The Rise of the New Apostolic Reformation

The Rise of the New Apostolic Reformation

A militant movement has arisen in conservative Christianity that is seeking to take over the world before Christ’s second coming

Trevor O’Reggio

A new religious movement is emerging on the religious landscape that, if successful, could have major ramifications for the nation and the Adventist view of eschatology. Almost 500 years after the Protestant Reformation, this new religious movement calls itself the “New Apostolic Reformation” and is claiming to usher in the most significant changes in Protestantism since Martin Luther.

The stated goal of this new movement is to eradicate denominations and form a unified church that will be victorious against evil. They have repudiated the “secret rapture” doctrine held by the majority of mainline Protestants. “Instead of escaping the earth (in the Rapture) prior to the turmoil of the end-times, they teach that believers will defeat evil by taking dominion, or control, over all sectors of society and government, resulting in mass conversions to their brand of Charismatic evangelicalism and a Christian utopia or ‘Kingdom’ on earth.”1

This new movement believes in the coming of Christ, but that it is long after they have prepared the earth for His coming. This is not a new idea but a new reformulation of Postmillennialism. The major difference between them and traditional Postmillennialism is in their strategy and methodology to achieve their objectives. Their core theology of Dominionism is not new either, but rather, echoes the Reconstructionist view of R. J. Rushdoony and others. Dominion theology teaches that before the second coming of Jesus, believers will take dominion over every area of life in preparation for the coming of Jesus.



The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a Protestant Christian movement consisting of charismatics and Pentecostals. There is also a movement of charismatic Catholics who identify with their beliefs. The NAR is growing at a rate of nine million per year.

The recognized founder and leader of the NAR is C. Peter Wagner, former professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary of World Mission. He is also founder of Global Harvest Ministries, presiding apostle and founder of the International Coalition of Apostles, and cofounder of World Prayer Center. “There is a hierarchy in the NAR that resembles the Roman Catholic Church. Once world dominion is accomplished, those at the top level will have apostolic authority over other ministries. Are you seeing the danger yet? This could mean literally thousands of ministries with so-called apostles and prophets at the helm! Every person will have an apostle or prophet to whom they are accountable. According to one source the coalition includes “several hundred apostles across the U.S. and about 40 nations, international training centers and prayer warrior communication networks in all 50 states and worldwide.”2

Rick Warren, one of the most influential religious leaders of our time and author of the best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life, is also associated with this movement. On Sunday, April 17, 2005, speaking before 30,000 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, Warren announced his plan: “The bottom line is that we intend to reinvent mission strategy in the 21st century. As I stated, this will be a new Reformation. The First Reformation returned us to the message of the original church. It was a reformation of doctrine—what the church believes. This Second Reformation will return us to the mission of the original church. It will be a reformation of purpose—what the church does in the world.”3

Martha West, writing in the Conservative Crusader, calls it a “damnable heresy” that many Christians are not yet aware of, labeled “The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) a.k.a. Dominionism/Kingdom Now/Replacement Theology. . . . The NAR is not new at all. Only the name has been changed—many times—to fool people into thinking there is a ‘New Wave’ or a ‘Paradigm Shift’ taking place in Christendom. Over the years they have dubbed themselves Joel’s Army, Latter Rain, Manifest Sons of God, and the list goes on. They’re ushering in ‘a reformation greater in scale than the reformation of the 1500’s.’”4

What makes the movement so dangerous? It is the divine mandate that they think they possess. One liberal pundit described it by sharing that the NAR has a mission to “take control of communities and nations through large networks of ‘prayer warriors’ whose spiritual warfare is used to expel and destroy the demons that cause societal ills. Once the territorial demons, witches, and generational curses are removed, the ‘born-again’ Christians . . . take control of society.”5

“This is no fringe movement, but a rapidly institutionalizing entity larger than most Protestant denominations. The leadership has forged this movement from several strands of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity, often referred to as the Third Wave. Under the Convening Apostle, C. Peter Wagner, they have formed an international entity encompassing thousands of independent, Pentecostal, and Charismatic churches worldwide, as well as hundreds of cross-denominational parachurch organizations, their own educational and accreditation systems, conventions, media, and businesses.”6



C. Peter Wagner gave the movement its title: New Apostolic Reformation. In 1999, he described it as follows: “the New Apostolic Reformation is an extraordinary work of God at the close of the twentieth century which is to a significant extent changing the shape of Protestant Christianity around the world.”7 He further described NAR as a blanket term for churches in the Second Apostolic Age, which he says is in an “adopter phase,” meaning that many churches have not yet heard of the movement and those who have heard of it are not yet ready to participate.

