compiled by Sandy Simpson, 2/2/06
THE SECOND COMING
The core doctrine of Jesus Christ's second coming, as taught consistently in Scripture, is as follows:
"Jesus Christ is coming again bodily to earth to rule and judge."
Other religions deny that Jesus Christ is coming bodily to earth to rule and judge. Cults deny this doctrine in other ways. This doctrine is also denied by believing in anything other than Pre-Trib, Pre-Wrath Rapture or Post-Trib coming of Christ. These doctrines all affirm that Jesus Christ is coming back bodily to rule and judge. They can be lumped together as Premillennial views. There are some doctrines being taught in the Third Wave that deny this doctrine. They are called Postmillennialism, Dominionism, and Amillennialism.
Let's define the different views quickly so you can see which ones affirm or deny this basic doctrine:
Pre-Tribulational Rapture: The pretrib view holds that the Church will be "raptured" before the entire seventieth week of Daniel. This is a prevalent view in countries that have never experienced widespread persecution, such as the United States. Jesus then comes back bodily at the end of the seventieth week of Daniel to rule and judge.
Mid-Tribulational Rapture: The Church will escape the last half of the seventieth week, also known as the Great Tribulation. Jesus then comes back bodily at the end of the Tribulation to rule and judge.
Pre-Wrath Rapture: The basic aspects of the prewrath view are that the "rapture" is distinct from the "second coming" and the "rapture" will take place between the sixth and seventh seals. Jesus then comes back bodily at the end of the seventieth week of Daniel to rule and judge.
Post-Tribulational Second Coming: In most versions of postribulationism, the "rapture" and the "second coming" are at the same time. Post-Trib people do not consider themselves to be Pre-Wrath. Jesus Christ comes back for His elect, they meet Him in the air and He comes bodily to earth immediately to rule and reign.
Preterism: This view has several variations. It places many or all eschatological events in the past, especially during the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. (R.C. Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus, p. 228) The extreme version of this view denies the need for Jesus to return bodily to rule and reign because He supposedly already did and the Church is Christ. Often tied to Amillennialism.
Amillennialism: Amillennialism is the system of theology which does not include a future millennial reign of Christ on the earth. They believe that Jesus Christ is reigning today through His Church and that Satan is bound. Thus they deny the bodily return of Christ to rule and judge.
Postmillennialism/Dominionism: Postmillennialism and Dominionism are becoming hard to distinguish apart these days. They are fusing into one system of belief, especially popular in the Third Wave counterfeit revival. It is the belief that Christ will return after the Church has Christianized society, through a Christian force called "Joel's Army". He will not rapture His elect because they will be victorious here on earth. Jesus Christ does not come back bodily but returns "in His Church" and reigns on earth through His Church spiritually. Postmillennialism denies that Christ returns bodily to rule and judge.
There are other assorted views, but any view that denies that Jesus will return bodily to rule and judge is a false view, not a Christian view.
Christ is Returning!
The second coming of Christ is a cornerstone of Biblical doctrine. It is not possible to be considered orthodox and evangelical unless you believe Jesus is coming back bodily to rule and reign. Our Lord promised it, the apostles confirmed it, and the entire book of Revelation celebrates it. Below are just a few examples of the verses that establish this fact.
John 14:1-3 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."The return of Christ will be visible. He will not come in secret; He will not come "mystically," or only to those with eyes to see Him. All humanity will witness His coming, and those who do not belong to Him will be terrified.
Matthew 26:64 "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."
Luke 21:27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Acts 1:11 "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."The Second Coming of Christ will be Bodily. He will not come "spiritually," He will not return "in His Body" the Church. He has a body now, a glorious body, witnessed by the apostle John (Rev 1:12-16), and when He comes in clouds of glory, it will be in that glorious body.
Matthew 24:29-30 "Immediately after the distress of those days "`the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn.
Re 1:7 Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.
Philippians 3:21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.He will come in Power and Glory--unlike His first coming, His true nature will not be concealed. He will come at the head of a heavenly army, as the conquering Sovereign that He is.
