"Reclaiming the Dominion Mandate"
Following the publication of our previous post "May Day Prayers: What Repentance?" along with the two earlier posts on this topic by Dr. Orrel Steinkamp - "The Coalescing of the Christian Right with Apostolic Dominionism" and "R&R Revival and Revolt" - this blog received unprecedented attention, some unanticipated. A radio interview concerning these posts can be accessed HERE.
Recognizing that there is a significant dearth of knowledge about the topics brought out in these posts, the Discernment Research Group will, Lord willing, expand our in-depth focus on these current issues in the months ahead. We will also publish articles addressing Dominionism from theological and historical perspectives. Today's post offers one such perspective.
Today's article may also be somewhat startling to those who think that the issue of Dominionism is localized to American politics. However, the continent of Africa is "ground zero" for the global implementation of Dominion theology, and since 2005 Discernment Ministries has had a webpage AFRICA WATCH pertaining to these developments. Professor Johan Malan from South Africa below presents a rebuttal to a Joy magazine article "Reclaiming the Dominion Mandate." Joy magazine in South Africa has been likened to the American magazine Charisma.
Professor Johan Malan, Mossel Bay, RSA
"Having deceived mankind into relinquishing the title deed, satan immediately takes control of the world system and institutes his diabolical plan to usurp God’s authority and destroy mankind. God, however, had made provision for man’s frailty and institutes His plan to rescue mankind from satan’s influence and restore the ‘Dominion Mandate’, including the title deed, to its original owners."
Christians are increasingly mobilised towards efforts of controlling and reforming the world by reminding them of their long-forgotten "Dominion Mandate." This is particularly the case in the US and South Africa from where the global Transformations Movement is orchestrated. Disciples of Christ have allegedly, like believers in the Old Testament, neglected their biblical mandate to rule over the world and are now held directly responsible for the serious moral and spiritual crisis in which the world finds itself.
Joy magazine in South Africa is one of many voices challenging Christians to reclaim their God-given mandate which they [are said to] have consistently shunned for almost two millennia. One of the recent wake-up calls by which believers are implored to assume their position as kings, can be seen in the article linked to HERE. The following comments are made to expose the weaknesses and wrong applications of the arguments in support of Dominionism during the church age, and to offer the correct biblical perspective on the end-time revelation of God’s kingdom:
The nature and fulfilment of the biblical dominion mandate
The original mandate to subdue the earth and have dominion over it (Gen. 1:26-28) was given before the Fall. It was based upon the assumption that human beings who were created in the image of God would always act in accordance with the divine nature which was instilled in them. As children of the light they were called upon to be co-rulers with God over His creation. However, the depraved nature of humanity after the Fall rendered them unfit to rule over the works of God’s hand. Profs. John Walvoord & Roy Zuck (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 29) say: “Because of sin all things are not under man’s dominion (Heb. 2:8). But Jesus Christ will establish dominion over all the earth at His second coming.”
In Hebrews 2:8 Paul further explains man’s present status: “You have put all things in subjection under his feet… But now we do not yet see all things put under him.” The fulfilment of the biblical dominion mandate will be Messianic and eschatological. Christians are not in control of the world now and are nowhere commissioned to be so.
"Those keys – that unlock the awesome power of God in the earth – were given to the Church to once again enforce the ‘Dominion Mandate’ and redeem what the devil had stolen from mankind....
"The Church is given full authority by Jesus... to take back the ground subjugated by satan and to restore His rulership in the earth.
"This means, the ‘Dominion Mandate’, originally given to the first Adam that he lost to satan and which Jesus redeemed at the Cross, is now the Mandate of the Church – the Body of Christ." -- Joy
During the church age true Christians have always been a small minority in the world, and this situation will prevail until Christ comes (Matt. 7:14; Luke 13:23-24; John 3:19). We were called to be the light of a spiritually dark world and the salt of a morally corrupt earth (Matt. 5:13-14). As such we are in opposition to the works of darkness which are practised by the vast majority of unsaved people (Eph. 5:11). The world will hate and persecute us (John 15:18-19; 16:33) while we are shining as lights in the midst of a crooked generation (Phil. 2:15).
"Dominion is translated from the original Hebrew word ‘Radhah’ that means: to subjugate, to rule, to reign and to prevail against. The word subdue is translated from the Hebrew word ‘kabash’ which means to conquer, and to bring into subjection. Significantly, the institution God ordains to bring the earth back under His control is the Church.
"The earth belongs to God and He gave His Church the express mandate and the authority to restore His rule.
"It is impossible to reign, rule, or bring anything into subjection, without first exercising authority." -- Joy
During the present dispensation we are not kings but witnesses for Christ who are often despised by the world. As soldiers for the cross we are admonished to put on the full armour of God to remain standing against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:10-12). We have to contend against “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:1). Even fellow-Christians will criticise and reject us when we raise the standard of holiness to the level expected of us by the Lord.
Spiritual warfare in the church age is clearly applied to individual believers. We are taught how to prevail over the temptations of Satan and to become spiritually strong in the Lord. We are definitely not commanded to expel Satan from communities, cities, regions or entire countries, thereby to deliver the world from demonic bondages and strongholds as a prelude to re-establishing the kingdom of God. The enemy might even laugh at organised mass-meetings as efforts to bolster power against him and make him flee from that area. He will be around until Christ comes to bind him in a pit and to establish the kingdom of heaven. Until that time we, as individuals, must stand fast in the liberty of Christ and always resist the devil.
