Some Thoughts on Isaiah 11:6 and “the Mandela Effect”

The other day a coworker of mine asked if I read the Bible and proceeded to share with me some things that he’d heard about Isaiah 11:6 on a YouTube video claiming to provide “…the three best and most detailed examples of the Mandela Effect.” [time mark 1:27] And In the course of the brief exchange I asked him to send me a link to the video – which has resulted in further conversation and this post that you are now reading.

The Mandela Effect(?)

The video in question kind of opens with a summary of the concept of this theory. And as far as I can tell – considering I had no active knowledge of this concept until watching the video – the event that gave the theory its name does seem somewhat puzzling… Especially when only equipped with the minimal information provided by the video.

However, since my concern is more related to the text of Scripture, as far as this theory goes I will simply offer a short list of thoughts and/or questions regarding said subject and leave the rest to the reader’s opinion and/or knowledge/research.

1: it seems to me that this theory assumes the infallibility of a person’s memory – simply based upon the “vividness” and/or “detail” of the mistaken memory – and this assumption is apparently validated by “many total strangers” having the same mistaken “memory.”

2: building further on this assumption of infallible human memory, it seems this theory is more imaginatively pointless than it is thoughtfully helpful (no offense intended to those who believe or have further studied the idea). After all, if such a theory were actually fact – and we had experienced intersection of dimensions and/or timelines – what could we possibly do about it?

3: from a slightly different angle – but in a similar vein as my question ending the previous point – the proponents and conceivers of this theory seem to be coming from a completely secular-humanist and/or materialistic (if not occult) worldview. Now this thought would mean more to a disciple of Jesus than anyone else – but the point stands that this theory ignores or outright denies the existence of a Sovereign Creator working all things according to the council of His own will.

These were just a few of the more poignant of my thoughts as I watched the first portion of the video. But I would prefer to specifically focus on the second part that the creators of the video titled “Biblical Changes.”

Changes to the Bible? [time mark 6:12]

The first difficulty I had with this section was the language about “Biblical changes” with no qualifications or basis given for the presumptive phrasing. Obviously the discussion of Isaiah 11:6 would be considered an example – but one verse is hardly sufficient to warrant language implying more than a few actual changes to the text of the Bible.

In fact, the first real example cited (outside of a general statement about ‘many Christians misremembering the verse’) is a post by a user on a site called “Reddit” claiming to have gone to “three different churches” to ask ministers about the verse and finding that the people the Reddit person talked to misremembered the verse. [time mark 7:35]

I would submit to the reader several ideas/questions at this point: 1) what evidence can the Reddit user give for their story? What churches did they go to? Who were the ministers? What denomination were the churches? 2) what do three unverifiable examples prove about the “changing” of an ancient, historically verifiable text? 3) should we really allow the mistakes of people’s fallible, often prone to or capable of malfunction minds to cause us to assume the text of an ancient set of books has been changed? 4) does this one story really give the video warrant to say “even those within ecclesiastical institutions incorrectly remember the verse” [time mark 7:30] as if this mistake were a normative thing across Christianity? (NOTE: That may not have been the intent of those who made the video, but it was still implied by their choice of words and the method of presenting the data)

Again, I realize my thoughts would not necessarily be significant to one who is not a disciple of Jesus – but I believe my questions are valid and deserving of consideration by anyone interested in fact/truth.

The next phrase (with no substantiation) that I would think any critically thinking person would take issue with came at time mark 8:15 – “Christians are becoming increasingly worried about what this passage change means…”

Now, again, what grounds are there for assuming that the passage has been changed? I would submit to the reader that subjective human thoughts are no basis upon which to question ANY historically verifiable reality. More important and directly relative to the quote, however, is what documentation do the makers of this video have for such a statement? I, for one, have never even heard of people making this mistake before watching this video… and I follow enough “Christian sources” online that I’m pretty sure I would have heard of this before if it was an actual concern among the greater Christian community – as implied by the statement.

The video follows this statement with some odd thoughts of what the significance would be if the passage had been changed which I will simply provide some of my own thoughts about and leave the video alone for the rest of this post. However, the reader is obviously free to watch the video in its entirety and come to there own conclusions.

