Articles seven-mountains

Published on September 8th, 2011 | by Dr. Joel McDurmon


Seven Mountains Dominionism: “Not the same brand”

In one of those amazingly rare events that keep people believing in miracles, NPR made sense for about fifteen seconds. In an interview with Rachel Tabachnick, NPR’s Teri Gross covered an Evangelical movement called “The New Apostolic Reformation” (NAR). In discussing the most prominent campaign of that neocharismatic movement—the “Seven Mountain Dominion” (7MD) movement—Gross’s guest correctly noted the following:

The Apostles and Prophets [NAR] have an interesting spin on [dominionism]. They’re not the only dominionist movement out there. Some people may be familiar with Rushdoony and Christian Reconstructionism. This [7MD] is a different brand of dominionism.

Boy is it ever! I would like to thank Mrs. Tabachnick for her good and proper distinction, but I must insist that it goes much further than what she indicated. And the differences are important enough that they must be stated clearly and openly for everyone to see. 7MD must not be confused with Christian Reconstruction, traditional Dominion Theology, or Theonomy.

Before my critical remarks, however, let me note a couple of great acknowledgements and key teachings associated with the 7MD movement. First, there is generally an emphasis on making disciples and not just converts. The church has too much focused only on “saving souls” and not enough on training those souls in obedience to all the teachings of Christ. This I affirm and applaud.

Second (and based on the first point), the leaders almost all make a point to acknowledge that the gospel and the Great Commission are so much greater than just the visible church itself. Rather, the gospel applies to every area of life, and the Great Commission is a renewal of the dominion mandate of Genesis 1:28. Thus, we should apply God’s Word to things like business, economics, government, family, media, art, etc., with the goal of dominion throughout the earth.

With these things—generally stated—I wholeheartedly agree. But there is much to be concerned with in the 7MD version of Dominion Theology. For this reason, we must announce clearly and maintain a stark distinction between 7MD and the traditional Christian Reconstruction movement, or traditional Dominion Theology.

The First and most concerning point is that the 7MD version does what critics of traditional dominion theology have falsely accused us of doing the whole time: planning to grab the reins of influence through whatever means necessary, usurp the seats of political power, and impose some tyrannical “theocracy” upon society from the top down with a “whether you like it or not, it’s for your own good” mentality.

We have responded, consistently, that our blueprint is about the rollback of tyranny, not the replacement of it—the removal of unjust taxation, welfare, warfare, government programs, etc. We favor privatization, local control of civil and criminal law, hard and sound money, and private charity for cases of poverty, all led by families, businesses, and churches—not large, centralized, top-down solutions. Yes, we would properly recriminalize sodomy, adultery, and abortion, but in a decentralized world like we want, you could leave easily if you didn’t like that.

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We have also said, consistently, that such a world will never exist without successful evangelism ahead of it. If there is no personal revival and recourse to God’s Word, there will be no free society, no Christian Reconstruction, no godly dominion in the land.

We have said all of this, mostly to no avail in the ears of even our closest kin-critics—Reformed Christians like the boys at the White Horse Inn, and prominent evangelicals like Chuck Colson, and others—who continue to imply and sometimes openly state that we theonomists and donimionists desire to grab power and execute everyone who disagrees with us. This is utterly false and slanderous.

There is no doubt, however, that the 7MDs do have a goal of top-down control of society. This is explicit in their literature in many places. The exception to this is when they are in PR mode: then they downplay and even completely deny that they believe in dominion. But otherwise they give our old critics the ammunition they need to continue their slander. Let us view the facts:

The 7MD vision comes from a 1975 lunch meeting between Bill Bright of Campus Crusade and Loren Cunningham of YWAM in which God allegedly gave each, separately and privately, a message to give the other. Turns out, allegedly, the message was the same! It was that Christians have for too long been too churchified and not engaged in culture. The remedy is for Christians to pursue dominion in seven separate “mountains” of culture influence: church, family, education, government, the arts and entertainment, media, and business.

(As a side note, I find it funny how this 1975 meeting came two full years after the original “dominionist,” R. J. Rushdoony, published his magnum opus The Institutes of Biblical Law (1973), calling Christians to get involved in the same areas a life. This book was in development for five long years while Rushdoony preached through the Mosaic law, applying it to every area of life. Bright and Cunningham were in the same area of California at the time.

It’s funny to me how God’s alleged extra-biblical revelation to these men seems to have taken some key notes from Rushdoony’s earlier publication, two years after the fact. Perhaps open-theism is correct after all, and God has to learn His own theology after the fact.)

The Bright-Cunningham message is now most clearly expounded in their disciple Lance Wallnau’s 7MD “mandate.” The top-down control message is clear. He outlines the seven mountains to be captured, and says, “He who occupies the top of those mountains can literally shape the agenda that forms nations.” The intent and means are clear.

Perhaps the most prominent spokesman is former Fuller Seminary professor C. Peter Wagner. Wagner is a radical charismatic and an open theist. He addressed NAR and 7MD program in a letter he wrote to his followers a few years ago. He wrote, “We want to see whole cities and regions and states and nations transformed to support the values of the kingdom of God.” Transformation, of course, is not what I object to. It’s how he intends to accomplish this transformation of whole nations that bothers me: “This will happen only as kingdom-focused saints become the head and not the tail of each of Lance Wallnau’s seven mountains or molders of culture.”

This “head and not the tail” phrase is a recurring themes among this movement. But it is not used biblically. In the biblical covenant, becoming the head and not the tail is the outcome of obedience, not the path to it (See Deut. 28:1, 13, 44). It is an end and not a means. The means is obedience to God’s law revealed in scripture. In other words, we should preach and teach obedience to the law first, and only once we see such a revival in Christian obedience can we expect anything like social blessing and cultural ascendancy.

But Wagner does not see it this way. He thinks we must do “whatever is necessary” in order to capture the tops of those seven mountains—the seats of power in each area:

Our theological bedrock is what has been known as Dominion Theology. This means that our divine mandate is to do whatever is necessary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to retake the dominion of God’s creation which Adam forfeited to Satan in the Garden of Eden. It is nothing less than seeing God’s kingdom coming and His will being done here on earth as it is in heaven. This includes the need to govern apolitically, as well as to embrace spiritual warfare techniques that neutralize the control of our adversary within the functional and territorial spheres of authority to which we have been assigned. To do this, we know that we must be in communion, we must receive revelation, and we must apostolically and prophetically proclaim that revelation.

Note the further means: governing “apolitically”—whatever that may entail—and receiving revelation.

Another promoter, Johnny Enlow, has written a relevant book entitled The Seven Mountain Prophecy. He is quite open about capturing the seats of power—the “top of the mountain”—of government. In article on “the Mountain of Government,” he writes,

The Mountain of Government, or politics, is a mountain that the Lord is beginning to position His children to invade and take. . . .

Because of the enemy’s firm grip on this mountain, it’s a very dangerous mountain to take if one is not spiritually prepared for it. Yet we must take it. The Elijah Revolution will begin to displace the forces of darkness from this mountain and establish righteous government on its top. . . .

