Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bruce Waltke’s Comments Create Firestorm

Bruce Waltke is one of the most well-known Old Testament scholars in the Reformed tradition of this generation. Known by many as a conservative, his comments made in a recently-released 2009 interview may have created one of the most significant theological firestorms to sweep through the evangelical community in recent memory.[1]

“Bruce Waltke: Why Must the Church Accept Evolution?”

On March 24, the Science and Sacred blog of the Biologos Forum posted a 2009 interview in which Dr. Waltke made definitive statements defending theistic evolution, while simultaneously marginalizing and potentially alienating all who still hold to a literal six-day-creation view of Genesis. In the video titled Bruce Waltke: Why Must the Church Accept Evolution? Dr. Waltke makes the following statement:

…if the data is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution, to deny that reality will make us a cult…some odd group that is not really interacting with the world. And rightly so, because we are not using our gifts and trusting God’s Providence that brought us to this point of our awareness.[2]

At the time the video debuted, Dr. Waltke had been a professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) for more than 20 years, but his resignation from the seminary was reported on April 6. Biologos reports that on March 29 he was asked by the seminary to request that the video be taken down. Miscellanies: a Christ-centered blog reported a clarification by Dr. Waltke on March 31 in which he continues to affirm that Adam and Eve are historical figures from whom all humans descended.[3]

Although some early reports indicated that RTS had essentially forced his resignation, Dr. Waltke and seminary Chancellor and CEO Robert (Ric) Cannada have subsequently issued a joint statement that this is not true. Dr. Waltke tendered his resignation because of the harm the video was causing RTS and his resignation was accepted as being in the best interests of RTS. (for a post of Bruce Waltke’s statement, click here; for Ric Cannada’s statement, click here).

On April 30, the board of Knox Theological Seminary approved the appointment of Dr. Bruce Waltke as Distinguished Professor of Old Testament. (The KTS statement.) (Knox Theological Seminary is a ministry of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, a member of the PCA.)

This “Will Make Us A Cult”

[Note: The Alliance for Biblical Integrity holds to Young-Earth Creationism (YEC) and I will deal with some of the specific scientific and exegetical issues in the evolution/creation debate at some point in the future. However, in this article, I am limiting my comments to the general theological and philosophical problems of evolution, including those associated with marginalizing Young-Earth Creationists by suggesting we may eventually be viewed as a cult.]

To be fair, Dr. Waltke has stated that he would have given the video a different title and that the interview was edited in such a way to make him appear to be making stronger statements than he intended against those who don’t agree with his views on theistic evolution. The following has been posted on a third-party blog as being copied from a statement on his Facebook site:

I am not a scientist, but I have familiarized myself with attempts to harmonize Genesis 1-3 with science, and I believe that creation by the process of evolution is a tenable Biblical position. I apologize for giving the impression that others who seek to harmonize the two differently are not credible. I honor all who contend for the Christian faith.

However, the statement concerning the problem of being labeled a cult does not seem to simply be an off-the-cuff remark in an unguarded moment. And even if he might state it differently in retrospect or if this was not his intention, his comments do reflect a widely-held view that YEC is only held by those on the anti-intellectual fringe of conservative evangelicalism. Of course, this has been the consensus of the scientific establishment for as long as anyone can remember. But Dr. Waltke’s words seem to imply that we legitimately run the risk of this becoming the common consensus—which would necessarily include that of the evangelical community in general.

It seems surprising that Dr. Waltke would use the word “cult” so loosely and imprecisely. “Cult” is almost exclusively reserved for groups that deny the deity of Christ, yet it seems unlikely that he is suggesting that rejecting theistic evolution is somehow even close to being equivalent to such heresy. So why even use this term—even if to stress his concern that those who continue to hold this position run the risk of losing credibility? At the very least, the term is unnecessarily inflammatory.

The reasoning behind Dr. Waltke’s statement is also puzzling. Ultimately, a primary reason for us to be concerned about being labeled a cult for any reason must be that the Gospel message we proclaim will be rejected as a result. But who would reject our Gospel over the question of beginnings if not those who already reject it on other grounds—including many in the scientific community?

Will Theistic Evolution Really Help The Cause Of The Gospel?

Is it reasonable to expect that Muslim intellectuals will accept the deity of Christ if—or because evangelical Christians accept theistic evolution? Will Hindu biologists accept the concept of the triune personal God of the Bible if—or because evangelical Christians reject Young-earth Creationism? Will liberal Protestants return to the biblical Gospel of personal redemption through faith in Jesus Christ alone if—or because evangelical Christians embrace their view of Genesis 1-11 as merely a collection of myths? Will even one materialistic evolutionist recognize that he has been wrong about God’s existence if—or because evangelical Christians recognize that they have been wrong about Darwin’s theory?

The answer to these questions seems intuitively obvious. These groups all rejected the biblical Gospel long before the evolution/creation debate became a scientific issue, a social cause, a cultural phenomenon or a political football. And if anything, the deepening rejection of the Gospel within academia has tracked right with the movement away from a literal view of creation – and not even pretending to slow down at theistic evolution on its way to atheistic evolution. Despite Dr. Waltke’s long years of ministry and work in the rigorous field of theological academics, his comments seem oddly naive.

From a scientific perspective, don’t the twin issues of the resurrection from the dead and life-after-death pose least as much of an obstacle as evolution? Concerning the case for the resurrection, the only evidence consists of historical records. Concerning the case for life-after-death the only arguments are purely philosophical/theological. There is no empirical evidence that the spiritual realm exists, apart from a few spurious claims to the contrary. Anecdotal reports of common near-death experiences do not constitute scientific proof. But even if such proof did exist, it would not produce a rush by the scientific community or anyone else to trust in Christ for salvation, because lack of evidence is not the real issue.

Another significant issue is that of Adam and Eve. In a post-video follow-up, Waltke states:
  1. Adam and Eve are historical figures from whom all humans are descended; they are uniquely created in the image of God and as such are not in continuum with animals.
  2. Adam is the federal and historical head of the fallen human race just as Jesus Christ is the federal and historical head of the Church.
I don’t see how Dr. Waltke’s present position will give him much more credibility as long as he continues to maintain that Adam and Eve were historical figures. Sooner or later, he will have no choice but to abandon one view or the other. Apart from the scientific problems, the virtually insurmountable nature of the logical and theological problems can readily be seen by anyone who thinks through the issue.[4]

Is Theistic Evolution The Only Credible View?