Satan rules in the hearts of unsaved people. Since they are in the majority he has considerable influence on worldly affairs. We as Christians live in a hostile environment and must learn to do so victoriously until the Lord comes. Without succumbing to negativity we should rather expect more problems in the world than believing that we can physically establish God’s kingdom before the coming of Christ.
Judgement before the revelation of the kingdom
The Bible makes it very clear that the church dispensation will not usher in the kingdom of God on earth, but instead deteriorate to a point of unprecedented deception. This great falling away from the truth will prepare the way for the revelation and global acceptance of the Antichrist and his satanic kingdom. It may sound like a preposterous idea that Christian churches will apostatise to the level where they will accept “another Jesus” as the cosmic Christ of all faiths (cf. 2 Cor. 11:4; Rev. 13:3-4) but it will happen nevertheless. Scores of deceived Israelis will also follow and worship the false messiah (John 5:43). Despite their natural prejudice against religious ideas which are at variance with their interpretation of the Torah they will approve the credentials of this coming impostor who will pretend to be the promised son of David. Millions of nominal Christians will follow suit.
The Antichrist’s reign on earth (the tribulation period of seven years) will also be a time of divine judgement upon the wicked. The presence of the true church of Christ indwelt by the Holy Spirit is withholding the revelation of the Antichrist and the outpouring of the wrath of God (2 Thess. 2:6-8). Soon after the bride of Christ has been taken out of the way by means of the rapture, the Antichrist will be revealed following the breaking of the first seal of God’s end-time judgements in heaven.
"Instead of taking hold of the ‘Dominion Mandate’ for which Jesus paid such a high price, the Church has retreated into the sanctuary, effectively surrendering the earth to the dominion of satan.
"Godless philosophies are promoted at will in the public square without a response from God’s anointed leaders - who for the most part completely ignore the Scriptural imperative. The reality is that every thought and idea contrary to sound doctrine advanced in the public domain that remains unchallenged by the truth of God’s Word is accepted as ‘truth’. --Joy
Dominionists utterly reject the prophetic scenario of a coming dark time in world history as it clashes with their kingdom vision. They brush aside biblical prophecies on a great falling away as being a sign of defeat against the onslaught of the kingdom of darkness, and set themselves the task of turning around the current process of apostatising. That is the reason why they do not warn believers against eschatological signs such as spiritual deception, perilous times that will come, the rise of the Antichrist, and the impending outpouring of God’s wrath.
By proclaiming their kingdom vision they give people false hope of better times ahead, leave them ill-prepared on what is to come, and generally weaken their resistance against evil powers. They teach their followers a wrong model of spiritual warfare aimed at removing territorial strongholds of the enemy, thus liberating society as a whole from demonic bondage, instead of applying the principles of the pulling down of strongholds to their personal lives.
Furthermore, dominionists are prone to the spiritual dangers of the ecumenical movement. Their kingdom-now objectives demand the collaboration and ultimate unification of all Christian churches and sects to form a united front against the enemy. They do not stand very strong on doctrinal principles so as not to offend their partners who may hold different ideas. Consequently, they build their kingdom upon a very shaky theological foundation and are open to all sorts of fanciful interpretations of Scripture. The dispensational context of the Bible is ignored and they often transfer to the church dispensation promises meant for the future Messianic state.
The Bible categorically states that the church dispensation will be followed by the dispensation of the Antichrist’s rule on earth, which will also be the time of judging and destroying the wicked. At the end of the tribulation Christ will return for the final judgement of the wicked at the battle of Armageddon. He will also bind the devil in a bottomless pit for 1000 years and then establish His thousand-year reign of peace with Jerusalem as capital. To give people a kingdom vision before the coming of Christ, is to completely confuse them by the grave distortion of Biblical prophecies.
Israel’s Messianic kingdom
Another strong point of criticism which can be levelled against dominionists is the fact that they generally give no recognition to the physical, political and spiritual restoration of Israel in their God-given land.** The promises made to Israel are applied to the church age, including those on the Jews’ return to the Promised Land. Joy concludes their article by saying,
“Church of Christ we have a Promised Land to enter. We have a preferable future for our country. But we have to step out to possess the land. Rise up Church of the Most High God, take up your shield of faith and reclaim the Dominion Mandate.”
This is clear proof of replacement theology: Israel becomes the church and the world becomes the Promised Land over which the church should rule right now, before the coming of Christ.
Read the following article on Israel’s Messianic kingdom, in which it is clearly shown that the church is not heir to these promises:
The following article also exposes the deception of dominionism:
The Discernment Research Group offers extensive material on dominionism at http://herescope.blogspot.com. See also Sarah Leslie’s article, "Dominionism and the Rise of Christian imperialism" at http://www.discernment-ministries.org/ChristianImperialism.htm
1. Crosstalk interview hosted by Ingrid Schleuter with guest Sarah Leslie discussing the topic of The New Apostolic Reformation, May 3, 2010, accessed here: http://www.crosstalkamerica.com/shows/2010/05/the_new_apostolic_reformation.php
*Ed. note: The original South African English spellings were left intact in this article. Bold was added for emphasis in the body of the text as well in the Joy magazine quotations.
**Ed. note: Many Dominionist groups in America are now popularly supporting Israel, which gives them further political credibility to the conservative evangelicals. And there is variation and evolution in various streams of Dominionism eschatology, which has given rise to much confusion. However, historically Dominionists have taught that the church replaces Israel ("replacement theology"); see http://moriel.org/MorielArchive/index.php/discernment/church-issues/aberrational-theology/replacement-theology-leads-to-replacement-reality and http://hftm.org/blog/?p=170 and www.deceptioninthechurch.com/replacement.html.