Enlow says that “there are three levels of a mountain: the top, the middle, and the base.” But the lower levels must be stepping stones, for, “The top of the mountain is our objective.” And while the top of the mountain can sometimes refer to local and regional governments, the national level is the prize in focus. And it’s clear that by “top of the mountain” here Enlow has (among other things) the Presidency and Congress in mind, with these as a means to leverage the whole world:

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Though it’s a widespread field that extends far, the top of the mountain is occupied by a relatively small handful of people. In the United States, the president is the physical person at the top of the mountain, with senators and congressmen also high on our national mountain. Because our nation is the lead nation of the world at this time, it automatically places our national leader at the top of the world Mountain of Government.

It is also clear that he is somewhat prescient of the “theocracy” bludgeon, so he hides that cake, and yet tries to eat it, too:

The only government that will never have any corruption is the theocratic Kingdom of God. Here on earth, there will always be something less than a perfect government. We can (and should), however, insist on high ideals, principles, and individual character—people who can help manifest a form of government that is a blessing to a nation. We cannot instill a theocracy in a human government because theocracy is transcendent to humanity. The Kingdom of God can be superimposed on people through influence, but only God Himself can be “theo.” . . . A government can potentially function as a virtual theocracy, but only as the individuals in power allow themselves to be puppets (i.e. servants) of the theocracy (God’s rule and reign).

The important parts to note here are that a government can function as a “virtual theocracy,” but more importantly that “The Kingdom of God can be superimposed on people through influence. . . .” The first aspect is notable depending upon how you define “theocracy.” But the second should be absolutely terrifying to everyone. The idea of any admittedly “less than perfect government” being “superimposed” as a “virtual theocracy” by fallible men who think they are puppets of God should rattle every human being to their bones.

Further, in a video message, Enlow says that 7MD means, “In order to see a nation transformed, we are going to have to reform . . . the head sectors of society.” In order to be the head and not the tail, we must “recognize what is the head in society, and we have to displace the darkness that is there.”

Yet another popular spokesman, Rick Joyner, affirms the top-down control model, going so far as to endorse the necessity of a temporary totalitarianism as an alleged transition to freedom in God’s Kingdom.

The kingdom of God will not be socialism, but a freedom even greater than anyone on earth knows at this time. [I like that part. However:] At first it may seem like totalitarianism, as the Lord will destroy the antichrist spirit now dominating the world with “the sword of His mouth” and will shatter many nations like pottery. However, fundamental to His rule is II Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Instead of taking away liberties and becoming more domineering, the kingdom will move from a point of necessary control while people are learning truth, integrity, honor, and how to make decisions, to increasing liberty so that they can. . . .

The kingdom will start out necessarily authoritative in many ways, or in many areas, but will move toward increasing liberty–so do all true churches and movements that are advancing toward the kingdom.

From these quotations and many more it is clear to me that these men would embrace any top-down system of control as long as they could get their guys in the seats of power. They seek power first, and reform of society through power. Perhaps I have misread them. If so, I would like to see them demonstrate exactly how in each case.

Smile and Say “I Love You”

Yet, despite being so explicit in their literature, many of these guys are extremely sheepish in expression when presenting their views to a general public audience. Some, I understand, have even denied that they believe in anything like “dominion.” Some desire merely to replace the label “dominion” with “influence.” At any rate, with literature like theirs, they have a pretty stout PR issue.

The 7MD version (or should I say perversion) is the mirror-opposite of traditional Dominion Theology in essence. It also ends up with a mirror-opposite PR problem which leads it into open dishonesty. Whereas traditional Dominionists have often been open about our long-term vision (perhaps to a fault), and have had to spend a lot of time explaining the defusing details, the 7MDs on the other hand bury their warts in the details in their literature and put a “peace, love, and happiness” smiley-face on their front.

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Wagner is front-and-center most recently, arguing that NAR “is definitely not a cult,” emphasizing that “Those who affiliate with it believe the Apostles’ Creed and all the standard classic statements of Christian doctrine.” He conveniently leaves out his embrace of open-theism, which none of those statements would sanction. See, they’re really just your average, classical, standard Christians?

Enlow’s colleague, Os Hillman, presents the pretty face at it prettiest. He says that 7MD is nothing more than “a strategy to be more effective Christians in the culture.” And this is merely to “influence culture, not to dominate the culture.”

This public façade is the classic Campus Crusade tactic: warm, friendly, seeker-sensitive, not challenging or demanding at all. This warm-and-fuzzy approach, however, must compromise God’s dominion mandate—all in the name of “dominion”! Indeed, Hillman literally says that the mandate for dominion in Genesis 1 is “unrealistic.” Since “all people are not going to become Christians,” and “there’s always a free choice, . . . God doesn’t force you to believe, nor should we.” Thus, he assures his viewers, “God calls us . . . to accept different lifestyles, to accept people the way they are, different faith persuasions. . . .”

Indeed, Hillman goes out of his way not to challenge anyone with the Gospel: “If you’re not a Christian, please consider what Christ has done, whether it might be something you want to investigate. But if you don’t, you don’t have to believe, and we just want to bless you and say that God has called all of us to live together.”

(Can you image Christ or His apostles standing before a group of unbelieving Jews or Gentiles begging them “to consider . . . whether it might be something you want to investigate,” but never mind, really, “you don’t have to believe”? Seriously? I seem to recall Jesus offering the Gospel much more starkly: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18).)

Thus, the 7MD mandate merely means that we should pray the Lord’s prayer so that “we can bring the love of God and the power of God on earth as it is in heaven. . . . We will be able to solve problems in culture and serve the culture. It doesn’t mean that we control the culture.”

You see, 7MDs are really about nothing more than the love of God and serving their fellow man.

That should settle all questions about their desire to grab the seats of power and install a temporary totalitarianism for your own good which they think will usher in the messiah, now shouldn’t it?

If you buy all that, I’ve got a Kingdom in Siam I’d like to sell you.

Other Driving Issues

There are some other concerning underlying issues involved in this movement. While I have already quoted the leaders enough to show how differently they approach “dominion” than we traditionalists, I wish very briefly to add the following:

First, the vision is driven by a radical version of charismaticism. This, of course, contradicts the position of Sola Scriptura upon which traditional Reformed Dominion Theology is based. We derive our program and especially our ethics from an established text; they have no end to what they may be inspired to say.

Enlow says that his vision is based on charismatic revelation—particularly “ongoing revelation . . . there’ll be more that keeps coming, both from myself and from many others.” Indeed, he expects us all to join him in “a whole new level of dreaming with God. . . . in these last days.”

