ON THIS PAGE
“…. for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.” [Revelation 12:12]
Introduction... The Five-Fold Ministry
Enter C Peter Wagner
Introducing Bill Hamon
Wagner…. The Spider in The Middle of A Very Large Web.
Global Harvest Ministries, World Prayer Center, Wagner Leadership Institute, The Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders, The Apostolic Roundtable for Deliverance Ministers, International Coalition of
Apostles (ICA) and John Kelly, The Wagner Leadership Institute
New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)
Size and Growth
Apostolic Reformation and Tithing
Barf Bag anyone?
Tithing and The Scriptures
The Lunatic Fringe …Firmly Entrenched in Mainstream Churches
The Salvation Army
Wasilla Assembly of God and the Juneau Christian Church
The Master’s Commission, Thomas Muthee and John Bevere.
Wasilla Assembly of God Speakers
Francis Frangipane, Thomas Muthee, Dutch Sheets, Mary Glazier, Paul Keith Davis, Lance Wallnau
21st Century Vertical and Horizontal “Apostles”
Section IV.. Are There Apostles and Prophets Today?
The Five-Fold Ministry: As said at the end of the last chapter, the Latter Rain brought in a new focus on the spiritual elements of Christianity including personal prophecy, the restoration of the five-fold ministry (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher) mentioned in Ephesians 4:11-12, and a different end time emphasis. It is believed that under the rule of these prophets and apostles, the church will be ''perfected'':
"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."
Enter C Peter Wagner and his New Apostolic Reformation
C. Peter Wagner, former professor of Church Growth at Fuller Theological Seminary School of World Mission, was briefly mentioned on Page 126 of The Purpose Driven Church, first published in 1995. In it Rick Warren talks about “Five Major Parachurch Movements”, saying [Emphasis Added]
“it is interesting to observe that most of the parachurch movements begun on the past forty years tend to specialize in one of the purposes of the church. From time to time God has raised up a parachurch movement to reemphasize a neglected purpose of the church”.
The books of Peter Wagner are mentioned as one of the starting points of The Church Growth Movement.  See Seeker Friendly, Church Growth Failures in The Bible
(Incidentally, the second movement Rick Warren mentions is The Discipleship/Spiritual Formations Movement, saying a “reemphasis on developing believers to full maturity has been the focus of this movement. Organizations such as the Navigators, Worldwide Discipleship, and Campus Crusade for Christ, and authors such as Waylon Moore, Gary Kuhne, Gene Getz, Richard Foster, and Dallas Willard have underscored the importance of building up Christians and establishing personal spiritual disciplines”.)
An October 2009 article on the Charisma Magazine web site entitled Last Days Fever, quotes C Peter Wagner.
“The Case for Dominion I can still remember prophecy teachers who tacked rows of charts and diagrams on the church wall and explained spell-binding details of the past, present and future. I cut my spiritual teeth on the Scofield Bible and devoured Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth. My seminary professors instructed me in pre-tribulationism and premillenialism. I quickly categorized anyone who disagreed as a “liberal.”
Now I look back on those days with a strange combination of regret and amusement. How is it that I was so wrong for so long? As I analyze my change, I can sum it up by admitting that I simply did not understand the kingdom of God… My favorite term is “dominion eschatology.” Why? Because Jesus did not give His Great Commission in vain.
The battle will be ferocious, and we will suffer some casualties along the way. However, we will continue to push Satan back and disciple whole nations. We are aggressively retaking dominion, and the rate at which this is happening will soon become exponential. The day will come when “‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever’” (Rev. 11:15, NKJV)! 
C Peter Wagner is closely associated with other stalwarts of the Kingdom/Dominion movement. A “synopsis of what was reported to be taught about the 'apostolic' at the last Colorado conference National School of the Prophets: January 28 -30, 1999” can be found on the web site harvestnet.org. It says the conference was
“…run and hosted by a group that have often been found together, announcing the dawning of a new age of apostles (Speakers such as: C. Peter Wagner, Paul Cain, Chuck Pierce, Cindy Jacobs, Bill Hamon, Dutch Sheets, Rick Joyner, Kingsley Fletcher, Mike Bickle, Jim Laffoon, Barbara Wentroble and Ted Haggard. 