Context and Concept of Isaiah 11:6

1: If one will read the entirety of Isaiah, they will see that chapter 11 is a prophetic text – and it seems to me to be of a particularly eschatological bent, although the beginning sets it up as ultimately messianic in nature. The concept of verses 6-9, namely the perfect peace that will be on God’s mountain/kingdom, is set up by verse 6: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” (ESV) The context – and simply the entirety of the verse – taken into consideration removes any need to question the “significance” of the animals depicted. The obvious thrice-emphasized Hebrew parallelism of “wolf and lamb,” “leopard and kid,” and “lion and calf,” make it clear that the verse is simply putting forth the removal of predator and prey distinctions in this land where there is perfect peace (I.e. No natural indicators of struggle and death). The rest of the context of the chapter does not allow for any “secret/hidden” interpretation or meaning to the animals used in the illustration. (NOTE: the parallel passage in Isaiah 65:25 is another indication of the simplicity of the intended meaning)

2: Even if we were to consider this idea that the animals depicted have a “deeper meaning” – there would be no definitive precedent to indicate what that meaning would be. Though Christ is called the “Lion of Judah” (Revelation 5:5) there are plenty of illustrations in scripture that utilize a lion (as well as a wolf) as a ferocious and terrible beast (Isaiah 5:29, Ezekiel 22:27, Psalm 17:12), and the only other illustration I know of in the Bible utilizing a wolf is in connection with false prophets/teachers (Acts 20:29-30, Matthew 7:15)… so there would really be no reason to note such a supposed “change” in the first place.

3: in humoring the video – my wife and I came up with a few potential possibilities for why this mistake of memory is made: 1) the popular “worship song” How Great Is Our God by Chris Tomlin has “Lion and the lamb” as one of its refrains… 2) the imagery of Jesus in the Bible not only utilizes a lamb (Revelation 5:6, etc.) but Jesus is also given the title of “the Lion of Judah” (Revelation 5:5)… and these are just two very commonly experienced/known things among Christians and in “Christian culture” that could reasonably explain the common mistake of misremembering Isaiah 11:6. However, even if these didn’t explain the phenomenon – there is still not enough grounds to claim changes have been made to an ancient text when all you’ve got is a potentially freaky case of common mistaken memory.

Final Note

No intended offense is meant against my coworker or the makers of the video that sparked this post, but it must be made clear to the reader that ancient, orthodox Christianity holds to none of the superstitions or confidence in mankind’s own thoughts and/or memories that seem to have given rise to the presentation in the video linked to above.

The good news of the Son of God taking on human flesh and living a perfect life to fulfill the demands of the Law of God, dying upon the cross to satisfy the Wrath of God and take away the sins of His people, and being buried and rising again on the third day to prove His Work acceptable and His people Justified before God denies any possible confidence in the thoughts and intentions of mankind.

No matter what we encounter that seems unexplainable, these things remain self evident; everything we see and interact with was made and is owned by a Thrice-Holy God, the whole of humanity desires and does nothing but that which is evil, and there is no way for man to stand clean before his Maker unless the Maker first does something to cleanse him… which He has.


A Final Note on Kenneth Hagin

After my lengthy critique of his ideas in “the Believer’s Authority” I am well aware that there are those who would accuse me of “consigning the man to hell” – and I am aware of those Word-Faithers who would tack on an idea like “simply because he got a few things wrong.” Not that I wish to build and burn any form of straw man, but allow me to say a few things to attempt to dissuade the more reasonable objectors from thinking the worst of me and/or my methods…

1: I have said to my wife many times in the last few years that it could very well be that before the end of his life God broke through to Hagin and saved him. But I have said just as often, that the fruit of Hagin’s “ministry” and life give us no reason to ASSUME that God saved him at all, unless it was so soon before the heart-attack that claimed his life that he had no time to publicly recant… so to end this point I will add: It is not our job as followers of Jesus to consign/make the final judgement about whether anyone goes to hell… OR heaven! (it seems to me – for all their fear of “judging” – that way too many Christians are willing to wave there hand in front of the professing “believer” and pronounce that there can be no doubt of their being destined for heaven – without one bit of concern about the current and constant fruit of that person’s life…)… something to think about there, I would say.