Apparently, Dr. Waltke has not always thought so. In an article on biblical cosmogony in the Jan.-Mar. 1975 edition of Bibliotheca Sacra, Dr. Waltke asked the question:

Why has the new generation turned from the theologian to the scientist for the answer to his nagging question about the origin of the universe?[5]

In the quote from the video, and in the subsequent clarification, one cannot deduce for sure that Dr. Waltke has completely ruled out the possibility that the Genesis account can be taken literally. However, he does seem to be very close to that position—particularly in light of his resignation from RTS. This leads us to wonder what has happened over the last 35 years that has caused him to change his views regarding evolution if his high view of Scripture hasn’t changed, as well—something which he also maintains.

Although Dr. Waltke has made it clear that he holds to theistic evolution (as opposed to naturalistic evolution), it is not at all clear that he held to any form of evolution in 1975. In explaining his position in this article, Dr. Waltke refers to a lecture he gave as a guest speaker in a course on genetics at Southern Methodist University, during which he appeared to defend the literal creationist position. His basic thesis was that evolution, like creationism, is a faith position which cannot be scientifically proven.

During the questioning session that followed the lecture, the basic thesis was accepted by both professor and students, but their next question was, “Why should we accept your faith position instead of ours?”

Now the author is not suggesting that by this one experience he has refuted the hypothesis of evolution, but he is maintaining that all answers which attempt to explain the origin of the universe are essentially faith positions. The question that the LORD asked of Job is asked of every man: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?”

The following is an excellent statement that he made in the same article under the section, “The Importance of Cosmogony.” (If Dr. Waltke’s views haven’t fundamentally changed since 1975, it seems odd that after 20 years it would only now be in the best interests of RTS for him to leave the school.)

But it may be asked, “What difference does all this make?” It is important because the question of cosmogony is closely related to one’s entire world view. Someone has said that our world view is like the umpire at a ball game. He seems unimportant and the players are hardly aware of him, but in reality he decides the ball game. So likewise one’s world view lies behind every decision a person makes. It makes a difference whether we come from a mass of matter or from the hand of God. How we think the world started will greatly influence our understanding of our identity, our relationship to others, our values, and our behavior. Because the question of cosmogony is important for understanding some of the basic issues of life, intelligent men throughout recorded history have sought the answer to this question. Just as the knowledge of the future is crucial for making basic choices in life, so also the knowledge of beginnings is decisive in establishing a man’s or a culture’s Weltanschauung (“world view”). No wonder the Bible reveals both.

Because of man’s limitation as a creature, he must receive this knowledge by revelation from the Creator. Moreover, because of the noetic effects of sin, he needs to be reborn before he can comprehend that revelation.

Scientists now regularly state that evolution is no longer a theory, but a proven fact—and it would appear that Dr. Waltke has become persuaded that this is true. However, the problem he cites above has not changed, and in fact, it cannot change. As he notes, “The answer is beyond the range of empirical proof” and this is because it involves events that happened in the past.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that God has created the universe such that macro-evolution can actually occur without his ongoing intervention. That macro-evolution could happen and that it actually did happen are two entirely separate issues. The only way there can be a necessary relationship between the two is if God does not exist—and that is precisely the starting point for atheistic evolutionists.

But this begs the question for theistic evolutionists, as well. If theistic evolution is true, then either evolution requires God’s intervention or God unnecessarily chose to be involved. However, this presents a conundrum. The evidence and arguments required for theistic evolutionsists to maintain that God is necessary at some point in the process are essentially the same ones used by Young-earth Creationists. So, what is the advantage when trying to persuade anyone either of God’s existence or of the truth of the Gospel? If the arguments are essentially the same, then on what grounds do Young-earth Creationists run the risk of being labeled a cult any more than the theistic evolutionist who also maintains the view that Christ arose from the grave to be alive forevermore—a view that most scientists would claim to be decidedly “unscientific.”

Irreconcilable Practical and Theological Problems

Ultimately, theistic evolution creates far more problems than it solves. This is not simply an issue of whether or not a given passage should be understood figuratively or literally. Below are just a few of the many questions and problems raised by the theory of theistic evolution.

If theistic evolution is true in general…
  • Wouldn’t death have been a part of life for the millions of years prior to the fall of Adam and Eve?
  • Wouldn’t biological decay have occurred over the eons, as well?
  • Wouldn’t have all the forces of nature that we observe today been at work also—i.e., destructive weather and geological phenomena?
  • What, exactly, were the effects of the Fall, if death, destruction and decay had been an inherent part of the creation from the beginning?
  • How could God pronounce that all he created was “good,” if death, destruction and decay had been an inherent part of the creation from the beginning?
  • How could it be determined scientifically which parts of the evolutionary process were immediately and necessarily guided by the hand of God, and which ones could have happened without God’s direct intervention?
  • How would the answer to the previous question fundamentally differ from the arguments used by Young-earth Creationists?

If Adam and Eve were created instantaneously millions to billions of years after the initial creation…
  • How can it be explained that Adam and Eve were placed in an environment that was already marked by death, destruction and decay?
  • Were Adam and Eve created to live forever in such an environment?
  • Did God also at that time create the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil or are these simply metaphorical?
  • What, exactly, did Adam and Eve do to bring about their spiritual and physical death, if these things are only metaphorical?
  • Why did Moses include the details about cherubim and a flaming sword guarding the entrance to the Garden—and how should we understand this passage, if these things are only metaphorical?

If instead of Adam and Eve being independently created, lower life forms had evolved into hominids over the millennia…
  • Would it be proper to say that Adam and Eve were animals prior to God breathing into them the breath of life so that they became “living souls?”
  • Would it be reasonable to assume that only two such animals had evolved or that these were the only two among many which became living souls—which would be required for them to be the only progenitors of the human race?
  • Wouldn’t it be reasonable to suggest that there were many such hominids at that time, who were biologically identical to humans and looked exactly like humans, but really were not?
  • What would have prevented procreation between humans and biologically identical hominids—or is it possible that this actually happened?
  • What happened to all of these pre-human animals?

These are not absurd questions. And because of these and many others that could be posed, it doesn’t seem that theistic evolution could possibly be more acceptable to unbelievers than Young-earth Creationism. When carefully considered, it actually seems that theistic evolution could be viewed by naturalistic evolutionists as even more foolish and logically inconsistent than YEC.

I understand there are some significant difficulties that remain to be addressed by YEC from a scientific perspective. However, theistic evolution introduces at least as many problems because science and biblical theology must still be reconciled—which is obviously not a burden for naturalistic evolutionists.

Unfortunately, I don’t to see how either Dr. Waltke’s position on theistic evolution or his comments are in any way helpful to conservative evangelicals and the cause of Christ.