When once you introduce just a hint of subjectivism into the equation of God’s law, you open the floodgates to mass tyranny and social devastation. I am currently completing my doctoral dissertation on mosaic law during the Reformation, 1517–1536. Most people don’t know that such charismatic-fueled government takeover is EXACTLY the recipe which fomented the Peasant Revolt, 1524–1525, following Thomas Müntzer, and then the Anabaptist tragedy in the city of Münster, 1535–1536. In both cases, men claiming the end-times were upon us, that they had charismatic revelation from the Holy Spirit, and that the people must arise and make ready for the return of Christ led people to spark revolution. After all was said and done, the smoke of war and siege warfare settled and 100,000 people lay dead. While I don’t expect this as an outcome of the modern 7MD movement, I do see the grave danger posed by a group of people who think they deserve control of civil government because they have dreams and visions “from God.”

Secondly, 7MD cannot take the proper dominion of civil sovereignty seriously because it does not take God’s sovereignty seriously. These men are nearly all extreme Arminians—something that derives from and is exacerbated by their debt to Campus Crusade and YWAM. Hillman is so afraid God may seem too demanding that he says “you don’t have to believe.” Free choice is sacrosant. Some—like C. Peter Wagner, as we saw—have taken the free will doctrine to its logical conclusion of open theism. God is robbed of omniscience at the expense of man’s free choice.

But since they don’t properly value sovereignty, they can’t properly value authority or its limits, meaning representative government and federalism. Thus, their determination to do “whatever is necessary,” including “govern apolitically”—which we can only assume means above and beyond the means of the rule of law if deemed necessary. Secret societies here we come!

Third, combined with this lack of understanding of sovereignty and authority, and related certainly to the goal of charismatocacy, is one of the most glaring defects: the lack of any clear standard of godly law. Nowhere do any of these leaders state what these alleged godly, Christian, or biblical “values” happen to be. They certainly have not identified anything objective like we traditional theonomists have, nor even anything general like the Ten Commandments. The fear should be that they expect to grab seats of power and then rule according to a stream of their extrabiblical revelations and prophecies.

But meanwhile, we can rest assured they do indeed have legislation in mind. This is the main goal for reaching the top of the mountain of government. For as Enlow says, “The Mountain of Government is perhaps the most important of the mountains because it can establish laws and decrees that affect and control every other mountain.” Yet they won’t tell you up front what laws and decrees they intend to put in place. Would you vote for a politician who refused to tell you what platform he stood on or intended to promote? No? And would you not be persuaded when he promised you he was personally informed by God?

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Fourth, there is considerable eschatological confusion. While Wagner seems to have embraced something like partial preterism, most of the others remain premillennialists of some sort or other. Enlow, for example, argues that only true Apostles should gain seats of power, and these must be distinguished by absolute deference in their foreign policy to Israel:

Do they understand God’s redemptive plan for Israel in these last days? Do they understand that “if you touch Israel, you touch the apple of His eye”? (Zechariah 2:8). Entire nations will be severely judged or highly blessed and favored based on this issue alone.

Can you imagine John Hagee as Secretary of State?

This is exactly the threat—top-down threat, totalitarian threat, eschatological holocaust threat—that 7MD presents to us.

American Vision is not that; they are not us; we are not them.

Perhaps more should be written on these guys and the threats they pose to society. They may have a few better political ideas, but they are just as dangerous in degree as the most radical of the left.

Perhaps I am wrong about them. Perhaps I have misread them as national-power grabbers when they are not. If not, they should disavow everything I have quoted here clearly and unequivocally in print, and provide their viable limited-government, free-market alternative.

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About the Author

Dr. Joel McDurmon

Joel McDurmon, Ph.D. in Theology from Pretoria University, is the Director of Research for American Vision. He has authored seven books and also serves as a lecturer and regular contributor to the American Vision website. He joined American Vision's staff in the June of 2008. Joel and his wife and four sons live in Dallas, Georgia.

85 Responses to Seven Mountains Dominionism: “Not the same brand”

  1. Mark says:

    I wish you hadn’t used the term “dominionism” or “dominion theology”. The people who coined these terms use them to lump all sorts of things together in a very unhelpful way. They are convinced that you want to take dominion over THEM, and they use these terms to express their fear of you and of your motives.

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  3. Jay Rogers says:

    This is a very good analysis, Joel. I appreciate it very much and I learned quite a bit form it that I did not already know. One thing I disagree with is that the NAR is diametrically opposed to Christian Reconstruction. It often happens when charismatics first grasp CR, they do not do it from a covenantal worldview, but they view the truth of biblical dominion through the lens of dispensational and Arminian thought.

    In this, they are very similar to the “Kingdom Now” movement of about 20-25 years ago. These were Arminian, premilliennial, antitheonomic charismatics grasping at the idea of dominion. Some might be dangerous if the ideas are carried through to their logical conclusion. But I am convinced that some can be taught. If they are Christians, their theology ought to be getting better. As a postmillennialist, I ought to believe that.

    Peter Wagner for instance, only recently grasped preterism and postmillennialism. Why not Calvinism and theonomy next? Others may have a longer way to go. I won’t name names, but you know who I mean. No one grasps covenantal theology all at once. We might need to be a little more patient as God is us.

    “Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda.”

  4. Hi

    I have read through your article and through many other such sites on this subject, carefully researching over a period of a long time.

    Therefore, I have to disagree with the statement that Rushdoony’s Dominionism is nothing like the NAR version.

    From what I have read they have MANY similarities. The differences are only superficial. The deep underlying doctrines are actually from the same ilk of age-old Catholic dominionism which Calvin still carried over from the Catholic church and from his influence by Augustine, ie that Jesus will not return until the Church reigns on Earth. It carries the belief that we are actually now in the “allegorised” Millennium and therefore have the authority to reign.

    Apart from it being unscriptural (Jesus said “my kingdom is not of this world” and many other teachings like “do not set up treasures on Earth” and “set your affections on those things above, not on Earth” and “our citizenship is in heaven”) it DOESN’T work. “all have sinned and fallen SHORT of the glory of God”. Even as Spirit filled believers we STILL sin and fall short of God’s standard and we tend to live “fleshly” lives at times.

    This is why Paul encouraged us to “walk in the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” because it is clear that at times we fail!!! The Catholic Institution exercised Dominionism. Just consider how quickly it turned into the flesh. It became something satanically inspired.

    John warned us that the “whole world (ie world system)lay under the control of the evil one” This means that THIS AGE (before Jesus returns) has governments influenced and controlled by demons. This is why we pray for Governments so that the influence of satan will be weakened somewhat. However, Our main prayer should be “maranatha” because ONLY then will the kingdoms of this world belong to Christ AND NOT UNTIL THEN!

    Jesus NEVER stated that the role of the church was to have dominion. He simply stated that we should preach the gospel and making disciples throughout the Earth.

    The whole doctrine of Dominionism is taken from a few isolated and vague verses (out of context). For example in Genesis it is referring to ruling over the animal kingdom and taking care of the planet. Then Jesus saying “making disciples of all nations” is really making “quantum leaps” to suggest it means ruling the World. Again the context would show it means disciples FROM the nations.

