Thursday, October 27, 2011

Power Play

Dominionist Demons with Zip Codes

By Pastor Larry DeBruyn

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ . . . .”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5, KJV

Dominionism, the New Apostolic Reformation
and “Binding and Loosing”

Scripture teaches the existence of spirit beings beneath, around and above planet earth. The Apostle Paul stated that our struggle is “not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12; Compare Revelation 12:7, ff.; Daniel 10:13; Jude 9; etc.). An invisible war rages around us. We know it for two reasons: first the Bible tells us; and second, at one time or another, many of us have been drawn into it, into what has been called the conflict of the ages, the war between Satan, his hosts and God and His. Though the Lord owns the world, the usurper has carjacked it and now is taking it for a joyride until God’s powerful angel arrests, binds and imprisons him in “the bottomless pit” for a thousand years (See Revelation 20:1-3). But because Satan is “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience,” there exists an ongoing conflict between God and the Devil, between good angels and evil spirits (Ephesians 2:2).

To fight this war, the apostle Paul instructs believers to “Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). One weapon in the divine arsenal is prayer. We are to fight the war “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints....” (Ephesians 6:18). Yet to this vital weapon the New Apostolic Reformation has added a innovative dimension—that of power praying which, they believe, binds evil spirits and looses good angels over geographical areas. But before dealing with this dimension of prayer, the context in which and the system by which those who espouse “binding-loosing” ought to be surveyed.

The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)
A Dominionist Agenda
Despite that Jesus stated to his disciples His “kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36), some Christians want to make it of this world. Despite that Jesus told His apostles that the kingdom is not yet (Acts 1:6-7), there are evangelicals who want it now.[1] Though both the Jews and Jesus understood that the earthly manifestation of the kingdom of God belonged to the age to come (Matthew 12:32), there are those in the church who want it in this present evil age (Matthew 24:3; Galatians 1:4).[2] And to that end, they covet possessing the spiritual and temporal power to merge the spheres of heaven and earth (i.e., “as above, so below”) thereby ending this evil age and beginning “the age to come.” To this point the paraphrase of The Lord’s Prayer (“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” Matthew 6:10) in The Message can be noted: “Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. / Set the world right, Do what’s best—as above, so below.”[3]

Territorial Spirits and “Turf-Wars”
Physical war is common to the human condition, so much so, that there’s hardly been a year in history where wars have not occurred. Essential to the dominionist agenda for planet earth is the assumption that invisible spirits affect the conception and outcome of these wars. Campbell explains why: “In addition to the fact that man has an evil nature, there are demonic forces that are constantly active, working through leaders of human governments.”[4] Paul tells us that ultimately, these wars are “against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12, NASB). In strategizing how to fight these wars, C. Peter Wagner postulates that individual demons, which have special names, possess dominion over certain geographical areas, something called “spiritual mapping.”[5] In other words, these “territorial spirits” have zip codes![6]

After recounting the 21-day delay to the answer of Daniel’s prayer for reason of “the Prince of Persia” (Daniel 10:1-21), Wagner writes:

This story leaves us little doubt that territorial spirits greatly influence human life in all its sociopolitical aspects. And is also shows us clearly that the only weapon Daniel had to combat these rulers of darkness was warfare prayer.[7]

As to Daniel’s involvement in “warfare prayer,” John MacArthur observes: “The battle in Daniel 10 was fought in heaven, not on earth. It involved two angels and one demon, no humans.”[8] Further, after mourning, fasting and praying for three weeks over his vision of a coming conflict for the Jews and their Land, Daniel was unconscious (Daniel 10:1-*9). Daniel would not even have known of the heavenly battle fought between the unnamed angel, Michael and “the prince of Persia” had it not the angel of God revealed it to him! Daniel’s prayer had nothing whatsoever to do with binding “the prince of Persia” or loosing “Michael.”

Apostolic Authority
To win the territorial battle to pray down God’s kingdom now (Matthew 6:10), the New Apostolic Reformation has revived the office, authority and powers of an apostle, powers that include the ability to “bind” demons and “loose” angels over geographical areas, something called “warfare prayer.” In a book for which C. Peter Wagner wrote the Foreword, the author defines apostle “as one who is called and sent by Christ to have the spiritual authority . . . to successfully reach and establish people in Kingdom truth and order....”[9] The key here is the claim to spiritual authority like unto that which the original twelve disciple/apostles possessed, an authority that included the ability to “bind” and “loose” (Matthew 16:19; 18:18; John 20:22-23). To the point of reviving the office/authority of an apostle, it can be noted that to the Corinthians Paul identified those in the early church who claimed to be apostles but were not. To that church he explained:

But what I am doing, I will continue to do, that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. For such men are false apostles [pseudapostoloi], deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles [apostolous] of Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:12-13, NASB)

In light of Paul’s warning that pseudo-apostles were operative then might it not be discerned, in light of the revival of these new apostles in the NAR, that the same deception is being perpetrated now?[10]

Powers Greater than Jesus’[11]
After stating the Holy Spirit endowed Jesus with the power for His miraculous ministry, something the Synoptic Gospels portray and that Jesus claimed was to have been the case (Mark 3:22-30; Matthew 12:22-29; Luke 11:14-26), and based upon his interpretation of John 14:12 (Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.), C. Peter Wagner states his power premise for “the postdenominational-apostolic church”: “We today can expect to do the same or greater things than Jesus did because we have been given access to the same power source.”[12]

Hum . . . greater things than Jesus. Oh, really? Jesus WORDS and WORKS were exceptional.[13] By the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:22-32), they were a testament to His incarnation and deity. So upon hearing the words of Jesus, the civil officers remarked to the scribes and Pharisees who brought Jesus to them: “Never did a man speak the way this man speaks” (John 7:46). Who today can speak as Jesus spoke? Upon healing the paralytic to prove He had the power to forgive sins, the observing crowd glorified God saying: “We have never seen anything like this” (Mark 2:12, NASB). Who today can heal a paraplegic in a moment of time? Upon speaking a storm into stillness, Jesus’ disciples asked, “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:41). Who today can control the weather? Who today can raise the dead? (John 11:43-45). Who today can feed a hungry crowd by multiplying five barley loaves and two small fishes? (John 6:1-14) While the church today, because of Jesus’ atoning death, resurrection and ascension/glorification in heaven, may do greater works in terms of their scope—they are not limited to a small land and people, Palestine and the Jews—Christians do not do greater works in terms of their substance. The problem with the New Apostolic Reformation’s idea that they can do “greater works” of substance than did Jesus is that by comparison, the Person and Work(s) of Christ are made to appear unexceptional, even mundane. We turn now to the aspect warfare prayer.[14] Is “binding and loosing” in the Bible really as the NAR claims—the power to control evil and good spirits respectively?

Binding and Loosing
To neutralize, even reverse, the decadence of western civilization, something for which demons are thought to be responsible, requires that, from the perspective of the New Apostolic Reformation, Christians engage in prayer that will bind those evil entities that are controlling society’s seven mountains—business, government, family, religion, media, education and entertainment. The Lord has, so the NAR believes, empowered today’s Christians, some in a more dynamic way than others, with the authority to bind evil spirits and loose good ones.

In their fictional book The Ahriman Gate, authors Thomas and Nita Horn create the following scene that popularly depicts the worldview that underlies “binding and loosing.” As he excitedly raises his voice, a chapel speaker says:

How many times have we stood in this chapel, singing, “We’ve got the power, in the name of Jesus [?] We’ve got the power, in the name of the Lord! Though Satan rages, we will not be defeated. We’ve got the power in the name of the Lord![15]

Then the speaker exhorts:

Let’s practice what we preach, and do what we’ve been appointed to do. Let’s storm the gates of Hell with prayer. Let’s bind principalities and powers and let loose those angelic influences over our city.[16]

Amongst NAR dominionists, binding and loosing prayer is essential to thwarting demonic influence and reversing the moral meltdown characterizing the current collapse of Western-Christian Civilization.

But does this method really agree with Scripture?