John Benefiel, one of the so-called apostles of the movement, describes it not as a fringe movement but a rapidly united prayer reformation network. The movement differs greatly from the traditional Evangelical and Pentecostal movement in its makeup. Rachel Tabachnick describes the movement as “multi-racial and includes women in positions of both apostle and prophet. At first glance many of their organizations might appear as promoting the social gospel but their message is quite the opposite. While they participate in charitable activities, societal transformation is to be a supernatural event which can only take place was the demons are expelled and society is purged of evil influences such as homosexuality, religious pluralism, and the separation of church and state.”8


How Is the Movement Organized?

There is no central organization with an identifiable name, because the New Apostolic Reformation is a coalition of church groups and churches. Their so-called apostles and prophets head up a series of organizations that provide leadership, direction, strategies, methodologies, and theology for the movement. The recognized and authorized leaders are called apostles and prophets. The apostles are the highest authorities and the ones who provide leadership and direction to the group. Using Ephesians 4 as a biblical justification, they assert their leadership role based on the spiritual gifts identified by Paul, who ranked apostles as the highest gift. Next to the apostles are the prophets, who are God’s spokespersons, setting forth God’s counsel and wisdom to their people. These prophets, however, are to be subjected to the apostles while working alongside to carry out the mission of the movement.

Some apostles, called “market apostles,” are workplace apostles. Their emphasis is evangelism in the workplace and the eventual “Christian dominion over business and finance. Os Hillman, based in Atlanta, heads the International Coalition of Workplace Ministries and Market Leaders. Apostles who are already heavily invested in business are urged to merge ministry with business.



Who are the recognized leaders in the movement? The leading apostle is C. Peter Wagner (founder of the movement); others among the illustrious group of apostles are Doris Wagner (wife of C. Peter Wagner), Samuel Rodriguez, Ed Silvoso, Jim Ammerman, Cindy Jacobs (top-ranking woman apostle), Os Hillman, Julius Oyet, Pat Francis, Bill Haman, Lou Engle, Harry Jackson, Lance Wallnau, and John Benefiel. Among the leading prophets are Todd Bentley and Rick Warren.



A number of organizations and ministries have various responsibilities. Some of those organizations are:

1. The International Coalition of Apostles (ICA) is a network of several hundred apostles in the United States and about 40 other nations formed by the convening apostle, C. Peter Wagner. Each of these apostles has ministries under him or her.   

2. The Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders (ACPE) is an inner circle of about two to three dozen apostles.

3. The International Association of Healing Ministries (IAHR) is part of the Kingdom Health Care System, an international network of healing centers headed by Carl Pierce, an apostle of C. Peter Wagner, a faith healer, and demon exorcist. According to Pierce, “Healing is the undergarment that God’s army will wear to support the armor for battle.”9

4. The International Society of Deliverance Ministries (ISDM), headed by Bill and Janet Sadduth, exists to expel demons that cause physical and emotional pain.

5. The Apostolic Council for Educational Accountability (ACEA) is an accrediting system, under the apostolic authority of Leo Lawson, which ensures that all the various organizations and ministries adhere to the ideology and goals of the NAR.

6. The Eagle Vision Apostolic Team (EVAT) is a secretive inner-circle group whose membership list is not publicized.

7. The Wagner Leadership Institute (WLI), led by Apostle Carl Pierce, is an international network of faith-healing centers.

8. The Heartland Apostolic Network (HAN), under the directorship of Apostle John Benefiel and based in Oklahoma, is a coordinating center for prayer networks in the United States.

9. The Global Harvest Ministries, the personal para-church ministry of C. Peter and Doris Wagner, is also the legal parent entity of many of the other NAR organizations listed above, including ACEA, ACKW, EVAT, ICA, ISPM, and WLI.10


History of the Movement

When, where, and why did this movement emerge? Since it sees itself as the second great Protestant Reformation, it traces its beginnings back to that event, but its more immediate antecedent may be found in the Second Great Awakening. During the early 19th century, America experienced what became known as the Second Great Awakening, considered the most profound and pervasive religious revival in the history of the nation. American Evangelicalism was born out of this great revival.