    The danger of Rushdoony and NAR is that TOGETHER the ultimate result is exactly the same ie an attempt to set up God’s kingdom rule throughout the Earth which is contrary to our real purpose. Philippians 2 tells us that our attitude should be the same as Christ “although He was in the form of God did not count equality as SOMETHING TO BE GRASPED but EMPTIED HIMSELF and took on the form of a SERVANT …..” We are told to do the same thing! HUMILITY and servitude is the bottom line, until Jesus returns!!!

  5. Mitchell says:

    Well, I just wanted to compliment Joel on a great article with nary a typo or grammatical error in sight. Joel, you’ve matured greatly as a writer and thinker these last few years.

    As for the raging debate above, I’ve read little of it. Apparently a lot has changed since I read Wagner’s “Stop the world I want to get on in the late 70′s.” Heck, I thought Tony Campolo was a pretty good guy back then when he spoke at my college around ’78. I can’t quite place Rick Joyner.

    Well, I guess everyone changes. I’ve gone from being a dispensationalist to a preterist. And am still trying to figure out what the whole dominion thing is.

    Not sure if it was the chicken or the egg, but I heard a discussion of this topic on the Janet Mefferd show the same day I found this article. She was talking with Rob Bowman who, by the way, misstated some of the preterist position. It was interesting to hear some of the “dirt” about Rushdoony and Gary North.

    Well gang, have fun with the debate. Be sure to define your terms the same way. And don’t commit too many logical fallacies.

    • E Harris says:


      • E Harris says:

        The joy of the Lord is my strength.

        The same can be said in a discussion/debate. If you can’t have a little fun exploring things, and you can’t give yourself & other people some leeway to move without getting disjointed, then something’s wrong.

      • E Harris says:

        … and I proudly wear the mantle of one who has just LOL’d in the American Vision forum, for probably the first time in history. I know I look like a fool. But I’m a fool for Jesus!

  6. Stephen Ray Hale says:

    for E Harris

    E Harris September 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    “I have a generic question: if the system of government that we have is wrong or tyrannical (as Joel McDurmon asserts elsewhere), then isn’t it wrong or tyrannical to want to be in that office even for the sake of trying to dismantle its cords of control? Is it better to be like Daniel (a voter, an advisor) than to try to actually be the one IN office? ”
    Dear Brother Harris,
    The question you raise is VERY interesting…well…because it actually has an answer. The topic is not toxic so my answer is more helpful then polemical, because this is a question that ANY Christian could ask.
    In order to set up the answer which can almost be mathematically or logically made (if you understand SETS in that this was what we had to know when they started the so-called NEW MATH during my day) I will give the following scriptures. Now remember, though the charismatic folk may consider straightforward Biblical or theological work rather dry, Jesus says that His words are spirit and life, and in that the scriptures are testimonies delivered to spirit gifted members of the various bodies of Christ’s called assemblies or churches, they are still spirit laced and should be worthy of acceptation.
    John the Baptist was teaching and baptizing before and during the ministry of Jesus and at one point there were several groups or entities inquiring what they need to do to show fruits of repentance, indicating that these were folk who were righteous.
    Luke 3:10-14(KJV)

    10And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?

    11He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

    12Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?

    13And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.

    14And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.
    Immediately you understand the three occupations of people coming before John.
    The PEOPLE, civilians, not necessary government workers ONLY were required to do charity…this is NOT the true aim of government in that government cannot really do charity, or that word for love meaning UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, since every largesse given to the people from money stolen by government from taxing the citizen is given with mandates, strings, CONDITIONS, and overt and covert requests for political remuneration. Were our governments, Federal, State, or Local to be divested from all things “charity” so as to no longer usurp the responsibilities of the people, we would have cheaper and smaller government undistracted from its true aim to protect the innocent lives, liberties, and possessions of the people, knowing liberty is that freedom to do that which is right in the sight of God, the giver of our liberties.
    You will also know that the other two are government employees, who were giving evidences of their repentance and righteous by the tax collectors not charging more that what is owing (1 Samuel 8:15-17 giving God’s threshold of ten percent for government to take before we are considered slaves to government), and the soldiers not exploiting or oppressing the people, or giving false testimony and heavens to Wisconsin Government Employee Unions – being content with their wages.
    Were we to have been born slaves, we would know how to be GOOD slaves, from the example of Joseph in Pharaoh’s kingdom, but were we to have been born free or to have been made free, we could never again become slaves because as servants of God we are free, and conversely as free men we are truly servants of God to be in HIS service even if we are to serve others. As given the admonition what to do as free men, Paul gives us the following, and note the beginning and ending commandment, which, by being given twice, this is a sure and established mandate for the free man, the servant of God:

    1 Corinthians 7:20-24(KJV)

    20Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

    21Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.

    22For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.

    23Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

    24Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
    To emphasize the importance of the doubling of an admonition we get this from Moses:
    Genesis 41:25,32(KJV)

    25And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, THE DREAM OF PHARAOH IS ONE: God hath showed Pharaoh what he is about to do….
    32And for that the DREAM WAS DOUBLED unto Pharaoh TWICE; it is because the THIS IS ESTABLISHED by God, and God will shortly BRING IT TO PASS.
    Now we get to the part where righteous men can be free men outwardly but servants to God, yet they can, as free men (and servants of God) serve their fellow men in an authority ordained by God to minister to the saints.
    Romans 13:3-6(KJV)

    3For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. [THIS IS THE CAVEAT WHICH DETERMINES WHETHER OR NOT A PARTICULAR GOVERNMENT IS ORDAINED BY GOD]. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

    4For HE IS THE MINISTER (servant) OF GOD to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for HE IS THE MINISTER OF GOD, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

    5Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

    6For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for THEY ARE GOD’S MINISTERS, attending continually upon this very thing.
    By entering government work, a man who already is a servant of God, being a free man, enters into an occupation depicted as being SERVANTS (ministers) of God. So as free and as a government worker, a man is a servant of God, and even in this capacity a righteous man ought to be that one in government. If the righteous government man, as the soldiers and the tax collectors were righteous during the time of John The Baptist, is doing good and not being a terror to good works as seen in Romans 13 above, the government is considered an ordained authority in the life of the children of God.
    In a sinking society, God has been known to tell folk to get out of her, but our government is not entirely that degraded, and if we can, we ought to take the reins, and dismantle the usurpations, such as charity and, now, education, having found out that this “public education” was a failed experiment.
    I hope this answers the question of plausibility for Christians being in government, even if, at the time, it is a failing government in reference to God’s ordination.

  7. E Harris says:

    Below, are C. Peter Wagner’s own words. Judge for yourself if he is of sufficient intellectual honesty to warrant at least a little more consideration and conversation than is directed toward him by Joel’s article above. I don’t agree with everything he says in the article. But I find more agreement with it’s approach, than with the approach of the article above. And this, from the “conspiracy” and “totalitarian approach” of the spooky “N.A.R.” He goes on to explain why he named it the “NAR”. Whether or not you agree, it is far from some wacky scheme to take over the world from the top down, and their approach is not of that character. I believe there is PLENTY of room to work together with them, and be brothers, as we strive together to have a greater vision of what the church IS, and what it should be doing.