1. This issue has generated a tremendous number of articles, blogs and comments and because of the sheer volume it has become very difficult to trace everything back to the primary sources for the information I have reported below. However, I do believe that the picture I have presented is accurate.
2. Quoted in an April 9, 2010 article on the Christianity Today website and on many other sites. I have not been able to locate the video anywhere on the internet as it has apparently been taken down everywhere. However, that this is an accurate quote is corroborated by many websites.
3. Although I have not yet found the original, that this is accurate is also corroborated by other websites carrying the same statement.
4. These will be discussed later, at
5. “The Creation Account in Genesis 1-3″

Reprinted with permission in its entirety, with minor formatting revisions for posting on this blog. The original post can be found here: Follow this article series and other topics of relevance at The Alliance for Biblical Integrity website:

This article topic is indicative of the emerging new theologies in the panevangelical realm, in which the early chapters of Genesis are being reworked towards a global, ecumenical, evolutionary and Dominionist mindset.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Two Gospels

As a sequel to the previous post by Pastor Anton Bosch on "Two Kingdoms," readers are reminded of a past post that was published on February 9, 2008 titled "The Gospel of the Kingdom."

The "Two Kingdoms" each have their own gospel message. One is true and biblical. One is a false gospel. One seeks to change men internally via repentance upon hearing the Gospel of Salvation, the message of the Cross, regeneration and the indwelling Holy Spirit. The other seeks to change men externally via institutional changes, moral codes, economic structures, mysticism, etc. These two gospels do not mix, even though the men who promote the false gospel often fool people by giving lip service to the true Gospel.

Read the February 9, 2008 post here:

Also, for background information, read the February 7, 2008 post "The new 'do good' gospel" here:

The Truth:

"Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." ( 2 Corinthians 3:6)

Matthew Poole, writing in his 1600s Commentary on the New Testament on 2 Corinthians 3:6, explains:

"The law, in opposition to the Gospel, is called the letter, sometimes a dead letter; because it was no revelation of God's grace, either in pardoning men their omissions of duty, and doing acts contrary to duty, or assisting men in the performance of their duty.

As the Gospel is also called the Spirit, both in opposition to the carnal ordinances of the law, and because Christ is the matter, subject, and argument of it; and chiefly because that the preaching of it is so far attended by the Spirit of grace, that where men do not turn their ears from the hearing of it, nor shut their eyes against the light of it, nor harden their hearts against the precepts and rule of it, it becomes (through the free grace of God) effectual to change their hearts, and to turn them from the power of Satan unto God, and to make them truly spiritual and holy.

For the letter (that is, the law) killeth; the law showeth men their duty, accuseth, condemneth, and denounceth the wrath of God against men for not doing their duty, but gives no strength for the doing of it. But the spirit (that is, the Gospel) giveth life; the Gospel, in the letter of it, showeth the way to life; and the Gospel, in the hand of the Spirit, or with the Spirit working together with it, (the Holy Spirit using it as its instrument,) giveth life; both that life which is spiritual and that which is eternal, as it prepareth the soul for life and immortality."

1. Matthew Poole's Commentary on the Holy Bible, Vol. 3: Matthew-Revelation, (Hendrickson), p. 611. Minor formatting changes for blog usage.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Two Kingdoms

"But God has a plan: 'Go into the entire world, all its systems, its Mind-Molders and its Nations and infiltrate the world with My Power and Teachings. Don't run and don't hide. Go through the door of globalization--world economics--while it is yet day; while opportunity exists. Pentrate these nations and systems with the demonstration of a belief system that has superior power and results."
--Lance Wallnau, "7 Mind Molding Mountains"[1]

By Pastor Anton Bosch

Many Christians have been deceived into believing that they can somehow “convert” the kingdoms of this world to become the Kingdom of God. In the process they have put their energy and hopes into bringing about the Kingdom of God by working towards getting more influence with government in order to transform government. Some even believe that Jesus will return once we have transformed the world and created the millennial Kingdom.

This presupposes that the Kingdom of God is a better version of or improved earthly kingdom. But what does the Bible have to say about this?

The first mention of a subject in the Bible is often very significant for an understanding of that topic. The first mention of the word “kingdom” is in Genesis 10:10 when it says of Nimrod that “the beginning of his kingdom was Babel.” It was at Babel that the tower was built that was intended to reach to Heaven and that to this day remains the prime example of man’s pride, self-sufficiency and rebellion against God. Babel was the precursor and type of Babylon, the false world system and religion, which is the domain of the Antichrist (Revelation 17 & 18). It was at Babel that God brought division between the nations and broke their rebellious unity.

Furthermore it is remarkable and significant that the last time the word “kingdom” is mentioned is in Revelation 17:17 where it says that the world rulers will “be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast.” This will bring the world full-circle where they once again are united against God and once again establish Babel/Babylon.

The fact that the first and last mention of the word “kingdom” both relate to the false world system which is united in its rejection of God and that both speak of that which is man-made with an emphasis on man rather than God is not coincidental. By definition any kingdom built by man is anti-god and anti-Christ. The kingdoms of this world have never been, are not and never will be God’s Kingdom. They have different kings, different citizens, function by different principles and have different goals.

When Satan tempted Jesus he “showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.” (Luke 4:5-6). Jesus did not deny that this was in the Devil’s power to do and thus He acknowledges that the kingdoms of the world do indeed belong to the Devil. There are many theories as to how and when the Devil acquired them, but the fact remains that they are his to give. Several times Jesus refers to the Devil as “the ruler of this world” John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11), confirming Satan’s dominion here on earth.

Many Christians feel that things changed after the Cross and that the Kingdoms of the world are now under God’s control. But Paul (after the Cross) still refers to Satan as “the god of this world (age)” (2Corinthinas 4:4). John (also after the Cross) states emphatically that “the whole world lies under the sway (NIV – “control”) of the wicked one” (1John 5:19). Thus the Devil is clearly the one who is in control of the world, its systems and its governments. Romans 13 says that authorities are appointed by God and that they are God’s servants or ministers. This does not mean that they are godly, they clearly are not. Nevertheless God uses them to accomplish His purposes (Revelation 17:17).

At no stage do the kingdoms of the world morph into the Kingdom of God. There is not a single Scripture to support this popular misconception. The kingdoms of this world are so evil that they are completely destroyed (Daniel 2 and Revelation 18) and they will be replaced by God’s Kingdom. This will be a work of God and not of man or the church. “The God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44). (See also Revelation 18 and 19).

