The New Apostolic Revival . . . ?
by Terry L. Craig
copyright 2014, 2020
I’ve seen a number of articles, blogs, and commentary on social media about “movements” that are labeled “Christian” but have the distinct appearance of every man for himself! One with elements that gives concern is the “New Apostolic Revival” (or, New Apostolic Reformation)--a good portion of which has spiraled down over time to men and women claiming lordship over bits of spiritual turf that they deem to be theirs.
We have people claiming to be apostles (a.k.a. the rulers) in hierarchical (pyramid) structures where each apostle is the top of his or her own little kingdom. We have people claiming to be “generals” (a.k.a. the rulers) of their own spiritual armies (amazing, since the highest military office ascribed to Jesus is “Captain of the Host”). We have people claiming to be prophets (some of whom also claim to be apostles and generals) who want to tell us the “new” thing the Lord is saying—much of which, coincidentally, foretells a time when they will rule. They meet together to confer new titles upon each other that completely defy the meaning of the words “humble” and “servant.”
Does God still speak to people today? Yes. [See article on this.] Does He still confer gifts and ministries upon people today? Yes. But much of what has been said and done in recent years has been done in the flesh, not the Spirit.
I remember seeing some of these men and women many years ago when they seemed to burn with zeal for the Lord. Was there a time when, like Gideon, they heard God and obeyed? My heart hurts to think of how they have fallen! They reveled in their own greatness, compromised without accountability, and like Gideon, they have become ensnared by a thing of their own making!
If you are someone who is disgusted by the Las Vegas-style show that overtook parts of the church and possibly took you for a wild ride . . . it’s good you’ve come to your senses, but you probably need to repent as well. Any con man will tell you it’s difficult to cheat an honest person. If you steeped in it for years . . . you need a bath. Let your mind be renewed in Jesus Christ, not in yet another “new” teaching.
EACH OF US will be responsible before God for what we choose to believe. EACH OF US is responsible to seek Jesus, to hear HIS voice, is accountable for the hope that is in us. Stop investing your faith in people and start investing it in Jesus Christ. Find fellowship with those who want to be the hands and feet of Jesus, not His crown and His rod.
YES, there will be astounding days ahead, but we must look to Jesus, not to some manifestation or to some man or woman who claims to wield the power of God here on earth.
People can “spiritualize” or edit verses of the Bible to make them say anything but we need to remember that:
NOWHERE in Scripture are we told that PEOPLE (of any rank, ilk, office, or stripe) will save, fix, or make the world perfect for Jesus. To believe this is to believe a falsehood. [John 1:29, Eph. 4:16, Phil. 3:12, Col. 412, Heb. 7:11-14, Heb. 7:25, Heb. 10:1 & 11-18, Heb. 13:20-21]
Yes, I believe, hope, and pray for a last-days revival to sweep the world. But NOWHERE in Scripture are we given a picture of a Last Days revival sweeping the world with lasting happy times. The pictures of “the harvest” of the Last Days are portrayed as times of increasing selfishness and darkness in the world and eventual suffering for those who follow Christ (for the JOY that awaits them). [Matt. 7:21, Matt. 10:38, Matt. 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:13, Luke 13:23-27, Luke 14:27, Luke 14:27, Luke 14:26 & 33, John 8:31, Acts 14:22, James 1:12, Heb. 10:39, 2 Tim. 2:10-31, 1 Pet. 2:21, 2 Pet. 3:3-10, Rev. 2:10, Rev. 12:11]
NOWHERE in the New Testament are we told to support or seek a harvest of souls that is accomplished by manipulation, violence, or force. [Ephesians 6:10-12]
Are there apostles and prophets who are still working today? Yes. There are those who still seek Jesus and hear His voice amidst a great shaking all around us. But in that shaking, God is calling the whole Church to forsake being gullible fans or watchers of men and women. He's calling all of us to be active participants in vibrant, wise, Spirit-led life who bear witness to the world.
God doesn’t want us to get bitter and walk away.
He wants us to rise up, grow up, and follow Him.
© Terry L. Craig 2014, 2020
Previously in this series on The Supernatural in the Church:
Related to the series:
Feel free to print a personal copy of this article out or post a link to it. All we ask is that you keep the entire article (including the copyright notices) intact, that you don't sell it or use it for commercial purposes, or as part of a commercial work.You may contact the author regarding this article through the Contact link
All rights reserved.