2: public material is free game for critical review – be it positive or negative. It should be the assumption of everyone that anything anyone says in a public format is open to feedback, and the teacher and/or leader who claims to speak of the doctrines of the Bible should expect and desire feedback (in any form; rebuke, exhortation, refutation, correction, encouragement, etc) from fellow shepherds (and the occasional “sheep”) in the faith. No one should be surprised when someone is criticized for what they write – and Christians who have influence over others should welcome such challenges, since “teachers will incur a harsher/stricter judgement” and they should seek to keep their repeated errors to an absolute minimum… Hagin, like his disciple Copeland and his contemporaries Oral Roberts and Benny Hinn, never seemed open to such critical examination.

3: Finally – and within the same vein of point “1” – the fact that I vehemently condemn statements of blasphemy and/or heresy should not cause the reader to automatically categorize me as “hating” Kenneth Hagin or as a “hateful” person in general… do I hate the rotten fruit and lies about God perpetrated by what was/is spewed from books and “ministries” like Hagin’s? YES. I despise anything and everything that belittles, degrades, and attempts to spit upon the honor and glory of the Great and All-Mighty, One True God, Yahweh. But it should not be an assumption of the reader (especially those who are so “charitable” and “positive”-oriented) that in acting that out I am committing the sin of hatred against another human being.

On that note, it should go without saying that I am open to any thoughtful criticism a reader might have of my own statements about Hagin’s book “The Believer’s Authority.” And even if the reader wishes to criticize my own method(s) of critique, I would be happy to discuss them… I would be completely inconsistent and hypocritical if I were not willing to do so, after all.

In closing, I encourage the reader, once again, to think critically about the things that they read and – especially in matters of theology and doctrine – to not merely accept the words of any man without testing them against Scripture.

Believer’s authority – Part 7

Side NOTE: for a refutation of Hagin’s words simply from Scripture – see an earlier post: “the ‘believer’s authority’ vs Scripture”

“The trouble with us is that we’ve preached a “cross” religion, and we need to preach a “throne” religion. By that I mean that people have thought they were supposed to remain at the cross. Some have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, have backed up to the cross, and have stayed there ever since.

We’ve sung “Near the cross, near the cross.” Yes, we need to come by the cross for salvation, but we don’t need to remain there; let’s go on to Pentecost, the Ascension, and the throne!” – Kenneth Hagin, “The Believer’s Authority” (pages 23-24)

These words display not only Hagin’s lack of understanding when it comes to the cross, but his disdain for the cross. His words have no harmony with our Lord’s:

“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me…” ~ Luke 9:23

Also, what is meant by “Some have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, have backed up to the cross, and have stayed there ever since”? Well, Hagin gave us an idea by his very next paragraph:

“The cross is actually a place of defeat, whereas the Resurrection is a place of triumph. When you preach the cross, you’re preaching death, and you leave people in death. We died all right, but we’re raised with Christ. We’re seated with Him. Positionally, that’s where we are right now: We’re seated with Christ in the place of authority in heavenly places.” – Kenneth Hagin, “The Believer’s Authority” (page 24)

Now… to a minuscule extent, some of what Hagin has written here is kind of correct. The believer saved by the grace of God has been covered by the righteousness of Christ – they are justified before God because they are found in Christ… but notice the complete disjointedness of Hagin’s doctrine of the cross from how he understands justification and sanctification. To Hagin, somehow the Christian must “leave” the cross – because it supposedly offers so little – and “move on” to bigger and better things… does that sound like the language of Christ or His apostles?

“And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” ~ Matthew 10:38

“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” ~ Galatians 6:14

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 (ESV)

Also, notice how once again Hagin has inserted this idea of “authority” into our saved and justified state without any Biblical warrant: “We’re seated with Christ in the place of authority in heavenly places.”

Compare Hagin’s presumptive distortion with the actual text:

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” ~ Ephesians 2:4-10 (ESV)

Nowhere in this passage is it suggested that the believer’s status of being “seated with Christ” automatically means they are endowed with the same “authority” given to Christ in the previous chapter (Ephesians 1). However, there is quite a bit of language that speaks to our subservience to Christ and our lack of grounds to make any form of grandiose claims for ourselves.