Toward the end of the 19th century, a new wave of revivalism growing out of the Second Great Awakening would sweep the nation, resulting in the birth of Pentecostalism, which is considered the major fountainhead for this new movement. The NAR was founded through the effort of C. Peter Wagner. Since its formation, he has developed an international network of apostles and prophets that has spawned a series of networks and organizations across the globe.

The New Apostolic Reformation sprang primarily from the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. Hector Torres traces the roots of the NAR to the beginning of the Pentecostal movement under William T. Seymour. A revival movement broke out in Azusa, California, that soon spread worldwide. Speaking in tongues and possessing a Pentecostal spirit that would radically change the structure of the Evangelical church characterized these movements. The movement was, in essence, the beginning of a process of exchange and restoration that would continue through the rest of the 20th and into the 21st century. First, “various doctrinal changes were restored to the church. Among these were prophetic Presbytery for ordination to the ministry, personal prophesy, the restoration of praise, dance, the arts, drama and different expressions such as laughter, wailing and being slain in the spirit.”11

The principles of deliverance and controversy over demon possession of believers were also re-established. In the 1970s, the church experienced restoration of the doctrine of blessing, inheritance, and prosperity of saints through faith. Torres here speaks of the prosperity gospel advocated often by televangelists, some of whom have gone to the extreme and profited financially at the expense of the gospel. In the 1980s and 1990s, the restoration of the personal prophetic word to the church, cities, and nations brought a renewed understanding of the ministry of prophecy and of its role in spiritual warfare for the end-times. Below there is a historical chronology of the movement leading to the NAR as it is traced by Torres who was quoting from Bill Hamon’s book, Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God:


Chronology of the Movement



Major Truth Restored



Salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8, 9).



Water baptism, separation of church and state.



Sanctification, the church set apart from the world.


Faith healing

Divine healing for the physical body, healing in the atonement.



Holy Spirit baptism with speaking in tongues, gifts of the Holy Spirit.


Latter rain

Prophetic presbytery, singing praises and melodious worship.



Evangelistic ministry and mass evangelism, evangelism reactivated.



Renewal of all restored truth to all past movement churches



Faith confessions, prosperity and victorious attitude and life, teaching ministry re-established as a major fivefold ministry



Prophetic, activating gifts, warfare praise, prophets to nations. Prophet ministry restored and a company of prophets brought forth.



Miraculous signs and wonders, apostolic ministry, and unity, great harvest of souls. Apostolic ministry being restored to bring divine order and structure, finalize restoration of fivefold ministers.


Theology of the NAR: Dominion Theology

The New Apostolic Reformation can now be defined as a distinct movement with a unique ideology. Like many American fundamentalists, the apostles teach that the events of the end-times are imminent, but unlike fundamentalists, the NAR apostles see this as a time of great victory for the church.

In a 2007 letter, founder C. Peter Wagner stated his views in the following way: “Our theological bedrock is what has been known as Dominion Theology. This means that our divine mandate is to do whatever is necessary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to retake the dominion of God’s creation which Adam forfeited to Satan in the Garden of Eden. Our goal, in a word, is transformation. . . . We want to see whole cities and regions and states and nations transformed to support the values of the kingdom of God. This will happen only as kingdom-focused saints become the head and not the tail of each of Lance Wallnau’s seven mountains or molders of culture. Here in America, we have done fairly well in leading the religion mountain, but not the other six.”12

The theological basis for this Dominion theology finds support in Deuteronomy 28:13, 14; Genesis 1:28; Psalm 24:1. Dominion theology proposes the view that Christians gain complete authority over the earth before Jesus comes. Charismatic Dominionists are found within the Reconstructionist camps of R. J. Rushdoony. This is the partnership of Dispensationalists and the Dominionists that projected the 17 Christian worldview documents, “The Manifesto of the Christian Church.” Charismatic and non-Charismatic covenant and Dispensational theologians have joined arms in prayer and effort to see revival, renewal, and reformation in the church and American culture. Since 1980, much of Pentecostalism has begun to adopt aspects of Dominion theology.

