We often hear warnings about the false teachings of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement. Most of us by now know about their “Seven Mountains Mandate” but the deeper we drill down, the more shocking it gets. So let’s see what is on the mind of one of the movement’s so-called Apostles – Robert Henderson.
THE CORE BELIEVE OF THE NEW APOSTOLIC REFORMATION (NAR) IN A NUTSHELL
The New Apostolic Reformation’s political views overlap largely to those of the Republican platform: They want Christians to re-assert their prominence in society. The apostles claim that those opposing them are controlled by literal demonic beings. According to them heir opponents are the cause of societal problems, including economic downturns and even natural disasters and diseases. The movement is leading a shift in emphasis from evangelizing by ‘saving souls’ to what they describe as ‘taking territory.
Henderson’s 2010 book, A Voice of Reformation, explains a theory of dominionism, and the “Seven Mountains Mandate” that guides the NAR. It says society is made up of seven areas of influence: arts and entertainment, business, education, family, government, media, and religion. Apostolic adherents are directed to expand God’s will in whatever area is available to them.
The mountains, Henderson writes, “are the molders of society and the influencers of culture. For too long Christians have been too preoccupied by the religion mountain. The idea now is to see more adherents ascend other mountains — to use their money, talents, skills and time to promote causes that will advance the “kingdom culture” there.
The NAR IS providing some sort of a separate authority structure for people who are in denominations currently, such as the Assemblies of God.
WHO IS ROBERT HENDERSON?
Henderson first heard the ministry’s call as a child. He was 13 when he preached his first sermon. After completing his training, he took his first pastoral position at an established church. He stayed on for 2½ years, but was restless.
So in 1991, he planted Waco Christian Fellowship, in Woodway, Texas. Becoming an apostle means embracing a ministry gift, a unique depth to a vision for the future and shape of the church. Also, there was a real strong period of healing ministry, drawing people from hundreds of miles away. He has done healing ministry throughout the world.
Henderson travels extensively, across the nation and even worldwide: South Africa, England, Germany, Canada, speaking at conferences and seminars, and is invited to speak at local congregations.
Henderson lives in Colorado Springs. He is not a pastor but refers to himself as an “Apostle.” As the Waldo Canyon Fire swept down into the residential neighbourhoods of Mountain Shadows, late in 2012, Henderson watched and wondered, “Is there a spiritual force driving that thing?”
He called together a number of people who, he said, had a prophetic gift. For hours, they prayed and prophesied to identify the demonic power responsible for the conditions that allowed for the fire’s spread, then worked to nullify that power.
“We began to declare that the weather patterns would come into order so that the fire could be put out,” he said, He believe that the weather actually cooperated. “We dealt with what was driving it, and then were able to put in place something that helped the fire-fighters and everybody put it out.” Strategic spiritual warfare, Henderson calls it, a strategy of battling demons through ritual and prayer.
Dr. C. Peter Wagner, was among the first local religious leaders Henderson sought out when he and his family moved here from Texas in 2007. Wagner was a long-time professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in California who, in 2001 said we saw the true beginning of the second apostolic age. He also lives in Colorado Springs, and is often considered the architect of the New Apostolic Reformation. Wagner appeared at Well-Springs, the apostolic centre Henderson opened.
These centres are headed by apostles, not by pastors. In the traditional church the pastor “cares for the sheep” but in these centres, the apostle “mobilizes the army.” Members of an apostolic center are also more aggressive, and attack the devil.
Henderson is well known for his book, seminar, and video, which he calls “Operating in the Courts of Heaven.”
HENDERSON ABOUT HEAVEN
Henderson tells that there are three heavens; think of them as layers. At the top is the third heaven, the one we all aim for, filled with the angels. The lowest layer is the first heaven; this is where we live while on Earth.
Then there is the second heaven. This is where you will find the “principalities and powers,” a massive army of demonic forces ruling regions across the globe. His perspective is that sometimes people do not believe … because of the influence of these principalities and powers that are so controlling the culture, that our message doesn’t make sense. We must declare spiritual warfare against the powers that control a region “so that people’s minds are freed. So that when they hear the message, understand it and receive it.”
CONTROL OVER THE EARTH
He used the gays as an example and said that “while we were waiting to go to heaven, they were discipling a nation.’ Because they changed the way a nation thought. Instead of the church changing the way a nation thought, the homosexuals have changed the way a nation thought.” It is the role of the apostles to take back the mind of the nation.
THE PROPER GOAL
“Our goal is not to create a religious state. We do not want a Christian version of Islam. We want the traditional values that our nation was founded upon to be upheld.”