To discern if this method of spiritual warfare is consistent with the way in which the Lord and His apostles instructed believers to fight the battle, the phrase to “bind and loose,” and one similar, “remit and retain,” must be inspected. The concept appears three times in the Gospel record: Matthew 16:19; Matthew 18:18; and John 20:23. In order, and giving the most attention to the first mentioned, we will look at these texts to determine if they warrant any thinking that believers possess the prayer power to bind evil spirits and loose good ones.

Matthew 16:19: And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Though subsequently the Lord extended the authority to bind and loose to the other apostles (Matthew 18:18), in this instance, as based upon his confession that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God”—a confession that heaven, not flesh and blood, had revealed to him—Jesus extended authority to Peter alone. This is born out by both the context and the verbs. First, of the disciple/apostles, only Peter confessed Jesus to be “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” The other apostles did not yet “get it.” Therefore, Jesus did not extend the authority to bind and loose to them then. Second, the verbs are singular. The Lord says to Peter, “whatsoever thou shalt bind [singular] on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose [singular] on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The Greek verbal construction evidences that Peter’s authority to bind or loose was not to be auto-engendered. Before anything could be bound or loosed on earth in the church, it first had to be bound or loosed in heaven. The words of Jesus to Peter can be translated:

I [Jesus] will give the keys [i.e., the authority] of the kingdom of heaven to you[Peter], and whatsoever you bind on earth shall already have been bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall already have been loosed in heaven.[17]

As the translation communicates, any initiative for “binding and loosing” comes from heaven. The Lord merely extended the authority to Peter to ratify on earth those issues that had already been determined in heaven.[18] Any binding or loosing of things on Peter’s part was contingent upon their already having been bound or loosed in heaven. Peter possessed no unilateral power to bind or loose. He could only do so in accord with a heavenly mandate.

This order from above to below may explain why for reason of Satan’s accusations against Joshua the high priest, “the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee...” (Zechariah 3:2); and why in his contending over the body of Moses with the devil, Michael did not dare to “bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee” (Jude 9). Only the Lord and His angels (messengers) possess power to limit or loose Satan (Revelation 20:1-3, 7-8; Compare 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6.).

Of course, the question must be asked . . . what did Peter’s authority—the keys of the kingdom of heaven—encompass? In other words, Peter was given authority to do what?

We must note first that his delegated authority involved cooperating with Jesus in building His church. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus would initiate the building of His church from heaven. Peter then would administrate the building of the Lord’s church on earth. This is evidenced at Pentecost (Acts 2). As pointed out by John Lightfoot (1602-1675), in Jesus’ day the phrase to “bind and loose” was a common Judaic expression that referred to the authority of the rabbis to settle matters of “doctrine, and in judgments.”[19] As to binding and loosing, Lightfoot concludes:

When the time was come . . . [Jesus] granted Peter here, and to the rest of the apostles, chap. xviii. 18, a power to abolish or confirm what they thought good, and as they thought good, being taught this and led by the Holy Spirit....[20]

In other words, Jesus granted to Peter, and subsequently to His other apostles, the authority to administer, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance (John 16:12-13), what beliefs and behaviors were acceptable in the building of His church. In, with and by the Holy Spirit, who’s purpose was to bear witness to Jesus Christ (John 15:26-27), Jesus authorized Peter and these other apostles to both monitor and regulate the life of the new born and infant church He was going to build. As Jesus told the apostles: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (John 16:13). In this way, those things bound or loosed in heaven would and could be bound or loosed in the church by these apostles. Under the Spirit’s guidance, Jesus authorized His apostles to be the authoritative agents of dispensational change from Judaism to Christianity, from Israel to the Gentiles, from Law to Grace.[21]

In this regard, it should be noted that in the spiritual turf wars raging over control of this planet, the idea of “binding” evil spirits or “loosing” good ones is not evident in the contexts where Jesus gave His apostles the authority to bind and loose. Any such understanding is fictional.[22] Jesus’ promise that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” refers to His building the church, not rescuing a state. Further, defeating the enemies of the church, whether spiritual or physical, or any combination thereof, is His work for He promised, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). From heaven and through His Spirit, Jesus is building His church which is why binding and loosing must occur up there before it can occur down here.

Matthew 18:18: Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye [the disciple/apostles]shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

In this instance, Jesus extends to the other apostles the authority that initially, He endowed Peter with. The above commentary on Matthew 16:19 is equally applicable to this setting with the understanding that the authority Jesus grants is corporate to the apostolic band of men.

John 20:22-23: And when he [Jesus] had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them [the disciple/apostles], Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

This narrative relates Jesus’ Jesus’ post-resurrection commissioning of His disciple/apostles. In His “remitting and retaining” statement, Jesus is not licensing sacerdotalism, the “ism” claiming that Jesus endowed church hierarchy with authority to forgive sins. Like Matthew 16:19, the verbal mixture of the principal clauses communicate that before an individual was to be treated as forgiven by the apostles on earth, that person needed to first receive God’s forgiveness from heaven. This explains why Peter told Simon the Sorcerer, “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee” (Acts 8:14-25).

Above all else, absolution remains the prerogative of God and His Christ (Mark 2:5-7). Presumably, this would happen in accord with a believer’s confession of Jesus as Savior and Lord (Romans 10:9-10). Heaven alone possesses the power and authority to forgive, and unless sins are remitted heaven they cannot be remitted on earth. In this instance, Jesus did not endow His disciple/apostles with carnal authority to bind malevolent demons or loose benevolent angels by power praying.

Devils don’t make us do it! Attributing the ills of western society and its decline to the influence of dominionist demons neglects the greater cause for the demise; and that is, the sinfulness of the human heart. The key to reforming society is the revival of the heart of man. In His antediluvian assessment regarding the “state of the world,” Scripture tells us that God looked down from heaven and “saw that the wickedness of man [’adam] was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts [the idolatrous imaginations] of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5; Compare Jesus’ assessment in Mark 7:15-23, and Paul’s in Romans 1:18-3:18.). God attributed the prevailing wickedness over the earth to ’adam, and not to dominionist demons with zip codes, even though they are mentioned in the context (i.e., “sons of God,” Genesis 6:2). The Old Testament history of Israel records the failure of God’s dominion over Israel for reason of that people’s lawlessness. So who are Christians to think they’re any different? (See Romans 11:21-22.) So, hypothetically, assuming prayer warfare can bind territorial demons in spiritual turf wars, we are still left with humanity’s rebellious sinful nature to deal with—something the Reformers called “total” or “radical” depravity—a nature that finds itself addicted to “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16; See Jeremiah 17:9). So as Cassius tells his friend: “The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves if we are underlings.”[23] This depravity is something no hocus-pocus of binding and loosing will cure. Only the Gospel is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

As Jesus demonstrated in His temptation (Matthew 7:1-11), the most effective spiritual authority the Christian can employ in the conflict of the ages, the war between the Ruler (God) and the Rebel (Satan), and presumably including the minions of demons that serve him, is God’s Word. As V. Raymond Edman (1900-1967) wrote:

The discipline of discernment requires that we follow the tenets of divine revelation, lest we fall before the wrath of the tempter. We are to meet his subtlety, selfishness and sophistry in the same way as did the Captain of our salvation, with the unequivocal statement, “It is written” (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10).[24]

