To the Reader: Sandy Simpson of Apologetics Coordination Team has a massive collection of articles from numerous research and apologetics ministries. They can be found here at Deception In The Church.Com
You may find more of Sandy's own articles here and we encourage you to help support his ministry here.
The Question Of Dominion
by Sandy Simpson (February 12, 2013)
I am writing this article as an apologetic against the Third Wave, Latter Rain, Word of Faith and Reformed Theology teachings that the Church is to rise up and take over the systems of government, businesses and every other aspect of life.
"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 won’t 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 haven’t reached our goal yet ..." (Transcript of C. Peter Wagner, Arise Prophetic Conference, Gateway Church, San Jose, CA, 10-10-2004)
Wagner has substituted the "government of the church" for the coming government of Jesus Christ in the Millennial Kingdom. Wagner is "Kingdom Now" while the Bible teaches "Kingdom Come". Read my article or get my DVD on this subject here:
This teaching goes under the names of "Dominionism" and "Reconstructionism". I have some previous articles about this issue and you can read those as follows:
What I wanted to do with this article is put the issue of dominion to rest by studying the definition the Bible gives to dominion and ruling authority. When we look at the subject we can easily ascertain what is going on today and what God requires of the Church.
First of all, God's dominion is everlasting. He created this world and, though the world fell through sin and the enemy has temporary dominion now, Jesus Christ will come back and take physical dominion of the earth back to Himself to the glory of the Father, who has the ultimate dominion from eternity past to eternity future.
God's Everlasting Dominion
Job 25:2 “Dominion and awe belong to God; he establishes order in the heights of heaven.
Job 38:33 Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?
The answer to Job 38:33 is that no man can set up God's dominion on earth. That includes the Church.
Psalm 22:28 for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.
Psalm 145:13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
Daniel 4:3 How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation.
Daniel 4:34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
Daniel 7:14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
Psalm 103:19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
God rules all from His throne in heaven. Ultimately the devil and his followers will be defeated and cast into the lake of fire forever. God is the one who allows earthly authorities to have dominion.
God Gives Earthly Authority To Kings And Authorities
Daniel 2:37 Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory;
This does not mean that those earthly authorities all obey the Lord or even acknowledge Him. But God is the One who allows them to come to power.
One of the big Dominionist arguments is that they claim God gave man dominion over the earth, including humanity, in Genesis.
God Gives Dominion To Man Over The Creation
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Genesis 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Notice what God gave Adam authority over, however: He gave him authority over the animals. The word for creature in Hebrew is "nephesh" which is used most often to refer to soulical creatures of the animal kingdom that have life, though far less often it can refer to a human being. In this context, which is how we are to exegete the Word, God is talking about fish, birds, livestock, wild animals and the rest of the creatures. God gave man authority over the animal kingdom because man was created higher than the animals in the image of God with a spirit. This does away with any Darwinian notion of animals being equal to humans. Animals only have body and soul (mind) but man has a spirit as God is Spirit. Man is actually a reflection of the nature of God Who is Triune: Father, Son and Spirit. Man is a lower reflection of that nature being tripartite himself, namely body, soul and spirit. God never gave Adam authority to rule over other men. Adam and Eve sinned and lost any authority they had because the world was effected ever after by sin and began a decline that will only be halted and reversed temporarily by the Millennial Kingdom of Christ physically returning to the earth, and then ultimately done away with to usher in the new heaven and new earth.
Some Dominionists would also claim that the following verse indicates that the Church must rule over the earth.
Psalm 8:6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:
Setting aside the fact that this verse can also be translated "him ruler" and "his feet" which would be refering the Christ, this passage translated in this way would also be referring back to Genesis. If so, we have already seen that the dominion given to Adam was over the animal kingdom, not over the nations. When Adam and Eve sinned, any authority they had was usurped by the one who tempted them, Satan.
Satan's Temporary Dominion
Revelation 12:9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
The devil was hurled to the earth after he sinned along with the angels who followed him. The world then became the place where Satan would make his last stand, attempting to take as many people in the world with him into judgment. God would allow Satan to continue till his time was up for the greater glory of Himself, in that God had already foreseen that Adam and Eve would disobey Him and would need redemption through His Son. So God allowed Satan to have temporary dominion over the earth.
Luke 4:5-8 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’
Lest you believe this was a lying or empty promise by Satan, think again. Though Satan mixes lies with truth in his temptation of Christ, this offer was a real one based on the facts. Notice that Jesus does not correct Satan by telling him "You are a liar. You don't have dominion of the kingdoms of the world". Instead He states that everyone should worship the Lord and serve Him only. So Satan really does have a "kingdom now" and at this time the world is still in the power of the evil one.
1 Corinthians 15:24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
Luke 11:18 If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul.
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 2:2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
We are not moving toward some great awakening and spiritual revival in the end times as the Latter Rain teaches through the leadership of the Third Wave, New Apostolic, Word of Faith and other heretical movements. The enemy is still prowling and will continue to do so until the physical return of Christ. Satan is not yet bound as Reformed Theology teachers falsely teach as part of Amillennialism because the Bible says that will happen after the Second Coming at the beginning of the Millennial reign of Christ. Till then we are to carry out the Great Commission whereby those who are born again are added to God's Kingdom spiritually, awaiting the final salvation of the resurrection and Christ's physical Kingdom on earth.
Colossians 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
Those who are born again have been rescued from Satan's temporary kingdom and dominion. We have been added to the Kingdom and await the final setting up of the physical Kingdom of Christ upon His second coming.
Christ's Earthly Dominion In The Millennial Kingdom
Daniel 7:27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’
When will the kingdoms of the world be handed over to the people of God? In the Millennial Kingdom.
Romans 15:12 And again, Isaiah says,“The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.”
Ephesians 1:20-22 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
Colossians 1:16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
Jesus Christ has everlasting authority over everything, yet He will establish His throne on earth at the beginning of the Millennium. Why? Because everything must be fulfilled in Christ as per Col. 1:16. He created everything and so everything must revert to Him in the end because it was created "through Him and for Him".
So, knowing what we know now, does the Church have authority to rule the nations now?
Dominion Of The Church?
There is no reference in the Bible to the Church taking dominion over the governments, businesses and every other aspect of this world. There is, however, reference to a global false religion riding the beast and his global government.
Rev. 17:1-8 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.” Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. The name written on her forehead was a mystery: babylon the great, the mother of prostitutes, and of the abominations of the earth. I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.
Those who completely give into the Dominionist agenda sign on to the global false religion. Notice that this woman, symbolizing the apostate world church, believes that she rules as she is dressed in purple, a color used almost exclusively in the former world by monarchs. The false global church is also the one that will persecute and kill true believers in the True Church.
Another fact is that the principles of godly leadership in the churches precludes them from ruling over ANYTHING.
Mark 10:41-43 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
And yet C. Peter Wagner and his New Apostolic Reformation "apostles and prophets" teach otherwise:
You can get a prophetic word to edify, exhort and comfort you, but we’re talking about now the authorities that God has set in the church, they have an authority in your life that others don’t have because you are to submit to them because they have the rule over you. (National School Of The Prophets- Mobilizing The Prophetic Office, John Eckhardt - Friday, 5/12/00, 7:00 p.m. - Session 12, Transcribed from video)
The only time the True Church will rule will be with Christ in His Millennial Kingdom.
Revelation 2:26-28 To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star.
Till then we continue to preach the Gospel, disciple believers from all nations, and endure persecution.
Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
2 Corinthians 12:10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
1 Corinthians 4:12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;
2 Timothy 3:12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,