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Wolves? Who is Randy Clark?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 10:48
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Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective

Randy Clark is big in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). He is claimed to be a modern-day apostle. As we wrote about previously, even people within the Charismatic Movement are calling out these so-called prophets and apostles with great concern for what they are inviting and allowing into the visible Church.

Randy Clark’s ministry page – Global Awakening – exists to press home the point that he believes a global awakening is coming to America and the world. Prior to  their Statement of Faith page, there are introductory remarks concerning that statement. These remarks tend to read like a clarion call to unity in spite of any theological differences.

In this day we cannot inflict wounds upon the body of Christ, but rather we must encourage one another. We must shift the conflict from the internal denominational differences in order to conserve our strength and present a united in the Spirit perspective of Christianity to the Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, New Age, Shintoist, and Secular Humanist religions, which stand against the claims of our Lord Jesus the Christ.

While it’s certainly good to “present a united in the Spirit perspective of Christianity…” the reality is that there are tremendous differences between what folks in NAR believe and other Christians. Clark is essentially asking us to ignore whether or not we agree with their signs and wonders and simply come alongside them to spread the Gospel.

While their statement of faith says, “We receive the sixty six books of the Old and New Testaments as our final, absolute authority, the only infallible rule of faith and practice,” this doesn’t seem to be the case since tongues, prophesies, words of knowledge, and the like are often simply accepted as from God’s mouth to our ears. Is God still “speaking” today?

As stated previously, if God is still speaking to us, providing new revelations, then the Bible itself cannot be the “final, absolute authority” for these folks. While those in NAR very likely believe (as I did during my involvement in the Charismatic Movement), that what is given as “new” revelation compliments God’s written Word, the plain fact of the matter is that it is still seen as something “new,” and not necessarily revealed in His Word beforehand. If that is the case – that it is new – then by its nature, it supersedes God’s written Word. It cannot be both.

Either God’s written Word is the “final, absolute authority” or something else is that. In viewing many of the services and conferences held within NAR, it is clear that what happens there, what is taught there often goes well beyond what is revealed in Scripture.

Global Awakening also promotes two certifications, the Healing Certification and the Prophetic Certification. Both are offered to bring out the healing and/or prophetic ministry in people. I remember that in the Old Testament…Hezekiah 3:1-30, don’t you? God led Hezekiah to start a school to train both future healers and prophets. Uh…no. God simply called and equipped people for His service. Clark has a better idea, apparently.

Since Randy Clark is seen as a modern-day apostle, he believes he has the same apostolic authority that Paul had. As an apostle, Paul was given new revelation by God that shed light on previous revelation. Paul revealed the mystery of the Church (the Bride of Christ, the invisible Church) in Ephesians 3, where he specifically speaks of a “mystery,” then explains it. That particular mystery was the Creation of the Church, made up of both Jews and Gentiles.

This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3:6 NIV)

W. A. Criswell, pastor and teacher from several decades ago, preached a sermon on the fact that the apostle Paul revealed no less than seven mysteries in God’s Word. Readers are encouraged to read through that message.

Paul revealed new things that either clarified things not understood clearly or provided brand new teaching that may have only been hinted at in Scripture,if at all. The Church was not so much even mentioned in the Old Testament, in spite of what Covenant, Reformed, and Preterist people believe.

Paul had that authority as an apostle. Peter did his own fair share of teaching and expounding on Old Testament principles as well. Because of their elevated position as apostles, they had that right and their teaching was authoritative.

If Paul (or the other apostles), were alive today, we would, of necessity, be required to submit to their teaching. Yet, they were not perfect were they? At one point, Paul confronted Peter (both apostles), to correct him regarding his own theological error (Galatians 2). But we need to remember that it was an apostle correcting another apostle. They were both on the same plane, so to speak, with equal authority. This did not make them better than other people who were not apostles. They simply had greater authority and with it, much greater responsibility and accountability before God. 

If Randy Clark actually believes he is an apostle as Paul, Peter, John, and the others were (and remain), apostles, then he also clearly believes that he has the authority to “add” to God’s written Word, just like Paul did, even though he claims that the Bible is the final authority. He can’t believe that and believe in signs, wonders, words of knowledge, and prophecies, can he? Therein lies the tremendous danger.

In the video below, which we’ve highlighted previously, we see Randy Clark on the stage inviting others to come up and pray for those who are going to be “anointed” for ministry. This happens at the 2:36 time-stamp.

First, Clark claims to be a “father” to the people on the stage with him. He speaks his fatherly blessing over them and to them and then says he is proud to be their spiritual father.

Clark prays that heaven would be opened (for “blessing?”). He says “there is a more…and as Heidi (Baker?) said, there is always enough.”

