Kingdom Now - - Dominion Theology


Day of the Lord, Is Judgment Coming?

Index of all titles by the author
See Also:
The doctrine of the Rapture of Believers

Preterism: Another view of End Times


Mike Bickel of the IHOP ministry from the Kansas city or International House of Prayer is one of a growing numbers of leaders of Christian associations who teach that the church will be the instrument God uses to bring forth the kingdom of God upon the earth. When confronted with anti-Christ forces in the latter days, it will be the apostolic and Spirit-empowered church that will bring victory over the world, the flesh and the devil. The ever-growing number of associations who share this view, believe that the proper alignment of Apostles, Prophets the whole five-fold ministry can receive direct revelation and empowerment to bring down the adversarial kingdoms of this world. This includes the various religions being absorbed into Christianity.

Associated closely with this end time vision is the Seven Mountain mandate which envisions that through prayer and strategies provided at several levels the various "mountains" of society and culture can be brought into the realm of submission to the light and truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The seven mountains of society include: Religion, Family, Education, Government, Media, Arts and Entertainment, and Business. This is an end times view that needs to be examined in the light of Scripture. All Christian leaders know scripture but not all derive the same conclusions in its study.

Churches around the country are drawn to IHOP and similar ministries who have come under the umbrella of "The New Apostolic Reformation or N-A-R. Bill Johnson (The Bethel Church) ministry from Redding, California with other apostolically focused ministries seek to activate a more zealous spiritual life, that empowers their members to do work of God through Holy Spirit Gifting. The Lord does indeed exhort us to hunger and thirst for the kingdom of heaven; to draw close, and to know him in the power of his resurrection. What then, could be a problem with seeking the power of God and desiring to walk in a greater anointing and witness in serving the Lord Jesus? It has to do with adding to the scripture and implementing a new heirarchical structure of leadership.

I am a Pentecostal and fully believe in the enablement of power from on God with 'gifts of the Spirit' in operation. I also believe the Bible to be inerrant. I know also that the scripture can be read and interpreted many ways. Zeal alone, however, does not validate the truth. Zealous men or women may be zealous but not "according to knowledge." (1 Corinthians 10:2- -For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.)

The "Apostolic-Prophetic" message is being promoted zealously world wide. Some have labeled this movement the NAR, the New Apostolic Reformation. The movement is growing dynamically and is world-wide. This message uses scripture to validate the teachings being promoted but selectively. I am concerned that some of the precepts of Kingdom theology stray from the plain text meaning and take on an esotericism, a veiled understandings by the few having a greater capacity to see and understand the veiled deeper prophetic message.

Kingdom theology is an overcoming message. It teaches that the message given to Christian believers was and is to overcome and destroy the power of the enemy (Satan) and his strongholds in domains of the world's culture. The adversary is obviously, still very active in stealing, killing, destroying, and deceiving. The apostolic institution of Holy Ghost power has been provided to believers to equip and enable the saints to resist the powers of darkness and ultimately triumph over them. The Mission is to destroy every vestige of Satan's strongholds in the world. While it is perfectly clear that believers have been given authority over dark spiritual forces, I am not ready to allow that believers are equiped to remove the higher eschelons of Spiritual wickedness. (See Jude 1v9 that points out that only the Lord himself is of high enough rank to rebuke and dethrone Satan ALSO SEE: 2 Peter 2:9-11 "9; - - the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10; and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11; whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.)

To achieve the goal of bringing in the kingdom of God; Kingdom Theology establishes a hierarchy of leadership. It is pyramidal in form. The highest in the order are the apostles and prophets, under these there are others called to minister and support the prophetic vision of the highly placed and exalted leadership. The remaining majority of ordinary believers are required to be a submission to their leaders offering the support what may be required of them.

In case this sounds familiar it is little different than that we see in the Roman church which has survived unto the present age. The Roman church now sees itself as the earthly Kingdom of God. The Pope represents the human Vicar of Christ and his word speaks on behalf of the Lord and his kingdom on earth. Cult leaders share a similar viewpoint; that they are the truth faith; that the leaders are infallible in their understanding of Godly revelation; and, that they hold the key to eternal life.

