On Nov. 1, the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders (ACPE) released their “Word of the Lord for 2007” through the Elijah List. Each year, this group of 33 “prophets” meets to determine what God is saying to the Church for the new year. I want to point out some observations about this latest “Word.”
1. Note that the list of “prophets” in this council includes Steve Shultz, Chuck Pierce and Kim Clement — three people I’ve recently written about. Clement has a long list of false prophecies, and all three of them teach the unbiblical doctrines of the apostolic-prophetic movement (read past posts for more information). I plan to discuss the council’s other “prophets” in future posts.
2. The council is headed by C. Peter Wagner (pictured here), perhaps the leading proponent of the apostolic-prophetic movement (he calls it the “New Apostolic Reformation”). Wagner teaches that all Christians must submit to the new apostles and prophets. Those who resist are motivated by a high-ranking demonic principality, according to Wagner. He also admits that this movement has the same teachings as the Latter Rain movement of the late 1940s that was deemed heretical by most Christians. (See his books Churchquake! and Changing Church.)
3. The introduction to this “Word of the Lord” has lots of caveats — more than I’ve seen in previous years. Perhaps critics of the movement are having an effect. However, keep in mind a couple of things. First, many of these “prophets” teach that they have the office of prophet and, thus, have the same authority as prophets like Elijah and Jeremiah. So, although they seem to be downplaying their role here, they are elevating it in many of their books and other teaching materials. Also, notice that when you add up all the caveats, you’ll find that not one of the prophecies actually has to come to pass for the prophecies to be accurate, according to these “prophets.” (Read the introduction to see what I mean.) Furthermore, when you read all the prophecies, you’ll see that not one is specific enough to actually be proven true of false. They are so vague and nebulous that many things could be pointed to as their fulfillments. That’s why I call them “fortune cookie prophecies.” Consider prophecy No. 1, for example: “Finishing of a building cycle. Time for new building strategies to be released.” What does this mean? What would it look like if fulfilled? Anything could be made to fit this.
4. Notice prophecy No. 2: “Finishing of the five-fold ministry restored. Apostolic and Prophetic moving together.” The doctrine of “fivefold ministry” is the crux of the apostolic-prophetic movement. It’s based on Ephesians 4:11-13, which — according to the movement’s leaders — teaches that there are five ongoing, governmental offices in the church: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. They teach that apostles and prophets (the highest offices) have been missing since the first century, making the church ineffective. According to the ACPE, these two offices will finish being restored this year. Once all Christians submit to the new apostles and prophets, the church will have power like never before, according to the movement. (Note: Some Christians who believe in the doctrine of “fivefold ministry” don’t view apostles and prophets the same way as leaders in this movement do. They sometimes call missionaries and effective church leaders “apostles,” and they call people with the New Testament gift of prophecy “prophets.” I will talk about this more in future posts.)
5. Prophecy No. 6 has to do with the “transference of wealth.” According to leaders in the movement, God is going to transfer the world’s wealth from the wicked to the righteous (specifically, the apostles). The wealth will be redistributed under the guidance of the apostles. This will give the Church the resources it needs to establish God’s kingdom on earth. The problem is, this teaching has no basis in Scripture. It’s based on new revelation given by new “prophets,” like members of the ACPE. It’s also based on Scripture verses yanked out of context, like Isaiah 60:5 and 11, which speak of the time after Christ’s return.
6. Note, also, that the “prophets” tells us that 2007 is “The Year of the Clash of the Swords.” “Prophet” Chuck Pierce (pictured here) has prophesied that the Church is currently in a “seven-year war cycle” and that 2007 is the year of the sword. (I wrote about this two posts back.) Where did Pierce get this from? Certainly, not from the Bible. But the fact that the ACPE makes this a major portion of their “Word of the Lord for 2007″ shows the weight they give to Pierce’s prophecies that have no biblical basis.
7. I think this warning is humorous: “Watch for the trap of fornication and adultery, and beware of seducing spirits.” Since when did we need a special word to warn us of the lure of sexual immorality? There’s a reason prostitution is called the world’s oldest profession. Of course, we should always beware of seducing spirits.
8. Whatever happened to all the prophecies made in the “Word of the Lord for 2006?” Read it here. I haven’t seen any follow up but, then again, those predictions also were vague, so almost anything could be made to fit them. There are lots of similarities with the “Word of the Lord for 2007,” like predictions of moves of God on university campuses.
These are just quick thoughts about the “Word.” Let me know yours.