[1] Beginning with the Moral Majority (Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, et. al.) during the latter part of the previous century, there now appears to be five or more dominionist strands at work both inside and outside Christendom: first, the Roman Catholic, which reached full flower in the Medieval Age and continues to this day (Augustine’s City of God); second, the Neo-Calvinists who are attempting to exert influence upon our pagan culture, i.e., Piper, Mohler, et. al. Unlike Luther and Calvin who used the political apparatus of the state to persecute dissidents like the Anabaptists, Neo Calvinists do not appear intent to do so; third, the emergent, a strand that in its kingdom now social gospel approach to reforming society has wedded to liberal social and political causes, i.e., Brian McLaren, Jim Wallace, Leonard Sweet, and others; fourth, the New Apostolic Reformation, a strand which concerns itself with the spiritual warfare necessary to conquer the 7 influential mountains of society, i.e., C. Peter Wagner, Mike Bickle, Cindy Jacobs and company; and fifth, the New Age, a eastern-mystical strand that divinizes man and nature (pantheism), i.e., Ken Wilbur, Matthew Fox, Marianne Williamson, Neal Donald Walsch, and so forth. To these could be added the humanist and Islamic strands. How, whether or when the aggregate of these ideologies/religions will collectivize in a last ditch effort to save the planet from extinction is anybody’s guess. Yet, the biblical prediction of a one world government-religion portends the time of a final rebellion at the end of this current evil age when these disparate strands will develop, whether wittingly or unwittingly, a common cosmic consciousness that will continue to “take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” (Psalm 2:2-3; See Revelation 13:1-18.).
[2] As attested by Jesus and Jewish and Christian writings, history is viewed to consist of two periods: this age and the age to come. The current world order began with the creation and fall and “is marked by trouble, evil, and the power of Satan . . .” The coming world order will commence with divine judgment and retribution. Evil will be eliminated and “God will create a new heaven and a new earth.” See Jacob Neusner, Editor in Chief, Dictionary of Judaism in the Biblical Period 450 B.C.E. to 600 C.E. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1996): 19. Obviously, it does not lie within the power of dominionists to render divine judgment. The Father has committed such to the Son (John 5:22). Neither does it lie within their power to create a new heavens and new earth (2 Peter 3:10-13). Only the sovereign omniscient God is capable of doing such. Therefore, any human agenda designed to bring about God’s kingdom on earth before He institutes it is illusory (Acts 1:6-7; Matthew 24:36).
[3] Eugene H. Peterson, The Message//Remix: The Bible in Contemporary Language (Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 2003): 1775.
[4] Donald K. Campbell, Daniel: God’s Man in a Secular Society (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers, 1988): 151.
[5] C. Peter Wagner, Warfare Prayer: How to seek God’s Power and Protection in the Battle to Build His Kingdom (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1992): 143-160.
[6] In the NAR’s turf wars, one must ask when might the movement begin to advocate a postmillennial “replacement theology”; that in the overall attempt to bring down God’s kingdom to earth, the postdenominational church replaces Israel as the elect vehicle through which God’s kingdom will be brought down to earth.
[7] Ibid. 66. References to territorial spirits—“the prince of Grecia,” etc.—abound in the book.
[8] John MacArthur, Jr., How to Meet the Enemy: Arming Yourself for Spiritual Warfare (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1992):43.
[9] Emphasis added, David Cannistraci, The Gift of Apostle: A Biblical Look at Apostleship and How God id Using It to Bless His Church Today (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1996): 29. In the Foreword, C. Peter Wagner endorses the book writing, “Inherent in today’s postdenominational churches is a structure commonly known as ‘apostolic networks,’ in which both the gift and office are recognized and accepted.” (12).
[10] On this point the remark of one Pentecostal theologian ought to be noted. He wrote (Italics his: “The 12 apostles directly commissioned by Jesus had no successors.” See French L. Arrington, Christian Doctrine: A Pentecostal Perspective, Volume 3 (Cleveland, TN: Pathway Press, 1994): 191. Another informs: “After the first century ‘apostle’ and ‘evangelist’ were used rarely to describe leaders. In the Apostolic Fathers ‘apostle’ occurs only at Didache 11.3 . . .” See Klyne Snodgrass, Ephesians: The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996): 213.
[11] In some instances, at both an individual and collective level, these revivalists believe themselves to be “little christs” or elohim possessing the power to pray down and work up God’s kingdom on earth. See my article, "Did Jesus Teach the Divinity of Humanity?":
[12] Wagner, Warfare Prayer, 54. Wagner here quotes himself from an earlier book: How to Have a Healing Ministry (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1989): 114.
[13] Carson notes: “Nor can greater works mean ‘more spectacular’ or ‘more supernatural’ works: it is hard to imagine works that are more spectacular or supernatural than the raising of Lazarus from the dead, the multiplication of bread and the turning of water into wine.” D.A. Carson, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1991):495.
[14] Wagner states: “We are justified, therefore, to use interchangeably the terms ‘overcome,’ ‘conquer’ or ‘bind’ when we describe our activity in taking the offensive against the enemy in spiritual warfare.” See Warfare Prayer, 60.
[15] Thomas & Nita Horn, The Ahriman Gate (Sisters, OR: Musterion Press, 2005): 198.
[16] Ibid. Emphasis added. Other quotes relating that prayer can “bind and loose” dominionist demons are mentioned in Gaylene Goodroad’s article, “Militant Prayer: Taking Spiritual Dominion over Dark Angels.” See Herescope blog, September 23, 2011.
[17] Wesley J. Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek: Practical Steps for Reading the New Testament (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1989): 73. The periphrastic construction (finite “be” verbs’ éstai + future perfect participles, dedeménon and leluménon) suggests this timing. Keener states that “the mixture of verb tenses allow the interpretation that they [Peter, Matthew 16:19, and the other disciple apostles, Matthew 18:18] merely ratify the heavenly decree”. See Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999): 430.
[18] Ryken remarks of “binding”: “The most mysterious and overtly theological references are Jesus’ use of the imagery of binding to show the efficacy of earthly decisions in spiritual matters in the heavenly realm.” See Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit, Tremper Longman III, “BIND, BOUND,” Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998): 92. In contrast and as noted in the previous footnote, the verbal tenses indicate the reverse to be the case. The imagery of “binding” shows the efficacy of heavenly decisions in spiritual matters in the earthly realm, decisions that were initially to be mediated by Peter (Matthew 16:19), and then by other disciple-apostles (Matthew 18:18). In all decisions, the efficacy of the decisions moved from heaven to earth, not from earth to heaven.
[19] John Lightfoot, A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica: Matthew-I Corinthians, Volume 2, Matthew-Mark (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, Reprinted from 1859 edition): 240.
[20] Ibid. The Jewish New Testament Commentary follows a similar interpretative path. Commenting on Matthew 18:18-20, and after noting that “the passage is not about prayer,” Stern writes that, “Yeshua, speaking to those who have authority to regulate Messianic communal life (vv. 15-17), commissions them to establish New Covenant halakhah, that is, to make authoritative decisions where there is question about how Messianic life ought to be lived.” See David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary (Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications, 1992): 57.
[21] In this transition, I note that the church does not replace Israel. God is not through with the Jew. In the times of renewal when “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in,” then the Lord will graft the natural branches back into the Olive Tree of His blessing for the world (Romans 11:1-36, *25).
[22] Hagner does admit that “‘Binding and loosing’ can be regarded as the language of demon exorcism . . . but this interpretation cannot be made to fit the context.” See Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 14-28: Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 33B (Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1995): 472-473.
[23] William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, 1.2.135. Online:
[24] V. Raymond Edman, The Disciplines of Life (Wheaton, IL: Scripture Press, 1948): 171.

This article reprinted with permission of the author. The original is posted here:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Renaming Dominion

The Semantic Deceptions of Change Agentry

“It is better that we avoid the word dominion in our culture today due to the connotations that comes with this word of control and manipulation of others.”
—Os Hillman, Change Agent[1]

“Kingdom solutions sometimes need stealth solutions so that the secular world can accept them.”
—Os Hillman, Change Agent[2]

“This whole idea of taking over, and that language of take over, it doesn't actually help - it's good for preaching to the choir, and it's shorthand if we interpret it right, but it's very bad for media.”
—Lance Wallnau[3]

A recent video posted online reveals that the Doyens of Dominion are feeling a bit discomfited now that their agenda is in the national spotlight. Now they have to find another word that isn’t quite so controversial but means essentially the same thing. They are seeking to come up with a new vocabulary to identify their strategic objectives to build a kingdom here on earth.

The video, which can be accessed HERE, shows a conversation facilitated by Os Hillman, who set up the “Reclaiming The Seven Mountain” website and who initiated the Seven Mountain Mandate a few years ago as a strategic maneuver of the New Apostolic Reformation. In the video Hillman is discussing the problems inherent with the term “dominion” with two of his key change agents: Lance Wallnau and Johnny Enlow. All three of these men have been deep into Dominionism, and their rhetoric and theology have been extreme. In fact, so much so that in the process of trying to deny dominion on this video, they are actually admitting it!