Zechariah 14:3 Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.
Titus 2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope-- the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Matthew 24:30 They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.
Ten Reasons To Reject Kingdom-Dominion Teachings
Kingdom-Dominion, or 'Restoration' theology has risen to popular acceptance in the last thirty years or so, gaining confidence and strength with time and developing its doctrine as it progressed. It is now the most powerful and influential movement in the Church, and attracts many Christians to its teachings and events, such are Transformations Hawaii. The majority of charismatic Christians have been influenced in one way and another by Restoration teachings. There are many streams within the Restoration Movement but their teachings are similar and we will consider them in general.
Restoration theology has been an integral part of the majority of 'shepherding' (discipling) fellowships and house churches, and is now a guiding force behind the New Apostolic Reformation, the Transformations Movement, the P.E.A.C.E. Plan and Purpose-Driven materials of Rick Warren, and the Word-Faith movement. It is also present in many mainstream Church denominations. However, there are problems with these doctrines which make them not a truly scriptural theology. The fact of its popularity is no proof of its authenticity - the truth is not always popular, and truly biblical Christianity has always been a minority religion.
WHO'S TEACHING IT?
To lend some proof that the most influential leaders in the New Apostolic churches of today are promoting Dominionism, I will present quotes from a number of sources, some perhaps shocking to some of you. (Emphasis in bold added by Sandy Simpson.)
CHUCK COLSON (Prison Fellowship/ECT)
"Redeeming culture is the never-ending mission of the church." (Chuck Colson, Breakpoint, KLHT Radio, 1/2/05)
"I was deepening my understanding of what we call the cultural commission, the command to the Church to take dominion and bring righteousness to our culture. (Chuck Colson, God's Inseparable Commissions, Prison Fellowship, 01/05/2005, http://www.pfm.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=PFM_Site&temnlate=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentlD= 15120)
"Today-some 30 years into my ministry-I have come to believe passionately that all Christians need to take their faith out of the pews and into the trenches. We've got to be faithful to the cultural commission to have dominion, to work for Christian values to arrest our worldview slide. (Chuck Colson, Prison Ministry and Worldview: A Match Made in Heaven, Prison Fellowship, 08/29/2004,
"Gary North, one of the movement's most vocal proponents, defines Reconstruction in this way: 'A recently articulated philosophy which argues that it is the moral obligation of Christians to recapture every institution for Jesus Christ." (http://www. libertymagazine.org/article/articleview/243/1/31)
RICK JOYNER (Kansas City Prophets/Latter Rain/NAR)
"What is about to come upon the earth is not just a revival, or another awakening, it is a veritable revolution. The vision was given in order to begin to awaken those who are destined to radically change the course, and even the very definition of Christianity." (Rick Joyner, The Harvest, "Joel's Army.")
"Christ in us must take dominion over the earth.... The next move of God cannot occur until Christ in us takes dominion. (Earl Paulk, Held in the Heavens Until... 1985, p.234)
"The Church has been foreordained of God to become that people who will become so glorified that we can bring Christ back to the earth. This glorified church must make the earth God's footstool before Jesus can come again." (From The Wounded Body of Christ. Earl Paulk, quoted in Jewel Van der Merwe's book Joel's Army).
TOMMY TENNEY (Former UPC/Antitrinitarian/NAR)
"God literally moves His throne from heaven. When this happens the church is building a chair, a seat, a place for God to come. When is the church going to arise and build a mercy seat according to the pattern of heaven? And He will literally set up His throne, and you will have a throne zone in the midst of the church and some group somewhere is going to build a seat for the glory of God, and the water that flows from that place will eventually cover the earth. The next wave of revival is not going to be like anything that you have ever seen. There will be nothing of man on it or God won't come to sit. He is tired of breaking chairs that we have built for Him. He is demanding now that we build a mercy seat." (Tommy Tenny, Rivermail Archives: Mar.-Apr. 1999, The Glory of God
"In all revolutions there are noisy and dangerous times as the OLD ORDER is replaced by the new... after the dust settles, WE CAN PROCEED TO BUILD the beautiful kingdom that the Lord has purposed from the foundations of the World" - (Vinson Synan, Fullness, Jan. - Feb. 1990, p.24.)
