False Kingdom Teaching

Contrary teachings are prevalent regarding the kingdom of heaven. At one end we find the contention that God’s sovereignty manifested by the miraculous with signs and wonders such as divine healings ended with death of the apostles. So-called dispensational teachers live on an earth which is still flat spiritually-speaking with their refusal to accept evidence world-wide of the work of Jesus continuing through destroying the evil deeds of the devil (1 John 3:8). Those in the body of Christ through whom the Father manifests spiritual gifts are empowered by what Jesus calls “baptism in the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5-8). Miracles and divine healings, the casting out of devils, and raising the dead continue to take place. Such is a fact that can’t be denied by any sane person who is objectively honest.

At the other end of the spectrum is a movement that risks being unscriptural referred to as dominion or kingdom theology. It embraces a falsehood that the Church is meant to bring the world under the dominion of Christ and ruled by believers prior to the return of Jesus. Such persons believe the curse resulting from the Fall is reversed so completely by Calvary that all enemies of Christ can be defeated in the church age including Satan. They ignore Jesus telling that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36), and that governments, the media, world economies, entertainment, and other secular agencies are controlled in the last days by Christians. They ignore warnings by Jesus and apostles that the last days are characterized by falling away from faith (great apostasy). Even the prophet Zechariah tells that upon Jesus’ return, evil will reign in great part over the earth.

There have been repeat movements throughout church history with a goal of restoring the offices of apostle and prophet. At times the goal has been biblical in a sense of contributing the giftings of these Christ-ordained ministries (Ephesians 4:11,12) to edify and strengthen the church. But even with the original apostles, human failings were evident as when Paul found it necessary to correct Peter for hypocrisy when separating himself from the Gentile believers after Jewish believers came on the scene (Galatians 2:11-14). And these were men sent out by Christ Himself as apostles. Yet over time, self-appointed apostles and prophets have claimed to receive divine revelation to rule over churches. The most recent of such is rebirth of what was known as Latter Days Rain in the late 1940’s and now given a name of Dominion or Kingdom Now theology, or most recently as New Apostolic Reformation.

A system of leadership is claimed by self-appointed apostles to exercise authority over the Church. Believers are to submit to leadership of these men rather than biblical submission to Christ and leading of the Holy Spirit:  “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). In these movements, the kingdom building is apostle-directed rather than Spirit-led, new revelations designed to create “peace” by setting aside doctrinal differences and melding various sects under leadership of apostles. The so-called apostles say Jesus will not return until the world’s sociopolitical systems known as Seven Mountains are under rule of the Church. There to be signs and wonders so discernment is critical as scripture warns such manifestations can have demonic origin in the last days.. It is strongly suggested every true believer in Jesus google the subject of Seven Mountains to gain familiarity with this spreading heresy and avoid being snared.

One must be diligent to discern truth versus error in the last days when we are warned of deception apart from what can be confirmed as truth in the Word of God. Teachings of an emerging church claiming new divine revelations are not new. They surface intermittently and tend to be quite short-lived. Traditional Pentecostalism never debates the continuing ministry gifts of apostles and prophets given the church by Christ. But nothing in scripture supports claim of new revelations apart from illuminating what has already been revealed. It defies logic Jesus would impart gifts like those of apostle or prophet to edify the church and prepare people for godly works, yet intend the offices to function for a restricted time. Yet Jesus warns fourteen times to beware of false prophets. Satan transforms himself to  appear as an angel of light and his workers present as ministers of righteousness, and only spiritual discernment will expose their true nature (1 Corinthians 11:14).

There have always been miraculous powers manifested in signs and wonders. My recently published book Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble gives personal examples of the miraculous. But the latter were not a result of being appointed apostle or prophet. They reflect submission to the lordship of Christ so man is ruled by the Spirit of God, not by other men. One cannot focus on outward manifestations of the kingdom of God without first giving priority to inner manifestations of the kingdom which are righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Care is always to be taken in accepting revelations that are not simply illuminations of that already revealed in scripture for our edification, teaching, correction and sanctification (2 Timothy 3:16). For further information on false kingdom teaching, the reader is referred to an article on The Emerging Church under the heading of Lessons.

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