Their record speaks for itself, despite the denials. Even if they change their terminology, they are obviously supporting the theology that undergirds their global ambitions.

Os Hillman is a professional change agent who is now training other leaders to be change agents.[4] In fact, he published a book about it year titled Change Agent: Engaging Your Passion to be the One Who Makes A Difference (Charisma House, 2011). His book is endorsed by C. Peter Wagner, Kent Humphries, Graham Power, Paul Cedar, and Paul Cuny, among others, and the Foreword is written by Lance Wallnau, who reveals that he “first met Os while speaking in Connecticut about the seven mountains in the year 2000,” and, “It was C. Peter Wagner who extended to me his platform and circles of friends and introduced me to Os.”[5] Furthermore, Wallnau confirms that there is a secondary gospel that is now supplementing and replacing salvation—a gospel of a corporate salvation of societal institutions, nations and cultures:

While there is only one gospel, Os points out that the gospel we have primarily preached throughout the earth focuses on individual salvation. The gospel of salvation redeems souls but only indirectly redeems economic, educational, political, or artistic institutions. The gospel of the kingdom, on the other hand, includes the gospel of salvation but encompasses the larger and more ambitious project of teaching to save nations while preaching to save souls. Making disciples of entire people groups and nations is the end game.[6]

In his Foreword to Hillman’s book, Lance Wallnau indicates that the main theological issue has to do with eschatology. He writes that

Our eschatology has put us at a disadvantage, causing us to be more preoccupied with His coming than strategic in how we occupy till He comes. This confusion is problematic because the last days are a time of great shaking. The key is not to assume that every shaking is evidence of the collapse of civilization or the expansion of anti-Christ forces. Shaking can also remove what is militating against the advance of God’s kingdom…. [7]

Always ask a change agent how they are defining their terms. What is “militating against the advance of God’s kingdom” mean? And who or what is going to be doing the “shaking”? And how? The answer, which Lance gives in his closing statement, is quite disconcerting. He misapplies an Old Testament prophecy to the Dominion Mandate in an ominous way:

God promised new clarity, decisiveness, and success to those who drew near to serve His purposes. He assured them, saying, “I am with you…. Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and beat them small, and make the hills like chaff.” I believe God is extending that promise to you and me as we join Him in what He is doing in the earth.[8]

In the Introduction to his Change Agent book, Os Hillman describes “the dynamics of believers positioned at the top of each sphere of influence that defines culture” and “who become problem solvers in that culture, thereby giving godly influence over it.” As was stated on the video, “influence” is a key term to describe the activities of Dominionist change agents. Again, one must ask: define “influence.” How is it done? To whom? Where? How? Hillman defines a change agent in his book as “men and women who solve societal problems.”[9] If this were a mere matter of influence, there would be no controversy; many Christians have exerted positive influence in positions of leadership in the church’s 2000 year history. But this “influence” is equated with a “Christian worldview” which means, in fact, a dominion worldview with a mandate to change culture. Hillman states:

…[M]aking more conversions will not necessarily change culture. It is important to have conversions, but it is more important to have those who are converted operate at the top of the cultural mountains from a biblical worldview….
The more godly the change agent at the top [of the mountain], the more righteous the culture will be. It doesn’t matter if the majority of the culture is made up of Christians. It only matters who has the greatest influence over that cultural mountain.[10] [emphasis in original]

As a matter of background information, change agentry is a form of wizardry in that it is a secretive, highly specialized training that involves how to manipulate people through powerful hidden psychological and sociological mechanics. These are subtle methods that are not recognized by those acted upon; they are therefore very vulnerable to the power that an elite trained change agent can exercise over them. Change agentry employs highly skilled techniques, including such controversial methods as the Delphi Technique (a deceptive and intimidating method of orchestrating group consensus), which are designed to shift a person from Point A to Point B in their worldview, beliefs, opinions, values, attitudes and behaviors. Change agents have a pre-determined outcome, a measurable goal to shift a paradigm. They are not necessarily the top leaders, but must be identified as key community influencers in a culture, community, village, or nation. An existing paradigm is most often easily shifted by various methods of peer pressure (especially in small groups), but in cases where that is not effective, penalties, force and coercion may be applied.[11] It is therefore in this overall context that Os Hillman’s book Change Agent must be viewed.

The theology articulated by these three men is summed up by Johnny Enlow, who is Os Hillman’s pastor,[12] in his book The Seven Mountain Prophecy: Unveiling the Coming Elijah Revolution,[13] as “‘restoration of a true theocracy.’” He claims that “Jesus is retained in heaven until Elijah’s Revolution…[which] will prepare for His final return.” This “revolution,” says Enlow “clearly entails the crushing of Satan here on Earth before He returns for His bride.”[14] Enlow’s militant church is supposedly told by God that

‘Your body on Earth will crush Your enemies. The last generation will be the ‘foot generation and will rule over Your enemies. Until they do so, You are not going back to rescue, rapture, save, or anything else. Your body, in fact, will not be a beautiful bride until she has accomplished this crushing of Satan.’[15]

Hard core language for someone who is now engaging in semantic gymnastics on the issue!

Os Hillman, characteristic of most all Dominionists, re-casts the Fall in early Genesis into a “Dominion Mandate” which was corrupted and now needs to be rectified by the church. The emphasis is not placed on man’s sin and the sacrifice of Christ’s shed blood at the cross of Calvary as the atonement for our sins. Rather, the emphasis is placed on man (the church) undoing what went wrong in Paradise and fixing it. Hillman believes that in the Lord’s Prayer “Jesus was wanting to restore all that had been lost. His desire for His people has been for them to be at the top of every sphere of society.”[16]

Amending the supposedly insufficient Gospel of Salvation to include the gospel of the kingdom (Dominion) is the name of the game. Note Hillman’s corrupted gospel of Dominion:

“God’s original mandate was to rule and reign on the earth through His creation. His mission wasn’t simply for man to receive salvation. Salvation was only the entry point. His ultimate goal was for man to rule….[17]

What did God mean when He said, ‘You shall surely die,’ if they ate from the tree? It didn’t mean physical death. It meant that their relationship with the Creator would die…. Satan would be allowed to have dominion instead of man.”[18]

Jesus came to the earth to reclaim all that had been lost in the garden and give the keys back to man. However, it was man’s responsibility to be His representative in this reclamation process.”[19]

Jesus returned to reclaim His Lordship over all domains of influence through His representatives—not just as Lord over salvation. After Jesus returned to heaven, it was up to His followers to appropriate what He did on the cross by reclaiming out of obedience all that had been lost. We are His representatives on the earth.[20]

We are to enforce and teach what Jesus has instructed us to do and what He has said. Our role is to enforce His will through intercessory prayer by claiming His promises and defeating the works of the enemy. Jesus came to defeat the works of the enemy. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” We too are called to defeat the works of the enemy on earth because we are to live as Jesus did on earth. Jesus said we would do even greater works than Him.[21]

Going a step further into the doctrinal abyss, Hillman asserts that Jesus has given “His representatives power of attorney to represent and enforce His interests on the earth. That is our role.”[22] (This extreme view may account for the strange antics of the NAR in attempting to “divorce Baal.”)[23] One should ask what Hillman’s oft-used term “enforce” means and how it will be applied to citizenry. Hillman also believes that the bride of Christ is maturing to a “preparatory dominion, as in the earth being prepared for the return of the King. When Jesus prayed the Lord’s Prayer, He prayed that what was in heaven would be manifested on the earth through His representatives.”[24] Hillman states that Jesus will “come back for a mature bride in order to reclaim the earth” and that do accomplish this “God needs His change agents” to “start this reclamation process.”[25]

Interestingly, according to Dominionists God can’t seem to do it on His own, but in needing man’s help to build this kingdom, He actually seems to need man’s machinations. Hillman says that there must be “quantifiable transformation” and that the “defining characteristic of a community that is being transformed is that the socioeconomic traits are being positively affected.”[26] As an example of “Kingdom solutions” for the HIV crisis in Uganda, Hillman does not cite the Gospel of Salvation. Rather, he employs the humanistic criteria of “promote sexual abstinence,” “stress the importance of monogamy,” and “place a high priority on instructions in preventative hygiene to the people.”[27] These global goals of “societal transformation”[28] bear little resemblance to the goals of a changed heart and changed lives through repentance from sins, forgiveness, sanctification and holiness. This all about changing external behavior, attitudes, beliefs, opinions and values – i.e., worldview – not about changing the heart.