"But God has to be given permission to work in this earth realm on behalf of man. You are in control! So if man has control, who no longer has it? God. When God gave Adam dominion, that meant God no longer had dominion. So God cannot do anything in this earth unless we let Him. And the way we let Him or give Him permission is through prayer." (Fred Price, "Prayer: Do You Know What Prayer Is.. .and How to Pray?", The Word Study Bible, 1990. p. 1178)
"God's people are going to start to exercise rule, and they're going to take dominion over the Power of Satan. They're going to bring diabolical princes down. The dark powers that hover over the Parliament buildings of the nations are going to be paralyzed by the corporate prayer of an authoritative community. As the rod of His strength goes out of Zion, He'll change legislation. He'll chase the devil off the face of God's earth, and God's people together, doing the will of God, will bring about God's purposes and God's reign." (Ern Baxier, Nailonal Men's Shepherds Conference, Kansas City, Missouri, September, 1975)
"At that time the sons of God will be fully manifested on the earth. Widespread spiritual warfare will result with the Sons of God doing battle with Satan and company, the non-Christian nations of this world will also be defeated. Once the earth has been subdued. Jesus will come back to earth and be given the Kingdom that has been won for Him by this "manchild company." (Bill Hamon, Prophets and the Prophetic Movement)
FRANCIS FRANGIPANE (Latter Rain/Associate of Rick Joyner/NAR)
"All spiritual warfare is waged over one essential question: who will control reality on earth - heaven or hell? We must see that our prayers, attitudes and agreement with God as an integral part of establishing the reality of the kingdom of God on earth!" (Francis Frangipane, Mainstream. Spring 1994, p.10.)
"Yes, sin, sickness and disease, spiritual death, poverty and everything else that's of the devil once ruled us. But now, bless God, we rule them -- for this is the Day of Dominion!" (Kenneth Hagin, "Rejoice! This Is the Day Which the Lord Hath Made!", The Word of Faith, p.16, 7/96)
"The cultural mandate, which some refer to as Christian social responsibility goes as far back as the Garden of Eden. After God created Adam and Eve, He said to them: "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing... Both the cultural mandate and the evangelistic mandate are essential parts of biblical mission, in my opinion. Neither is optional. There is a growing consensus on this point in Evangelical circles. This was not true as early as twenty-two years ago when the Berlin World Congress on Evangelism was held in 1966. One of the first Evangelicals to stress the cultural mandate in a public forum was Horace Fenton of the Latin America Mission at the Wheaton Congress on the Church's Worldwide Mission, also held in 1966. Following that, the social consciousness generated by the social upheavals of the 1960's brought the cultural mandate to prominence until it was given a relatively high profile on the platform of the International Congress on World Evangelization at Lausanne in 1974." (C. Peter Wagner, "On the Cutting Edge of Mission Strategy," Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, A Reader, Revised Edition (Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1981,1992), pp. D-45-46.)Finally, read what C. Peter Wagner claims is the new agenda for the churches as of 2004:
See, the problem is, is that Satan has had too much of his way in our society because he has a government! And the only way to overthrow a government is with a government. It wonít happen otherwise. So therefore the government of the church has to get into place in the extended church just like we do have it very well in place, we havenít reached our goal yet, but itís very well established in the nuclear church. ... These apostles in the workplace are the ones that are going to come into the picture and with them weíll be open these gates, without them we can have all the prayer meetings we want, all the marches for Jesus we want, all the prayer walking we want, the gates arenít going to be opened. Because it takes a government to overthrow a government. Gate number one, letter A, the gate of social transformation, the gate of social transformation. ... This gate will be opened when we understand about the church in the workplace, that the church has a government, that it takes a government to overthrow a government, and when we understand this, if we renew our minds, if we embrace this paradigm shift, if we see, if we hear what the spirit is saying to the churches, if we recognize ministry in the extended church and