    “During my decades as a scholar, God has seen fit to focus my research energies on certain aspects of church growth for certain periods of time. … During that time, I began to notice something I obviously did not have the mental equipment to understand or to assimilate into my analysis of church growth. I noticed that the churches worldwide that seemed to grow the most rapidly were, for the most part, those that outwardly featured the immediate present-day supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit.

    “One of the most explicit Scripture verses about church growth is Ephesians 4:16, which says that the Body of which Jesus is the head, “joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body” (italics added). A formula for growth, then, is: Unity (joined together) + Gifts (every part does its share) = Growth.

    “As I have tried to answer these questions, it is important to realize that I am a very traditional Christian. For decades I have been an ordained Congregational minister, and I still am. We Congregationalists came over on the Mayflower! I find myself in one of the oldest wineskins on record. Furthermore, I am a conservative Congregationalist (ordained in the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference). This was definitely an obstacle to my early church growth research because while I was a missionary in Bolivia I was anti-Pentecostal, and the fastest-growing churches in Latin America at the time happened to be Pentecostal churches. I finally overcame my biases, however, and, in 1973, wrote Look Out! The Pentecostals Are Coming! (Creation House).

    “Then, however, I did begin to see a pattern among three amazing church growth movements:

    1.The African Independent Churches. These roots go back to the turn of the century when large numbers of contextualized African churches began breaking away from the traditional mission churches. Throughout the century, the growth of the independent churches in Africa has far exceeded the growth of the traditional churches.

    2.The Chinese house churches. Particularly since the end of the Cultural Revolution in the mid-1970s, the multiplication of house churches under a hostile Marxist government in China has been a missiological phenomenon.

    3. Latin American grassroots churches. During the past 20 years, the largest churches that have been launched in virtually every metropolitan area of Latin America are largely those that are pastored by individuals who have had no formative experience with foreign missionaries or mission-initiated institutions.

    “I would put these three together with the rapid growth of the American independent charismatic churches I researched for the Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, published by Zondervan in 1987. My article, entitled “Church Growth,” pointed out that this was the fastest-growing segment of Christianity in the United States in our times.

    “When I began researching the Pentecostal movement years ago, it already had a name. This new movement, however, did not have a name. Because I was planning to teach a seminary course based on it, I needed a name for my course. For a couple of years I experimented with “postdenominationalism,” but strong protests from my denominational friends persuaded me that it might not be the best name. Besides many of the new apostolic churches have remained within their denominations. “Independent charismatic” does not seem to fit either because (1) these churches see themselves as interdependent, as opposed to independent, and (2) they are not all charismatic in orientation.

    “The name I have settled on for the movement is the New Apostolic Reformation, and individual churches being designated as new apostolic churches. I use “reformation” because, as I have said, these new wineskins appear to be at least as radical as those of the Protestant Reformation almost 500 years ago. “Apostolic” connotes a strong focus on outreach plus a recognition of present-day apostolic ministries. “New” adds a contemporary spin to the name.

    “Although many people were begging for a definition of the New Apostolic Reformation from the beginning, I resisted formulating one until I believed I had a more mature grasp of the movement. Now that I have taught my first Fuller Seminary course about the subject, I believe it is time to take the risk of a definition, hoping that it will not have to be revised too frequently in the future:

    “The New Apostolic Reformation is an extraordinary work of God at the close of the twentieth century that is, to a significant extent, changing the shape of Protestant Christianity around the world.

    “For almost 500 years, Christian churches have largely functioned within traditional denominational structures of one kind or another. Particularly in the 1990s, but having roots going back for almost a century, new forms and operational procedures are now emerging in areas such as local church government, interchurch relationships, financing, evangelism, missions, prayer, leadership selection and training, the role of supernatural power, worship and other important aspects of church life. Some of these changes are being seen within denominations themselves, but for the most part they are taking the form of loosely structured apostolic networks. In virtually every region of the world, these new apostolic churches constitute the fastest-growing segment of Christianity.

    “In my judgment, views of leadership and leadership authority constitute the most radical of the nine changes from traditional Christianity. Here is the main difference: The amount of spiritual authority delegated by the Holy Spirit to individuals. I have attempted to use each word in that statement advisedly. We are seeing a transition from bureaucratic authority to personal authority, from legal structure to relational structure…

    “It is a question of trust. New apostolic congregations trust their pastor. Traditional congregations trust boards and committees. The difference between the two is enormous.

    “New apostolic ordination is primarily rooted in personal relationships, which verify character, and in proved ministry skills.

    “Continuing education for leaders more frequently takes place in conferences, seminars and retreats rather than in classrooms of accredited institutions. Little aversion is noticed for quality training, but the demands are many for alternate delivery systems….”

    Joel, you’re right that it does have different emphases and approaches. Disagreements yet abound. But that is as it should be. We need more conversation. We have not yet arrived at the fullness of truth. We don’t understand the full meaning of all of the scriptures, and how they relate to each other, much less all of life. And the solution to dominion may be (as we are all saying): going smaller instead of going “big”. As we win more people, the theology that is doing most of the surface level #’s growth… is a theology that increasingly values and promotes autonomy (independence and interdependence) instead of top-down. The SPIRIT of the NAR is VERY MUCH compatible with the drive of the widely-and-wildly divergent Christian Reconstruction movement. Why not try to incorporate the ideas of the NAR INTO the Christian Reconstruction movement? I don’t see why the two should be kept seperate, as “seperate brands”… unless it is by the choice of the Reconstructionists who prefer a denominational and fixed-congregation mold for governing and tracking their fellow man. That model is becoming obsolete, as communication technology expands. We need to find where JESUS is, and join Him… and as C.S. Lewis portrayed: “Aslan is good, but he is not safe…. He is not a tame lion.” (He is Creator of ALL. And sometimes it takes a little work to peer through the veneer of our own collective virtual realities, in order to see the REALITY that is in God and His Creation.)

    • E Harris says:

      To put it simply, the NAR isn’t an organization. At least it didn’t start with that intent. The NAR is simply a descriptive TERM to DESCRIBE an overall trend in the worldwide church, that began many DECADES before C Peter Wagner ever got involved.

      He found out that the movement was happening, through research. He put a label on it, and decided to work WITH the overall trend to try to find out where it is heading. And for that, he is being attacked.

    • E Harris says:

      BTW, C.S. Lewis’ book on Miracles is a classic. We are walking ‘miracles’ in a sense that science cannot ever 100% predict our movements (or even our perceptions) will full accuracy, because there is a metaphysical thing called the will inhabiting the physical body. The free Spirit cannot be divorced from the physically predictable and defineable (law-bound). Since our greatest freedom is found IN Christ, and IN God… then… doesn’t it make sense that our intimate contact with God should also be an open doorway through which God communicates and works miracles in hearts, minds, and matter?