“Dominion theology is predicated upon three basic beliefs: (1) Satan usurped humanity’s dominion over the earth through the temptation of Adam and Eve; (2) The Church is God’s instrument to take dominion back from Satan; (3) Jesus cannot come or will not return until the Church has taken dominion by gaining control of the earth’s government and societal institutions.”13

Dominion eschatology is the examination of future events through the lens of the dominion mandate as interpreted from Genesis 1:28 and Matthew 28:19-29. The church will increase until Jesus returns and contradicts opposing views that see the church waning in influence in the last days. This view does not imply absolute dominion as in a sinless world, but a preparatory dominion as in the earth being prepared for the return of the King.

In understanding Dominion Theology, three key points must be made clear: (1) God’s covenant people take dominion of the earth—this is the main theme of every covenant God has made with humanity, and the covenant with the church is no different; (2) the covenant consists of a twofold process in which humans blessed by God are given a mandate to take dominion of the earth for purpose of blessing it; (3) the first advent of Christ created the blessed seed on the earth, namely, the church. The second coming of Jesus will take place after the blessed seed has completed the dominion process.

The gospel of salvation is achieved by setting up the kingdom of God as a literal and physical kingdom to be advanced on earth in the present age. Some Dominionists liken the New Testament kingdom of the Old Testament Israel in ways that justify taking up the sword, or other methods of punitive judgment, to war against enemies of their kingdom. They assign to the church duties and rights that belong scripturally only to Jesus Christ. This includes the esoteric idea that believers can incarnate Christ and function as His body on earth to establish His kingdom rule. A great deal of emphasis is placed on human effort, which results in a diminishing of the doctrine of God. A great wealth transfer from the ungodly to the godly facilitates the rapid expansion of the kingdom.

Dominion theology is rooted in Reconstructionist Christianity. Others have traced its roots back to American Puritanism. Peter Leithart says, “Reconstructionist Christianity is more than a resurrection of Puritanism. It is refined Puritanism, tried in the furnace of opposition and hence more consistent to the basic premises of Calvinism than seventeenth century Puritanism.”14 This writer suggests that there is the possibility of a fusion with old-time Dispensational eschatology, creating a new Fundamentalism. It appears that is precisely what has happened with the rise of the New Apostolic Reformation. There is now a fusion of Dominion Theology with Dispensationalism. This union is not equal, however, for those who embraced the secret rapture are now willing to put that view on pause and embrace a “victorious eschatology,” in which they will not be secretly raptured from the earth but will remain here to transform and rule over it.


Teachings and Roles of Apostles

One of the central teachings of the NAR is the restoration of apostles and prophets to the overcoming end-time church. These leaders will provide direction and counsel to the end-time church. Hector Torres finds support for the restoration of apostles and prophets in Acts 3:19-21, in which God promises to restore all things. He describes the last days as “a moment of refreshing revival as a result of genuine repentance. This is a necessary precursor to Christ’s coming and in order for this to happen there must be a restoration of all things.”15

During the Christian era, apostasy infiltrated the church and robbed it of many of its spiritual gifts and brought in false doctrines. Beginning with the 16th-century Reformation, God began a process of restoration. (See chronology.) C. Peter Wagner says: “We are living in the midst of the most epochal changes in the structure of the church.”16 He calls this the “Second Apostolic Age.”

The restoration of the apostolic ministry, according to Torres, began in the 1990s “with the purpose of the church entering the new millennium in the fullness of Christ having the five ministries: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. This new movement, called the New Apostolic Reformation by C. Peter Wagner, is described as ‘generating the most radical changes in church government since the 16th century.’” Torres describes these changes as God’s work “to restructure the government of the church and to reveal new strategies. In order to accomplish his objective of establishing the kingdom of heaven here on earth, God is restoring all the truth that had been lost. Those who refuse to accept the movement of the Spirit, with its new and marvelous strategies in the end will cease to produce fruit and disappear.”17

Wagner speaks of a paradigm shift in traditional Christianity.18 What is this paradigm shift? Hamon explained its nature in October 1999 at a meeting of the International Gathering of Apostles and Prophets, where he says that “we are seeing prophets and apostles coming forth for a strategic reason. . . . We are being positioned to lay new foundations for the dawning of a New Kingdom Age. We are in the throws [sic] of birthing a whole new order—dispensation. . . . We are about to move from the dispensation of grace to the dispensation of dominion.”19

Noteworthy is that those in NAR claim to hear directly from God, and many claim that Jesus visits them in person. Like the true biblical apostles who established the early church, these so-called restored apostles believe they are called to lay the foundation and government for the new kingdom (one world church). Their goal is complete and utter control of the church and subjugation of the current governance to them. They want power, dominion, and total control.

