Blinding Teachings: Kingdom Now Theology Part 2 — What Holly Thinks
Last week, I began a series examining teachings in the church that are blinding Christians to the end times. I began with “Kingdom Now” theology or “dominionism,” showing its incompatibility with the view of the end times held here at FP and by other end-times ministries. Read Part 1 here. In Part 2, I will point out Scripture that refutes the Kingdom Now teaching that God’s rule will be set up on earth before Christ returns.
Did you know that a blueprint for establishing God’s kingdom on earth has been drawn up?
It’s contained in a book called The Future War of the Church: How We Can Defeat Lawlessness and Bring God’s Order to the Earth (Regal Books, 2001). Written by “prophet” Chuck Pierce, his book explains that the church is soon going to end violence and immorality and bring peace to earth.
How? When the church submits to modern apostles and prophets, they will rule the earth, according to Pierce. He says:
This is the government of the Church of the future that will arise and spread My light throughout the world in the latter days. This government will overcome all other governments. When this is in order, you can then command the governments of the earth to come into order (pages 31-32).
Other leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation agree that God’s physical rule will soon be set up. “Apostle” C. Peter Wagner — the founder of the International Coalition of Apostles and president of Global Harvest Ministries in Colorado Springs, Colo. — says:
“When we do this [when Christians submit to apostles], the government will be in place to receive the powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our cities, which will lead to social transformation on a worldwide scale” (Apostles Today, page 134).
And “prophet-apostle” Bill Hamon — considered by many to be the father of the New Apostolic Reformation — says that signs and wonders performed by apostles and prophets “will cause the fear of Jehovah God to come upon the people, causing whole nations to turn to God” (Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God, page 232).
These men teach that Satan will lose his grip over the world as apostles cast out demons that rule cities and nations — like when Wagner led a group of Christians to Ephesus, Turkey, in 1998 to to confront the satanic powers there.
But what does the Bible teach about the world before Christ’s Second Coming?
What the Bible Teaches
The picture the Bible paints of the end times is not one of righteousness.
In Revelation, we learn that the world will be extremely evil — so evil that the Antichrist will rise to global power and the world will worship him. Demonic influence will grow and gather the nations against God’s nation of Israel at Armageddon (Rev. 16:13-14).
Jesus also spoke of a great wickedness that would characterize the world in the last days (Matthew 24:4-14). He said the love of most will grow cold and lawlessness will increase. Jesus’ description couldn’t be more the opposite of the subtitle of Pierce’s book which begins with the promise, “How We Can Defeat Lawlessness.”
God will be left with no choice but to bring extreme judgment against such extreme evil. The biblical prophets called this time the “Day of the Lord.” It will include cosmic disturbances, natural disasters and plagues so terrifying that people will hide in caves and under rocks to try to get away from God’s wrath (Isaiah 2:19-21 and Revelation 6:12-17).
Of the Day of the Lord, God said, “I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold, And mankind than the gold of Ophir” (Isaiah 13:12).
In other words, finding a human being who is still alive will be harder than finding gold. If that’s not terrifying, I don’t know what is.
Contrary to Hamon’s claim, the Bible doesn’t foretell nationwide conversions to Christ, other than the remnant of Israel that will be saved. Instead, Jesus is clear that only a small number of people will receive the gospel and eternal life. He said:
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it (Matthew 7:13-14).
So, how did new apostolic leaders come up with Kingdom Now teaching? They start by going back to Genesis 1:26, pointing out that God’s original plan for people to rule the earth still stands (see Wagner’s book Changing Church, page 95).
They also often quote the Lord’s Prayer: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). If God told us to pray for His kingdom to come, then He meant for it to come, Wagner says (Changing Church, page 92).
And they quote many Old Testament passages that refer to a time when righteousness will rule the earth, like Isaiah 60 (see Pierce’s The Future War of the Church, page 274).
Wagner and Pierce’s points are true. God does intend for His kingdom to come to earth, and His people will rule with Him. But — when it comes to end-times teachings — timing is everything. And, according to Scripture, the time for Christ’s physical rule to be set up on earth is after Christ returns, not before. His present rule is in the hearts of those whose Lord He is.
Christ’s full reign over the earth doesn’t begin until the seventh trumpet of judgment is blown, when the 24 elders say: “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign” (Revelation 11:15-17).
For now, our job is the same as the first-century apostles and Christians — to keep proclaiming Christ’s gospel, though it brings opposition from the world system. The apostle Paul said, “If we endure, we will also reign with Him” (2 Timothy 2:12).
We will receive our rulers’ crowns at Christ’s Second Coming (2 Timothy 4:8).
Meanwhile — while Wagner, Hamon, Pierce and their followers believe they are bringing in God’s kingdom — the Antichrist’s kingdom is rising to power.
No wonder they don’t see it.
— Holly Pivec