April 12, 2012, rev. May 11, Nov. 15
Matt. 7:21-23 - “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Gal. 1:6-9 - I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
Dominionism, "Another Gospel"
Even a strong Bible-based church can have influences that lead members toward the Dominion, and signs and wonders and prophecy movement, which is “another gospel which is really no Gospel at all.” Sincere but naïve Christians are being led astray. God and Satan each have an interest in what happens and shepherds are responsible to take action to protect their flocks.
Dominionism says that in our redemption the dominion that man originally had over the earth (Gen. 1:26-28), but which was lost through original sin, has been restored. They argue that when Jesus taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” He meant that we shouldn’t allow anything on earth that we don’t expect to experience in heaven. They say that we are to usher in the Kingdom of God by establishing His rule on earth by taking dominion over Satan’s rule. And they see signs and wonders and prophecy as a big part of moving toward a great end-time revival. The terms Latter Rain, Reconstructionism and New Apostolic Reformation also identify this movement, and the “Modern Day Mystics” are a recent expression of that error in our community.
Dominionism is built on several elements that seem to validate each other, but none of which represents Biblical truth. In Dominionism we are to be governed by (unbiblical) modern-day “Apostles” whose presence and rule has been spoken into the church by (unbiblical) prophets; who presumed to bring (unbiblical) extra-Biblical revelation. If I could convince you that 4 + 4 = 10, then you could believe that 10 + 4 = 15; that 4 x 15 = 75; and that 75 – 4 = 70 - - all of which would be logical based on the original lie that you accepted. (The lie that “4” actually has a value of 5.)
Christians in general believe that there is the “now but not yet” of God’s kingdom, that is, there are present and future aspects. In this age we are redeemed spiritually and God’s rule is established in our hearts, but the redemption of this earth and of society will only take place when Jesus returns to establish His rule on the earth - - in His way and in His time.
One appeal of Dominionism is that it offers power to man without requiring surrender to God. A basic difference between God’s and Satan’s way of doing things is that God calls us to be weak and Satan calls us to be strong. God’s way is the exercise of His power through our weakness but Satan wants us to feel powerful and strong in ourselves. Few Dominionists would join Paul in II Cor. 12:10.
Power is what broken humanity wants more than anything else. That is why people kill, and start wars. Dominionism follows the same mindset as the crowds who expected Jesus to establish an earthly kingdom. Many left him when they realized that He was speaking of a spiritual kingdom in the hearts of those who surrendered to His rule. They left the narrow path to walk on the broad path.
Dominionists ought to seriously consider the temptation of Jesus in Mt. 4:9-10, where Satan offered Him dominion/rule if He would bow down and worship him. He offers us the same shortcut today and is happy to let us think we have power if he can then use that to place us in bondage to himself. Satan is crafty. By his very nature he is a deceiver. He is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44) Those are his tools - - his only “game.” He has a way of making “bad” look good. Wrong, look right. Black look white. Satan only gives us something so he can take/steal something better.
Caution, to Hungry Christians
Christians become vulnerable when they are hungry for more of the spiritual vitality of the Kingdom of God. In their pursuit they might find elements of the modern day “revival” movement to be more appealing than Jesus’ “take up your cross daily and follow Me” message! When their hunger and their superficiality are blended they are easily drawn into Dominionism and its signs and wonders phenomena.
In that process they open themselves to the influence of modern day false “Apostles” and “prophets” including their extra-biblical revelation in which they feel free to supplement (add to) the truth of scripture. These are accompanied by a diminished sense of the ability of Christ, the Gospel, and the scriptures to provide for our spiritual wholeness.
There is a very dangerous mindset in that culture, that if something is supernatural, it is of God. There is the active pursuit of supernatural phenomena including miracles, trances, portals, open visions, dreams and dream interpretation, and more. The fact is, that deceptive signs and wonders are a primary tool of Satan in the last days and that he will use (is using) them to lead many astray. I have no doubt that there will be great signs and wonders among us and that men and women will become powerful spiritually, but I insist that many are becoming puppets in Satan’s hands as he goes about his agenda in his contest with God for the hearts of mankind.
Christians cannot be part of the contemporary “revivals;” Dominionist agenda; dream interpretations; the pursuit of supernatural/paranormal phenomena; IHOP related Prayer Rooms, Healing Rooms, and their training, and ministries, and Deliverance Ministry, without being bound to their theological moorings. Christians ought to pray for one another for healing, freedom and more, and we ought to expect God to do works beyond our own power, but that must come from a Biblical view of the Kingdom of God and not from the Dominionist approach. More on that later!
Persons in that camp would be wise to observe if there is an expectation of godliness there, or if their ability to do signs and wonders might not seem to give license for compromise in drinking, language, sexual morals and other areas of life.
I believe that the only appropriate response for pastors is to identify such false doctrine and bring corrective teaching. Hopefully that will also help them move their church toward Biblical Revival. C. Peter Wagner explains Dominionism in his posting on The New Apostolic Reformation, and my responses to his six pillars of the NAR are in the "Dominionism" section in the right column on the site map..
It is easier to accept lies if we don’t know the truth, and it is harder to understand the lies of Dominionism if we don’t envision the Truth of “The Biblical Kingdom of God Today” that Jesus spoke. “A Better Way” addresses what this whole God/man/sin/redemption thing is about in our years on earth.
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Ken Stoltzfus, P.O. Box 228, Kidron, OH 44636
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