The NAR believes that the restoration of the apostles has tremendous implications for Christianity and the world, and that it will mark the greatest harvest of souls, for more souls will be saved in the last one hundred years than all the previous years of the church’s existence. The whole world, they believe, will also be affected because the supernatural prophetic and apostolic words of the apostles will signal the rise and fall of many nations and people. They will distinguish the sheep and goat nations so that when Jesus comes, each will receive its due reward.


The Seven Mountains Mandate

This is the mandate for bringing the kingdom of God to earth and taking dominion over seven key spheres of society, including government, arts and entertainment, media, education, forms of religion, and business. The mountain of business is considered key to taking dominion over others. These seven mandates are promoted by market apostles such as Os Hillman and Lance Wallnau, who is the major motivational speaker in Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe.

One of the key theological terms is “Social Transformation.” A conference on this subject took place at Harvard featuring leading NAR apostles Lance Wallnau, Bill Hamon, Pat Francis, and Os Hillman. All four travel internationally promoting the “Reclaiming the Seven Mountains” campaign and are considered to be experts on “workplace” or “marketplace apostles.” Transformation is not a generic term to the NAR but a brand used in the title of training videos, books, conferences, and organizations. As seen in the following quotes from leading apostles, promoting social transformation equates with gaining political and societal power or “Christian dominion.” They advertise their charitable activities, but these are secondary to their primary purpose—the mandate to take dominion over society and government, which includes driving out those they believe to be literally under the control of demons.

Lance Wallnau is the motivational guru for the Seven Mountains. Speaking on Patricia King’s Extreme Prophetic Television broadcast, Lance Wallnau says, “The Seven Mountains are—it’s almost like it’s a template for warfare. Because the church so frequently does not have a language for how it goes about taking territory.”20

The Seven Mountain mandate is an NAR strategy designed to take control of the power centers of the world. The Ohio Reformation Prayer Network has an abbreviated list of these seven areas on their promotional video:

• Family: where generational blessings or curses are passed on to our children

• Education: where little truth or lies about God and His creation are taught

• Government: where evil is little restrained or endorsed

 • Business: where people build for the glory of God or the glory of humankind    

• Media: where events, news, information are interpreted and passed on to people through the lens of good and evil    

• Arts and entertainment: where values and virtues are little celebrated or distorted    

• Religion: where people worship God in “spirit and truth” or settle for religious rituals

The New Apostolic Reformation is a movement with well-organized international campaigns. The apostles speaking at Harvard all promoted the “Reclaiming the Seven Mountains” campaign. Bill Hamon, Pat Francis and Lance Wallnau spoke, for instance, at the 2009, “Give Me This Mountain” conference, advertised it with the phrase “‘Possess your promised inheritance in government, family, business, education, arts & entertainment, media and religion.’”21 The Seven Mountain mandate is the most explicit expression and implementation of Dominion Theology. These seven mountains are considered to be the pillars of society, the battlefield where a culture is won or lost. The NAR intend to train agents who will scale those mountains and conquer them for God.

Apostle Bill Hamon’s 2010 book, Prophetic Scriptures Yet to Be Fulfilled, describes the fascinating transformation of the seven mountains of culture and how every nation will become either a sheep or a goat nation. In the end, the restoration of all things spoken of by the apostles and prophets will supposedly release Jesus to return and set up His domain over all the earth.22

C. Peter Wagner states: “We have now shed our inhibitions over theologizing about taking dominion. Dominion theology is not a flashback to Constantinian triumphalism, but it is a new call to action for a triumphant Church. . . . Satan has polluted the land and cursed it. Satan has deployed high-ranking demonic powers to darken the spiritual atmosphere over society and to block the freedom of heaven flowing to earth. Both of these arenas need to be and can be cleansed spiritually. We have the tools to do it, we have the gifted personnel to do it and we have the power of the Holy Spirit to do it. It will be done!”23