He eventually calls the prophetic voices and apostolic leaders onto the stage with him to anoint and/or pray for the people who are going to be anointed. He also asks for “catchers behind everybody” because people are going to fall over (normally backwards, rarely forwards). This is (or was) called being slain in the Spirit. Bible verses often used to support this are found in Revelation 1:17; Ezekiel 1:28; Daniel 8:17-18, 10:7-9. However, it is clear from these passages that the folks there were bowing deeply out of reverential fear.

It also needs to be understood that these cases were extremely rare. They were not normative. Yet today, this is seen as the normal way the Holy Spirit works. The biblical examples show that these people, when they “fell down as though dead” (a biblical expression to paint a picture), they fell forward on their faces in abject worship. Today, people who are slain in the Spirit, normally fall over backwards and are often not self-controlled but controlled by something else. Many lose all sense of time and awareness of their surroundings. The very same thing happens in many religious systems, like Hinduism, Buddhism, and many areas of the New Age Movement, indicating its counterfeit nature.

Clark continues by saying, “More, Lord. We bless them, we bless them, we bless them” (like a mantra). In effect, Clark is telling God what to do and he is also imparting his own “apostolic” blessing on these folks at the 4:00 time-stamp. Jesus never told the Father what to do. He asked Him and there is a huge difference. Jesus always deferred to the Father and accepted whatever it was the Father wanted Him to have.

At roughly 4:38, we focus on a woman on the stage who appears to be troubled. She is shaking from side to side and moaning, almost as if in pain. The camera pans away to others but we can still hear her moaning. She comes in view again and we see her bobbing up and down in a more pronounced way.

At 4:51 we see Bill Johnson (another NAR apostle, from Bethel Church in Redding, CA), walk onto the stage and begin laying hands on people, imparting something.

At 6:14 another woman crumples to the stage and begins screaming. Why on earth would a Christian scream as though something terrible was happening if this was all simply a “manifestation of God”? There is no rational answer for it other than the fact that this poor woman, because she failed to use any discernment at all, simply accepting what was out there as from God, quite possibly and literally had a familiar spirit come to her and cling to her. If she is a Christian, she cannot be possessed in the biblical sense, however, any Christian who gives themselves over to this type of satanic counterfeit can absolutely become seriously oppressed by Satan and/or the demons he controls. This is often done from the outside of the person though these demons can and do play with a person’s emotions and even offer hallucinations.

Let me also state very clearly that deception can take many forms. Christians do not have to participate in something like NAR to become demonically oppressed. It can happen when Christians start looking at pornography, or the wrong type of television shows, or hanging with the wrong crowd. Any resulting oppression might not appear as it appears in the video, but it would be demonic oppression nonetheless.

The people at this Voice of the Apostles conference came expecting to see, hear, and receive supernatural anointing. Many of them on the stage got exactly that in the forms that are also seen in the “mystery” religions and the New Age Movement. There is virtually no difference as demons masquerade as angels of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).

Randy Clark considers himself a modern-day apostle. Global Awakening exists to unite people regardless of theological differences in order to bring the gospel to the world. But what was being taught at this Voice of the Apostles conference?

If you go back to the beginning of the video, right around the 2:15 time-stamp. The man on the stage intones, “Tonight is a special night. One because Jesus is here. Secondly, because Bill Johnson is here.”

What is interesting is that no one claps or “hoots” with the mention of Jesus but as soon as the man names Bill Johnson, the crowd comes alive. There is something wrong when a mere man receives applause and cheers and Jesus receives nothing.

But the idea that Jesus is there – as though an honored and invited guest – is also amiss. Jesus is everywhere. He is always in our midst. Because He is God the Son, He is everywhere at once. He is closer than our breath for Christians as He lives within us through the Holy Spirit.

So what was actually taught about Jesus? Bill Johnson apparently taught that “Jesus didn’t have any divine powers when he came to earth and gained powers only through encounters with God in worship experiences–setting a pattern for us to follow by gaining divine powers through worship experiences.

The emphasis of these conferences and workshops has to do with signs and wonders. We’ve gone through several videos from this conference where the Gospel has not been presented. Though we haven’t had time to view all of them, one can only wonder if the alleged push of Clark’s “Global Awakening” is evangelism, why isn’t that subject at the forefront of every message? Don’t unsaved people attend?

It would appear that Clark, like many within NAR, are pushing signs and wonders to the exclusion of the Gospel. People should come and experience Jesus. Just come and receive. The truth is that we Christians are to come to Him for empowering yes, but to live a life of service. Signs and wonders are not required to spread the Gospel.

NAR proponents believe and teach that without the experience of Jesus, we cannot serve properly. This is purely unbiblical. God will empower us for His work whether we feel it or not. Christians need to stop pursuing experience. It is what the world does.

The experience of the apostles and believers after God poured out His Spirit onto them essentially emboldened them to share the Gospel in spite of the dangers they faced. That is what God provides for us, but are we too interested in chasing after signs and wonders to notice?

Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective


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