government in the extended church, the revival weíve been praying for is just around the corner. We will see it. ...And now I pray for every individual here, before you, who is in the workplace, who tomorrow and in the days to come will be going out to their ministries in the workplace, and I impart to them an anointing, I impart to them an anointing for not seeing a job, but seeing a ministry in the workplace. And I impart an anointing to them and to this whole community to recognize and raise up apostles who will set the church in the workplace in order so that our cities, our communities, our states, and our nations will be transformed for Your glory, in Jesusí name. (C. Peter Wagner, Arise Prophetic Conference, Gateway Church, San Jose, CA, 10-10-2004)Jim Laffoon, another "apostle" of the NAR recently stated this:
JIM LAFFOON (Apostle of the NAR)
I'm utterly convinced, as I stand here tonight, that God has raised up this family in the earth to reach "every nation in our generation." But the ultimate purpose of God is not for us to reach every nation, it is to raise up a generation long after my generation is gone who because they have reached nations can begin to rule nations! ... As I look at this nation, as I look at the nations of the world, I'm here to tell you, that before we're done, we'll not merely plant a church in every one of the world's nations, we will study, analyze, and penetrate the cultures that control her. ... Before I die, I expect to see an incredible apostolic center in every nation in the earth. Before my children die, I expect they'll begin to see every culture in those nations begin to change.... We're raising up a generation of children who I believe if my generation is faithful to reach nations, the next generation can begin to rule nations. It is my passion. (Jim Laffoon (with Rice Broocks), "To Reach and To Rule", Morning Star Jnternational, Every Nation Churches and Ministries, 2004 World Conference: Every Leader - Every Church - Every Nation, July 15, 2004)
The doctrines of Dominionism are rooted in the earth. Their basis is the (false) teaching that man must take dominion of this earth and change it for the better before Jesus can come. The emphasis, therefore, has shifted from 'looking up' to 'looking around' to see what can be done to patch up the environment and change society into a more godly one. This scheme is unscriptural and should be rejected as heresy. Following are ten reasons why.
It requires a universal Kingdom of God on earth.
Obviously, in order to alter society and bring in biblical laws for the nations, in order to change man's habits of greed and violence, there would have to be a world government headed and policed by Restoration Christians. (The "Holy" Roman religio-political empire nearly achieved this in time gone by, but at a high cost - the oppression of the masses, widescale poverty and ignorance, the disappearance of the Bible texts in the common language, papal abuses, priestly dominion and the slaughter of thousands of dissenters and so-called heretics who refused to bow the knee to Roman dictators in the Church.)
This system requires obedience to Law. If any system of religion is going to be introduced worldwide, amongst many who offer only a token submission to it, obviously that religion must be strongly enforced and governed by rules and regulations. In fact, the religion proposed by Dominionism (and other) Christian movements for world transformation today is one closely modeled on the Old Testament Law. Every part of the world system - law, government, medicine, education etc. - would be ruled by biblical precepts. But the New Testament demonstrates that Law cannot save mankind and that the only hope for man is in justification by faith. The Law has failed to transform mankind and it always will. [Rom 7:6] But Dominionism adherents hope to resurrect it as the basis of a new age of peace and righteousness.
Taking restoration teachings to their logical conclusion, it is clear that nothing less than world Christianisation would work the miracle of planetary salvation. This, say the leaders, would be the 'Kingdom of Peace and Righteousness' promised in the Old Testament. However, given the condition of the human heart, and satan's plans for world dominion, it is actually the universal reign of terror through Antichrist! In the Word of God, not universal obedience but universal wickedness is forecast before the Coming of Christ, and all nations will follow the satanic plans of the 'Beast'. [Rev 13:3,4] To set about organising and networking for a New Order and for global dominion is to throw huge parts of the Church into the hands of 'another christ' and 'another gospel'.