“Now that we have social transformation on our evangelical agendas,” Wagner adds, “it is time for action. I regard ‘social transformation’ as the concept term. However, the action term that will best set us on the road toward that goal is ‘taking dominion.’”24

Charismatic evangelicals have shifted from a Dispensationalist to a Dominionist theology, from passive theology in which believers are raptured to escape imminent apocalypse horrors, to a politicized theology in which believers must take control of government and society. A new reality has been created in which a more potent movement has emerged like a phoenix from the ashes of Darby’s Dispensationalism. It is the triumph of Dominion theology and the gradual unleashing of a new breed of spiritual warriors from the restraints of Dispensational theology and the transformation of much of the charismatic Evangelical world. Different from previous white dominant Fundamentalism, this is a more progressive multicultural movement. Women apostles and prophets focus on societal transformation, not a social gospel but a full-blown “Kingdom Now” theology that is sweeping the globe and impacting churches across the spectrum of Christianity.


Eschatological Implications of the New Apostolic Reformation

Seventh-day Adventists are Premillennialists, who believe that this world will not get better but worse (2 Tim. 3:1-5). The social, political, economic, and spiritual conditions of the earth will deteriorate more as the end nears. The Christian Church will not be able to do anything to control this deteriorating condition. Only the dramatic intervention of Jesus can save the planet.

The preparation that the church makes is not making the planet a utopian political kingdom for Jesus to return to. The preparation of the church is the sharing of the gospel to the entire world so that everyone will have an opportunity to make a personal choice to become part of Christ’s spiritual kingdom. When Jesus was standing before the temporal rulers of the time, He said: “‘My Kingdom is not of this world’” (John 18:36). The idea of “spiritual transformation” of the church is fundamentally at odds with the “political dominion agenda” of the NAR.

A columnist for Al Jazeera, Paul Rosenberg, calls the New Apostolic Reformers, “America’s own Taliban” because of the radical nature of their goal and strategy. He describes their ultimate goal as the replacement of secular democracy both in America and the world with a Christian theocracy (Dominionism). He charges that their spiritual aims are strikingly similar to those of the Taliban, but “significantly at odds with more common, long-standing Christian beliefs about the ‘end times,’ as well as the nature and purpose of prayer, and the roles of human and divine power.”25

Rosenberg may have overstated the case in comparing the NAR with the Taliban because the differences between the groups are much greater than the similarities. Right now the NAR is not engaged in a violent revolt against any government, using suicide bombers to kill innocent civilians, to publicly execute those who break the religious laws, or to deny women their basic human rights.

Why, then, this comparison? It lies only in the theocratic intent of the NAR and their proposed mission to combine church and state and impose their brand of religion on all. The goal of the NAR—to eliminate denominationalism and to form a unified church that will be politically victorious against evil in the last days—contradicts Adventist ideology of religious freedom and separation of church and state. How will the NAR relate to groups like Adventists that will refuse to join with their religious confederacy and also refuse to submit to their religious authority and doctrine? This movement seems to be a fulfillment of Adventism’s own understanding concerning the confederacy of apostate religious groups in the end-time that will seek to impose their brand of religion on the world.

The NAR vision of the last generation, contrary to that of Adventism, is not of those who are perfecting their characters after the example of Jesus Christ and who are empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel to a dying world. The NAR’s version of the last generation is of militant young people (Joel’s army) who will take over the world, conquer the Seven Mountains, exorcize demons, doing whatever it takes to accomplish this task.

The NAR version of the last-day triumphant church is not the remnant church being persecuted by the beast powers of Revelation 13 and who nonetheless proclaim the final message to a world that is on the brink of total destruction. Rather, their version is a militant triumphant church on the march, defeating demons, taking territory, and taking the seven major areas of culture. Although there is a grain of truth in the NAR view of the future triumphant church, according to the Bible, God’s true church will not be fully triumphant until Jesus comes and Prince Michael rises to delivers His people from the final persecution of the wicked (Dan. 12:1).

Os Hillman, one of the NAR’s leading prophets, has suggested that, instead of using the word Dominionism, a better choice would be influence, which comes as a result of love and obedience to God. Hillman explains: “Jesus never sought to have dominion; rather, He encouraged others to love and obey God. It is better that we avoid the word dominion in our culture today due to this word’s connotation of control and manipulation of others. It also reminds people of a flawed movement in the body of Christ called dominion theology that caused great harm to many.”26 Though Hillman may take this position in words, the vast majority of the other leaders take a different and more aggressive stance. They are quite explicit about what dominion means, and they make no apologies about it.