Which makes it as good a time as any to introduce yet another of our modern day apostates, before returning to Wagner…
Bill Hamon, who has been involved with C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation from the beginning. He is founder of Christian International Ministries, author of several books and, according to the Elijah List, “a prophet for more than 50 years… specializing in the restoration of the Church and what to expect next on God's agenda” .
He claims that in 1979, God challenged him “to add the "School of the Holy Spirit" to the Cl ministry. This "school" served as a "classroom ministry" to teach, train, and activate individuals in the gifts of the Holy Spirit”, and that three years later, in 1983, he “received the revelation that God was going to raise up a great end-time company of prophets to restore the ministries of the prophet and the apostle”. 
He also says that
“98 percent of Spirit-filled, born again Christians do not have any concept of the overall purpose of God for His Church” 
Which is absolutely no wonder since “98 percent of Spirit-filled, born again Christians” haven’t read any of this baloney in the Scriptures they are perfectly ignorant of it.. thankfully so. Remember this statement by Hamon, previously quoted in Part I of this article… [Emphasis Added]
See, you as an adult can drop down on the floor with a four-year-old and crawl and play and talk gooey gooey talk, but he can't elevate himself up to talk and fellowship on your level. I can drop back down and fellowship and talk with a Lutheran about justification of faith and Jesus, but if I try to get them on my level to speak in tongues or prophesy or move in gifts, I am taking to them beyond their growth, experiences and revelation. So we who are spiritual should restore those who are weak”. 
C Peter Wagner wrote the foreword to Hamon’s book Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God, which he describes as “a thrill to read”. About it Wagner says…[Emphasis Added]
As the name would imply, one of the chief features of the New Apostolic Reformation, setting it apart from the more traditional versions of Christianity, is the emerging recognition of the role of apostles on the Body of Christ. Because this is such a key to advancing the Kingdom of God and because the notion of contemporary apostles is s new to many of us, including myself, an urgent need of our times is wise and recognized leadership by those through whom God has been speaking and working along these lines for some time. Bill Hamon is one who God has raised up to meet this need”. [Foreword]
According to Hamon the Manifest Sons of God are the “last-day apostles and prophets”. [Emphasis Added]
The whole creation is waiting for the last generation Church. The earth and all of creation are waiting for the manifestation of God’s last-day apostles and prophets and fully restored Church. “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19 NKJV). When the Church is fully restored, then the saints will receive their final redemption, the immortalization of the mortal bodies” 
Bill Hamon also says that Jesus’ return is dependent on the church fulfilling it’s destiny.. [All Emphasis Added]
The apostles, along with the other four were given to the Church until it reaches the fullness of Christ’s ministry and maturity. Jesus cannot return to translate His church until it obtains and fulfills all that the prophetic scriptures declare. This will not be accomplished until the last decade of the mortal Church. Apostles play a vital role in this ministry to the Church (Acts 3:19-25). 
Unfortunately Hamon’s book begins to unravel right from page two with some of the most inventive interpretations of Scripture one can ever have the misfortune of coming across.
[See Hamon’s interpretation of Romans 8:19 and Hebrews 11:39-40
And Other Inventive Interpretations]
The Spider in The Middle of A Very Large Web.
Perhaps, the most disturbing thing about Peter Wagner is that, although he is the founder of a large number of organizations and is allied with innumerable others, he has largely flown under the radar for a very long time. Wagner is called the "convener," at many Apostolic conferences, which clearly shows him to be the power behind the movement, yet it questionable as to how many Christians outside of this apostolic network even know he exists. In fact, he describes himself as a "horizontal apostle" which, in his words, is the one who brings other apostles and prophets together and when he brings them together “things happen”… “Because that’s an anointing that God has given to horizontal apostles”. 