Kingdom Now theology grows its influence by continuously absorbing ministries who hold a similar view and are approved in their 'association.' Yet, theological beliefs drawn by the Dominionists or Manifested Sons, deliver a roster of doctrines that are hard to reconcile by any "plain sense" reading of massive amounts of scripture addressing prophetic 'end times.' Old Testament prophetic writings are repleat with reverences to "The Day of the Lord," A time to come wherein God will enact his divine ultimate judgment upon rebellious and ungodly humanity. The clear reading is that this will be at the hand of the Lord of Sabbaoth. It will be entirely supernatural in nature and not through the aid of human will and action.

Dominionists believe they are they are to be the agent of change using human devices and actions, enacted on a natural level. The strategies will be spiritually received by the apostolic leaders.
Scriptures in both O.T. and the Gospels are filled with references to the coming "The Kingdom of God" and the second coming of Jeshua the Messiah. In eschatology, we must address the question of how and when the restored Kingdom, spoken of by the prophets will transpire? Will Jesus return to rule and reign upon the earth? Some called "amillenialists" say no. Prophetic premillenialists say yes. These are some of questions which afford conflicting views by Bible teachers.

This very question, regarding the Lord Jesus establishing his kingdom, was the number one question on the minds of the Jewish disciples when they questioned the resurrected Jesus. Their hope and expectation was that the time was at hand for the Kingdom to be established. They thought that now Jesus would take his promised place upon the throne of David, to rule the earth in righteousness, thus bringing in the kingdom. Here is the scripture that addresses this: Acts 1:6-8 - (6) So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” (7) He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. (8) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses* in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” " (See rule upon the throne of David Isaiah 9:7 - Jer: 17:25 - and others.) * Bearing witness is not the same as "taking dominion.

Kingdom Now theology teaches that Jesus Christ commissioned his disciples, and those who would follow thereafter, to become the agents of bringing in God's righteousness to the whole world. Fulfilling the great commission - ("the gospel of the kingdom will be preached to the whole world and then the end will come -) The power of the Holy Spirit was given along with (exousia) authority for the disciples and apostles to act on behalf of Jesus on the earth. The gospel of Salvation and the promise of becoming adopteds sons of God would eventually spread accross the world bringing forth the conversion of every person. It seems that this dream is more easily said than done. Satan and his kingdom has had deep strongholds and scripture actually affirms that the way of evil should increase in the latter day. It would in fact be like the days of Noah and the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Also see 2 Tim. 3:1-5) But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

What are the fundamental Bible principles that establish Kingdom and Dominion theology?

1. Edenic Authority, Genesis - - Adam and Eve were instructed to exercise dominion within a perfect world - - God's perfect earthly Kingdom. They were not subject to the conditions of the fallen race. Before the fall man manifestted wisdom, power, and glory. They knew immortality, eternal life. They were free from want and limitations. Among dominionists this remains God's desire for his church (the Body of Christ) today.

2. Numbers, Spies in the land of promise - - The people of Israel were commanded to go into the land of promise, Canaan, (Numbers 13) There were inhabitants living there in well-fortified cities; the people here were great in stature and powerful but God said to subdue them. Ten of the twelve spies gave a report that expressed an evil heart of unbelief that caused 10 of the 12 spies to say, " - we are unable to take possession - -" paraphrased.

3. Authority of believer in the new covenant and prophetic references - - The born-of-the-Spirit beliver is a true son or daughter of God. Sons manifest the mind of Christ and acts in exousia (authority to act as Christ in the world) Satan is dethroned and rules on temporary basis until the knowledge of this fact is concluded. Jesus declared all authority in heaven and earth have been given to me. Go therefore . (Matt.28:18)

4. Satan has lost his legal dominion in the earth - - Lucifer (Satan) is defeated and no longer authority in the earth so long as the believer knows this he is powerless to affect us for harm. "All authority in heaven and earth are given unto me, - -" as Jesus stated.