It robs the Jews of their inheritance.
In order to provide biblical proof of their role as earth saviours and law-givers, and in order to support their claim to be the Kingdom of God on earth, Dominionism leaders have to pirate the Old Testament promises of God to the nation of Israel and make them apply to the Church.
They have gone on record as saying that Israel has no further place in God's future plan for blessing the nations, nor will the 'kingdom' promises of the OT come to pass specifically for Israel, but only by and through the Church. The Jews rejected their Messiah, they say, and so forfeited their inheritance. But God, who can never lie nor break His Word, has promised specific material blessings of land, prosperity, nationhood, peace and victory to the literal nation of Israel in the future. These promises have never been fulfilled and can only be fulfilled in the context of a re-gathering and spiritual resurrection of Jews in the literal land of Israel. [Jer 31:35-37] with ultimate fulfillment in the Millennial Kingdom after Christ's second coming.
It removes awareness of the Return of the Lord.
The emphasis on earthly triumph for the Church and long years of victorious rule to precede the Lord's Coming removes the need to 'watch and pray' and be ready for that Day. Many sensitive Christians are aware that the signs leading up to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus are being fulfilled in this generation, and that - in fact - the Coming may be very soon indeed. If so, we ought to be on our guard against laxity and deception, as Jesus warned. But Restoration doctrine promises ultimate triumph for the Church instead of the tribulation of the endtimes prophesied in the Word, and so encourages a careless attitude.
It denies the scriptural prophesies of the end-times.
Because Dominionism teaching places the binding of evil, and the 'dominion' of the righteous, at the FIRST coming of the Lord, it radically adjusts our understanding of the book of Revelation and the other prophecies of the End. According to this scheme, the Tribulation, Antichrist, Apostasy and so forth are placed historically in the PAST, or else are made out to be symbolic interpretations of ordinary antagonism against the victorious Church. The Restoration understanding of prophecy is largely POST-millennial. That is, it places the Return of Christ AFTER the reign of righteousness and peace. Therefore, what is now expected is not tribulation but triumph. This is very dangerous, especially as the scripture warns that, before Jesus returns, a world leader claiming to be Messiah will arise. [2 Thess 2:3,4] It may be that Dominionists, unaware of the true prophetic calendar, will accept this man as Christ.
It denies the sovereignty of the Godhead.
Dominionism doctrine claims that Jesus CANNOT return until all His enemies have been put under the feet of the Church, (including death, presumably). His coming is not at the appointed time ordained by God, as scripture says [Acts 1:7] but must wait on the preparations made for Him by the Church, for the world must be evangelised and saved and the Bride must be totally united and without spot or wrinkle when He comes. However, the Bible states that very few will be ready when Jesus comes, and that the purification of the Bride is a work of the Holy Spirit, not Christian leaders. [Luke 18:8/Matt 7:14]
It requires religious unity.
Since the world must be evangelised and cleansed, according to this doctrine, and since this cannot be done by individual churches, it is imperative that all denominations (now including Mormons, eg.) come together to do the work. The plan for World Evangelisation entails an overthrowing of doctrinal differences (such as justification by faith alone) to allow Roman Catholics and liberals to help christianise the World. But the scripture forbids us to work together with unbelievers and heretics. [2 Cor 6:14]
It rests on human ability and wisdom.
Instead of the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit, the scheme of world restoration calls for the development of man's social skills and knowledge, organisational ability, qualities of leadership, rhetoric and the ability to dominate adversaries. Dominionists are now being encouraged to take a full part in all areas of the world system in order to change it from within. This is what the Transformation movement is all about, with marketplace apostles, and marketplace Christians, for instance. But Bible Christians were often the poorest and least intelligent, and relied on nothing but the power of God to back their preaching. Their work was to preach the gospel only, and never were Christians told in scripture to change mankind by social action. [1 Cor 2:1-5]
It requires a structured Church system based on human leadership.