It is a bit of a challenge to keep Wagner’s various networks straight, but here it is in a nutshell.
Global Harvest Ministries: Wagner is the founder of Global Harvest Ministries, established in 1991, the purpose of which is, in their words..[Emphasis Added]
“To catalyze and strengthen global forces for fulfilling the Great Commission; To serve the New Apostolic Reformation by engaging in whatever apostolic ministries may be necessary to stimulate, equip, encourage, network, and resource its leaders; To train Christian leaders in prayer, spiritual warfare, apostolic and prophetic ministries, signs and wonders, social transformation, and other aspects of practical ministry; 
Their web site also says they
“are looking forward to another year of gatherings which equip the Body of Christ for ministry and breakthrough. In a world where uncertainty seems to overtake our daily lives, we have purposed to offer four conferences in 2010 to help you find your footing and overcome every obstacle”.
The third of these conferences is scheduled for Sept 30 - Oct 2, 2010. Although, as of January 19th, both location and speakers were yet to be finalized, the conference has been named… “The Ark is Moving: Be Mobilized for War!” [9b]
World Prayer Center: Wagner’s partnering with Ted Haggard, who was then pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, resulted in the Peter and Doris Wagner moving to Colorado in 1996 and founding the World Prayer Center, which was completed and dedicated in 1998 on the property of Ted Haggard's charismatic New Life Church. (Chuck Pierce then assumed leadership role for Global Harvest Ministry).
In spite of this there are assertions that Ted Haggard has no formal association with the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and it's International Coalition Of Apostles (ICA). However Peter Wagner who wrote the foreword to Ted Haggard’s book The Life Giving Church says [Emphasis Added]
Ted Haggard has now provided something that every new apostolic church leader has deeply desired; a practical operators manual, so to speak, for starting and running a church…
Wagner also says that he can personally affirm that “the advice in The Life Giving Church is good advice” Partly because he and his wife Doris …
“joined New Life Church when we moved from California to Colorado Springs. Ted Haggard is our pastor. I thought that our wonderful church is California would be hard to replace. But New Life Church has done it” 
(Read one account of the shenanigans of a visiting evangelist to New Life Church during Ted Haggard’s time.. Hogan Not a Hero)
Incidentally, in 2005, Haggard was listed by Time magazine as one of the top 25 most influential evangelicals in America. , but it wasn’t long after that Ted Haggard described assertions that he engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a 20-year-old male volunteer in 2006 as "fundamentally true".
Wagner Leadership Institute founded in 1998 by C. Peter Wagner is, according to them, “an international network of apostolic training centers established to equip the saints for kingdom ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12)… Students obtain a living, functioning impartation and activation from the Holy Spirit to walk in their divine destiny.” 
The Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders: is “a select group of prophets who needs to build personal relationships with other prophets of the same status. They are convened annually by C. Peter Wagner and meet once a year in Colorado Springs Colorado” [12b]. “During the last meeting of the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders (ACPE), held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Peter Wagner felt that it was time for him to pass on the mantle of leadership of the ACPE”. Accordingly Wagner asked Cindy Jacobs if she was willing “to take the leadership of this prophetic council”. In Cindy Jacob’s words
“I agreed—on one condition-—that both he and Doris stay on the ACPE and continue on our journey together into the new… What does that mean? From that point forward, I have been responsible for overseeing the administration for the meetings as we seek God together for the new wind of the Holy Spirit. 
New wind of the Holy Spirit? See ACPE's Word for 2005: http://www.praycolorado.org/ACP1.3.05.PDF
The Apostolic Roundtable of Deliverance Ministers (ARDM): Twenty-five other Apostles who have been invited to form an international leadership of Apostles. These roles are by invitation only. They meet regularly each year in Colorado Springs Colorado.
The International Society of Deliverance Ministers (ISDM) “was established in 2003 as an outgrowth of the Apostolic Roundtable of Deliverance Ministers (ARDM), founded in 2000. ARDM was originally convened, under the leadership of C. Peter Wagner, with the view of helping recognized deliverance ministers connect with each other, build personal relationships, learn from and encourage one another.” [13b].