As an aside, a familiar feature of Hillman’s book is his belief that a change agent needs to undergo six stages of progression to fulfill this “call.” These stages bear some resemblance to those articulated by Robert Hicks in the book The Masculine Journey, which was used during the Promise Keepers era as an experiential men’s study.[29] These six stages include crises, isolation and discovering “secret things.”[30]

By this time it should be abundantly clear that the “change agent” matrix from which these men operate is based on pure, unadulterated Dominion—no matter what else they try to call it. As they merge their agenda more and more into the evangelical mainstream via their connections with Emergent and Reformergent leaders, the language may become more sophisticated. But the agenda will stay the same. And the hard questions about what it means to “enforce” the kingdom of God on earth need to be asked.

The Truth:

“When he speaketh fair, believe him not:
For there are seven abominations in his heart.”

(Proverbs 26:25)


[1] Os Hillman, Change Agent: Engaging Your Passion to be the One Who Makes A Difference (Charisma House, 2011), p. 20.
[2] Ibid, p. 31.
[3] Lance Wallnau,, transcribed and reported at This video is described as: “Johnny Enlow, Lance Wallnau, and Os Hillman discuss the 7 cultural mountains of influence and evaluate questions regarding dominionsm. Excerpted from the Change Agent Video course by Os Hillman. To learn more visit”
[4] Os Hillman’s organization Marketplace Leaders ( has been advertising events such as Pinnacle Forum’s “Transforming Leaders To Transform Culture: 2011 National Conference” (e-mailed August 10, 2011); a “Change Agent Intensive in Atlanta Georgia for June 24-26 (e-mailed June 8, 2011); and “two nights of meetings in Hollywood, California” with ‘those in the business, arts and entertainment and media mountains in Hollywood” (e-mailed May 4, 2011).
[5] Change Agent, p. xi. Also see this Herescope post where the relationship between C. Peter Wagner and Lance Wallnau is documented:
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ibid, p. xii.
[8] Ibid, p. xiii. The Scripture referenced here is Isaiah 41:15, and this is a perfect example of the Latter Rain theology which wrongfully posits a role for the church on earth that can only be fulfilled by Jesus Christ upon His Second Coming. The historical and theological context of Isaiah 41 is actually the opposite of Dominion, as explained by the Jamieson, Fausset & Brown Bible Commentary, Vol. 2 (Hendrickson), p. 693: “There is a grand question at issue between God and the world, and between the people of God and the people of the world. The question is, whether the kingdom of God is to prevail, or the kingdom of the world, which is estranged from God. The remarkable interposition of God in behalf of His oppressed people in their Babylonian captivity, whereby He raised up Cyrus to execute His ‘righteous’ will in delivering them, decides the point at issue. That deliverance is a pledge and earnest of the final deliverance of the people of God, the literal and the spiritual Israel, by the Messiah, of whom Cyrus was the type. The nations in vain oppose themselves to the will of God, relying on their earthly idols. The Almighty is the ‘first,’ and therefore was before all human devices. He also is ‘with the last,’ and therefore shall Himself for ever be, and shall have His people with Him, when all adversaries of Himself and His people shall have been cast out finally. The same antitypical Cyrus, Messiah, shall destroy with the brightness of His coming the God-opposed nations and people, and will deliver the people of His covenant for the sake of Abraham, the forefather of Israel after the flesh, the father of all the faithful, and the ‘friend of God.’”
[9] Change Agent, p. 102.
[10] Ibid, p. 8-9.
[11] Elsewhere we have written about this topic in depth on the blog in posts such as:,, and . Additional material on this topic can also be found at The notable change is that the NAR employs downline networking structures which can rapidly diffuse a new worldview across a wide continuum. And Os Hillman's book Change Agent emphasizes this networking. The seven mountains themselves are symbolic of a pyramid marketing scheme.
[12] In Change Agent, p. 7 Hillman identifies Enlow as “my pastor.”
[13] Johnny Enlow, The Seven Mountain Prophecy: Unveiling the Coming Elijah Revolution (Creation House, 2008), p. 23.
[14] Ibid. Italics in original.
[15] Ibid, p. 23-24. See this Herescope for further quotations from Enlow and Wallnau on this topic: and see the graphic at the top of this post for an illustration of the warrior bride:
[16] Change Agent, p. 19.
[17] Ibid, p. 20.
[18] Ibid, p. 21.
[19] Ibid.
[20] Ibid, p. 23.
[21] Ibid.
[22] Ibid, italics in original.
[24] Change Agent, p. 23.
[25] Ibid, p. 24.
[26] Ibid., p. 31.
[27] Ibid. Note that one of Uganda’s gay activists was murdered, which may be connected to the “influence” of the Dominionist “worldview” that encourages returning to Old Testament laws to deal with homosexuals, rather than telling them how to know Jesus and be saved by grace so that they may be redeemed by His blood.
[28] Ibid.
[30] Change Agent, p. 71.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Whose Global Kingdom Come?

A.D. 2000: When the Great Commission
Ended. . . and Dominion Began

“Now, what I think will happen is that the gospel of the kingdom will be preached to all nations, that we will begin, as Jesus said to his disciples, begin making disciples of nations.”
—C. Peter Wagner, NPR’s Fresh Air, 10-3-11 [emphasis added]

By Berit Kjos

Editor’s Note: This article was originally authored and privately distributed by Berit Kjos ( in 1993 under the title of “Waiting for a Global Kingdom, Not the Coming King.” In October 1996, it was finally published in The Christian Conscience magazine with the current title “Whose ‘Global Kingdom’ Come?”

Recently, while searching some important early history on the rise of the modern Dominionism movement, we re-discovered this article. It contains a fascinating history of events and key personnel leading up to the year 2000. Readers will note the prominent role of C. Peter Wagner in adopting a new evangelical consensus for the completion of the altered version of the “Great Commission.” The article especially sheds some light on certain new doctrines and practices.

This article is being reproduced in its entirety in the same form as it was published in 1996, with only a few minor editing changes for clarity. To update the reader, whenever we have written about these people or their agendas in the past we have inserted webpage links.

Missions outreaches, and individuals closely connected with them, have strange associations and new doctrines for the coming millennium.

“I will change the understanding and expression of Christianity across the earth in one generation.”
Mike Bickle, Kansas City Fellowship pastor, quoting the supposed voice of God

It’s time to get ready for celebration 2000.
For centuries seers and sages have been transfixed on the year 2000. 
More recently, trend watchers, planners and futurists have hooked their sights to this guiding star. AD 2000, the year itself 
has been a powerful archetypal symbol for the “millennium”
the end of history and the beginning of a global civilization of peace and prosperity.
Jay Gary, in his Bimillennial Research Report “dedicated to exploring how the thousands of 
bimillennial celebrations of life and civilization in the year 2000 can truly leave a legacy for 
the entire human family that will endure the test of time."

”I dream
That the third millennium
Will be declared and made
Humanity’s First Millennium of

Robert Muller, New Age UN leader and “father of global education”


Two complementary movements within the church are preparing God’s people for deception at an unprecedented scale: today’s neglect of Biblical truth as an authoritative standard and the seductive call to global spirituality in a new millennium of peace and unity. Both are shaping a church that will welcome an all-inclusive global spirituality and a counterfeit world spiritual kingdom that promises security and oneness to all except those who resist.

First, today’s atmosphere of unquestioning tolerance has undermined the authority of Scriptures as a standard for testing personal beliefs as well as public teaching by Christian leaders. Afraid to be judged legalistic or exclusive, pastors and authors shun unpopular Biblical standards. Some have redefined sin, replacing traditional sins like homosexuality and adultery with a politically correct emphasis on intolerance, injustice and insufficient love for self.