Just like many Christians today, Jesus’ disciples also did not understand the difference between God’s Kingdom and political kingdoms. They too thought that Jesus would merge His followers with the world’s kingdoms and thus bring about His Kingdom. But in response to these ideas Jesus clearly said to them: “indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). In other words His Kingdom is spiritual and in the hearts of His people while the world’s kingdoms are political and have physical boundaries. (His Kingdom will ultimately become a physical kingdom, known as the Millennial Kingdom, but as said above, that will come about in a single cataclysmic event when He sets up His Kingdom.)

When Pilate questioned Jesus about His Kingdom, Jesus explicitly stated “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). It cannot be clearer than that. Jesus is indeed a King and He has a Kingdom, but it is not of this world. The god and ruler of this world and its kingdoms is Satan. These two kingdoms do not overlap, they do not merge and the one does not become the other. They are totally different in substance and have different kings.

These two kingdoms have different destinies. The kingdom of Satan will be destroyed. This means that its ruler, all its systems as well as its citizens will be destroyed. It has no future. No matter what man does to build his towers, hierarchies and empires into the heavens, they will be destroyed and brought to nothing, just like Nimrod’s Babel.

God’s Kingdom, on the other hand, is an eternal kingdom. “Of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:33) and “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever” (Hebrews 1:8). It will never be destroyed and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

When Moses was growing up in the courts of Egypt, Egypt seemed to be an indestructible world empire. There was no end to its power, wealth and influence. Egypt, and later Babylon, Greece and Rome, were true world kingdoms, more than any modern empire. Egypt’s knowledge, art, engineering and political power were dazzling in their brilliance to the extent that we, thousands of year later, still marvel at their glories.

When God began to speak to Moses about a greater Kingdom which could only be seen afar off, it is to be expected that Moses could have thought of God’s promises only in terms of an improved Egypt. God had, after all, used Egypt once before to save the world! Maybe we could excuse Moses if he thought of the Kingdom in terms of Canaan, but he looked beyond that to a “heavenly country” (Hebrews 11:16).

When Moses finally had to make a choice he esteemed “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:26-27).

If Moses could see the invisible King beyond the glory of Pharaoh, and if he placed his vote with the Eternal, how is it then, that so many Christians keep placing their hope in the wrong kingdom?

Lance Wallnau, "7 Mind Molding Mountains,", see also and the current series of Herescope posts for more information on this 7-Mountain Mandate for Dominion.

Note: This current post is part of an ongoing article series Pastor Anton Bosch is writing. Herescope has been posting various segments of this series due to their relevance to the current topics on the blog. Pastor Bosch is the author of Building Blocks of the Church: Re-examining the Basics.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Controlling Mythology Underlying the Dominion Mandate

"The first advent of Christ was for the purpose of creating a blessed seed upon the earth - the church. The second coming of Jesus will take place after this blessed seed has completed the Dominion Process upon the earth by making disciples of all nations."
Mark Pfeifer, "Theology of Reclaiming 7 Mountains"[1]

By Dr. Orrel Steinkamp

A “world-view” is an arrangement of ideas in and through which a person interprets and judges reality. It is a background “script” that undergirds, consciously or unconsciously, more or less consistently, a person's thoughts and actions. In the jargon of biblical/theological studies there is a long German word heilsgeschichte, meaning roughly "salvation history." Salvation history is the series of events and truths that portray God's redemptive plan across the ages, a worldview focused specifically on the elements salvation. From it is drawn the church's historical teaching about salvation. It is broad in its scope, usually beginning with creation and the fall and moving on through the incarnation of Christ, His substitutionary death for human sin on the Cross, His resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven, the coming of the Holy Spirit, the founding of the church by the apostles, the second coming of Jesus, the final resurrection of the dead and Judgment, and the final state of glory.

Beware. In recent decades a radically different script of salvation, a different worldview, has entered the church. It is called the Dominion Mandate. Unfortunately, it is rarely recognized as being outside the boundaries of orthodox belief. It has many things in common with traditional Christianity, but its underlying heilsgeschichte is fundamentally different. It is a rival salvation history, which promotes a false gospel.

The current evangelical culture of downplaying theology in favor of pragmatic strategies is a main reason why this alien salvation history is often undetected when it creeps, or strides boldly, into the church.

The Dominion teachers have a unique and consistent theological viewpoint which underlies and undergirds all they do, and an unwritten standard by which they interpret and judge everything. Prayer walking, spiritual mapping and whole-city reaching and transformation efforts are connected to the heresy of restored offices of apostle and prophet. This teaching is a mutant form of the Latter Rain, a radical fringe movement of Pentecostalism that flourished at mid-20th century and then went underground for a period of time. It then resurfaced unrecognized in the Charismatic Renewal, and now comprises all independent churches organized under a top-down pyramid structure known now as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).

Note: although Dominion participants often have their own ministries and don't always identify with the NAR they are linked together and know and recognize each other as comrades in the Dominion Mandate. They all know each other and recognize that they are part of an large extended family. They draw support from one another -- the support needed to develop dominion strategies. They all zealously propagate the new revelations (teachings) of their leaders, apostles and prophets, and recognize fellow apostles (whether publicly named or not) who exercise authority among them. They religiously believe God has reserved all of this for the very last days of the church age.[2]

Robert M. Bowman Jr. has given us a condensed summary of the Kingdom/Dominionist ideology.

In the very beginning God created the universe and populated it with spirits (or angels) who lived in perfect obedience to Him. However, a third of these angels, led by Lucifer, rebelled against God's authority, becoming demons. The angelic rebellion occurred in a "gap" between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. The result was that the earth, which was the headquarters of the demonic Evil Empire, was brought into chaos. In order to win back unchallenged dominion over the universe, God introduced into the earth, Man, a race of creatures which God intended to become a resistance movement that would conquer the Devil's home planet and thus lead the way in taking back dominion over the entire universe. Man was to be a race of "little gods exercising authority, thus overwhelming the devil's forces.

Unfortunately the father of this race (Adam) was tricked by the devil into forfeiting Man's place in this plan and actually brought God's first plan to naught. God was then forced to come up with plan B to take back dominion. His solution: to introduce into this fallen race a man in whom the divine nature dwelled fully, who would become the prototype of a new race of human beings in which the original godhood of Adam was restored. This divine Man was Jesus, a perfect manifestation of God the Father and the "first fruit" of the incarnation of God.

This race of little gods who are spiritually united with Christ as members of His body is the church, constituting collectively with Him the complete incarnation, a corporate manifestation of God in the flesh, which together will overcome the devil and restore Go's dominion unchallenged on the earth. Ultimate victory over the devil, then depends finally upon the church accepting the calling to be little gods.