International Coalition of Apostles (ICA) and John Kelly: described as a network of more than 5,000 churches in the United States alone  ICA “was conceived by a group of apostles who gathered informally in Singapore in 1999. John Kelly agreed to establish an office in Dallas, Texas, to organize a council and to begin to invite apostles to join ICA. He then asked C. Peter Wagner to assume overall leadership of ICA as “Presiding Apostle” . The ICA used to say they were… “... the largest professional society of apostles known with nearly 500 apostles as active members who pay dues, attend an annual meeting, connect with each other, and provide mutual support and accountability. However this has been changed to
“ICA is designed to connect apostles’ wisdom and resources in order that each member can function more strategically, combine their efforts globally, and effectively accelerate the advancement of the Kingdom of God on earth. To maximize this effort, ICA is apostolically lead and prophetically influenced. ICA is currently the largest known professional Christian society of God-ordained and man-recognized apostles in the world today.
While there no longer seems to be an online list of current ICA members, THIS page shows how many nations ICAL has formed, or is in the process of forming, national Coalitions in. It includes churches from all over the world in countries as diverse as Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, Ghana, Iceland, Croatia, Italy, Japan, Indonesia, Nigeria, Poland, Malawi, Ireland and many more countries.
John Kelly was not only founding apostle of the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA), but he now serves as ICA’s “Ambassadorial Apostle”, who “convenes apostolic summits in different regions of the U.S. from time to time” . John Kelly’s web site LEAD or Leadership Education for Apostolic Development says he… [All Emphasis Added]
“equips and strengthens Christians to build the Kingdom of God. Through institutes, conferences, marketplace seminars, roundtable summits and meetings, LEAD trains up End Time Warriors to understand their calling and fulfill their destiny. Today is the day to acquire wisdom, knowledge and understanding for a dynamic and successful life!” 
John P. Kelly is also the CEO of International Christian WealthBuilders Foundation (ICWBF) a Christian ministry “committed to the education, training and mentoring of wealthbuilders to become wealth generators to become wealth distributors”. They claim
“ICWBF training is grounded on the Word of God. When a good man dies, he leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren; but when a sinner dies; his wealth is stored up for the godly. Proverbs 13:22” 
Incidentally International Christian WealthBuilders Foundation’s Statement of Faith includes the following
“We believe that Christ Himself has bestowed upon certain men of His choosing the spiritual gifting of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. These five offices constitute the eldership of the Church whose function is to cooperate in spiritually equipping and activating believers for effective service in every sphere of life, including the marketplace, political, education, media, arts, family and church. The work of the eldership is to establish spiritual unity and the priesthood of all believers in Christ. Their objective is to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.” 
The Wagner Leadership Institute has over 50 On-Demand Courses available! You can currently watch a one hour sample course session, which is invaluable in acquiring a basic understanding of the movement that Wagner has so effective catalyzed. Kicking off his lecture, Wagner tells the class:
“OK, first of all, I want to repeat something. You don’t have to write it down, because you already have it in your notes. But I want to remind you that the New Apostolic Reformation is the most radical change in the way of doing church since the Protestant Reformation. That’s what we’re dealing with”.
New Apostolic Reformation (NAR):
Has been briefly described by two Christian ministries.. The first is by Apologetic Index [All Emphasis Added]
“Wagners latest excursion into aberrant and heretical expressions of Christianity is the promotion of apostles and the so-called New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) — a movement which asserts that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of Prophet and Apostle. Leading figures in NAR suggest that these prophets and apostles alone have the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth. They believe they are laying the foundation for a global church, governed by them…. 
and the second by Deception Bytes [All Emphasis Added]
The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) sprang from the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement. They claim that they have been given authority to lay the foundation for the “new” global church. They believe they are restored apostles called and ordained by God to be the government for the emerging “New Order” church. In order to maintain this governance they stress strict obedience and submission to them in all matters. They claim they hear directly from God, and many claim that Jesus visits them in person. Like the true biblical apostles who established the early church, these so called restored apostles believe they are called to lay the foundation and government for the new Kingdom (one world church).