Dominion Theology is another name for Kingdom Now. The central task in Kingdom Now teaching is for the church of Jesus to take dominion over the whole world, thus fulfilling the mission of taking the Christian Gospel to all nations. With this mission, the goal in organization, through its outreach, is to overcome and purge the world of its evil influences. The properly ordered "church" is seen to have both the authority and power to achieve this end.

The place of Israel is an important key to measuring the validity of the Kingdom-building mission. What is the prophetic status of Israel? What is Israel's place in the prophetic end of days scenario? Here is where some of the teachings and doctrines vary. Some teach that the church and a converted Israel will stand together as witnesses to bring in the kingdom. There is another view that God has in fact replaced Israel with the church. (Replacement theology) Those who have this viewpoint must re interpret all of the promises for Israel to somehow refer to the church. Any study of the book of Revelation would need to render it as mostly symbolic not chronological or predictive of a certain time to come. To me, this takes a lot of wresting the plain sense of scripture to make this fit the notion that Israel has been abandoned in God's eyes.

Along with the basic exhortations for believers to fully implement the great commission; to make disciples of all nations, Matthew 28.; there is also the recurrent emphasis that the Church will be responsible for bringing the rule of God upon the earth. In so doing it will need to subdue opposing ideologies and political systems. This will mean that all nations of the earth with their economic and political power centers will need to welcome the gospel and peacefully become a member of a world wide theocracy. Are we aware of the depth of evil that is employed by the current rulers and the rulers behind the rulers of this present evil age. The full power of Lucifer's kingdom is upholding the status quo of the world's political structure. Only God can bring it down. That is what is revealed in the book of Revelation. Powers far above anything that man can generate will need to be employed to destroy this Babylonian system.

The doctrine of the church being removed, bringing an end of the church age dispensation, is rejected in the Kingdom teaching. They declare that the doctrine of the rapture is scripturally incorrect and out of accord with the Lord's purposes to be an overcoming believer. We are told that believers in the rapture hold an escapist theology and is a selfish one. No Christian should desire to "bail out" in the face of increasing ungodliness rather than doing their part in establishing kingdom authority in the world. To the Kingdom teachers, the rapture doctrine is a satanic deception. Believers in it are deluded who only serve to derail and inhibit the implementation of the Lord's charge to his Body (the Church) to take dominion and subdue all things; including the devil's kingdom, placing him under our feet. Here is a significant impass. Does the church continue into the 7 year tribulation or does it not? The antichrist will be revealed only after that which witholds is removed. (2 Thessalonians 2:7)

These brilliant Bible scholars promoted the kingdom now doctrines, hold strongly to the doctrinal mission of establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth through strategic five fold ministry gifting utilizing the enablement of the heavenly powers granted to believers. Dominion, lost to humanity, is regained by subduing God's enemies, controlling the world's governments and making righteous all nations of the world. Thereafter, Christ would return for the seating on the Throne of David and become the sovereign of this planet. Satan would have to back out when the people of earth no longer serve him.

When listening to the teachings of the Dominionists, I felt a great sense of concern. First that it is being so widely promoted, with so many converts eagerly joining their ranks, and secondly, that the church at large is so ignorant of important foundational Bible teaching. In kingdom theology that there is no "Blessed Hope" as it is commonly understood but rather the hope that human leaders can direct the body of Christ sufficiently to guide and direct the affairs and governments of men through the growing heirarchy of religio-political rulership.

Following : a summary of one web writer's research in the Dominion Theology viewpoint
NOTE: I do not suggest that the above named presenters at the Israel Prophetic conference hold to these doctrines.