It further depends on the church submitting to the restored apostles through whom God is seeking to mobilize the church into a unified army prepared to take dominion back from the devil.

This heresy teaches that after Adam had given it away, God didn't have any more authority. Identity teaching suggests that Jesus was taken to Hell after his death. Here Jesus was not only tormented by Satan, but he became a sinner. But this caused Him to be born-again and he was raised to life as the first born-again man becoming a prototype or pattern son for all believers. Believers, according to this worldview, are meant to partake of the same power and authority as Jesus. But the church, like Adam, has continually botched the plan because of its unbelief and ignorance. Finally now, at the end of the age, in the time of the supposed "Latter Rain" (since the 50's), the church has been given new "prophets" and "apostles" to lead a united church to establish God's lost rule (Dominion) in the earth. Using spiritual warfare techniques, newly revealed to chief apostle of the NAR, C. Peter Wagner,[4] the church will take whole cities and nations for God, and will at long last take control of the heavenlies, having cast Satan down.

"Apostle" Ed Silvoso has said:

The church has now been placed potentially in control of the heavenly places once ruled by the prince of the power of the air. But this reconstituted church must engage and defeat the enemy and retake the heavenlies in the name of her Lord.[5]

This Dominion mythology is totally at odds with biblical teaching .

  1. Dominion teaching paints a false view of Adam and his fall. It pictures him as a god who lost his godhood when Satan tricked him. BUT the Bible teaches Adam fell into sin by rebellion and this resulted in judgment and death for him and his posterity. (Romans 5:12f).
  2. Dominion teachers assert that by Adam's failure God lost His legal authority over the earth to Satan. BUT multiple texts in Scripture show God has ongoing control over his creation. Job 37:15, Matt. 10:29, Daniel 4:17. Jesus has authority in earth and heaven ( Matt. 28:18).
  3. Dominionists teach that man is an extension of God's creation. BUT there is no biblical teaching that Jesus is a 'pattern son.' Christ indwells His church through the Holy Spirit.
  4. Dominion mythology teaches that the church has been given authority to invade and conquer the heavenlies. BUT there is no biblical warrant for this fairy tale.

This constitutes the basis of Dominion mythology, and it is the master plan behind all Dominion teaching and practices.[6] This mythology is constantly being refreshed by prophetic revelations. But these prophetic revelations are based on the basic mythology stated above.

The Truth:

The implication in Dominion mythology is always that Christ is insufficient, that His death on the Cross was not enough, and the mandate to finish the job of defeating Satan is placed on the church, in this age. This effectually switches the mandate to preach the Gospel of Salvation to that of transforming culture and nations, and the church takes on a role that Christ alone will fulfill. Scripture plainly teaches that:

"Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power." ( 1 Cor. 15:24, bold added)

1. Mark Pfeifer, "Theology of Reclaiming 7 Mountains: The Dominion Process,"
2. The extensive historical documentation on the points made in this paragraph, and the one above, can be found in Al Dager's excellent book VENGEANCE IS OURS: THE CHURCH IN DOMINION (Sword, 1990), available here:
3. Robert M Bowman Jr., "The Gospel According to Paulk - A critque of Kindom Theology," The Christian Research Journal, Vol. 10, No. 3, 1998, p. 8. Quotation reformatted for blog use.
4. To see an example of C. Peter Wagner's teaching on this topic, see the lead quotation at the top of this Herescope post:
5. Ed Silvoso "That None Should Perish" audio cassette, 1982.
6. See more quotations illustrating this mythology at
and also see:

In addition to the recent article series we have been running on Herescope, and the many links, see also the following posts relevant to today's theme:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mainstreaming Dominionism

"We are approaching a season of crisis, and in a season of crisis, the strategies of heaven must invade your sphere of authority. What does this mean?

"You have been positioned by God in a particular sphere of authority....

"...My favorite definition of a sphere is 'a circuit of action, knowledge or influence that is linked both to the functional area of your involvement and to every territory that is affected by you exercising authority.' Within this expanse is an order of society that you can influence.

"There is much about war that we do not understand. War always involves casualties, and, at the same time, divine interventions of which we're unaware. Sometimes war makes no sense to us. Yet, war is a part of life.... [W]e face the unfolding war that lies ahead in both the natural and the spiritual realms,..."
--Chuck Pierce, May 11, 2010.[1]

The quotation above is an example of the more extreme language of Dominionism, commonly used by those who claim to be latter-day "prophets" and "apostles," who believe they can bring heaven to earth via a war, by building an endtimes "Dread Champion Army" (often called "Joel's Army") that cries, "Take dominion! The war is over your taking dominion!"[2]

This full-fledged Dominionism mandate gets worse. It also calls for a "worldwide purification" of the planet:

"Worldwide purification is preceded by the purification of a people of Christ prepared to be planted into the world to fully shine forth the glory of God during and after the worldwide dark season of dissolution. God will not fully drive out the enemy until He has a holy kingdom people to inherit the land. Sons of God are being purified and brought to maturity to eventually possess the land (this world)....

"God is destroying and will destroy all that He has not planted. The season is at hand for the beginning of the purification of the world. God is sending and will send holy angels to remove (dissolve) from the world all that the enemy and prideful flesh has established in this present world. The kingdom of God, New Jerusalem government of God cannot coexist with the lofty pride of man that exalts itself against God. The day (season) of earth cleansing judgment of God is before us. The great shaking and roaring fire of God is beginning and will prepare the way for the people in whom Christ abides to inherit the land...."

Dominionism isn't always presented in such brazen openness, however. It doesn't always sound so violent. It doesn't quite so obviously parallel the New Age call for planetary "cleansing." Which is precisely why it is rising so rapidly in popularity in evangelical circles. The dark side of Dominionism is cleverly disguised! What people typically encounter is Dominionism Lite, a term we coined in a November 26, 2006 Herescope column.

You might be surprised to learn about who is now connected to the 7 Mountain "mandate" of Dominionism.[4] It has become a widespread teaching in the evangelical world, and many of its adherents aren't fully aware of how dark and dreadful the full-blown Dominionist agenda truly can become. One of the common denominators for Dominionists is the belief that the church should change the world - not just impact the world as salt and light, but actually control the world, particularly the State (government). This theology appeals to many, and has deep roots in church history.

A key feature to look for in identifying Dominionism is a de-emphasis on the Cross of Christ and His dying for our sins. The humble Gospel of Salvation is sidelined by a gung-ho gospel of the Kingdom, which talks about doing things and supporting causes.