Their goal is complete and utter control of the church and subjugation of its current governance to them. They want power, dominion and total control. They truly believe that the world is awaiting fulfillment of a take over by a militant church (Joel’s Army) that will arise, govern and dominate the world politically and spiritually. This is a highly organized group with a global agenda. It has been well thought out, well strategized, and will be implemented with military precision. The grid is in place - our future is planned. 
And, as you will see, these two descriptions hit the nail on the head. For example, in an introduction to the New Apostolic Reformation, the web site of C Peter Wagner’s Global Harvest Ministries says… [Emphasis Added]
The New Apostolic Reformation is an extraordinary work of God at the close of the twentieth century, which is, to a significant extent, changing the shape of Protestant Christianity around the world. 
The advertising blurb of the Apostles and Prophets Conference in February 2000, included the following statement: [Bold Added]
“The New Apostolic Reformation is an extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit that is changing the shape of Christianity globally. It is truly a new day! The Church is changing. New names! New methods! New worship expressions. The Lord IS ESTABLISHING THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE CHURCH FOR THE NEW MILLENIUM. THIS FOUNDATION IS BUILT UPON APOSTLES AND PROPHETS…” 
If you happen to be one of those who 1) believes in these so called latter day apostles and prophets and 2) think strict obedience to them is called for, I suggest you read the next two sections of this article.
Section IV: Genuine New Testament Apostles Or Deluded Con Men
Section V: Biblical Accountability and Authority.
However what causes one to sit up and pay attention is the sheer numbers of those involved.
Size and Growth
An article entitled "Wesley's World Revolution" by David Martin, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics says –
"Throughout the Third World and the former Communist bloc, a vibrant Protestant Christianity is radically remaking people's lives. Bureaucratic centralizers (and Cardinals) are, quite rightly, scared stiff." .
An article on the Talk to Action web site doesn’t seem to be too far off base (if at all) when they say..
Some of these Apostles also have hundreds or even thousands in their own networks. There are numerous other interconnected apostolic networks around the world tied to this movement by their common belief system and also interconnected activities, conventions, media, schools, and parachurch ministries. The New Apostolic Reformation is now a distinct entity with its own theology, apostolic networks, schools, school accreditation system, conferences, and media. The Apostolic structure, as defined by Wagner, provides a network of authority or "apostolic covering." Each of Wagner's approximately 500 Apostles has networks of their own, some claiming hundreds or even thousands of ministries under their authority. 
In his book Churchquake!: A Look at the Dramatic New Movement That Will Affect the Future of the Church  C. Peter Wagner states that the editor of World Christian Encyclopedia, David Barrett, told Wagner that by 1996 Barrett
“had over a thousand apostolic networks on his database, and he would estimate at that point considerably more than 100 million new apostolic adherents worldwide”.
Wagner goes on to quote Barrett as later saying
“Every time I do an approximate statistical count of this movement it seems bigger and bigger. We are sure to be startled out of our wits over the next few months”. [Pg. 47]
Wagner then presents statistics on several churches around the world.
Brazil: the fastest growing church is the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. Led by Edir Macedo it now numbers more than 3 million.
Lisbon, Portugal: Manna church led by Jorge Tadeu has a core of 25,000 members and has planted 22 new churches in Portugal. “It now has a cumulative membership of 75,000.
London: Kensington Temple pastored by Colin Dye is made up of 6000 people from 110 ethnic groups.
Budapest, Hungary: Faith Church pastored by Sandor Nemeth “counts 4,500 members but has a total constituency of 15,000.
Nigeria: Pastor E.A. Adeboye of the Redeemed Church of God network has built an open sided facility that measures 1km by .5 km. “On the first Friday of every month a crowd of 500,000 gathers from a dusk to dawn “Holy Ghost Night!”
