This is a Red Flag Post!
Do you really know what makes an apostle? Do you really know what the bible says about God’s criteria concerning apostles? I found this article today about the “New Apostolic Reformation” and surprisingly — or not, it’s something that the Church has had to deal with for quite some time now. The article uses biblical standards, but also early Church writings to explain what biblical Apostleship really is. Obviously the Roman Catholic Church have carried Apostolic succession so far culminating into Papal authority. But the Roman Catholic Church is not the only one guilty of this.
Peter Wagner says…
[I]n certain segments of the Church the office of apostle has, indeed, been recognized throughout the past two millennia. The Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican or Episcopal Church and many denominations that have actually incorporated “apostolic” into their name would come to mind as examples. However, just as was true of prophetic movements, the emphases of these apostolic movements had not penetrated the mainstream of what I am calling life-giving evangelical churches that are now the cutting edge of the spread of Christianity. This only began to happen in the 1990’s. (read more here)
What are the “New Apostolic Reformers” actually teaching concerning the last days, and where do they get their inspiration? To find out a little more about this we may need to go back to Christian Mystics, one in particular.
Interestingly, there was a woman called Jane Leade, a 17th century Christian mystic. She taught that the seven churches found in Revelation directly related to seven periods of time of Church rule. She was mostly interested in the Church of Philadelphia because Christ found no fault in that particular Church according to the book of Revelation. In fact, her so called prophetic writings predicted that certain sealed prophecies would only be revealed by those who are worthy and who have entered into the Philidelphian Church age…
She was involved in a movement called “The Philadelphian Society,” named after that church. In 1679, the Philadelphian Society and the Theosophists published a document containing a 60-point prophecy by Jane Leade (the document has her name as Lead). The document proposes ideas that resurfaced in 1948 in the Latter Rain movement, and, as we shall see, are still being promoted by a key Apostle-prophet of the New Apostolic Reformation. (read more here)
She spoke a great deal of an elite Church age that would receive the Ark of the Testimony (Point 8) which was in heaven containing new revelations to be opened during a unique Church age, the age of Philadelphia. This unique perfected, virginal Church would give birth to a son (Points 14-24), the son mentioned in Revelation 12:5!
Is this starting to sound a little familiar to you? The Manifest Son’s and Later Rain still use the terminology assigned to this son, that being the many-membered man-child. Is this coincidence or not, one cannot be sure. But there is one thing we can be sure of…there is nothing new under the sun.
The article points out the agenda behind such thinking…
This prophecy of a perfected church (later called the “many-membered man-child”) that will be the incarnation of Christ on the earth while Christ remains in heaven sets the stage for the Latter Rain movement in the 20th Century that would make the same claims. Whether that movement got its ideas from Leade or came up with the same heresy independently I cannot say at this time. But the ideas are identical. The church must be perfected on earth before Christ can return, and this shall be accompanied with miracles and power greater that at any time in church history—including Pentecost.
Key words I have now been made aware of. Words like “The Ark of Testimony” the “many-membered man-child”the “man-child”and”The Ascension gifts”….”The “Ascension gifts” is a reference to the so-called “five fold ministry” of Ephesians 4:11. The idea is that the church will be perfected by the renewal of the ministries of apostles and prophets before Christ returns.”
One adherent to the perfected Church says this… O the immensity of these words! And what is more, Christ is going to remain right where He is at God’s right hand until there shall arise a group of overcomers who shall conquer over all God’s enemies[…]
There is much more written in this article and it is truly mind blowing and scary stuff which explains the dangers of Hyper-Dispensationalism, Restorationists and Kingdom Now teaching.