Most of the time Dominionism Lite is marketed as a fix-what-is-broken mandate for the church to change the world. This can be done through various mission strategies and by changing people's values and behavior. Especially popular is the call to restore America to its "Christian roots." This agenda is a more benign-sounding "social transformation" or "worldview transformation" endeavor that seeks to change culture(s).

A common denominator in Dominionism is the eschatology that implies that the church must build the kingdom of God on earth before the Lord's return. A variation of this theme is the "Great Commission" mandate, widely popular in the mission world, which teaches that Jesus can't come again until the world has been "evangelized" by whatever means, including psycho-social, marketing and cultural mechanisms.

To rehash, the 7 Mountains Dominion "mandate" was launched on a wide scale back in 2007 by C. Peter Wagner, who is a chief "apostle" of the world, heading up what he calls the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). He wrote:

"Our theological bedrock is what has been known as Dominion Theology. This means that our divine mandate is to do whatever is necessary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to retake the dominion of God's creation which Adam forfeited to Satan in the Garden of Eden. It is nothing less than seeing God's kingdom coming and His will being done here on earth as it is in heaven. This includes the need to govern apolitically, as well as to embrace spiritual warfare techniques that neutralize the control of our adversary within the functional and territorial spheres of authority to which we have been assigned.

"...[T]he second stage of the goal of transformation, namely corporate or social transformation. We want to see whole cities and regions and states and nations transformed to support the values of the kingdom of God. This will happen only as kingdom-focused saints become the head and not the tail of each of Lance Wallnau's seven mountains or molders of culture...."[5]

Just HOW this mandate will come to be accomplished on a national and global scale is the key question. Some teach and believe that it will be through "decrees" -- prophetic declarations that claim to be doing spiritual warfare in the heavenlies that will change things on the earth. These esoteric heresies have gained great prominence in the NAR subculture.[6] Others believe that it will happen via education and worldview training. Others are working to change economies and the marketplace. Some churches focus on impacting the arts, media and entertainment. And many are working in the political arena. Each "sphere" of these 7 mountains appeals to people who want to see things change here on earth.

Whatever the focus, the 7 mountain "mandate" is now becoming mainstream. The methods to do this include the technique of integration and infusion, embedding the 7 mountains "mandate" doctrines into superficially appealing causes. Below are several examples of how this mainstreaming happens.

A key conference headed by Os Hillman in 2008 launched the "Church in the Workplace" movement by bringing in Lance Wallnau and his "Reclaiming the 7 Mountains" agenda.[6] Herescope wrote about the significance of this conference in "Rethinking Eschatology: Dominionists on the Move." Kent Humphreys, popular speaker and marketplace transformation leader, spoke on the "Business/Religion Mountain" and "apostle" Linda Rios Brook talked about the "Media Mountain." Other prominent evangelical speakers were listed as well. Giving this conference special credibility was the presence of Katherine Leary who directed the Center for Faith and Work at Tim Keller's Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. She was billed as speaking on the topic of "How The Local Church Can Equip Workplace Leaders To Reclaim Mountains."[7] The current website for the Center for Faith and Work indicates that the goal is to impact the mountains of culture in New York City.[8]

As an interesting sidelight to this, Tim Keller is connected with Bob Buford of Leadership Network via their work together on the Advisory Board of a networking group New Canaan Society,[9] which also includes Jack Deere - a longtime Latter Rain cult proponent and NAR leader.[10] Lance Wallnau has been associated with this New Canaan Society.[11] Other names, many of them mainstream evangelical, listed on the speaker's bureau include John Ashcroft, Rick Joyner, Os Guinness, Miraslav Volf, Ed Silvoso, Bill Hybels, and Bill McCartney (see complete list reproduced below).[12]

Note that Lance Wallnau, chief promoter of the 7 mountain scheme, has recently been appearing at more mainstream evangelical events, such as the Pinnacle Forum's February 2008 conference "God's Agenda: God's Assignment." At this event he appeared along with Anne Graham Lotz, Alan Sears and Henry Blackaby.[14]

Another interesting name connected with the 7 Mountain Mandate is mystic leader Leonard Sweet, who has mainstreamed himself into the evangelical world-at-large, coming out of his obscure role as Emergent professor-in-residence. How he did this is a study in itself. In June 2007, a SYNERGIZE! Billion Soul Pastors Conference for January 2008 began to be advertised as a way to become "equipped to impact 'seven spheres of society.'"[15] This was being promoted and sponsored by a recently formed organization, Second Billion, a spinoff of the Global Pastors Network.[16] Headed by James O. Davis and globally-renowned "apostle" Sunday Adelaja, the organization grew rapidly, using a "synergistic approach to fulfilling the Great Commission [mandate]... exponentially in every region of the world."[17] Len Sweet was billed as a speaker at this first conference where the "seven spheres of society" were touted. He quickly rose to prominence to became a fixture in the organization. By August 17, 2007 he was listed in the e-newsletter under "Leadership Series" as a "Futurist and author." The current e-newsletters routinely feature his writings and speaking, and he is now listed as a leader.

Pastor Sunday Adelaja, who along with Len Sweet has been prominently connected with this Second Billion group since its inception, has deep roots in C. Peter Wagner's New Apostolic Reformation, and is listed as one of the key "apostles" of the world.[18] Adelaja's book CHURCHSHIFT is a how-to manual for implementing the 7 Mountain/Sphere Mandate, teaching people how to "impose Kingdom values and principles upon their area of influence" and to divide each "nation into seven spheres of influence, and to send church members into each sphere."[19] Os Hillman of marketplace transformation fame, writing at the website, uses Pastor Adelaja as an example of how "the local church is called to change culture in all spheres of society, especially the seven mountains."[20]

Another name connected with Leonard Sweet since the earliest days of the Second Billion organization is James (Jim) Garlow, who is also listed as a leader.[21] Garlow is a well-known Christian Right activist, who recently was a conference speaker (along with Lance Wallnau and C. Peter Wagner) at NAR leader Cindy Jacob's "Convergence 2010: A Cry To Awaken A Nation" conference.[22] Jim Garlow's interesting bio is posted HERE. He now chairs Newt Gingrich's ReAL (Renewing American Leadership) organization at[23] Garlow is leading "The Next Great Awakening Tour" along with patriotic American Dominionist David Barton, June 25-July 24 this summer, and Lance Wallnau is listed as one of the featured guests.[24] Garlow is all over the map on his activism. He is listed as an instructor for an ominous-sounding upcoming Border Sheriff's Posse "Strategic Border Intelligence" School to "partner with intercessors around the United States to protect...the United States of America and our heritage as a nation founded under God."[25] And, perhaps most significantly, Garlow was listed on the Committee that put on the May Day event in Washington, D.C. this past May 1.[26]


Obviously these brief examples are just the tip of a massive iceberg. These are indicative of how pervasive and widespread the various facets of the 7 Mountain Mandate for Dominion have become, forging inroads into mainstream evangelicalism. And it is of concern to what extent this Dominionist agenda has enveloped a wide variety of people and organizations in ways that are heretofore unprecedented.