Buenos Aires: The Waves of Love and Peace Church estimates some 150,000 members , purchased a 2,500 seat theater as a church facility and hold services 18 hours a day on weekdays. This expands to 23 hours a day on weekends. [Pgs. 47-48]
Wagner again quotes David Martin…
“Over the past thirty or so years the religious map of the world has changed dramatically…More often than not this shift is toward a Pentecostal faith in the gifts of the Holy Spirit… healing, tongues, exorcism, prophecy, holiness. Overall perhaps a quarter of a billion people are involved”.
and goes on to say that
“Many Christian leaders still have no idea that this movement even exists. Some have stereotypes that relegate it to the lunatic fringe of Christianity… Part of our inbred Western arrogance tends to evaluate whatever happens by using our own set of experiences and our own scale of values as the criteria. This much and will change. [Pg. 49]
In an article entitled The Trojan Horse In The Charismatic Movement, author Kenneth Uptegrove talks about watching a DVD on one of the apostolic conferences called, 2008, Staring the Year off Right. In it …
“Dutch Sheets spoke shamelessly about their (NAR) groups plans to take over. He showed a dotted map of the United States with hundreds of large and smaller dots spaced evenly across the country. He explained that the larger dots showed the apostolic hubs: the teaching and training centers they had already implemented. The smaller dots showed the individual apostles that had been put in place. Underneath the apostles, he explained, would be the individual churches that would be, a local expression of the global church. He stressed that we were no longer to think in terms of our local church but in terms of the Kingdom (buzz word for the coming one world church)”. 
And how does this huge renegade enterprise finance itself? With YOUR money of course.
Apostolic Reformation and Tithing
In his book Dominion!: How Kingdom Action Can Change the World, C Peter Wagner quotes an obscure verse in Ecclesiastes 10:19, where Solomon says “Money answers everything”.
We have not taken such wisdom seriously enough. Three things, more than anything else, have changed society throughout history; violence, knowledge and wealth- and the greatest of these is wealth. Our churches have been under the spell of a spirit of poverty since the monastic movement began and this spirit must be broken in order for wealth to flow. Our most reputable prophets have prophesied a great transfer of wealth from the unrighteous to the Kingdom of God. .. God gives His people the power to get wealth (see Deuteronomy 8:1) 
Incidentally Deuteronomy 8:1 says
"All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your forefathers.
I cannot imagine how Wagner figures the verse in Deuteronomy to be a general principal that God gives all His people (throughout history) power to get wealth. The land spoken about in Deuteronomy 8 was given to the people of Israel in fulfillment of the promise God made Abraham… "look from the place where you are, northward, southward, eastward and westward: For the entire land you are looking at I will give to you and to your descendants for ever" (Genesis 13:14, 15). The Lord was warning the people that they had to keep His commandments in order that they may prosper in their new home.
The verse has nothing to do with 21st century wealth.
In his book Church Quake! The Explosive Power of the New Apostolic Reformation, (Pgs. 260-262) C. Peter Wagner takes tithing to a whole new level. He states that he was “trained in the traditional mind-set in seminary” and assumed this was correct until his friend John Wimber “broke the mold” and told Wagner…
“If someone in my church comes to me with a suggestion as to the direction of the church, the first thing I do is to look up their giving records.”
When asked why, Wimber replied
“It is very important to me to know where their heart is before I know how much weight to attach to their suggestion. How can I tell where their heart is? Jesus said that where your treasure is, there your heart is also!”
Wagner goes on to say
“John Wimber is joined by most other apostolic pastors in concluding that giving to a cause is a biblical measuring scale for commitment to that cause. In their minds the amount, of course, is proportionate to the income level of their church members. How do they know the income level? It is simple. A good pastor knows the sheep.
See John Wimber and The Vineyard Churches
A LITMUS TEST FOR LEADERSHIP
Wagner goes on to relate how he was “having breakfast with three new apostolic megachurch pastors from various parts of the country” and asked them about “accessing their church member’s giving records. And all three of them did”. “They looked at me as if to say, “Why are you asking such an obvious question?. I then went on and asked them how they used that information.