      Since Calvinists believe that God is Sovereign and All-Powerful (and I ABSOLUTELY concur), then doesn’t it make sense that He … does stuff? Otherwise the physical, and even the social, world… is cut off from God’s Hand… since God neither does miracles upon request… NOR does He interact with men directly in a way that they can understand and decipher (for themselves). So just how DO we communicate with God? And just how DOES God answer our prayers, or affect society or the material realm at all??

      The same God who can CREATE the physical world, and CREATE man who is animated matter capable of housing Spirit… cannot communicate with or affect what He created in a way that His creation can perceive directly?

      When did Law become so all-important… that it begins to eclipse the very PERSONALITY of God as He interacts with His People?

      Jesus was/is God and man. Now He is a life-giving spirit. He ever lives to intercede for us. His Spirit is in those who believe in His Salvation, and who walk with Him in obedience. I believe that His Spirit is active, and that it never contradicts the MEANINGS of the words in Scripture. Scripture has many deep meanings, and believing in those meanings is what gives us life… and it is God who gives us the ability to believe in the first place. He gives us the power, and then asks us if we will follow. No power comes from us. It’s all from Him, and the temporary power that we have to choose is from Him as well. The only thing we can “add” to the equation is a temporary “yes” to His Will… and that “yes” is only possible because of His empowerment in the first place.

      I don’t see how Calivinism rules out miracles or the Holy Spirit’s gifts or anything. The same God that worked things for the New Testament saints works in the same ways today (and indeed, many of the same types of miracles happened BEFORE the New Testament, as well). It is WE who change and grow, as a culture and as individuals.

      Why would God cease working in the ways that He worked with the apostles? Paul made a point of the fact that he didn’t confer with the other apostles – that he got his authority and inspiration from God to “go”. And he had no contact with Jesus’ earthly, or pre-ascension, ministry. Yet he was an apostle. A “sent one.” An apostle isn’t someone who sits over other people. An apostle is a sent one. He doesn’t need a title, he doesn’t need to be paid. He is what he is…because that is how God has chosen to minister through him to people. So he “goes” and helps to establish fellowships and friendships (or assist them) where there were none before. We have this thinking that attributes man-made authority to the ministries mentioned in Scripture… when it’s usually more organic & down-to-earth than we would initially assume. Apostleship is nothing to be scared of. Neither is the prophetic. Anyone and everyone has access to the same flows, provided that God opens up a doorway for them to obey.

      • E Harris says:

        Additionally, if it is necessary to have the option of saying “yes” to God… it is also possible to ignore His Will (as Adam and Eve did). Such ignorance is a NEGATION of God’s power, not an addition to it. In such cases, God (who has foreknowledge) has probably already found another way to work around our deficiency.

        I have heard numerous testimonies of people who prayed for something, and provision arrived… from things that were set in motion weeks or months prior. Sometimes a check arrives in the mail, right after a prayer is prayed, and the amount on the check is (to the penny) the amount needed, but the need didn’t arrive until that very day…and no requests were sent…and the receiver doesn’t even know the identity of the giver. This type of miracle is commonplace. It is God’s Providence, working through a willing person (obedient to His Call), before the need and prayer even present themselves. Now THAT’s what I call a small example of “predestination”.

      • Stephen Ray Hale says:

        Providence and what existed during the first century (am talking of the first century at which the marvelous sign gifts to the Jews STOPPED August of 70 AD at the destruction of the temple, and the second termination including holy spirit enhanced memory of ONLY those apostles and select disciples who witnessed Jesus ministry, and prophecy was done away with about 90-95 AD) are two different things. God has always provided for his saints and answered His saints, Yes, No or Wait. The Marvelous sign gifts to the Jews were special signs (implying a purpose of credibility) and healings remarkable for their completeness – when ALL people were healed at a particular site – or their isolation – when people were healed only at a select site not including others. These were done at the hands of the apostles or select disciples. All faiths acknowledge providence, if they are careful in not trying to place them in the camp of the marvelous sign gifts and revelatory gifts, and sometimes these are startling but they are NOT a continuance of specially gifted people as found in the first century, but are common to all saints. The prayer involved with providence, if it is not God just outright providing for His saints in spite of a lack of prayer, tends more to the acceptation of the saint to the will of God, not providing revelatory quality new knowledge or credibility concerning such. The reason Agape love is so important as being the only remaining credibility giving gift is that during the time when a positive answer to prayer has NOT been forthcoming or a disaster seems to have occurred unprovoked by any known sinning among the survivors or victims, the saint projects unconditional love back toward God, after the manner of David in his understanding of why his first born of Bathsheba died, and that of Job. Providence generates more occasions of prayers of thankfulness than that just only giving credibility to the Saints, though some of the Marvelous Sign Gifts healings provided BOTH…with the emphasis on credibility. Should it be remarkable that God is willing to even provide Providence even to Charismatics because many are, indeed, saints in spite of their tendency to capitalize on these to emote credibility? I am NOT surprised that many of the loving Charismatic people experience healings and that which could be called miracles but I deny the tongues phenomena are continuing today, and contrariwise, such displays lead more to a net incredulity when time is applied to such experience and raw confusion of doctrine is its most profound influence.
        It is necessary TO differentiate between the phenomena of the first century to that occurring in Christianity since, until the rapture closes out the church age and again prophets and prophecy occur on the world stage surrounding the events happening near Jerusalem. Incidentally, according to 1 Corinthians 13:13, the Agape of Saints will continue to be important during those last seven years.

      • E Harris says:

        Please don’t take offense Mr. Hale, but you seem to really like that word “STOPPED”. (especially in it’s application to AD 70)

        …and we wonder why a lot of futurists (or post-futurists) don’t see the appeal in preterism.

        When God stops, and there is a famine of His words in the land, that is not generally a good thing. When there is a famine of His revelation, that is not a good thing. It is only through revelation that we can even encounter the deep meanings in scripture. How is God going to give us “revelation” about anything, if He does not (in any way) communicate to His People in a fresh way? Understanding Scripture is not purely a mental (hermeneutical) exercise.

        The hermeneutic only comes into play AFTER the idea/inspiration/revelation. Only after the idea comes/dawns can we apply logic to it and see if it is consistent with Scripture.

        How can you have the Holy Spirit without having access to “Holy Spirit enhanced memory”? So… he was willing to empower the disciples, the apostles, but not … the next generation which carried the same spirit as they? The same God who brought all things to remembrance for those who walked with Christ, will not do the same for us concerning our own walk and knowledge of scripture?

        How do you think Martin Luther arrived at his doctrines on “grace”?

        It was inspiration. This inspiration had been blocked from him. He was not raised to understand it. This inspiration that was blocked from him by the philosophies of the age (the spirits, winds of doctrine, culture, and even “spiritual empire” of his day). By the way, the philosophies that opposed Martin Luther also claimed to have doctrinal consistency (only between themselves did they wink and nod). Martin Luther, in a sense, had to become a priest, just so that he could catch a glimps of grace that caused him to see a bigger picture – even the priesthood of all believers.

