Wandering Stars: An Examination of the New Apostles and Prophets

Wandering StarsI’d like to share this book review about a great book I’m still reading. As a Charismatic believer I’ve grown alarmed and at times ashamed over the weirdness and often outright heretical teachings being put forth in the Charismatic/Pentecostal community. This book is a thoughtful and evenhanded examination of  what the New Apostles and Prophets are saying compared to scripture.

If you’re a Charismatic/Pentecostal believer I strongly recommend you read this. The reason that our movement has degenerated into a Charismaniac circus is the fact that by and large we allowed ourselves to be deceived. If you’re a cessationist believer you need to read this so you can understand clearly what is taught. We all, whether Charismatic/Pentecostal or cessationist,  need to ‘contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.’ (Jude 1:3 ESV).

Wandering Stars: An Examination of the New Apostles and Prophets


About Dave Harman
I was found by Jesus April 9, 1975. I married the love of my life Helen, August 19, 1978. We have one daughter, Elizabeth, whose husband and two children live nearby. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in January 1997. In January 2004, Jesus Christ healed me and I have been symptom free ever since.

7 Responses to Wandering Stars: An Examination of the New Apostles and Prophets

  1. Tony Puccio says:

    I wholeheartedly agree that there have been gross abuses in the church of the gifts prophet and apostle and that we do need to earnestly contend for the faith. However, we need to be careful that we do not throw out the baby with the bath water as the saying goes. Jesus Himself warned us of false prophets and commends the church of Ephesus for testing false Apostles and finding them to be just that, false. With that said, I see that in Ephesians 4 that the 5 fold ministry is a gift given by Jesus to equip us so that we won’t be tossed about by every wind of doctrine and new teaching that comes along. Further, the 5 fold ministry is there for us until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. The last time I checked the body of Christ was not unified in this manner, there are over 25,000 denominations worldwide, each claiming to be the one true church. So the need for the 5 fold gifts are very much needed today. It is our responsibility to hold on to that which is good and to let go of that which is bad and to not believe every spirit as John says but to test them.

    • Dave Harman says:

      Thanks for commenting Tony. We are in agreement that we have to be careful not to throw out the ‘baby with the bathwater’. I’m a firm believer in the gifts of the Spirit. I have been blessed to be both the receiver and the sharer of the Holy Spirits work in them.

      As for the five fold ministry: I agree that the Church is in no way shape or form perfect. As you pointed out the abundance of denominations makes that clear. Like many Charismatic/Pentecostals I differentiate between the gift of prophecy aand the office of prophet. Just being used by God to deliver a prophecy to encourage and exhort fellow believers does not in itself make me a prophet.

      The specific scripture that references the five fold ministry is Ephesisans 4:11 ‘And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,'(ESV). I don’t believe that the New Apostles or Prophets as defined by Wagner, Bickle, Joyner, Jones, Bently, etc. actually are apostles or prophets. That’s strictly based on my own research in checking the heresies and blasphemies that pour out of these ‘ministries’.

      I completely agree that the five fold ministries were given by Jesus to equip the saints so that we wont be deceived by every false prophet that comes down the pike. In fact it is the gift of the five fold ministry that emboldened Martin Luther to post his 95 thesis. It was the gift of the five fold ministry that emboldened John Calvin to take his stand. I believe also that the five fold ministry gift is what guides you and I today.

      I beliieve that in a very real sense we never lost the original apostles, They are among us today in their teachings are recorded in the New Testament. The early church felt no need to ‘replace’ the original apostles as they died out. They considered the biblical cannon closed after Revelation was written. If in fact the scripture was actualy teaching that there should have been new apostles appointed to replace the originals, then the originals would have groomed and appointed replacements. They didn’t. Instead they went about appointing shepherds & elders and wrote their teachings down for us. It is these teachings that continue the five fold ministry of the first generation which enables us to steer clear of wolves and false prophets today.