But Hagin continued with his absurd assertions by trying to convince his audience that people like me are second-rate Christians:

“Many Christians know nothing about the authority of the believer. They really don’t believe we have any authority. They believe they’re barely saved and they must go through life being dominated by the devil while living on Barely-Get-Along Street. They magnify the devil more than they do God.” – Kenneth Hagin, “The Believer’s Authority” (page 24)

I don’t know what kind of professing Christians Hagin hung around – but I’ve certainly never met anyone that fit the caricature above. (And, frankly, based upon later chapters of Hagin’s book – it is HIS position that “magnifies the devil more than God.”)

Notice again, though, the underlying presuppositions in Hagin’s statements. 1) he thinks that those who don’t “believe in authority” are “dominated by the devil.” 2) and he believes that Christians who don’t utilize his imagined super-power are “barely saved” – or at least act like they are…

But this is something of a random tangent, Hagin returned to his main thrust when he wrote: “The elevation of Christ’s people with Him into the heavenlies clearly points to the fact that we are to sit with Him, sharing not only His throne but also His authority. That authority belongs to us!” (Page 24)

Once again, I would point out the blasphemous equation of the believer with Christ Himself. Nowhere do the authors of Holy Writ make this kind of connection to Paul’s illustration of how and why our justification is possible and/or happens. Hagin’s assertions are nothing but the normal, FALLEN human ambition to have control of one’s own life.

Granting once again that Hagin does make a few statements about “being balanced” on pages 25 and 26 that could help us hope that Hagin is not intending to BE quite as blasphemous as he sounds – we must still conclude that Hagin’s ideas thus far in his book are Biblically untenable and full of heresy.


Divorce + Remarriage = Adultery / Sexual Immorality

A few weeks ago I wrote a post where I quoted Matthew 5:27-32 and Matthew 19:3-9.

Recently I heard someone mention that they had been told by someone that ‘Jesus’ words were meant for His culture and/or context’ or some such idea – basically amounting to “we don’t have to take Christ’s commands about divorce seriously in our day.”

I would ask the reader to examine those passages in context and ask themselves if Jesus’ words leave room for a restriction of the command to a certain time or culture?

Let’s approach it from a slightly different angle – in Matthew 5:32 Jesus says the person who marries a divorced person commits adultery. So what does God say about adultery?

“And you shall not commit adultery.” ~ Deuteronomy 5:18

“For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” ~ Ephesians 5:5

“But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler – not even to eat with such a one… Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” ~ 1 Corinthians 5:11 & 6:9-10 (ESV)

Seems adultery is a pretty bad thing! And if you read the whole context of Matthew 5:32 – it seems to me that, if this command of God is not universally applicable, then NOTHING Christ said in His sermon on the mount (or in any of the gospel accounts, for that matter) is applicable to anyone today. That would include the things Jesus said about men repenting and being forgiven and/or born again – thus removing the hope of salvation from all of dead and evil mankind…

Something to think about, I would say, before blithely tossing God’s words out the window.


Meditations on “The Little Drummer Boy”

For as long as I can remember, I have appreciated the old Christmas song “The Little Drummer Boy.”

Come they told me

A new born King to see

Our finest gifts we bring

To lay before the King

So to honor Him

When we come

Little baby

I am a poor boy too

I have no gift to bring

That’s fit to give our King

Shall I play for you

On my drum

Mary nodded

The ox and lamb kept time

I played my drum for Him

I played my best for Him

Then He smiled at me

Me and my drum

NOTE: I removed the “pa pum pum” portions for the sake of readability.

But I have grown to like this song even more as I have thought about how it is almost allegorical of Christianity – I have no idea if the original author intended it to be that, however, so the ideas I am about to put forth are my own (be they poor or helpful).

Obviously the introduction sets the stage for us as our character is invited (presumably by the “wise men”) to go with them and see the new born King.

But the portion I appreciate most is the last half… however as I worked on this post after writing this first portion, I thought it might be better just to provide my “meditations” – if you will – rather than any other thoughts. So here they are:

“Little baby, I am a poor boy too.”