The Truth:

"And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth." (Revelation 17:9)

The motif of 7 mountains is an endtime call for Dominionism, a faulty eschatology that puts the onus on the church to build a kingdom on earth. But Scripture paints a different picture. These mountains are not benign, nor benevolent! Jamieson, Fausset and Brown commenting on this verse noted:

"Spiritual discernment is needed to understand the symbolical prophecy.... The connection between mountains and kings must be deeper than the outward fact to which allusion is made, that Rome (the then world-city) is on seven hills.... '[M]ountains' have a symbolical meaning, viz., prominent seats of power. Especially such as oppose the cause of God (Ps. 68:16,17, Is 40:4, 41:15, 49:11, Ezek. 35:2); Babylon geographically in a plain, spiritually is 'a destroying mountain' (Jer. 51:25), in majestic contrast to which stands mount Zion.... "[27]

"Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain." (Jeremiah 51:25)

1. Chuck D. Pierce, "Strategies for a Season of Crisis," Charisma, May 11, 2010. Bold and color emphasis added: See also:
2. Ibid.
3. Ron McGatlin, "Light Beyond the Darkness," Digest, May 13, 2010. Emphasis in original. For a list of similar articles on this website, see:
Herescope wrote about this topic earlier:
5. C. Peter Wagner, head of the New Apostolic Reformation, letter from Global Harvest Ministries, May 31, 2007, launching the formation of his "Global Apostolic Network," and introducing Lance Wallnau's "mind molders" or "seven mountains" mandate "toward social transformation." Posted here:
6. See, for example, ""John Paul Jackson on How to Take Your Mountain -- NOW!" a 3-CD set of Lance Wallnau and John Paul Jackson advertised by The Elijah List, chief organ of the NAR, January 31, 2007:
7. The website page advertising this conference's materials is still posted online here: and here:
8. See this webpage for example:
10. For information about Jack Deere and his controversial and heretical beliefs, see these webpages:,,, among many others at the website.
11. This url no longer works. This page was retrived and archived on January 20, 2008.
12. This url no longer works. This page was retrieved and stored on February 7, 2007. The eclectic mixture of names that appeared on the list of speakers included:
Ashcroft, John
Barnum, Thaddeus
Beacham, Jeff
Beausejour, Denis
Beckett, John
Bell, John
Bernal, Dick
Blackaby, Henry
Bonnke, Reinhard
Buford, Bob
Cloud, Henry
Coe, Douglas
Colson, Charles
Clinton, Timothy
Croce, Danny
Cron, Ian
Cumming, Joseph
Cymbala, Jim
Deere, Jack
Dravecky, Dave
Dunbar, David
Eggerichs, Emerson
Fee, Gordon
Gire, Ken
Guest, John
Guinness, Os
Hall, Dudley
Hatch, Nathan
Haugen, Gary
Hunter, James
Hutchcraft, Ron
Hybels, Bill
Joyner, Rick
Keiran, Alan
Keller, Timothy
Keller, Kathy
Leighton, Christopher
Lewis, Ron
Lieberman, Joseph
Litfin, Duane
Loconte, Joseph
Manning, Brennan
McCartney, Bill
McDonald, Al
Meacham, Jon
Miller, David
Murrow, David
Muzikowski, Bob
Palau, Luis
Power, Graham
Prior, David
Pytches, David
Rankin, John
Reed, Ralph
Sage, John
Silvoso, Ed
Slaughter, Alvin
Stephens, Don
Stowell, Joseph
Stratton, Daniel
Teske, Paul
Tewell, Tom
Treash, Steve
Volf, Miroslav
Wagner, David
Wallnau, Lance
Weber, BJ
Wilbur, Paul
Wilkinson, Bruce
Wilson, Jamie
Wilson, William
Wright, Alan
14. Advertised August 22, 2007 with a link to
15. Letter dated 7/13/2007, signed by James O. Davis and Sunday Adelaja. The url at that time was At this same date Len Sweet was listed as a "Global Partner" at the website See also: where Len Sweet is listed as part of a lineup of mainstream evangelical speakers.
16. The story of the "The History & Vision: Winning the Second Billion Together" statement by James O. Davis was originally published at (July 13, 2007 retrieved and archived). See also:
17. May 8, 2009 Second Billion e-newsletter.
18.신사도%20명단. pdf
19., January 2, 2008.
20. Os Hillman, "Reclaiming the Church Mountain,"
21. See, for example,
22. Cited in Dr. Orrel Steinkamp's recent Herescope article "The Coalescing of the Christian Right with Apostolic Dominionism." where the foonote stated: The "Convergence 2010" conference was sponsored by Cindy Jacobs' United States Reformation Prayer Network (USRPN). Its speakers included: Peter Wagner, Lance Wallnau, Ed Silvoso, Janet Porter, Harry Jackson, Jaeson Ma, Thomas Hall, Jim Garlow, Cheryl Sacks, Jim Hennesy, Robert Madu, Mike Jacobs, Cindy Jacobs. This conference was part of an intriguing strategy called “ROOT 52” USRPN National Prayer Strategy, described as “a 52-week prayer strategy to bring the nation back to it's covenantal roots.” A letter to “Intercessors” from Cindy Jacobs dated 3/10/10 is cached here: The Elijah List, chief organ of the NAR, advertised the conference here: Http:// See also:
23. "Newt Gingrich Names Dr. Jim Garlow to Chair Renewing American Leadership," "Newt Gingrich Steps Up Efforts to Mobilize Religious Conservatives," by Dan Gilgoff, 3/20/10:
24. See tour promo infomation in a pdf file posted here:
25. Excerpted from an e-newsletter sent May 4, 2010 from, and said to be sponsored by LinkAmerica and New Day Ministries.
27. Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset, and David Brown, A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Vol. 3 (Hendrickson Publishers), p. 711.

NOTE: For a radio interview that covers some of the topics in today's post, see, "Sarah Leslie--False Christs and False Prophets."


Monday, May 10, 2010

National Repentance

Praying by PROXY

People observing the National Day of Prayer on Thursday at Meetinghouse Park prayed at seven stations set up to represent seven centers of power in America: Government, church, military, family, education, media and business....

