Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Return of the Warrior-Prophets

Networking the Church: Part 4

“Prophets are agents of transformation."
”The prophetic ministry summons us to battle. . . ."
-- Hector Torres, The Restoration of the Apostles and Prophets (Thomas Nelson, 2001), p. 46, 43

When the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) talks about re-aligning the Church to the supposed 5-fold ministry structure of Ephesians 4:11, the new doctrinal emphasis is placed on laying a “foundation” of prophets and apostles. These “offices” are looked upon as key for future church governance. These new prophets are claimed to possess authority to bring unity, knowledge, maturity, collaboration and growth.

Prophet no longer means a spiritual gifting that presents the Truth of God’s Word (Scripture). It now means an “office.” And these new super warrior-prophets claim to possess supernatural powers and authority. This whole matter is more than a simple rebuttal of cessationist doctrine. And it isn’t merely a return to Old Testament style prophets. Rather, these new prophets claim to possess the “authority of God to uproot, to tear down, to destroy, to turn upside-down, to build, and to plant” (Torres, p. 58).

These new prophets are said to possess the ability to speak with “greater authority” than other believers (p. 50). Torres, in his book The Restoration of the Apostles and Prophets (Thomas Nelson, 2001), lists their duties as uprooting those who are evil and destroying those who are the enemy. He says, “Prophetic anointing confronts and makes war” (p. 55) and tears down strongholds to “build up the kingdom of God” (p. 56).

These new prophets have become militarily structured into a top-down networking system. Torres, who considers himself as one of these prophets because he received a prophetic "mantle" from NAR leader Bill Hamon, describes how a global prophetic NETWORK was launched nearly ten years ago. Notice that C. Peter Wagner, head of the NAR, instigated this:

“In September of 1998, during a conference in Saint Louis, Missouri, a small group of prophets met to discuss the possibility of establishing a network of responsibility and relationship between some of the most recognized prophetic ministries in the nation. Taking advantage of a meeting convened by Dr. C. Peter Wagner and called the National School of Prophets, it was agreed upon to invite prophets from all ‘flows’ of this move of God in different parts of the world to the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs.

“The meeting took place on January 27, 1999. The prophets invited to participate were a group of eighteen people, among whom were Mike Bickle and Paul Cain from Kansas City, Jim Goll from Nashville, Bill Hamon from Florida, Rick Joyner and Kingsley Fletcher from North Carolina, John and Paula Sandford from Idaho, Tommy Tenney from Baltimore, Barbara Wentroble from Texas, and Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, Dutch Sheets, Mike Jacobs, Peter Wagner and myself from Colorado Springs. . .

“On the occasion of this meeting the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders (ACPE) was made official under the apostolic cover of Dr. C. Peter Wagner.” (pp. 76-77)


It is crucially important to understand that these new prophets believe that they have a new WORD from God. Bill Hamon, in a chapter in Torres’ book about prophecy, states:

“The same biblical principles about the attitude that we are to have toward the written word, the logos, should be applied to the rhema that is declared prophetically.” (p. 82)

Believers are exhorted to act in obedience to this RHEMA word! Hamon says:

“If we obey and do exactly what the prophetic word says, we will not be deceived and our spirit and mind will be ready to know the will of God.” (p. 84)

The Word of God (Scripture) is not the absolute standard for ascertaining whether this prophetic “word” is “genuine.” Nor should believers test it by going to their spiritual leaders. Nor should it be evaluated in light of traditional theology. Rather, Hamon asserts that the believer is to follow their spirit rather than their thoughts or mind, and subjectively determine the truth of the matter. They should look to feel a "deep peace, an unexplainable joy, and a sensation of love and rejoicing. . . . This sensation is the confirmation that the Holy Spirit is bearing witness to our spirit that all is in order. . . . " (p. 94)

Hamon boldly declares that these prophets can issue new truth: “God can declare something new to a person through a prophet . . . . God uses the prophets to express new truths.” (p. 95) And Hamon states that the purpose of these prophecies is “to use them for war” (p. 96)

The Coming War

Torres elaborates on the general mechanics of this prophetic warfare:

“The prophetic ministry and the role of the prophet are part of the necessary foundation to awaken the Church to her calling of spiritual warfare and intercession. This is the way of putting the enemy under our feet. . ., destroying the works of evil, and establishing the lordship of Christ on the earth. Once this is accomplished Christ will come to reign over all the earth and thus will remain forever and ever!” (p. 106) [emphases added]