      • Tony Puccio says:

        He appeared to Cephas. Next he appeared to the twelve apostles. Then he appeared to more than 500 believers at one time. (Most of these people are still living, but some have died.) Next he appeared to James. Then he appeared to all the apostles.
        (1Co 15:5-7)
        If the title Apostle is confined to the original 12 plus Paul, then who are the other Apostles of whom Paul speaks?
        I know what you have done-how hard you have worked and how you have endured. I also know that you cannot tolerate wicked people. You have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not apostles. You have discovered that they are liars.
        (Rev 2:2)
        Why test for something that no longer exists? I believe that where the mistake is made is that it is God that gave the 5 fold ministry and it is He alone that confers the titles of the 5 fold ministry. The 5 fold ministry is for the equipping of the saints, to bring us all into the unity of the knowledge of the Lord, so that we are not tossed around by every wind of doctrine that comes around. I do believe that the 12 Apostles of whom you speak are the ones whom the Lord used with several others to complete the cannon of scripture which we have today and I would certainly question anyone calling themselves an apostle or prophet and adding or subtracting from the scriptures as we know them. I believe that the Advice that the Lord gave to the church of Ephesus in Revelation is relevant for today where he said to test the apostles and I would say that that admonition goes to prophets as well and pastors teachers and evangelists. It is not for us to pick and choose which gifts we like and which we don’t.

        The marks of an Apostle are:
        That they have seen the risen Christ. Don’t you agree that I’m a free man? Don’t you agree that I’m an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord? Aren’t you the result of my work for the Lord?
        (1Co 9:1)
        That they work extraordinary miracles While I was among you I patiently did the signs, wonders, and miracles which prove that I’m an apostle.
        (2Co 12:12)
        A New Testament prophet is not one of direction as the prophets pf the old testament were. Rather , the new testament prophet is one of confirmation because every believer has the Holy Spirit and as John says, ” The anointing you received from Christ lives in you. You don’t need anyone to teach you something else. Instead, Christ’s anointing teaches you about everything. His anointing is true and contains no lie. So live in Christ as he taught you to do”.
        (1Jn 2:27)
        I believe that we will see a reemergence of the 5 fold ministry and you will know them by their fruits and you will be able to test them to see whether or not they are the real deal or not.

  2. Dave Harman says:

    I apreciate your input, I hadn’t intended to leave the impression that I thought the 12 were the only Apostles. When I used the term ‘originals’ I was including Paul, Barnabas, & anyone else that held the office. I apologize for the lack of clarity.

    When you asked “Why test for something that no longer exists?”, RE. self-proclaimed apostles & prophets, you answered it yourself: “I would certainly question anyone calling themselves an apostle or prophet and adding or subtracting from the scriptures as we know them.” The wolves addressed in this book are all consistent in their ability to disregard biblical truth, seeking to lead people astray , while building a following for them selves. The book uses their own words complete and in context to show what they teach versus what the bible teaches.

    I also wasn’t clear on my belief on the office of prophet for which I apologize. I do believe that this office is still functioning as you described it. That however is not how the false prophets addressed in the book represent the office.

    I’m not at all disputing the validity five fold ministry offices, just the doctrine used by the current batch of self-proclaimed ones which nets out to:

    1. The bible mentioned it.
    2. I think we need them to accomplish extra-biblical objectives.
    3. No one else is calling themselves this.
    4. I hereby declare myself one.

    A bit oversimplified perhaps but nonetheless, that seems to fit. In any case, what they teach and how they implement their teachings is definitely heterodox.

    So then is the office of Apostle an office that needs being refilled today? I honestly don’t think so, based on the arguments I laid out previously. Since there’s just the one reference in Ephesians that directly references it. I can see a number of problems just with meeting the qualifications as you described them. All of the New Apostles and prophets claim to have seen the Lord and all of them claim accomplishing mighty miracles. Did they see the Lord? Only the Lord knows. Have they performed miracles? Maybe, maybe not. The fact is that since what they teach is blatently unbiblical heresy, that they therefore cannot be what they claim.

