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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dominionism - Is it Another Gospel?

Dear Saints, 

The definition of Dominionism (Dominionist theology) is that the Kingdom of God will be established on the Earth through spiritual, political and even military means. According to this teaching/ideology, the kingdom will be established by God through His army (Joel's Army) in these last days to execute judgment and dominion throughout the Earth prior to the return of Jesus.

Although the beliefs can vary widely, here is a quote I found about the movement that sums it up:

"It teaches that Christians can take down demonic spirits and principalities in order to take back territories and institutions for Christ. The movement is post-millennial believing that Jesus will not return until Christians take over the 7 Mountains. These “mountains” are institutions like the media, entertainment, the economy, etc. In other words, their eschatology requires that instead of reaching people with the gospel one heart at a time, they believe they are to conquer the earth one demonic spirit at a time and make the earth perfect so that Jesus can return."

As you just read, this belief is not about the simplicity of what Jesus taught in His Gospel. This sounds nothing like what He told us we should be doing until He comes again. In addition, Jesus never took authority over demonic principalities that are over territories. He cast out demons in people. If a principality is over a territory, then it has the legal right to be there because of the actions and beliefs of the people, and it is allow to be there because of the people. According to scripture the way this works is that as people in an area come to Christ and their hearts are changed, then those demonic princes no longer have a right to be there and must leave. It starts at the human heart level. 

Furthermore, let us examine the true meaning of the Kingdom of God because it seems quite distorted by the teaching of dominionists. If they believe we are already in the millenium era then I see that as another huge problem with their belief. Although this article is not exhaustive, do read on and hopefully you will start to see their distortion for yourself. 

The Biblical Explanation of the Kingdom of God

Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God is within us and among His people and is not of this world.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here."

Luke 17:17-20-21 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."

Matthew 12:28 "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you."

Jesus further said these things about the Kingdom of God.

-Can only be entered with childlike acceptance.

Mark 10:15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."

-Will only be inherited by the righteous, those with understanding and are obedient to God’s commandments.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Mark 4:11 And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables,

Mark 12: 33- 34 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." 34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." But after that no one dared question Him.

-The Kingdom of God is invisible to you unless you are Spiritually Reborn.

John 3: 3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

John 3:5 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

So Just Where is the Kingdom of God?

As we just read in the scriptures above, the Kingdom of God is already set up with in each believer and it is a spiritual kingdom.

How does the Kingdom of God relate to the millennial reign of Jesus? This is very simple, the scriptures say that when Jesus returns, which He will one day soon, HE will set up a kingdom on the earth that will never end. JESUS will set up HIS kingdom!

Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.

How Does Scripture Describe the End of the Age versus Dominionist Ideology?

The other important aspect of this is to take a hard look at what the Bible says the situation in the church and the world will actually be like before Jesus returns. Scripture clearly tells us that evil will "wax worse and worse" (2 Tim 3:13), perilous times will come (2 Tim 3:1-7), many will be deceived (Mat 24:4, 5, 11) that there will be a great falling away, (2 Th 2:3) and that we would be hated by the whole world for Jesus name sake (Mat 10:22).  Please show me in scripture where it says the church prevails and rules society before the return of Christ to set up His Messianic millennial kingdom?

Joels Army?

This is another aspect of the beliefs in the dominionist movement that we must address. Just because Joel says this army is the Lord's does not necessarily mean they are Saints. Simply compare Joel 2:4,5,6  to Rev 9:7-9. Do you see what I see?

I don't see "Joel's army" as the Saints of God, to the contrary, Revelation 9:7-9 seems to indicate they are demonic! Let's be honest, where in the Bible is it written that the church (or a Joel's Army) will gain control and take dominion over the world through spiritual warfare prior to the return of Jesus? It is not there!

Just what did Jesus tell us to be doing until He returns?

The most important issue to consider and fully understand is what JESUS actually told us to be doing until He returns. Let's see what scripture says about this.

Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to God's creation, (mankind). This is the "Great Commission" of Jesus and He said to make disciples! 

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."

Jesus also said in Luke 10:2 "the harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few." This goes hand in hand with the great commission. Could it be that Jesus foresaw that the church would lose its emphasis on reaching lost souls one heart at a time and making disciples out of them?

Jesus said to cast out demons in people and heal the sick, and He said signs would follow those that believe. (Mar 16:17-18) 

Jesus also told us to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, visit the prisoners, take care of the widows and orphans, take care of the sick, give shelter to a stranger. (Mat 25:37-40). Our Lord told us explicitly to continue in the things we have already learned and been assured of, (2 Tim 3:14) AND He warned us that we should be found doing what our Master told us to be doing when He returns. (Mat 24:45-46). 

In closing, I want to encourage the body of Christ to return to the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Plant seeds, water and reap of the harvest. Cast out demons and heal the sick. The world is lost and dying, and billions of souls are in darkness and headed to the lake of fire. Share the good news with those around you. Do ALL that Jesus told us to be doing. It's about reaching the lost, one heart at a time.


Kingdom of God:

In Christ, Sarah