Our mighty and wise Lord laid aside all of His riches and veiled His glory to come among us, initially in the form of a normal baby born to poor parents.

And we, not even existing before our conception – let alone deciding our own births – are poorer still. We have less than nothing in our rebellion against the Creator of the universe. We may have more material possessions and prosperity than that of Christ during His earthly life, but no matter what we may “have” we – like the little drummer boy – are poor, before this Lamb of God; and we are more than destitute before the King of Glory.

“I have no gift to bring, That’s fit to give our King”

And here our character (and we) acknowledge and proclaim the worthlessness of any “gift” we might offer to the All-Mighty One, who clothed Himself in flesh and weakness to bring us salvation, forgiveness, and justification…

Even the drum in his hands and the clothes on his back were provided by something outside of the little boy; and for all of humanity, we cannot even claim ownership or creation of our ability to think or act, let alone the “gifts” (material or otherwise) that are in our keeping.

But in the presence of this oh so “normal” and weak-seaming Mighty One, the awe of God’s goodness inspires the boy’s next thought:

“Shall I play for you, On my drum? … I played my drum for Him, I played my best for Him… Then He smiled at me – Me and my drum”

And even in the creaturely weakness that corrupts and hinders us, the one who became weak to bring a people to Himself – begins to provide for us His strength that was manifested in His weakness. He fills and mends those things He gave to us that we wrongfully emptied and broke – and inspires us to take them up as He intended in our Hope to make Him smile…


An Additional Thought on the Office of Apostle

As I further considered the texts given in my last post, I realized that Acts 1:15-22 was the strongest Scriptural support/documentation of what an apostle is and what the criteria is for becoming one.

Specifically in verses 21-22 of chapter one in the book of “the Acts of the Apostles” – Peter provides the following criteria for their choosing of someone to replace Judas:

“So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” ~ Acts 1:21-22 (ESV)

Here we see where the tradition I mentioned in my last post comes from; the very pages of Holy Writ itself.

This criteria given by Peter – namely that the newly appointed apostle must be chosen from among those who were disciples of Jesus since His baptism until His Ascension.

This alone – aside from any of my reasoning in my earlier post – is enough to come to the conclusion that the office of apostle no longer exists today.


The Office of Apostle

Thanks (I think/believe) to a lot of uneducated, fanciful interpretational methods that were produced by proto-Pentecostal movements there is a lot of confusion about the office of apostle among a majority of professing Christians in our day.

And even within the more orthodox strains of the “charismatic” movement I have heard some odd explanations of how we should view the office today.

Little “a” apostles vs Capital “A” Apostles(?)

One thing I’ve heard from an individual who is more orthodox than those within the “New Apostolic Reformation” (a movement full of self-appointed “apostles” and self-proclaimed “prophets”), is that we should have a concept of two different “kinds” of apostles – the more authoritative, ancient Apostles and the less authoritative, modern apostles, if you will.

But does Scripture give warrant or precedent to this idea?

Well, one of the few epistles that mention anything generic about “apostles” in a teaching context is 1 Corinthians:

“Now, you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you still a more excellent way…” ~ 1 Corinthians 12:27-31 (ESV)

NOTE: I encourage the reader to visit the entire context of this passage – and especially to read the following chapter, as Paul has told us it contains instruction on a “more excellent” way of living in the light of God’s mighty work on our behalf.

Though the passage (quoted above) in 1 Corinthians contains mention of “apostles” within the larger context of God’s gifts to His children to build up and strengthen the church – see also Ephesians 4:11-13 – there is no clear instruction given here by Paul on what an apostle actually IS.

What IS an Apostle?

From the accounts in Acts and the authoritative nature of Paul’s instructions and commands in his epistles, one of the obvious things that the apostles were was leaders and/or authority figures in the primitive Church. They led the early followers of Jesus in belief and conduct.

But in the earlier portions of Ephesians we are given something a little closer to actual teaching on what an apostle serves as:

“…So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord…” ~ Ephesians 2:19-21 (ESV) … (see also Revelation 21:14)

In Ephesians Paul informs us that the apostles (along with the prophets of the Old Testament) serve as a “foundation” for the Church of God, but in what way do they serve this purpose, especially for Christians today?

