The cult started off as an offshoot of the International House of Prayer. The less-fun IHOP is a major church and "university" affiliated with something called the New Apostolic Reformation. The NAR is a vast network of prophets and apostles active across the United States, Australia and even South Korea. There are 3 million estimated American attendees of NAR churches. And that South Korean NAR church we mentioned is the largest megachurch in the world, with more than a million members.
NAR leaders teach that in the next 20 to 50 years, before Jesus returns, the entire Christian church will be led by apostles. These apostles have the power to forgive sins, release blessings and curses, and bind high-ranking demonic spirits. They can control the weather, cause earthquakes, and unleash death and destruction on nonbelievers.
In other words, some brilliant, cynical people took all the best elements of Harry Potter and the X-Men, mashed them together, and started a church about it.
Marvel Films Animation "Like the prophet Dazzler, we are one with the Light. Also like the prophet Dazzler, nobody in their right mind likes us."
"When we got involved with them, Tyler read a book called The Final Quest, which is a cheesy fantasy novel that claims to be a prophetic vision of the end times."
Behold, the book's cover:
Rick Joyner Based on the true story of how absolutely nothing happened after the Middle Ages.
"We were all nerds, so this sort of adventure narrative fit us like a glove. And it spurred Tyler on to some truly crazy 'visions.' The first big dramatic shift away from 'prayer group' to 'cult' occurred when Tyler suddenly claimed to literally see an army of demons on our campus. Now God was calling him to train the 'last generation' for spiritual warfare."
That "training" involved Tyler introducing the group to a man who claimed to be a military veteran. He ran them through drills, probably cobbled together from viewings of Full Metal Jacket and Stripes, and the cult practiced evacuating their homes, in case they had to flee the anti-Christ-controlled suburbs.
MILpictures by Tom Weber/The Image Bank/Getty Images "Only two things come from Texas: steers and cashiers ... don't you correct me, you scum-sucking carrot!"