
  • Words of Knowledge with Shawn Bolz
  • School of Healing with Cal Pierce
  • Understanding Signs and Symbols with Troy Brewer
  • Everyday Angels with Charity Kayembe
  • School of Deliverance with Mark Virkler
  • Become Emotionally and Spiritually Healthy with Madi Stonier
  • Are You A Feeler with Matt Sorger
  • Your Prophetic Journey with Shawn Bolz
  • The Power of God and Deliverance with Apostle Kathryn Krick
  • How To Hear God Through Dreams with Charity Kayembe

Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a word of faith teacher who has followed in the footsteps of former word of faith teachers such as Kenneth Hagin, who was known for making people “drunk in the spirit.” Transformation Church’s statement of faith lists health and prosperity as one of its core beliefs. Todd continuously takes Scripture out of context, misleading those who hear him. For example, Hebrews 11:1 begins with the words, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for…” Todd takes the word “now” and rebukes anyone who does not have what he calls “now faith.” Another time Todd, citing Jesus healing a blind man in Mark 8, actually brought a man on stage and wiped his spit on his face. This “teaching” turns a miracle of Christ into a blasphemous spectacle. The same can be said for popular preachers such as Steven Furtick, who publicly claims from the pulpit, “I am God almighty.”

NAR Teachers

Calling Out False Teaching

What’s happening on the stages and online with these NAR “pastors” is nothing new. Like Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8, this isn’t the last time people have tried to “buy” God’s power. Church history includes false doctrines such as Purgatory and the wicked practice of selling indulgences—a Catholic Church practice Martin Luther very publicly denounced. He also called out men such as John Tetzel, who was known for the catchphrase: “So bald der pfennig in Kasten klingt, die Seele aus des Fegefeuer springt” (meaning “When the money in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs”). Luther correctly recognized that it is heresy to promote exchanging funds for God’s grace.

The Church is commissioned to proclaim God’s Word, not prey upon His sheep. In doing so, believers are told to call out false teachings like NAR. Paul wrote, “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery, they deceive the hearts of the naïve” (Romans 16:17-18, NASB).

(Additional information on the cultish New Apostolic Reformation is available in Teaching Evangelist Dave Bowen’s blogs and podcasts found on this website Interpreting the Times at

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