The Task Force's mission, according to its literature, is to “communicate the need for personal repentance and prayer mobilizing the Christian community to intercede for America and its leadership in seven centers of power: government, church, military, family, education, media and business.”[1]

By Pastor Anton Bosch

It has become customary to speak of prayers of “national repentance”.

On May Day, this year - 2010, a large number of people met at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC to pray various prayers of repentance “on behalf of the American people.”[2] I remember a number of times, when growing up in South Africa, that the Government called national days of prayer and repentance in the hope that God would send rain at times of drought. Shortly after the fall of Apartheid many churches, groups and individuals prayed prayers of repentance on behalf of the nation for the sins of the past.[3] Many have prayed prayers of repentance because of the Holocaust under Hitler. And the list goes on.

But is this a Biblical idea?

The short answer is no – there are a bunch of problems with this notion. The first is that repentance is something that needs to be done, rather than prayed. Every day millions of prayers ascend to God in which people pray prayers of repentance. The vast majority of these are a waste of time since the person praying has no intention of changing their actions, lifestyles or habits. Repentance is about doing not talking. The word itself means a change of mind and of direction. You can be heading down the road and say a million times that you are going in the wrong direction, but until you actually make that U-turn and stop going in the wrong direction and start going in the right direction, nothing will happen. It’s as simple as that.

John the Baptist said that the Pharisees who had come to see him baptize must: “Bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:8). Paul, speaking of the mission to the Gentiles said: “That they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance” (Acts 26:20). Isaiah said: “Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7). So, no prayer of repentance is worth anything unless it is accompanied by actions. In spite of the many prayers of repentance prayed on behalf of the nations, all nations are becoming more sinful and thus those prayers clearly do not work.

Secondly, there is no such thing as repentance “by proxy.” This means you cannot repent on behalf of other people, whether living or dead. No one except Hitler himself can repent of the things he did – and he cannot because he is dead and it is too late for him. You can repent on behalf of your family as much as you like, but until they individually and personally repent, nothing is going to happen. We cannot repent on behalf of our family, a church, and least of all, a nation.

Sin is personal. When we sin, each who has sinned is guilty of that sin and each one has to personally repent. One could argue that Israel sinned as a nation when they refused to cross the Jordan (Numbers 14), yet the two individuals that did not agree with the majority were saved and entered the Land. So, was God dealing with them as a nation or individually? Clearly, individually; since Joshua and Caleb would have had to perish with the rest of the nation if God was dealing with them as a group. When God destroyed the world in the Flood, righteous Noah and his family were saved. The same happened in Sodom. Thus, even in the Old Testament, God’s dealings were on an individual basis.

Thirdly, God does not deal with nations. He only deals with individuals. Jesus did not die for America or England – He died for each of us personally. The only nation God ever had a relationship with as a nation was Israel. Yet, Jesus did not even die for Israel. All the verses that are quoted as examples of God’s promises or dealings with a nation are directed at Israel, and they cannot be claimed for any other country. When Israel eventually returns to God (Romans 11:26: "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:"), each individual Jew will still have to make a personal decision. Israel will not be saved because of a decision of the government, but because of the cumulative effect of each Jew coming to personal repentance. We need to be clear the Jews in the end are saved, not because they are Jews, but because each of them has personally believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the favorite verses used by those who promote the idea of National Repentance is 2Chronicles 7:14: “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” This promise is very specific – it is to “my people who are called by my name.” Is South Africa, or Germany, or America, God’s people? Obviously not. Which country is called by God’s name? None – except Israel. So this verse has nothing to do with any nation other than Israel. The only people who can claim both those conditions are Christians. They are the people of God (Romans 9:25, 1John 3:1-3, 1Peter 2:10). And they are called by His name (Acts 11:26, 1Corinthians 12:12).

But then you cannot apply this verse to Christians since their Land does not need to be healed. The Christian’s land is the New Jerusalem and that is perfect. Here we are but strangers and pilgrims. (Hebrews 11:13, 16):

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth…. But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."

The often-recited verse in 2Chronicles 7:14 only applies to one nation, and that is to Israel, and even then the promise has been suspended since Israel rejected the offer one time too many.

Should we not pray for nations? Yes, we can pray but there is only one valid prayer and that is that people, individually, will come to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and repent. Because we are often too lazy to name individuals before the Throne of Grace, we resort to those catch-all phrases: “Lord save the Chinese,” “Lord help the poor,” or “Lord be with those in prison.” What does that mean? I don’t want to be insensitive, but it means absolutely nothing.

As Christians we can make a difference, but it begins where you are. Pray for each of your unsaved family members; pray for others you know by name – your colleagues, neighbors, and others you have dealings with. First, pray that the Lord will help you to show them what it means to be a real Christian. Next, pray that the Lord will soften their hearts to the Gospel and bring them to repentance. Finally, pray that the Lord will open an opportunity for you to share your Hope with them and that He will give you the courage and wisdom to do it right. Do this until Jesus comes. Yes, that is a lot harder than “Lord save the lost,” but that is our duty; everything else is a copout.

The Truth:

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)

1. Ann Bryant, "National Day of Prayer observed in Farmington," May 2, 2010: Note the significance of this inclusion of the 7 Mountain Mandate in the National Day of Prayer prayers. This is otherwise known as the 7 "spheres," which is a Dominionist mandate! See these links for information: and and
2. The May Day prayer event included "Prayers of Repentance for the Seven Mountains of Culture," in which prayers of repentance ON BEHALF of others, was described in the "Official Program." "A Cry to God: May Day 2010: May 1st - Lincoln Memorial: For A Nation In Distress," Official Program:
3. For a description of Identificational Repentance, which is the technical term for the recently concocted doctrinal heresy that is being addressed here, see:

Pastor Anton Bosch is the author of Building Blocks of the Church: Re-examining the Basics.

Friday, May 07, 2010

"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.[1]

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.

Many Believers in South Africa are Jumping on the Bandwagon of Dominionism*

Professor Johan Malan, Mossel Bay, RSA

"God created the Heavens and the earth and then handed the title deed of the earth to mankind. Genesis 3 records man’s disobedience to God’s specific instructions - causing sin to enter the earth and in so doing, losing dominion of the earth and transferring the title deed to satan.

"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."
Joy magazine, "Reclaiming the Dominion Mandate"

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’.

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 See also Sarah Leslie’s article, "Dominionism and the Rise of Christian imperialism" at


1. Crosstalk interview hosted by Ingrid Schleuter with guest Sarah Leslie discussing the topic of The New Apostolic Reformation, May 3, 2010, accessed here:

*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 and and