He interprets Isaiah 2:2-4 incorrectly as saying that God will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples.
According to him, anytime you read about a mountain, you are always reading about a governmental authority – seen or unseen – including businesses and enterprises, which you are directing. A mountain brought down implies that a governmental rule shall be brought down. Furthermore, he says that Isaiah 40:4 tells us the mountain Mt Zion is determining rulership over all other mountains – as it is the “highest”.
He claims “The angel took John up on a high mountain” (Revelation 4).
What we say will happen – as we have a legal footing – this is why we have to be specific and exact. He uses Mark 11:23 to illustrate that mountains represents authority. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”
Henderson says that judgement is not the activity of an angry God. Judgement is to remove things out of the way so that what God wants can come to pass. There is a very real devil and he is trying to resist the things of the Lord. We need to step into our authority, obtain the legal grounds and decree the judgement.
APOSTLESHIP, PROPHETS AND OUR ROLE AS CHRIST
Henderson often refers to Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and priest. Every one of us is to occupy the position of both priest and king. “We have authority over the earth realm. If I don’t take what He has given to me and put it in place, then it has no value.” He based his views on:
Rev 5:10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
Psa 115:16 The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to mankind.
He uses Abraham as an example and says that God needed Abraham’s intercession to enable Him to spare Sodom. Ten (10) was the smallest number that constituted a government to grant God legal right to show mercy and to spare the nation.
Jesus is the Head at the right-hand of the Father’s Throne in heaven, but we are Christ here on earth, as His ambassadors. “We are here with complete divine authority and power to see His will done on the earth. Until we begin to step into this, the world is going to continue to have problems, nations are going to continue to shake, things are not going to come into the place that they need to – not because Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit aren’t able to bring it about but because we are afraid to take up our position and be the “Christ” on the earth.” What blasphemy!!
“Just because I have a (extra-biblical) revelation doesn’t mean that I have the authority to deal with it!” Prophets and intercessors must always be connected with an apostle so that they stay within their measurement of rule. We have to understand our jurisdiction.
According to Henderson, Eph 2:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. God gives apostles commissions, but they cannot do what they need to without prophets (and vice versa) – together they create something that is recognized in the Courts of Heaven. (As Christians we should know that this is not what Ephesians 2:20 was actually all about. I relates to the time when Jesus started His church in this world and gave the foundation to the Biblical Apostles to built on).
Henderson is of the opinion that the sovereignty of God is “pushed too far” by lazy Christianity and that this will lead us into captivity. Such words as “God will heal me if He wants to” is wrong, as Jesus already has said “Yes I will heal you” at the Cross!”
We need to occupy and take ground and hold it until Jesus comes – for there will be “sheep nations” (Matt 25). A “sheep nation” is one that has developed a kingdom culture in it. Stop giving ourselves theological excuses for failure – “Well God will do what He wants to do.”
He is the Bridegroom – we are the Bride. He is the Father – we are the sons and daughters. Everything that is going to get done is going to get done together – or it’s not going to get done!
This strikes at the core of His sovereignty issue … God is partnering with us and has given us this earth! He has to have a legal right to move in mercy and grace.
It is correct to say that God sometimes also expects us to take some actions but God is surely not always dependant on our “assistance and help” or on legal rights given by men, to get things done. Henderson’s god surely seems a little weak.
DEALING WITH RULERS, AUTHORITIES AND SPIRITUAL FORCES
Eph 6:12, “For our struggle (wrestle) is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Henderson says revival is not about having the right preacher – for Paul was not a dynamic preacher, but he knew how to move principalities out of the way and revival always broke out.
He refers to Isaiah 42:13 (“The LORD will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout (roar) he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies”) and says that the Lord is doing these things through His people.
According to Henderson’s skewed interpretations, Nehemiah 2:7-8 speaks of the principalities – the demonic resistance we encounter. We need “letters” from our King to enable the King’s decrees that come out of our mouth. These are decrees to those things that rule regions. They have to let us pass through and also provide provision for our needs. They have to move because they have no authority to stop us.
BINDING AND LOOSING
Binding and loosing as mentioned in Mat 16:19 are legal terms in Henderson’s opinion. Jesus is leading us to get binding contracts in place so that God can have a legal right to invade the earth and to dissolve every contract with hell that enables hell the legal right to operate in the planet. This is far from what the Bible teaches as it actually relates to church disciplines.
BOOKS IN HEAVEN
Henderson twists and misquotes Dan 7:10 and Rev 10:9-11 and says that for every person, there is a book in heaven, since from before time began. He also wrongly relates God’s predestination and foreknowledge in Rom 8:29-30 to what God has ordained for a person as destiny while still in this world (while the Bible is actually referring to salvation matters). This “book” contains God’s destiny and purpose for the person.