Fueled by popular books… as well as new interpretations of Scriptures, this movement twists God’s Word to fit contemporary values. Using inclusive labels like spirituality rather than Christianity, it broadens the boundaries of God’s family far beyond the influence of the cross.

Distracted from memorizing and meditating on God’s Word, people neither have nor use Scriptures as their standard for truth and reality. God’s warning in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 fits our times: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

A strange paradox makes God’s people more vulnerable than ever to deception: more people own and read Bibles (and are held responsible for its teaching: Luke 12:48), yet today’s clamor for personal rather than Scriptural interpretations has dulled spiritual discernment and opened the door to all kinds of “deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” (1 Timothy 4:1: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”)

Second, the seductive call to global spirituality in a new millennium of peace and unity has found a ready audience in today’s Biblically illiterate culture. New groups and coalitions are sprouting across America, beckoning Christians to forget about end time warnings about a great apostasy and prepare for a bright new future in a coming millennium of global bliss. If this was an obscure movement led by cultic, New Age teachers, it could be readily dismissed. But its organizers and promoters are respected Christian pastors and authors, men who command a following and whom few dare question.

This article will take a look at several examples of this movement to prepare to celebrate the year 2000, among them, The Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, the Open Church Ministries, and the March for Jesus.

Christians and New AgersPlan Joint Celebrations for AD 2000

In his AD 2000 Bimillenial Research Report (March-April 1992), Jay Gary, a leader in the Christian world evangelization movement and Executive Director of the BimillEnnial Global Interaction Network (BEGIN) and Celebration 2000, announced the “Key People” involved in planning the millennial celebrations: himself, Paul Guest, and Robert Muller, chancellor of United Nations’ University of Peace in Costa Rica who attributes his global education philosophy to the occult teachings of spirit guide Djwhal Khul.

Why should this strange partnership alarm Christians everywhere? 
Who else is involved?

An advertisement in Christianity Today introduced Campus Crusade’s New Life 2000 conference and the Campus Crusade International Committee of Reference. 
Inside a large circle, it listed the diverse committee members respected leaders such as Billy Graham,  Leighton Ford, 
James Boice, 
Richard Halverson, 
C. Peter Wagner, 
R.C. Sproul and 
Os Guinness, 
as well as more questionable names such as 
Robert Schuller, 
Norman Vincent Peale and 
Jack Van Impe. Close to the center of the circle was written the name Jay Gary.

Though relatively few Christians recognize his name, Jay Gary has become a forceful leader in today’s vast and vital effort to evangelize the world for Christ by year 2000. From 1978 to 1982, he “developed the Perspectives Study Program, a nationwide lay mission study effort, which now touches more than 5000 students a year.” From 1982 to 1986, he served as executive editor for World Christian magazine. Next, he worked as a research consultant to the Worldwide Student NetWork, Campus Crusade for Christ’s year 2000 program to reach college students around the world. He has coordinated the AD 2000 Global Service office in Colorado Springs,… and he calls himself a “Congress Planner with the Lausanne movement.”

Jay Gary and his wife Olgy live in Colorado Springs. Together they authored The Countdown Has Begun a book which documents his Biblical beliefs and working relationships with many respected Christian leaders and organizations involved with world evangelization. He seems to be a passionate and tireless soldier for Christ compelled by one essential God-given purpose: to bring the gospel to every corner of the world by AD 2000. His credentials as a sincere servant of God seem beyond reproach.

Why then would he join forces with Robert Muller, the former under-secretary of the United Nations, whose spiritual tutors include former Buddhist U.N. leader U Thant, former occult Masonic leader Foster Bailey, and Alice Bailey, his wife who channeled the Tibetan Master Djwhal Khul?

The World Goodwill Newsletter published by Lucis (formerly Lucifer) Press, which was founded by Foster and Alice Bailey, offers a clue. It describes B.E.G.I.N., the global networking organization founded and directed by Jay Gary, and endorses the relationship between Gary and Muller.

The Bi-MillEnnial Global Interaction Network (BEGIN) is a group of concerned world citizens who circulate information and ideas on celebrating the year 2000 as a planetary jubilee with an agenda of hope. The question which BEGIN seeks to address is: “How can the thousands of bi-millennial celebrations of life and civilizations truly leave a legacy for the entire human family that will endure the test of time?”

In a letter to World Goodwill, BEGIN Executive Director Jay E. Gary writes: “One common project we are developing is an `International Year of Thanksgiving’ in 2000, especially through the United Nations. Dr. Robert Muller has given leadership to this proposal. If any of your readers would like to bring definition to a World Thanksgiving Year in 2000, marked by reflection, reconciliation, and gratitude between nations, cultures, and peoples, please have them correspond with us. We are collecting articles and papers on these themes for an upcoming Lets Talk 2000 Forum. [emphasis added]

Apparently Jay Gary does not seem to discern the danger inherent in an alliance and joint celebration with occult world leaders. Assuming that most of the subscribers to the World Goodwill Newsletter share Alice Bailey’s occult views and welcome Djwhal Khul’s demonic teachings and proddings toward a new world order, one wonders what Jay Gary hopes to gain for his “articles and papers” by asking, “please have them correspond with us.”

On the first page of his Bimillennial Research Report (March-April 1992), Jay Gary gave an uncritical endorsement of Robert Muller, announced the coming “World Parliament of Religions,” and apparently approved the current transformation of public education into a process for conforming children around the world to fit globalists’ agendas:

United Nations Proclamation. 
In his latest book, The Birth of a Global Civilization, former Assistant Secretary-General, Robert Muller, proposes the United Nations proclaim the year 2000 as an International Year of Thanksgiving, preceded by “unprecedented thinking, action, and determination to solve our remaining problems in order to enter the third millennium with a clean slate.” He calls upon the UN to establish a Preparatory Committee which would stimulate and coordinate celebration 2000 preparations among the professions, institutions, media, business, citizen organizations, religion and the arts.

World Parliament to look for 21st Century Agenda. ...
With the help of Dr. Gerald Barney, director of the Institute for the 21st Century, these conferences [held in preparation for the Chicago centenary of Parliament of World Religions] will address the role of spirituality in meeting challenges which confront the planet.

ABC’s for the 21st Century. 
Sherry Schiller, head of Countdown 2001, an education consulting group, feels that most education commissions, reports, and goals which target 2000, have sought only to reform education, whereas the challenge approaching the 21st Century is to transform it.

Jay Gary’s Bimillennial Research Report closes with a booklist and order form. The recommended books include Muller’s The Birth of a Global Civilization, Isaac Asimov’s The March of the Millennia, and Global Responsibility by Hans Kung, the German theologian responsible for drafting a global ethics statement at the recent World Parliament of Religions.

Apparently Jay Gary’s goals match those of Robert Muller. No doubt, his endorsement of Muller and his global philosophy has opened some high-level Christian doors to the New Age global agenda. World evangelization is not new phenomenon to Muller, who has been persuading world leaders for decades to follow his spiritual path. According to Lucis Press’ World Goodwill Newsletter,

In 1978 Robert Muller and Margaret Mead challenged the people of the world to prepare for the year 2000 by a “worldwide collaborative process of unparalleled thinking, education and planning for a just and sustainable human world order.” ...[An] international team of scholars have designed the project as a creative response to what they refer to as “six compelling essentials”; a New Sense of Power; 
Transcultural Dialogue; Citizen Participation; a Global Forum; a Holistic Perspective; a Spiritual Renaissance; Environmental Security; Economic Security; and Disarmament. [emphasis added]

As former Presbyterian pastor Eugene Peterson affirmed in his strange article in Christianity Today, “Spirit Quest,” a renewed yearning for spiritual experience marks this final decade of the 20th century. However, while many of the spiritual paths beckoning people today may sound Christian, they have little in common with genuine Christianity. Instead, they fall in line with innumerable New Age movements toward a global spirituality that will unite all religions but shun Biblical monotheism.

