Recently the false doctrines of “Kingdom Now” and “Dominion Theology” have been resurfacing on the web and in some churches. I asked a respected man of God, Bro. J.R. Ensey of Advance Ministries, to help me understand better. We are honored to share his comments. – Vicki
This doctrine states that the role of Christianity is to take over the world. The word normally used is to “take dominion.” When this is done, when at least the majority of the world is “Christianized,” then Christ will come and reign over the Kingdom that the church has established. All of that may seem far-fetched and out of the mainstream of Apostolic, and even Evangelical, thought. But that is the bottom line of Dominion Theology.
While there are subtle differences in Dominionism, Kingdom Now, and Christian Reconstructionism, they all hold that God’s people have the authority to “take dominion” in both the civil and religious realms of the world. Other terms that are cast about are theonomy (the rule of the law of God) and triumphalism (the belief that one’s own religion or social system is superior to all others and should triumph over all others).
Like preterists, adherents often hold that the majority of the book of Revelation was probably fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and that we may be living in the millennium now. Some believe the devil is bound now, so that he is unable to stop the progress of the church toward the goal of world/cultural dominion. It is easy to see what this does to the doctrine of the imminent return of Jesus Christ!
In the 1970s, several denominations had to publish position papers on this because of its spreading influence, including the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America and the Assemblies of God. Actually, there were those in virtually every evangelical movement, including the United Pentecostal Church, Int’l, who were espousing the doctrine.
There are four key elements of the doctrine drawn from Genesis 1:26-29:
1) That this “dominion mandate” includes ruling over other human beings, setting up political governments, institutions, etc.
2) That “dominion” was lost by Adam at the Fall
3) That the key purpose of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection was to restore the dominion which Adam allegedly lost…teaching that Christ bound Satan through the Death, Burial, and Resurrection.
4) That the Great Commission of Matthew 28 is simply a restatement in New Covenant terms of the original “dominion mandate” and is thus the same task.
1) The “dominion mandate” was never cancelled. We still swat flies and eat chickens! The dominion of Genesis was simply a stewardship responsibility to care for the earth and has nothing to do with ruling over other human beings, but “the works of God’s hands,” i.e.: “sheep and oxen…fish, fowl, beasts.”
2) While Adam did not lose dominion, he did lose his relationship with God and his place in the Garden of Eden. But our hope is not to return to that Paradise! As “new creations in Christ” we have been promised something far better—life in a new universe of absolute perfection into which sin and death can never enter. Adam died, but we shall live forever, and in a place from which we will never be expelled. So Christ’s purpose was not just to restore what Adam lost during this age. That restoration is yet in the future. The purging of the earth and the works therein is in God’s plan for the future: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:22,23).
3) The Great Commission would suffer a gross perversion if it were nothing more than a “cultural mandate” for the church to take over the kingdoms of the world and transform them into the Kingdom of God before Christ returns! The “Christianizing” of the world is nowhere to be found in the Bible.
4) It must be remembered that the Kingdom of God is twofold: first, the rule of God in a present spiritual realm into which born again people are now entering; and second, a future order under God rule and physical authority into which the righteous will enter at the end of this age. The kingdom of God is both present and future—already present but not yet complete!
A derivative: Spiritual Warfare. Everyone I know believes in spiritual warfare—“we wrestle not against flesh and blood,” but Dominion Theology asserts the kind of warfare that consigns demons to the pit, and commissions angels to do our bidding, and rids our cities and counties of demonic activity. The concept: if we can clean out all these spirits, rid the world of “spiritual strongholds,” we can take over the world, i.e., assume dominion. The fact is that no one has ever proven that he or she has removed any “regional” evil spirits from a city or country. Not one has ever proven that he or she has authority to send angels to do their bidding.
The facts as revealed in the Bible are that the devil will be bound when the angel of the Lord does it after the battle of Armageddon. The strongholds we are to pull down are in our own hearts and not out there in the streets somewhere!
So today, Kingdom Now, Dominion Theology and Reconstructionism is more that just another cute, harmless idea that some preacher over in Georgia has, but a broad front moving like a cold wave to put out the fires of the Pentecostal revival and conservatism!
The dominion concept is being resurrected by some Charismatic types who are looking for another catch phrase to attract people and money. It is being couched in the format of “Seven Mountains” that Christians are to conquer. They are appealing for evangelicals to take dominion over the “mountains” of government, education, media, arts and entertainment, religion, family, and most of all…business. The last mountain is emphasized because it “funds” all the others. That is nothing but a thin veneer over the callous greed that has permeated Charismatic Christianity for four decades.
Some have no idea what they are ingesting when they read books by Dominion advocates such as Gary DeMar, Earl Paulk, Rousas Rushdoony, Gary North, Loren Cunningham, C. Peter Wagner, Paul Billheimer, John Giminez, Bob Weiner, et al. Some of the current proponents include Johnny Enlow (The Seven Mountain Prophecy), Cindy Jacobs (The Reformation Manifesto), and Lance Wallnau (The Seven Mountain Mandate). Many people are motivated by these wonderful, spiritual-sounding ideas which are really nothing more than spiritual fads and gross sensationalism. If we are going to follow someone, it is a good idea to know where they are going!
Apostolic Pentecostals must not again be caught up in this new wave of old heresy and false doctrine. It will distract us, derail us, and deter us from our real objectives of maintaining a faith like the one we read about in the Book of Acts, one that is holding to the fundamentals of the gospel and watching eagerly for the coming of the Lord.
J.R. Ensey, www.advanceministries.org