A core heresy of the New Apostolic Reformation is that the Church must “incarnate” Christ; i.e., become deified through this restructuring process. A corollary to this doctrine creates the dominionism mandate whereby the church is empowered to act as agents of Christ on earth, crushing His enemies and building His Kingdom. This doctrine is articulated by Torres:

“We have to realign our lives and our ministries to the flow of the river of God. The order of God for His Church is to enter into battle with a promise of victory and not of defeat. Now is not the time for negotiation for a peace agreement. The God of peace has already won the war on the cross and promises to crush His enemies.” (p. 110) [emphasis added]

Note in the heresy above that even though Christ is acknowledged to have done something on the Cross, the Church is responsible to "crush His enemies." This horrible teaching brings in a whole new eschatology of warfare dominionism.

Below are some very recent “prophetic” words delivered by leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation, which underscore the aggressive warfare aspect of this new prophetic “office.” The extended quotes are provided for the purpose of context (Eph. 4:11 apostolic church restructuring), as well as providing evidence of the dominionist doctrine that underlies this movement:

"Prophetic promises have been released for hundreds of years about a generation of overcomers...who would stand up as spiritual warriors to advance the Kingdom of God around the world, and reap a mass end-time harvest of souls.

"I believe we stand right now on the brink of the greatest Kingdom Era that the Church has ever seen. . . . I'm interested in a sustained habitation of the Glory of God on the earth and it's called, 'The Kingdom!'

"Jesus came to give us Heaven on earth . . . . God has been restoring Truth to the Church in order to get us back to the place of fullness where we can actually rule and reign in the world rather than be dominated by the very things we are to have victory over.

"We have had whole decades in the 1900's that were devoted to the restoration of the Ephesians 4:11, five-fold ministry gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher. All of this has been so that the saints can be equipped and reconnected with the Head in Heaven. When the Church reconnects with the Head in Heaven (Jesus Christ), then there will be an unhindered release of Heaven on earth. . . .

"The spirit of the warrior is coming...we are the generation that will become bold as lions and take this world for God!" . . .

"I believe that the numerous wineskins of ministry models and structures are already starting to clash like never before. The truth is that if the Church continues on the way it has, then the Church will 'never' fulfill her destiny in God. I love pastors and I respect them in their gift, but they cannot be expected to wear the hat of the entire five-fold ministry. I'm going to make a very bold statement, but I think many of you will agree: 'Churches run by pastors will never fulfill the high and lofty mandate of the Church.'

"You see, the five-fold ministry are gifts given directly from Jesus Christ to the Church. When Jesus walked the earth, He was all of them in one. He was the Apostle, the Prophet, the Evangelist, the Pastor, and Teacher. After raising from the dead, Jesus basically took the mantle upon His life and divided it in five pieces and gave it to certain people within the Body of Christ. No one person can fulfill all of these ministry gifts. The five-fold ministry, according to Ephesians 4:11, are called to equip the saints for the work of ministry. The five-fold ministry is called to under-gird, raise up, and release the saints to do the work of establishing and expanding the Kingdom of God on this earth as the Body of Jesus.

"One ministry gift can never be expected to do all of this. The Church has become accustomed to churches run by pastors, and the clash of the wineskins comes when God releases all of the five-fold to function as a team in raising up an army of warriors to advance the Kingdom. Expect this truth and transition to cause much chaos and division in the Church, but remember that God always establishes His government in order to bring order in the midst of chaos."
[Excerpted from Ryan Wyatt: “A NOW WORD--IT'S TIME FOR THE PROPHETIC TO BE EARTHED AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD ESTABLISHED,” Elijah List, 3/7/07, emphasis in original]

I Am Re-enlisting My Army
"’My Seed will prosper again! I AM RE-ENLISTING MY ARMY AGAIN. From your past faith demonstrations, you have gained the right to be in My army. . . .

A Day of Re-building
"’I AM repairing the foundation...I AM leveling out that which was crooked.’

"’I will build My House again. The old and the young will shout together. It will be a sound that has not been heard in this season. This is a day of re-building and completing what was begun in one generation. Though the foundation has been shaky and the people have been divided, and the world has drawn many away, now I will build My house again! For I AM repairing the foundation, and I AM lifting up that which has sagged. I AM leveling out that which was crooked and today I start the process.’"
[Excerpted from Chuck Pierce, “GOD IS RE-ENLISTING HIS ARMY AGAIN—DO NOT FEAR WHEN HE SHAKES THE FOUNDATION!” Elijah List, 2/21/07, emphasis in original]

The Truth:

"Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him." (Micah 3:5)