In order to establish world dominion, Dominionism teaching must be unvaried and universal, and this cannot be done without the obedience of all its followers. Thus, a system of leadership [discipleship] must be introduced to ensure every Christian is under authority and unable to err from the teaching. This leadership model is the New Apostolic Reformation headed by the International Coalition of Apostles under head "horizontal apostle" C. Peter Wagner. This excludes from the 'one world kingdom' all those who disagree with Dominionism teaching. In effect, it disinherits all other Christians from the Body of Christ. Indeed, some Dominionist fellowships teach that their Church is the only valid one, that the door to salvation is through the Church, [not Jesus Christ the Saviour!] and that everyone outside of the system is outside of the Kingdom of God.
It replaces Jesus with the Church.
In an effort to strengthen the claims of the Church on earth, as a Kingdom and Authority to be obeyed, Dominionism doctrine has come close to replacing Lord Jesus with His Body. The properties, abilities and authority of Jesus are made over to the visible Body on earth and His functions as Head and Government, Shepherd and King are taken over by apostles (on His behalf, they say!). Then, it becomes the responsibility OF THE CHURCH to destroy the wicked and establish the Kingdom on earth. This is exactly what Word-Faith and Latter Rain/New Apostolic heretics have been teaching for years. Yet this leads to human arrogance and rivalry, and replaces obedience to God with submission to the Church.
It draws from corrupt roots.
What we know today as Dominionism doctrine is a hybrid of Roman Restorationism, Dominionism, Preterism, liberal A-millennialism, Post-millennial eschatology, and Later Rain doctrines. The Latter Rain revivals of the early 20th century introduced an ideal new to Christendom - that of achieving religious unity and a golden age for the Church by means of revelation knowledge and spiritual power. Much more was entailed in the scheme, but this heresy, though largely debunked in the 1950's, seeded the charismatic movement and linked with other groups to form the Restoration Movement, Latter Rain, etc..
Thus, much current heresy on the "birth of the Manchild" and the role of an elite army of saints in taking the nations for God - which came to our present time in the Toronto Blessing, Brownsville, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, and a host of false apostles and prophets on TV- has been able to implant itself most readily in charismatic churches where restoration teachings had already paved the way.
Many have discovered from bitter experience in Dominionism fellowships that behind the smiling faces, camaraderie, loving embraces and victorious praise, there lies a spirit of dominion that will wound and crush any who do not toe the line. An empire-building, self-seeking arrogance pervades much of the Dominionism leadership, and they have proven themselves closed to correction. Greed, corruption, immorality and spiritual abuses have thrived in this climate - and the teaching which focuses so much on the earth as our inheritance had led many to become so in love with this present world as to adopt almost all its values.
Without denying that there are many sincere people who claim to be Christians within this system, it needs to be said most strongly that Dominionism churches are a foundation of sand, and the doctrines taught are unscriptural, unsound and finally heretical where they deny the bodily return of Jesus Christ to earth to rule and judge..
Anyone within the Dominionism system should think very carefully about the dangers to their spiritual walk. Dominionism is heresy and the Bible is clear that we are to reject heresy and heretics (Titus 3:10), mark and avoid false teachers (Rom. 16:17), and prove that we love the Lord by obeying His commands (John 5:10). Our mandate is the same as when Christ ascended until He returns: preach the gospel (Mark 16:15) and disciple believers from all the nations (Matt. 28:19). We are NOT to overthrow the governments of the world, take over businesses, or throw our collective Christian weight around in a bid to take over everything. We are to be light and salt (Matt. 5:13-15) to a dying world (1 Cor. 7:31) and abide till He comes (1 John 2:28). Christians need to get busy witnessing for Christ and drop this Dominionist, Kingdom building rhetoric and planning because if they do not they will be playing right into the hands of the coming antichrist.
(Note: Thanks to Cross + Word Ministries for the basis for the second section of this document which has been updated and refined by Sandy Simpson.)