*Two of the three receive printouts each Monday of those who gave generously the day before. One asks for a list of those who gave $1,000 or more and the other of those who gave $2,500 or more. These individuals receive special attention.
*One uses it for counseling. If the records seem to indicate that an individual or family is not tithing, the pastor calls them in and talks to them about it. When I asked, “Why?” the pastor said, “Because they are under a curse [referring to Malachi 3:9], and my job as pastor is to help break any curse my people might be under”.
*All of them use it as a litmus test for lay leadership in the church. Individuals who are not generous in tithes and offerings are disqualified for leadership roles. Each of them said that all other new apostolic pastors they are aware of would agree on this point. |
*One uses it to recognize and honor large donors. Each year the church hosts a special banquet for their “Gideon’s Army”, meaning their largest donors.
Supposedly, many church members are more generous to parachurch ministries than to their own church because
Wagner goes on to say that he himself sees “a photocopy of every check that comes in to support the work” and that he prays “blessing on each donor, large and small”. However he says he pays “special attention to the large donors.”.
“I flag them and they receive a personal telephone call. We say, “How can we pray for you?” The upshot is that each one of them is assured that I, as president know their names and appreciate the crucial role they have in our ministry.”
And it gets better.. He then says
“I have heard that the couple who founded one of our large parachurch ministries in the United States personally spends a week a year is a luxury resort hosting it’s million-dollar donors.” 
Barf Bag Anyone?
The first issue I have with the above is the statement that “apostolic pastors” realize the amount a person tithes is proportionate to their income level, and that they know the income level of their church members because “It is simple. A good pastor knows the sheep”.
I am afraid that even overlooking the asinine comment that a good pastor (shepherd) knowing his sheep is in any way related to finances, the rest of the statement is not quite as simple as it is made out to be. The term megachurch “generally refers to any Protestant congregation with a sustained average weekly attendance of 2000 persons or more in its worship services”. (Although some get much larger .. It is believed that Joel Osteen’s Lakewood is on course to be the first church to reach a membership of 35,000”).
And the pastor supposedly knows the financial state is every single one of that many people? It is far more likely that he has made it his business to find out which members of his congregation has the big bucks.
The second issue is with the idea of a curse being upon those that do not tithe at all, or not to the level that the “pastor” thinks is appropriate. This only shows the abysmal level of Biblical knowledge to which our so called leaders have fallen.
Tithing and The Scriptures
When referring to the Scriptures in an effort to support the manipulation that passes as tithing in many of today’s churches, most teachers of the practice will round up the usual suspects… verses that are usually rendered out of context. For example, The tithe belongs to the Lord, or Will a man rob God? or The house of the Lord is neglected!
The following quotes are taken from Tithing Today: God's Plan or Designs of Man? …In which the author examines the primary scriptures used to finance American Christianity [Part I] and refutes the common arguments used to persuade believers that tithing is biblically required [Part II]. Note that this article is a serious Biblical study of the history and origins of tithing. Those who are content to base their beliefs on a few out of context Scriptures need not bother.
A familiar passage of Scripture frequently used in challenging Christians to greater spiritual, and sometimes material, reward is Malachi 3:8. Will a man rob God? is an often repeated "battle cry" delivered from pulpits across America. Unfortunately, this passage of Scripture is most often encountered during annual stewardship sermons or when a project or building needs financing. One thing seems relatively certain these days; a predominance of teaching from the prophet Malachi will often accompany a squeeze upon the pocketbook. When believers buy in to the bad teaching offered from the commonly misrepresented words of Malachi, they are often prevented from enjoying true Christian stewardship.
Manipulating people into following modern tithing doctrines seems to be motivated or inspired by one or more of the following: 1) greed; 2) the financial obligations or poor management of a given church or ministry; 3) the pride, ego, or need for recognition of the teacher (usually a pastor), e.g., the "kingdom building" sometimes associated with bigger buildings and flashy programs, and; 4) misplaced faith, i.e., faith in money or faith in a clever teaching to accomplish certain goals rather than faith in God.