    I would like to remind you of Mathew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”

  3. Tony Puccio says:

    You said it yourself, self-proclaimed apostles and prophets who have claimed to have seen something when it reality they have seen nothing are to be marked and avoided. However, in Ephesians it says that they are needed until we all come into the unity of the faith, the equipping of the believers, to keep us from being influenced by every wind of doctrine, currently there are over 35,000 “winds” of doctrine,i.e. Denominations . The word says you will know a tree by the fruit is bears. One does not have to go around saying that he is an apostle or prophet, the fruit in their lives will be evident. The very word Apostle means sent. The reason you don’t see much of that is because there is no one casting an outward vision. Instead, the church has a Babylonian mentality. just like the builders of the tower of babel.Babylon is the church system in place today. If you look at it’s inception on the plains of Shinar in Genesis :
    Gen 11:3 And they said to one another, Come, let us make brick and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone(people dead with religious works as opposed to living stones.) , and they had asphalt for mortar.(arrogance and pride in human accomplishments are the foundation of the Babylonian church system with rebellion as its chief cornerstone) And let us make a name for ourselves(arrogance & pride), lest we be scattered upon the face of the whole earth. (rebellion, for the Lord’s command from the very beginning was, Gen 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it. And have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the heavens, and all animals that move upon the earth. Gen 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons. And He said to them, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. (Eph 4:16 He makes the whole body fit together and unites it through the support of every joint(remember the bones). As each and every part does its job, he makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Jesus is the mortar the makes the whole building, each stone, fit together)

    The 5 fold ministry is very much in need today and it is not for us to pick and choose which of the 5 we are willing to accept and which we are not. In the book of Romans it says “for God’s free gifts and his calling are irrevocable”. (Rom 11:29) Once God gives a gift , He does not take it back.

    Your caution of false prophets false apostles, false teachers is duly noted, however, the words of the Lord, ” you shall know them by their fruits” , should be what we rely on. I trust the Holy Spirit to tell me who is the real deal and who is not. To do otherwise is to live in fear which God has not called us to do.

    The fruits of ones life will tell all that we need to know about their claims to a particular office. A bad tree cannot produce good fruit and a good tree cannot produce bad. I trust the Lord to, by His Holy Spirit, show me who is and who is not the real deal. I take comfort in that.

  4. Dave Harman says:

    Tony, I’m assuming that you’re interchanging the term 5 fold ministry with the term 5 fold gifts; apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers. For clarification the single place in the bible that lists these together is Ephesians 4:11. I am getting a little tired of repeating myself but I will for one last time. I have not nor have I ever said that there is no five fold ministry. It is obvious from the scripture that these offices were all filled by God at the same time. Ever since the reformation Christians have agreed that all doctrines and truth are already laid out in the scripture, and that for a doctrine to be accepted by the Body of Christ it must be clearly taught by scripture in at least two places. To build a pet doctrine like the ‘5 fold ministry’ as it is being taught by the New Apostles and Prophets causes great harm to the gullible and biblically illiterate who latch on to it in hopes of becoming someone great.

    It seems that you yourself have some stake in whether or not apostles or prophets today are being appointed by God with the same power and authority as those who were written about and who who wrote most of the New Testament.

    You also have a very dim view of the Body of Christ to be able to compare it to pagan Babylon. I agree that the myriad number of Christian denominations is a disgrace, nevertheless the vast majority of believers have no problem calling believers in other denomination ‘brother’. They differ on minor points that don’t prevent fellowship.

    But most of your scriptural references above are quite simply examples of scripture twisting. You’re desire to prove your point based on a few scriptures taken out of context is a shameful handling of the Word of God.

    • Tony Puccio says:

      I have no problem calling someone who confesses Jesus Christ Lord and Savior and whose life is evidence of the same, brother or sister. no matter the affiliation that they associate with. I myself a product of the Catholic Charismatic movement of the 70’s. You have taken what I have said out of context. if you feel that the 5 fold ministry of which I speak of is not for today, then that is your opinion and you are welcomed to it. your view of this passage of scripture does not prevent me from calling you brother. I try not to have my theology shaped by books written by men . to quote Smith Wigglesworth .,”some read the bible in Hebrew, some in Greek , I read it in the Holy Spirit. “

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