More specifically, what does Dominion Theology (DT) teach? Here are the highlights:
(a) The Old Testament (OT) Law is our rule of life for today. Although DT teaches that keeping of the Law is not a condition for salvation, it is a condition for sanctification. (However, some of the COR's official statements appear to specifically condition salvation upon OT Law-keeping!);
(b) In addition, the OT Law is to govern over society as well. Since we are called to subdue the earth (Gen. 1:28), DT teaches that God's Law should rule (or dominate) all aspects of society. This view is known as Theonomy (or God's law), and is described by Greg Bahnsen as: "The Christian is obligated to keep the whole law of God as a pattern for sanctification and that this law is to be enforced by the civil magistrate" (Theonomy, p. 34). This would mean that Christians would be obligated to keep the whole OT Law except in a case in which the New Testament (NT) explicitly cancels a command, such as the sacrificial system;
(c) A central piece of DT is its belief in covenant theology. As a result, it makes no distinction between the church and Israel (i.e., the church has become "spiritual Israel"). However, DT goes beyond traditional covenant theology and teaches that the church is to be governed by the same laws, is subject to the same curses, and is promised the same blessings as Israel;
(d) DT teaches a high level of social and political activism. If the Kingdom of God is to gradually take dominion over the earth, it only makes sense that Christians should be attempting to change society through the changing of laws and through social action;
(e) Followers of DT, like many charismatics, especially the Latter Rain Movement, look for a great end time revival in which the masses will turn to Christ. As a result, DT does not believe in the rapture of the church. According to DT, the world should be, and is becoming, a better place through the efforts of Christians (cf. 2 Thes. 2:1-12);
(f) As with many others who follow the teachings of George Ladd, DT believes that - -
we are in the Kingdom age, but the Kingdom in another sense is yet to come. We are in the Kingdom, and have Kingdom authority, but on the other hand, we are ushering in the Kingdom through our efforts. "The Kingdom is now, but not yet," is a popular DT slogan;
(g) DT is postmillennial in its eschatology. It is believed that as a result of the reconstruction of society by Biblical principals, that the final aspect of the Kingdom of God will be established on earth. Christ cannot return until a certain amount of dominion is achieved by the church. It is believed that the curse will slowly be removed as the world is won over. Even disease and death will be all but eliminated before Christ returns to the earth;
(h) DT is preterist in its interpretation of prophecy. This means that they teach that virtually all prophecies which most Christians believe are still future, have in fact been fulfilled already, mainly between the years A.D. 30 and 70. In David Chilton's book, Days of Vengeance, he says that the book of Revelation, "is not about the Second Coming of Christ. It is about the destruction of Israel and Christ's victory over His enemies [during the first century]" (p. 43); and
(i) DT uses an allegorical hermeneutic, especially in reference to prophecy. So we find that the Great Tribulation took place at the fall of Israel in A.D. 70; the Antichrist refers to the apostasy of the Church prior to the fall of Jerusalem; the Beast of Revelation was Nero and the Roman Empire, etc.;

What I believe to be the strongest proof texts in Scripture to Support the Rapture of believers


For my own edification and peace founded upon hope, I find these Scriptural principles as the most relavent to discerning false doctrine.

1. Old testament typology of Noah's Ark of safety and the references to Sodom and Gomorra. (Jesus Gospel teaching - Olivet discourse.)

2. Jesus teaching parable of the tares: Matt 13:27 Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. Matt 13:36 " --saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world (age) ; and the reapers are the angels. 40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear - "

3. The apostle Paul in his first letter to Thessalonica: Clearly identifies the mystery of the transformation of the dead and living believers who are be resurrected or transformed (the righteous dead are resurrected, the righteous living are translated and caught up) to be caught up (harpazo=snatched away forcefully) (raptare- Latin vulgate) to meet Christ in the air.

4. The apostle Paul in his second letter to Timothy: Chapter 3: 1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. 10But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

From the above, you may clearly see that those who teach Restoration (Kingdom-now or Dominion theology) completely ignore these guiding principles of Scripture. They over-estimate their role as believers in the body of Christ. The question comes down to the question of who is really equipped to completely destroy the works of the enemy in this world. Who has the power? Will it be the 'arm of the flesh' or the King of Glory himself who will prevail over the hosts of wickedness that dominate this planet.


additional Biblical themes


Updated 08-2023