I would argue that it is by the writing of Holy Scripture that the apostles and prophets – subservient to Christ as the all important “cornerstone” – serve to build the Church (or Temple, if you will) of God throughout the ages. I would argue this based upon the temporal, “one time” language that is used in reference to the purpose of the apostles in Holy Scripture – you only build the foundation of a building once. Also, as far as I can tell, most references to true “apostles” in Scripture and the ancient church fathers usually put in the qualifier of “the twelve.”

None of these texts so far, however, give us any specific teaching on how to identify an “apostle” – so what is it that makes someone an apostle?

The Criteria of an Apostle

I would suggest to the reader that there is one primary, time honored “criterion” for how we Biblically identify an apostle of Jesus Christ: an apostle is a man commissioned to preach the gospel by Christ Himself.

We see this exemplified in Acts 1:15-22, and the beginning of Galatians where Paul’s writing is undergirded by an explanation and outlining of his call and experience in becoming “the apostle to the Gentiles” by the commission of the risen Christ Himself… there is also a short reference to this by Paul in1 Corinthians 15:8-9. Also, throughout the Gospels and the book of Acts, there is no reference to “apostles” outside the twelve disciples who specifically participated in Jesus’ earthly ministry.

However, even if there are a few generic references to those who hold the office of apostle in the Church throughout the New Testament, this does not demand that the traditional criterion above is faulty – and thus require we assume some form of the office exists today. Why? Because, although 1 Corinthians 15:6-7 does not exactly say when Jesus appeared to the groups specified, this type of evidence for “apostles” outside the twelve and Paul still falls under the category of the office only being given to individuals who interacted directly with the risen Christ (and I think it is significant to note that except for Paul, all of these individuals interacted “physically” – I.e. Not in a vision – with Him in the presence of others who did likewise).

Another traditional criterion of true, orthodox and ancient Christianity is that the apostles had authority and power by the Holy Spirit to write Scripture (as I have said above, I would also argue this tradition from the text itself). What they said and wrote was authoritative as coming from God – just like the prophets of the Old Testament. (2 Peter 1:19-21)

Side NOTE: it can even be argued that every book of the New Testament is of Apostolic origin – the authors of Mark, Luke, Acts, and Hebrews all having clear connections to one of the apostles of Scripture.

That having been said – and no clear Scriptural evidence of any distinctive “levels” or “types” to the office taken into consideration – if one subscribed to the idea that we do have apostles today (or prophets, for that matter), consistently they would have to add that “apostle’s” writings or speeches to the Bible!

The last few paragraphs are a bit of a rabbit trail, but the ideas put forth within them have existed (been debated or discussed) since the days of the primitive Church, and no one among these modern day groups of “charismatics” seems to care that God’s people throughout history have had something to say about topics we discuss today!

As far as I can see from Scripture, anyone who claims to be an “apostle” (or prophet, as far as I’m concerned) today is either a lying charlatan – like those in the New Apostolic Reformation(NAR); or they have not actually thought about what Scripture says about the office – and thus no one should be listening to them anyway, as that person is obviously a simpleton and shouldn’t have authority over anyone.

To drive this point home, I would encourage the reader to examine Paul’s arguments against the “super-apostles” in Corinth that had apparently begun to accuse Paul of “walking according to the flesh” (2 Corinthians 10-12)… particularly in chapter 11 Paul contrasts his own actions against those of these “super-apostles” using incredibly thick and biting sarcasm.

One of the points Paul makes about himself is his lack of demanding resources from the Corinthians in order to show himself trustworthy to them… I have never heard or seen any indication of a practitioner/leader of the NAR ever discouraging people from giving their money to them – in fact they do the opposite, they have entire doctrines about why and how Christians should be wealthy/prosperous (just look up “great transfer of wealth” in relation to this movement).

For the reader who might be involved in the NAR, I would encourage you to think hard on the following words of Paul before you follow/listen to anyone who claims to be an apostle…

“And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not surprising if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds…” ~ 2 Corinthians 11:12-15 (ESV)