There seems to be little focus on the cross of Christ as central to the Christian gospel. The work of the Holy Spirit in the conviction and conversion of the individual is not emphasized. There seems to be an obsession with demons, demon possession, and the need to expel demons. The NAR view of the demonic is far too simplistic in explaining human problems. If all the demons were expelled, would the human problems of poverty, crime, violence, war, and sickness be solved? An overemphasis on demonic causation has lost sight of the human culpability in many of the problems that afflict humanity.

One of the most unsettling things about this movement is its militancy and stridency. Much of the language used to describe taking back and having dominion is devoid of the compassionate love of Jesus. A good picture of this forceful call to arms can be seen in the words of one of their prophets: “We are coming into times when passive Christianity and passive Christians will cease to exist. There is a maturity, a discipline, and a divine militancy coming upon the people of God. Those who have succumbed to humanistic and idealistic theologies, may have a hard time with this, but we must understand that God is a military God. The title that He uses 10 times more than any other in Scripture is, ‘The Lord of Hosts’ or ‘Lord of Armies.’ There is a martial aspect to His character that we must understand and embrace for the times and the job to which are now coming.”27

This kind of thinking is clearly contrary to the teachings of Jesus. “Christ never intended that His gospel should be propagated by fire and sword or His righteousness wrought by the wrath of man. When the high praise of God is in our mouth with them we will have an olive branch of peace in our hands. Christ’s victories are by the power of His gospel and grace over spiritual enemies, in which all believers are more than conquerors. The Word of God is the two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12), the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17).”28

Christians are called to be salt and light to the world. Through their loving and obedient lifestyle, believers will seek to persuade others to their loving Savior. This a methodology based solely on love, not power or compulsion. The views of the NAR’s latter-day apostles and so-called prophets are at odds with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Faithful believers must sound the alarm and warn the world that in the last days, false prophets and false Christs will arise to deceive many.


Trevor O’Reggio, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Church History at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan.



1. Http:// Websites in the references were accessed February 28 to March 4, 2014.


2. Http://


3. Ibid.


4. Ibid.


5. Quoted in ibid.


6. Http://


7. C. Peter Wagner, Churchquake: How the New Apostolic Reformation Is Shaking Up the Church as We Know It (Ventura Calif.: Regal Books, 1999), p. 5.


8. Http://


9. Http://


10. Http://


11. Hector Torres, The Restoration of the Apostles and the Prophets and How It Will Revolutionize Ministry in the 21st Century (Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001), p. 23.


12. Http://


13. Albert James Dager, Vengeance Is Ours: The Church in Dominion (Redmond, Wash.: Sword Publication, 1990), p. 87.


14. Peter Leithart, “Revivalism and American Protestantism,” in James B. Jordan, ed., The Reconstruction of the Church, Christianity, and Civilization (Tyler, Tex., Geneva Ministries, 1985), p. 81.


15. Torres, The Restoration of the Apostles and the Prophets and How It Will Revolutionize Ministry in the 21st Century, op. cit., p. 1.


16. C. Peter Wagner, Apostles Today: Biblical Government for Biblical Power (Ventura, Calif.: Regal Books, 2006), p. 6.


17. Torres, The Restoration of the Apostles and the Prophets and How It Will Revolutionize Ministry in the 21st Century, op. cit., p. 15.


18. In Bill Hamon, Apostles, Prophets, and the Coming Moves of God: End Time Plan for His Church on Planet Earth (Shippensburg, Pa.: Destiny Image Publishing, 1997).


19. Http://


20. Http://


21. Ibid.


22. Ibid.


23. C. Peter Wagner, Dominion: How Kingdom Action Can Change the World (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Chosen Books, 2008), p. 37.


24. __________, The Church in the Workplace: How God’s People Can Transform Society (Ventura, Calif.: Regal Books, 2006), pp. 7-15.


25. Http://www.


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27. Http://


28. Matthew Henry, Exposition of the Old and New Testament (London.: Joseph Ogle Robinson, 1828), vol. 2, p. 467.