When Robert Muller talks about a “Spiritual Renaissance,” he doesn’t mean a Christian revival. He is referring to a unified global religion that will join all people and nations under the benevolent reign of spiritually “wise” UN leaders. He envisions a world of spiritual beings evolving through reincarnation and fulfilling the law of karma - doctrines he learned from Buddhist monk U Thant, former head of the United Nations. Along with Al Gore and other leaders who call themselves Christians, he bases his view of the future on Teilhard de Chardin’s teaching about man’s spiritual evolution toward an Omega point of perfect unity.

Unlike Jay Gary, Muller has everything to gain and nothing to lose by his alliance with Christian evangelists. His occult beliefs can easily assimilate other gods and conform them to his occult worldview. Christianity cannot make similar compromises without rejecting the uniqueness of Christ, severing its relationship with God, and losing its true identity.

We had better heed God’s warning in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18: KJV: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

The Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization

Lausanne was launched by Billy Graham in 1974. At the first Lausanne Congress in Lausanne, Switzerland, Dr. Graham challenged the Church to complete the task of world evangelization by the end of the century. Lausanne II, held in Manila during ten days in July, 1989, reinforced this vital message to its more than 400 participants. 

Jay Gary has served the Lausanne Committee since the mid-eighties. His 1989 book, Countdown 2000 indicates that:

for the past three years he has worked with the Lausanne movement as the program director of Leadership ‘88, a national conference for younger leaders and, more recently, as assistant to Lausanne’s International Director. Jay served as the consultation director for the Global Consultation on World Evangelization by AD 2000 and Beyond, held in Singapore in January, 1989.

His wife Olgy designed the layout for the Lausanne Committee’s magazine called World Evangelization.

The Lausanne movement was to serve a vital function of awakening the Church to the urgency of the Great Commission. We believed the intentions of Billy Graham and other faithful visionaries and organizers were to serve God and to share the Gospel everywhere. Yet, some strange concepts and ideas have crept into “The New Lausanne.” 
Ponder the following disturbing statements from Lausanne’s magazine, World Evangelization (September, 1993):

…a new vision began to emerge one of a Lausanne movement “owned and operated” [Isn’t God the owner?, ed.] by the national, regional and special interest Lausanne committees. Taking this new direction also requires us to redesign the international structure of Lausanne so that it provides what the “new owners” both need and can afford.

…we will announce our intent to dissolve the old Lausanne structure and issue an invitation to the new owners to decide what kind of new international Lausanne structure they both want and can afford...

This meeting will celebrate Lausanne’s 20th birthday...and launch the Lausanne of the future. 
This meeting will be planned by Lausanne’s “new owners.” 

[Dr. Bryant Myers, Administrative Committee Chairman of Lausanne and vice president for mission and evangelism 
for World Vision International, speaking on Lausanne’s future.]

It has made me realize the impossibility of trying to contain within a Lausanne organization 
all that is inspired by its spirit. 

[Rev. Tom Houston, Lausanne’s new minister-at-large. Notice his involvement with the Open Church described below.]

Unfortunately ...contemporary Evangelicals ...have been influenced by a dispensational theology that has given them a Gospel without a Kingdom, and by a Western world view that has deprived them of a holistic understanding of human beings and the world.
[Samuel Escobar, Professor at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, talking about “The New Theological Agenda” and a message by Norberto Saracco, a pentecostal pastor from Argentina. Notice this same argument in the section below on the Open Church.]

First we have the example of Robert de Nobili (1577-1656) ...who went to India as a Jesuit missionary ...he passed for a guru, and Indian saintly figure, and even for a sannyasi, a wild, holy man, adopting 
Hindu customs and religious terminology to define his own personal piety.

Matteo Ricci... adopted the opposite path to de Nobili by assimilating into upper-class Chinese society during the Ming dynasty... 
and eventually undergoing a profound cultural transformation as a Confucian scholar.

It is also apparent...that Christian missions expanded and deepened pluralism - in language, social encounter 
and ethnic participation in the Christian movement.
[Dr. Lamin Sanneh, Professor of Missions and World Christianity and Professor of History at Yale College.]

The Open Church of the Future

The Open Church Ministries’ promotional audio cassette, Christianity In A New Key, An Introduction to the Future Church includes statements by well known Christian leaders such as pollster George Barna; author Gene Edwards; Reconstructionists Jay Grimstead (Coalition On Revival) and Dennis Peacocke; Fuller Professor C. Peter Wagner; Kansas City Fellowship “prophets” Mike Bickle and author Rick Joyner; and Tom Houston, the professional director for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. Without identifying individual speakers, the tape begins with a string of related statements concerning the envisioned future church:

·       God is now moving.
·       He has been preparing over the last several decades a new kind of Church. 

·       In the next ten-fifteen years, there’s going to be some explosive growth.
·       The whole country is rushing into the Kingdom of God. 

·       The whole infrastructure of church bodies has to be changed and prepared to accommodate great numbers of new converts.
·       We’ve spent the last two thousand years complicating Christianity.... 

·       The Church has got to restructure itself seriously. 

·       We have not seen nor preached the Kingdom of God. 

·       We haven’t really seen the Church yet. 

·       We will see in the 21st century a recreation of a dynamic of the Church that we saw in the 1st century. 

·       It will be like a dam breaking. 

·       Gatherings of tens of thousands of believers in stadiums.
·       The most glorious days the Church has ever known are still ahead of us.

The following {DNA-type] statements sound like the New Age hologram hypotheses:

·       Every cell in our body carries two codes: the code of the cell and the code of the organism the whole. Theoretically, you can make a whole from one tiny part, because the code is there. I believe it’s true in God’s work. I believe every healthy Christian individual has both his personal code or plan or calling but he also instinctively knows he’s part of a larger thing, and the code of the whole is in him, so that if you only had one Christian and a Bible preaching, you would have a New Testament church as he was added to. 

·       Since mid 70s there has been an amazing awakening in pockets here and there and a moving together of converging lives, as you mentioned, and so there is a Gideon’s Army, a remnant waking up, that is going to, in 30 or 40 years from now, when these home school kids, when all of this big stuff, the big prayer movements, the prophetic movement, the political activist movement, the unity movement, the whole bit, when all of this congeals in the next 10-15 years, there’s going to be some explosive growth not only in evangelism and personal holiness but whole countries are going to change and just come rushing into the Kingdom of God. 

·       In the Church of the Future, God will touch us and turn us into the lions we are supposed to be, and give us the freedom to serve Him in far wider realms the unexplored and forbidden lands of high spiritual adventure. 

·       ...there’s a need for change and the megachurch announces the need for two kinds of change: One is a change in our thinking our constructs of what Gold is trying to do and how we will go about doing it. And that leads to a change in morphosis or form.
·       I see this as an identity change issue. And people who are coming to our churches tend to see themselves as spectators... vs. being ministers themselves. And that will take an entirely new vantage point from which to see ourselves.
·       We should discover that every locale on earth, and every culture, and every matrix, there should be an indigenous organic way that the church expresses itself.

The book The Open Church by James H. Rutz seeks to totally reinvent the church, gutting traditions. 
The lion on this book’s cover depicts the church as a lion (not Jesus as the “Lion of Judah,” Rev. 5:5) which is worshipping the fire on the altar which is not the Holy Spirit. This unscriptural perversion of the doctrine of the Trinity is indicative of the proposed experiential worship model that de-emphasizes the teaching of the Word. On the tape there was a closing statement by David Bradshaw or Jim Rutz: 

·       Do all the high goals in the future church sound unrealistic to you? Under the status quo they would be. But remember, we’re talking about a revamped worship service that could transform your people like a cold shower. You won’t have many spiritual blobs that show up once a week, then vanish. You’ll have people of action, concerned participants. Powerful loving disciples who are taking their places as leaders in the battle force under the Commander of the armies of heaven. Let’s stop playing church. The time has come to end our 1700 year experiment in spectator Christianity. Like a doting parent, God our Father is glad to take whatever He can get in the way of worship, but... He would be a whole lot happier for once just once in His life seeing Christians were allowed to stand to his feet say, “I love you Lord, you mean everything to me.”