One goal of this commentary is to liberate the Christian from mechanical, legalistic, and often coercive giving; however, the primary goal is to open evangelistic opportunities as individual believers learn to heed more closely biblical instruction by channeling their resources to places where need is greatest. Evangelistic opportunities will open when Christians develop habits of stewardship that follow scriptural patterns.
Perhaps the last word can go the Didache which is, in all probability, the oldest surviving piece of non-canonical literature. While, not part of the canon, in this case, it certainly hit the nail on the head.
"And every apostle who cometh among you, let him be received as the Lord; but he shall not remain more than one day; if, however, there be need, then the next day; but if he remain three days, he is a false prophet. But when the apostle departeth, let him take nothing except bread enough till he lodge again; but if he ask money, he is a false prophet." .
The Lunatic Fringe …Firmly Entrenched in Mainstream Churches.
If you, by any chance, still think this movement is limited to the “lunatic fringe of Christianity”, let me remind you that we have already documented that organizations like The Coalition on Revival (COR), Pat Robertson and his Regent University, Promise Keepers, The Vineyard Churches, Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and American Vision are all heavily involved in the Dominionist movement. [See Section I: Basic Beliefs, Origins, Spread and Dominionism in Today’s World]
Now we would like to point you in a couple of different directions… 1) The Salvation Army and 2) The Wasilla Assembly of God church located in Alaska which, until quite recently, was home church to a now familiar face on the American political scene.. Sarah Palin.
The Salvation Army
A December 200 Talk to Action article by Bruce Wilson says
“With an operating budget, in 2004, of 2.6 billion dollars, the Salvation Army is one of the largest providers of social services in the world. There's been some previous indication, during the last decade, that the religious culture of the Salvation Army, has been changing…. Now, the Salvation Army appeared to have developed a working relationship with C. Peter Wagner's New Apostolic Reformation. The War College, a recent Salvation Army creation with campuses in Chicago and Vancouver, British Columbia, "is affiliated with the Wagner Leadership Institute" and teaches doctrines of the New Apostolic Reformation”. 
Sadly this is completely true.. The website for the Vancouver campus of The War College declares,
"You may have heard of The Salvation Army's bold foray into radical battle schooling. The War College has been created to train this generation's warriors to win the world for Jesus… In the early 3rd millennium Christians are gathering each year at The War College in Vancouver. There, challenged by the Holy Spirit, they are consecrating themselves to the mission of world redemption. "
And a little further down the page is the Wagner Leadership Institute logo, with the words…
Students continuing their formation may select a Associate of Practical Ministry degree and continue with WLI in pursuit of their bachelor, master and doctorate degrees. 
The website of the War College's Chicago branch also features the Wagner Leadership Institute logo (below the video). The site says [All Emphasis Added]
“You will be immersed in essential subjects for warfare success, such as extreme holiness, warfare operations, spiritual disciplines, extreme prophetic, spiritual accountability, social justice, and apostolic leadership. You will receive the course content required for success in the future wars to which God appoints you…. You will be trained by successful Salvation Army leaders in evangelism, discipleship, intercession, the prophetic and other spiritual gifts, servanthood, cell multiplication, preaching, warfare worship and more. You will find yourself in the thick of the fight, right on front lines. 
The Salvation Army's leadership page features the so called prophetess who specializes in Linda Blair imitations. She outdid herself at Todd Bentley’s commissioning giving him the ‘Keys to Europe’ and comparing him to Jesus on the Cross. [See Todd Bentleys Circus Side Show From Hell ]
The Board of Reference features established leaders from around the world. These people offer input into the composition and operation of The War College. The Board consists of General Shaw Clifton, General Eva Burrows (R), General John Gowans (R), Commissioner Wesley Harris, Commissioner Phil Needham, Commissioner Joe Noland, Colonel Earl Robinson, Lieut-Colonel Don Copple, Lieut-Colonel David Grindle, Wesley and Stacey Campbell.