        In the same way, the Jews of old lifted up Moses. When Moses wished that the whole nation was a nation of prophets (and judges). If the people had been prophets themselves, and judges (which you cannot be without first listening or obeying) then Moses’ burden would have been lifted. Moses would have been one among many.

        God initially works through one person, so that the ministry of that man can spread to all the other individuals in the group. He does not do it for the purpose of a bureaucratic structure, but for the sake of freedom.

        Where does God draw a distinction between gifts like memory, and gifts like healing? Or even gifts like administration and gifts like love? It’s ALL by the power of the Spirit, in different areas of life, flowing through people with different strengths and weaknesses. We learn as we lean on each other. Until we have what the other is providing. Until we all arrive at the fullness. Over time, we acquire the traits and capabilities of those who teach us and give to us. We become like the apostles, prophets, shepherds, teachers, and evangelists…until there is no large distinction between us and them. It is enough for a student to be like his teacher. Ther is no distinction in Christ. Is Christ divided? We are not of Paul or Peter. We are born through Jesus, directly. And we grow together, helping each other, until we all grow into the fullness of the personality of Christ. So that He may be the eldest brother of many. Wealth disparities (in the kingdom of God) exist only so that some day the particular item may be shared with all. As we share, if we desire to have more to share, we must grow further still. Until we have all matured and manifest the overcoming nature of Christ that is already in us.

        The way you use the word “providence” seems to be a mechanism for DISTANCING the miracle (God acting upon matter, mind or heart) from the person who is actually observing/experiencing/seeing the miracle.

        If God changes your heart, it is YOUR heart He is changing. If he illuminates your mind (through opening it to His Understanding of the words on the page) then it is YOUR mind He is interacting with and touching. If He is providing the wind to blow the vessel across the atlantic…or causing there to be enough fish in the region to enable the Pilgrims to fertilize their cornseeds… He is doing it.

        God works. And it can both be called providence and a miracle every time He does it. He is the Provider, the Sustainer, of everything that exists. He is Lord of ALL. Let’s not assume that the same Being that Sustains everything at this very moment, and who governs (and controls) the motions and minds of history, somehow is not touching the matter and the minds that he is at the same time controlling.

        Now, God’s control isn’t repressive. He doesn’t turn us into robots. He CREATED life, to move and breathe. Obviously because He wanted life to move and breathe, and wants to relate with it as such. I don’t know why. But it’s HIS desire to do it this way. An unchanging God who lives beyond (outside of time/space/matter/energy…) who desires a whole universe filled with beings that operate within time and matter.

        Not believing in miracles, or in God’s direct interaction with people…. is a doctrine of control, used as a mechanism to keep people subservient to the predictable forms of yesterday. In other words, the establishment feels threatened by changes, even when those changes are logical and necessary. The establishment will ALWAYS say “back off, we have all that we need, we have need of nothing.” It will always encourage us to stick to the pattern (so that it can count us, regulate us, determine success and failure, and compete in the marketplace, and draw up a salary for itself). The establishment will say that we need to “study more” if we have a different idea than the person that we are PAYING to GIVE us the ideas! (Atheists use this tactic perpetually. Try debating with hard-core atheists and they will ALWAYS tell you in one incessent stream “study more, study more, study more and then report back to us.”) God is breaking the establishment mold, once and for all. He is encouraging the logical pursuit of truth, by giving increasing down-to-earth revelations to His People…and then telling them to have confidence in the face of people who say that it isn’t possible and that they aren’t learned enough.

      • Stephen Ray Hale says:

        Brother Harris,
        Are you a KING JAMES ONLY person (asking only because I go down into the Greek and Hebrew a bit and these folk think the English Translation of the KJV is God’s word to the English, but I do not hold that position because it followed what appeared to be a deliberate mistranslation of the Latin Vulgate of 2 Peter 1:20) because if you are you will not appreciate what I am about to mention to you concerning your question about my propensity to use the word STOPPED.
        By the way, LOL, you might also not want to offend the Preterist if you think I am one (I am one of the “dipsy dispies” they rail against).
        Back to STOPPED. If you prefer Ceased to Stop…or maybe the word PAUSE because the word in the Greek I refer to is PAUSONTAI. This is found in 1 Corinthians 13:8:

        1 Corinthians 13:8(KJV)

        8Charity (AGAPE) never faileth [EXPIPTEI]:
        but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail [KATARGETHESONTI];
        whether there be tongues, they shall cease[PAUSONTAI];
        whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away [KATARGETHESETAE].

        Tongues represent the marvelous sign gifts to the Jews, the class of credibility giving gifts. And since Micah 7:15 gave them only 40 years of 360 day years, such gifts would have continued until the very last day and then when the day came to a close (or the event such as the destruction of the temple on that day) then these judy STOPPED, CEASED, PAUSED (if you consider them coming back AFTER the rapture). Since this reference came in context with the continuance of CHARITY, then these STOPPED for the BENEFIT of Charity being considered a credibility giving gift of the manner that Jesus says when he told them in John 13: “…in this shall all (men) know that ye are my disciples in that ye have love (AGAPE) one to another.”
        Please do not think that the power of the HOLY SPIRIT stopped functioning with us, because as long as the assembly is that witness of Christ on Earth, the Holy Spirit continues with us.
        If you consider the word “inspiration” as that which is accomplished through the work of the Spirit, we have that continuing. What do you think I am talking about when I speak of the words given by the Spirit, now archived in writing, as “spirit” and “life?” While the marvelous sign gifts to the Jews, having a credibility giving capacity, CEASE, their influence has not. The fruit of the spirit of the kind that is found when eyewitnesses testify, when prophets prophecy, when healers heal, when from the Apostles hand special miracles occur, when those speaking in tongues, speak their praises to God in Tongues, and those who can interpret, deliver these messages meaningfully to the assembly during the time of the Apostles, those witnesses of these things testify and much of this testimony is then converted into writing for us today, we benefit EVEN WHEN THE ACTUAL EVENTS have not occurred since the time of the destruction of the temple…and for eyewitness and prophecy, until around the death of John the Apostle. Not having to deal with these and NEW revelation, we struggle to even put together a proper suite of doctrine that is the result of those with the CONTINUING GIFT OF DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS (is this not still a gift of the Holy SPIRIT?). Teachers are a continuing ministry of the spirit, having the gift of TEACHING the word, take what the theologians, or from their own ability if also having the gift of discernment of spirits, and arrange it in a manner that can be digested by simple folk in the congregation or their classroom. Are these not a conduit of “inspiration,” even though it does not require a continuing prophet, or special miracle worker, or healer after the kind that existed during the time of the first century chuches?
        What I am giving you now, I have yet to find from anyone else, though my ability to research for obscure doctrines is limited. According to you, this may be a candidate for REVELATION. But actually I am taking the old testimony of scripture, and heavily applying the underdeveloped doctrine of the Torah law of Multiple Witnesses that establishes a matter found in two corollaries:
        Corollary One: In the mouth of one witness shall no man be put to death.
        This can be restated as, “If I (Jesus) bear witness of myself my testimony is not true.”
        OR, in the words of Peter, “…every prophecy of scripture is not of its own interpretation.” 2 Peter 1:20.
        Corollary Two: In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall a matter be established.
        I then take a different tack to track down what an eyewitness during the first century is trying to say by using the above Multiple Witnesses principles along with common rules of grammar for the language the testimony was recorded in, and due to the integrity of the Holy Spirit that was instilled in me to be truthful in what I discover, I give something unheard of, to this point you can rejoice that I am not supported by anyone else in my contentions, so I can be easily dismissed…but to your peril if this be the finger of God through continuing ministry of the Spirit…mainly His gift of discernment of spirits, with a tad of the gift of TEACHING. Of course I wonder at this since my TEACHING gift has not accomplished many takers in what I have proffered.
        In other words the REVELATION is already found in the Word of God, archived and searchable according to the law of two or three witnesses that establishes a matter.
        It is this ESTABLISHING A MATTER from the testimony of two or more scriptures having the same focus that makes what we see in the Bible TEACHABLE DOCTRINE.
        Paul calls the product of this establishment or confirming according to the law of two or three witnesses a matter, EPIGNOSIS, or a somewhat enhanced GNOSIS.