The Open Church Ministries is one of the many ministries located in Colorado Springs that are now teaching these new beliefs about the supposed necessity of radically transforming the Church for the 21st century. The Open Church, by James T. Rutz further expounds on these new doctrinal understandings of the kingdom, the structure of the church, and an anticipated coming revival.

The Jesus March

This is another fast-spreading, catchy movement which started in England. 
It’s leaders Gerald Coates (Alpha founder), 
Lynn Green, 
Graham Kendrick, and 
Roger Forster (who pastors a church in London) 
met with Jay Gary, 
C.Peter Wagner and 
other spiritual leaders 
at the Sheraton Hotel in Denver last December 6-7 (1992).

According to Tricia Tillen, who publishes a quarterly newsletter called Mainstream, the aim of the March for Jesus is to take the nations through spiritual warfare not through evangelism. Graham Coates, one of the four founders, explains,

Marching for Jesus is a prophetic act which demonstrates that the meek shall inherit the earth. Each footstep on the march is an action which claims the ground and says, “This is God’s world and we are claiming it for God.”...we do not inherit the world by buying it... but by shifting the spiritual powers that have been allocated in the nations....

The following statements from their 1992 book, March for Jesus, were quoted in Mainstream, and offer some clues to the theological basis for their ministry:

The theology of marching will emerge as we engage in it and listen to what the Spirit is saying.
[Roger Forster]

By now we were beginning to think that the principalities, power and spiritual strongholds had historical roots, so we looked into different parts of London where we felt there was a stronghold of greed... (p.17)
[Lynn Green (1985)]

We don’t know what happens when we declare the victory of Jesus into the cosmos - what we do know is something happens. (p. 140)
[Roger Forster]

...we began to notice that a change took place in the heavens - the awareness was subjective, but others also noticed it. (p.19)
[Roger Forster (1974)]

...the aim was to mobilize Christians to proclaim the name of Jesus and to pronounce the defeat of the spiritual forces entrenched in the capital. (p.28) [Gerald Coates (9187)]

Commenting on the results, Mainstream asks,

Did London become a less immoral or greedy city as a result? Was there revival? Did people turn to God 
in repentance? No ...Crime figures continue to rise; pornography, drugs, abortion... are worse than ever. 
The Jesus March and evangelistic events are designed to bring all denominations together in unity unity 
is the key. The organizers believe Christ cannot come until there is full visible unity in the Church. 
Anyone who stands in the way is accused of destroying unity and that’s also why doctrine is thrown out. Doctrine divides, they say, so let’s ignore the Scriptures and concentrate on love and unity.

As Paul Coates says, “Doctrinal unity is important in terms of the foundations of our faith, but it seems everyone who comes together on doctrinal unity ends up splitting... Then there are those who strive for methodological unity 
this nit-picking fundamentalist evangelical approach to scripture that asks questions like, “Where is marching in the Bible?” Methods are important, but we are not primarily looking for methodological 
unity, we are primarily looking for relational unity a display of love, unity and joy.” (p.13)

Ponder Mainstream’s comments:

To cover up the poverty of their theology, such teachers hide behind one or two texts plucked out of the Bible, such as “judge not lest ye be judged” and “touch not the Lord’s anointed.” Employing personal criticism as their weapon, they accuse brothers and sisters of unloving attitudes while backing away from 
the real issue the correct understanding and use of Scriptures. March for Jesus is promoting a new doctrine that the world will be won for Christ by conducting spiritual warfare in the heavenlies, marching on land 
to stake out territories for Christ, and achieving “visible” unity. The traditional missions emphasis on evangelism and sharing the Gospel is missing.

Steps Taken By Other Ministries Toward the Envisioned Church of the 21st Century

Tricia Tillen also presented the following information in Mainstream:

Dawn 2000 - Discipling a Whole Nation: 
This nationwide evangelistic scheme has been called “The Greatest Evangelistic Vision of the Decade.” 
Its leaders envision winning 250,000 people in ten days during March, 1994. Founder Jim Montgomery explains the principle behind this explosive growth a formula not unlike the New Age teaching on a “critical mass” and Ken Kesey’s proverbial story about the hundredth monkey:

When Jesus Christ becomes incarnate in the midst of every small group of people of 400 to 1000, then 
the last practical and measurable goal has been reached towards making a disciple of that nation... 
[Wherever they go, they will plant] a group of people who are incarnating Christ in their local neighborhood.[emphasis added].

Paul Crouch’s Super-Church: 
In his October, 1993 newsletter, Paul Crouch condemns those who examine current teachings in the light  of Scriptures as wolves among the flock, false prophets, false teachers and antichrists. He quotes 2 Peter 2:3 (“their damnation slumbers not”), then says:

“But the future for the kingdom-builders is different. No plagues will touch them and “when this blood-washed throng finally realizes who we are and arises as that mighty 
army that no man can number, His kingdom will finally come...” [emphasis added]

Faith teacher Ulf Ekman:“The church of the nineties will not be a weak church, it will be a strong church ... there will be love in it 
a love of purity and right...that will eliminate rebellion. It will be a forceful church, a kingly church, an influential and attacking church - even a military church single-minded in purpose, zealous and 
absolutely fanatical.” (From address at Faith ’90 titled “A Faith that Takes a Nation,” emphasis added)

John Hinkle. 
Pastor of Christ Church in Los Angeles claimed that God spoke audibly to him and told him that the cleansing of the earth will take place in June 1994. (It didn’t happen).

Target Earth. 
It would be easy to dismiss these examples as notable exceptions. However, look at Derek Prince’s outline 
of last days events from a book on world evangelization prepared for Lausanne II titled Target Earth. The Necessity of Diversity in a Holistic Perspective on World Missions. The author/editor, Frank Caleb Janssen, lives in Colorado Springs and is a friend of the Garys. He is also one of the contributors to the Open Church audio cassette. Note the strange theology that is intermixed with global missions strategy.

1.     A Latter Rain Revival leading to a vast end-times harvest in which countless missions will be saved.
2.     Parallel with this, a severe judgment from God on all who resist the “revival”. 
[Including us? A “cleansing”?, ed.] 

3.     As a result of these events, the kingdom will be brought forth on earth, then consummated by the personal return of Jesus.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Many, many more examples could be provided, raising serious questions about the unorthodox beliefs on the coming millennium held by some of our esteemed Christian leaders who are connected to global evangelization.

Some resources cited in this article included:
·       Mike Taylor, “Bringing in Whose Kingdom?” Features, July, 1993. 12. 

·       Paul Guest of the World Association for Celebrating the Year 2000, London, U.K. 

·       Jay and Olgy Gary, The Countdown Has Begun (Rockville, VA:AD 2000 Global Service Office, 1989)
·       The Christian Conscience published several other articles on Jary Gary and his New Age associations: in the May 1995 issue, April 1996 and June 1996. The April 1996 article is by Warren Smith, “Evangelicals and New Agers Together,” and can be found online here:
·       World Goodwill Newsletter, Lucis Press, 1993. No. 3. p. 7. 
·       Eugene Peterson,”Spirit Quest,” Christianity Today, No. 8, 1993, 27. 

·       Al Gore, Earth in the Balance:Ecology and the Human Spirit. (Boston:Houghton Mifflin, 1992). 

·       Robert Muller, New Genesis: Shaping a Global Spirituality (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1948), 159-165. 

·       Gerald Coates, Robert Forster, Lyn Green and Graham Kendrick, March for Jesus (Eastbourne, England, Kingsway Publications, 1992) 66. 

·       Mainstream, Winter 1993. Box 23, Belper, Derbys. DE56 1QR, UK. For more information about critical mass and the influential myth about the hundredth monkey read chapter five in Your Child and the New Age by Berit Kjos.
·       Jim Montgomery, Dawn 2000, page 13, 50. Quoted in Mainstream, Winter 1993. 

·       Frank Caleb Janssen, Target Earth (Pasadena, Global Mapping International, 1989), 168.
·       For an explanation of Latter Rain beliefs, read Strange Fire: The Rise of Gnosticism in the Church by Travers and Jewel van der Merwe, posted online at:
·       Follow the live links in this updated article for more current information. Note that many of the themes in this article have been covered by posts at and, but there are many areas where research and updating is still needed.