This view could maybe in general still be somehow acceptable but then he goes on to say that every person should find out what this purpose and destiny should be and he mainly applies it to our time still in this world. He also wrongly defines GRACE as the empowerment to “work it out and to fulfil my purpose (in this life).” Reborn Christians should know that grace in the Bible mainly relates to salvation!
No mentioning is made, that the “book” would actually also be used to judge a person, once he has passed on. To him, it is all about now.
He then uses Peter (Luk 22:31-32) as an example, implying that Satan has some sort of insight into our “books” and accordingly uses this knowledge to stop us from fulfilling what God has ordained regarding our destiny and purpose while still in this world.
He then expands on these “books” by saying that they do not only speak to a person’s personal destiny and purpose, but also to his role in the destiny and purpose of his country, his nation, his tribe etcetera.
COURTS IN HEAVEN
“God met in the Counsel of the Lord (with whomever) and out of this, what was determined about my destiny was written down in my book – this is where my “book” comes from (Jer 23:18).”
Henderson claims that all sorts of voices are speaking on our behalf in the “courts of Heaven,” if we can come into agreement with what God has set for us.
He applies Scripture in 2 Kings 6: 16-17 spiritually (twists) as if Elisha was talking about some of these “voices.,” where Elisha said “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
Apparently, there are also separate courts in heaven for individuals and for nations.
Every Christian should know that this is insanity as only God has a say in our destiny. God is also our only Judge, with Jesus Christ as our Mediator.
PRAYERS AND PRAYING
Prayer is not informing God of our needs – He already knows our needs. Prayer is co-labouring with God to give Him the legal right to answer our prayers. Because God knows our needs, it does not give Him the legal right to act! As Judge He can only rule in what is before the Court – not on what He knows. – for Him knowing is not enough to get the answer through.
“It is our job to give God the legal right to grant our requests in court …” This is why “that which is written in Heaven” is often never fulfilled in the earth, because there is a legal reason that the devil holds to resist us from getting our full destiny and living it out.”
He continues by saying, “when prayer is not being answered,… if something is not moving it, it is not necessarily about pushing harder, but that there is a legal reason which gives the enemy the ability to resist our prayers. Once we figured out what the legal issue is which is stopping this thing moving through, we can get it dealt with and we will be able to open the door. God can now legally answer our prayers which are the Father’s passion.”
If you read between the lines, he is actually referring to the legal system of men and other things in this world, which is often standing between God and us. Doesn’t the Bible actually teaches that only sin could stand between God and men?
“when we pray we are stepping into this judicial system … we are not necessarily stepping onto a battlefield.”
He then uses praying for the sick as an example. “If we pray for people and miss the legal reason of why they are sick, they will not get well, because of the legal right of the sickness to exist.”
God do not need any legal rights from any man to act – this is pure blasphemy! In addition, the enemy is never strong enough to “block” what God has ordained, so to speak.
He also says that Martin Luther is still praying in heaven and crying out for Germany and George Washington for the USA to be saved. This is contrary to what the Bible teaches about the dead (Ecclesiastes 9:5 – “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.”)
A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND TITHING
The way in which he describes the believer’s intimate relationship is none other than blasphemy. “A sloppy wet kiss” “From the bedroom to the throne.”
“The job of the priest (in the Old Testament), was to offer offerings to enable God to bless His people – what He wanted to do!” Through tights, he says, we bring our offerings. They are our testimonies in the “Courts of Heaven.” By giving our tights, we are able to claim, “Lord, give me my mountain” (ie making known to us what our purpose and destiny is in this world). For offerings are about covenant – every time we bring a sacrificial offering, I am stepping into a covenant with the Lord – and we can always pray blessing from our tithes and first fruits offerings. Henderson also twist the meaning of Philippians 4:18-19 to defend his views on tithing.
This is nowhere to be found in Holy Scripture and the entire issue of tithing is often being twisted in Charismatic and Pentecostal churches in general.
THE 9/11 EVENT
According to Henderson, the 9/11 event would never have happened if there was only one strong earthly church instead of so many smaller churches. He says that there was nothing standing in the Court to permit God to grant what He desired – which is always blessing (and preventing such events).
Court realms dealing with nations are always at a different level to those dealing at a personal level. “If I try and go into the courtroom for a nation and I don’t have the apostolic jurisdiction to do so, I will suffer backlash.”
This is ridiculous as God is and was always in charge and if God wanted to allow it, no earthly church or any so-called court in heaven would have been in the position to stop it.