Below are several resources that opened my eyes to the truth concerning the New Apostolic Reformation and Word of Faith movements. Tap here to go directly to the resource list.
A Little About My Own Journey
For about ten years, I was unknowingly deceived by false teachings and practices from movements known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and Word of Faith (WOF)/prosperity gospel movements (Note: Though NAR was a term coined by one of their very own, it is typically called the apostolic and prophetic movement or the signs and wonders movement by those in it).
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.”Galatians 1:6-8 (ESV)
A few years before realizing I had fallen prey to this movement, I had been experiencing a sort of cognitive dissonance between God’s truth and what I was being taught. Something just wasn’t adding up for me but I wasn’t sure what at that time. Because of the effect this began to have on my life, along with the closing of our former church, I began to search for the truth.
In late 2019, I discovered the documentary American Gospel: In Christ Alone and also a podcast episode about a woman who had attended Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry called “Deflecting from Bethel.” I also found two books* on the topic of modern day prophesy and the prosperity gospel that helped me see the truth based on God’s Word. This led me to study God’s Word in its proper context for the first time.
(*The books are Health, Wealth & Happiness: How the Prosperity Gospel Overshadows the Gospel of Christ by David W. Jones, and Prophetic Masquerade: Learn to Use the Word of God to Unmask the Wolves Among the Sheep by Kevin Kleint.)
I began to see more clearly how things I previously learned did not line up with God’s Word. Especially in the more well-known ministries that I used to glean from (International House of Prayer, Bethel Redding, MorningStar Ministries, etc.), the focus seemed to be mostly on getting things for ourselves through prophetic words and encounters with God, through seeing signs, wonders and miracles, moving in spiritual gifts, receiving visions and dreams, and decreeing and declaring rather than humbly asking God in prayer.
On top of that, the big name prophets and teachers rarely had a good track record, with prophetic words that turned out to be wrong, were focused on us rather than God’s exaltation, or were so general they could apply to anyone and anything. Or they lived in a way that did not reflect Christ outside of ministry, even in deeply harmful or shameful ways that hinder the church’s witness to the world. Even the standard for prophetic words was not biblically based, so it is no wonder things are so amiss.
I realized that something was not right. And how things also seemed to be far more about us than about God, more about experiencing, feeling or getting something than about worshiping and seeking God for Himself and whatever He saw fit in His will to do. In these movements, verses are mostly taken out of context resulting in the twisting of the Scriptures to mean something else.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)
The Bible was said to be sufficient, and yet this was not being walked out in practice: Instead encounters, prophecy, visions and dreams were highlighted and helped direct our lives, along with unbiblical spiritual warfare and prayer formulas, wrongly spiritualizing numbers and symbols, positive confession, decreeing and declaring, etc. Some of these practices even mirror New Age teachings and practices, which we are not called to redeem as many in the movement teach.
I would never doubt that there are people in these movements who are true believers, but unfortunately they are deceived by the above mentioned things as I and many others once were. I find myself praying for them, that just as God opened my eyes to the truth, He would open theirs. I pray they will love Christ, the Gospel and His Word enough to receive the truth and the Gospel as it is biblically and come to walk it out in a way that truly honors God, despite all they might have to give up in doing so—knowing myself how much I have had to sacrifice in this journey as well. Yet even so, the Lord is worthy of it all!
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world.”Hebrews 1:1-2 (ESV)
An Update: Where I Am in My Faith Now
After a time of rest and prayerfully seeking God and His Word, I’ve currently found fellowship in a local Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) church as of 2022. I am learning so much as each service centers on the liturgy—involving God’s Word, the historic creeds of the Church, and Holy Communion.. I feel I have finally found my home in a biblical community that seeks to honor God, to love Him and to serve others as He calls us to.
Though this isn’t an exhaustive list, below you’ll find various resources, testimonies, and more:
NAR Recovery Facebook Group (Non-Denominational): A group for those who have walked away from the false teaching of the New Apostolic Reformation and Word of Faith movements. A place to ask questions, discover and share helpful resources, receive prayer and encouragement, and find biblical believers to connect with.
- Counterfeit Kingdom: The Dangers of New Revelation, New Prophets, & New Age Practices in the Church by Holly Pivec, R. Douglas Geivett
God, Greed and the (Prosperity) Gospel: How Truth Overwhelms a Life Built on Lies by Costi Hinn
- Health, Wealth & Happiness: How the Prosperity Gospel Overshadows the Gospel of Christ by David W. Jones
- Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will (OR: How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Impressions, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, Etc.) by Kevin DeYoung
- Prophetic Masquerade: Learn to Use the Word of God to Unmask the Wolves Among the Sheep by Kevin Kleint
Videos & Podcasts
- American Gospel – Christ Alone: YouTube, short version | Digital Streaming & DVD
- Dawn Hill: I Was a False Prophet (YouTube)
- Are There Scriptures That Support Word of Faith and New Age? (YouTube)
- The Shocking Truth about the Law of Attraction & Word of Faith (YouTube)
- The Truth About the Passion “Translation” (YouTube)
- Post NAR Traumatic Stress – A must read!
- Post New Apostolic Reformation Reflections – Many helpful thoughts someone leaving NAR/WOF can relate to.
- New Apostolic Reformation Kryptonite — Truths that are “Kryptonite” to destructive doctrines that have crept into the church.
- Did a False Teacher Heal You? — Is there truth to a claim of healing by a false teacher?
- Does a Christian Have Authority to Decree and Declare Things Over Their Lives? — Why decreeing and declaring is not biblical.
- How to View Claims About Visions and Dreams — Would such an experience deny “Sola Scriptura?” It depends.
- Invalid Reasons for Staying in a Church You Know Teaches False Doctrine
- NAR Recovery Roadmap — via Costi Hinn and For the Gospel Ministries
- Often Forgotten Scriptures You Need to Know — “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching…” 2 Timothy 4:3
- Should Your Church Sing Jesus Culture and Bethel Music? — Five reasons not to, even regarding songs that might be doctrinally sound.
- Why I Must Oppose the New Apostolic Reformation — Legitimate reasons not to be silent about this issue.
Articles Here on IPFJ:
- ”Faith Comes by Hearing…” – What Does Romans 10:17 Really Mean?
- Discerning True from False in the Messages Influencing Us
- Fear Is Not the Opposite of Faith
- Prophetic Masquerade: Using God’s Word to Discern True and False Teaching (Book Review)
- The True Meaning of Ezekiel 37’s Valley of Dry Bones
- The False Word of Faith Gospel Versus the Gospel of Christ
Disclaimer: The inclusion of any book, video or other link on the IPFJ website does not mean IPFJ agrees with or endorses everything an author, creator or speaker says, writes, believes or stands for.