        1 Corinthians 13:12(KJV)

        12For now we see through a glass, darkly [obscurely – or if you can imagine it, with one eye as in a 2-D photo, where the head is barely distinguishable from the background];
        but then [imagine with two eyes in 3-D perspective]face to face [with the head floating out from the background]:
        now I know [GINOSCO]in part [EK MEROUS – by means of individual spirit filled members of the body giving their testimony by course (ana meros) two or three at a time with one judging];
        but then [when we have the complete testimony of the completed canon of scripture]shall I know [EPIGNOSOMAI]
        even as also I am known [EPEGNOSTHEN].
        While Paul yearns for this, in that even HE cannot go beyond Peter’s admonition against interpreting from one set of prophetical scripture or even his one current prophecy, He may have been given a “Moses on the mountain overlooking the promised land on the other side of the Jordan” view of near completed scripture when he asks Timothy to retrieve for him the books and parchments, along with the authors of several of the non-Pauline New Testament scriptures, Luke and Mark (Mark having even influenced Matthew – since I am unsure if he was around at this requested meeting of Paul’s). While Peter may not have been present, his influence is found in both Mark and Luke, and perhaps even Peter’s two epistles, which are definitely a commentary on most of Paul’s writings where Peter was able to place HIS amen on them, might have been present at the meeting as well. Only John’s contribution, his late one, is missing.

        2 Timothy 4:11-13(KJV)

        11Only LUKE is with me. Take MARK, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

        12And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.

        13The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the BOOKS but especially the PARCHMENTS.
        With this incomplete gathering of our current Canon, Paul tasted of that time when he can gather ALL available testimony of the mind of God of that which He desires us to know.
        I am concerned that this topic on the site may be discontinued…is there another venue that I can meet you which is more secure or available?

        By the way, if there are any monitors reading these posts, though I am NOT appreciative of the Preterist viewpoint, I do appreciate your site and patience to let us write on it, and I still appreciate your patriotic stance as long as it does not step on God’s final last nerve, the no appreciation of God’s final plan for His ethnic people, the Israelites (not only Jews in Judah but those unknown ones among us).

      • Stephen Ray Hale says:

        Brother Harris (since it is increasingly difficult to determine if posts are directd at any one person)

        I do not believe that God continues to be “ giving increasing down-to-earth REVELATIONS to His People.”

        2 Timothy 2:15(KJV)

        15Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

        This, of course is talking to the ones who are leading by serving the people and is a mandate for them and obviously to us to use our continuing gift of discernment of spirits capitalizing on the fact that ONE PERSON with the archive of testimony spread before Him can discern the mind of God of those things He wants us to know, and why we STILL need the rest of the assembly to have, as a body, a complete measure of that mind of God were we to be the mature that Paul expects us to be in Ephesians 4. It will be difficult for one person to encompass the whole mind of God were he to spend a lifetime in fruitful labor…and that is why the church is replete of those vetting our decisions…even the people themselves listening to the fruit of our labors…many of them can step in and fill in a missing understanding so we can withstand the wiles of the devil and false doctrine.
        While no one person has stepped forward to tell me they have come to the same conclusion as I, nevertheless, none of this came about with ONLY my input and that of the “inspiration” which by the way is spilling OUT of me, in that I am, contrary to those expecting the signs, FILLED with the Spirit and occupy as actively in my own capacity and Holy Spirit giftedness than any during the first century. But it was the HOLY SPIRIT who STOPPED, CEASED, PAUSED, the dispersal of operations as readily as he can divide to everyman severally as He wills. I like so many before me am standing higher upon the labors of others before me…and in this time of “charismatic” confusion, perhaps THIS was the time for this information to be “revealed,” not as NEW REVELATION directly from God as those gifted with prophecy, but that which already existed in the scriptures.

        And it is the impression of the AGAPE of God to not be bombastic in my revealing the truth of the terminations, but be gentle, not destroying the tender conscience of many of the people who hold charismatic beliefs. These after all will be my brothers, with no longer ANY barriers to fellowship, and why destroy their spirit or even any more of their credibility were they to be fellow laborers.

      • Stephen Ray Hale says:

        From this study, I have made several songs. One concerning brothers and the other, keying of what Jesus said, “in this shall ALL KNOW THAT YE ARE MY DISCIPLES in that ye have love one to another, the fact that the unsaved ALSO know what is true AGAPE, and can emulate it in their art (hence Jesus’ discussion concerning Hypocrites – a term found among those in the theater of the time) that love, but in real life, when they drop the thespian mask, cannot really practice it.

        SO BE YE

        My child, my child look out for me
        Among your brethren of low degree
        The unsought, the unloved, and unlovely,
        And wretched, despised in their misery,
        And be my hands.
        And be my nail pierced hands
        Caressing them with my love.

        For why should they perish
        For whom I died?
        Don’t wound their conscience weak;
        Love be your guide.
        Even if they unworthy be
        And not worth the time,
        Remember, when you were lost in sin
        I made you mine.

        My children by this shall all men know
        That ye are mine, safe, caught from below,
        By which a multitude of sins to cover
        If ye have love one to another
        As I love you,
        Spreading my nail pierced hands
        And drawing you with my love.

        And ye shall not perish;
        That’s why I died.
        And ye’ll not walk alone;
        I’m by your side.
        Even if ye unlovely be,
        Yet, I, before time,
        Determined that I would love you then.
        So be ye mine.


        Stephen Ray Hale

        GIVE US LOVE

        Give us love! Oh, give us love!
        Can’t you hear the soul sick sighing,
        “Oh, give us love!”
        Give us love! Oh, give us love!
        Can’t you hear what for they’re crying?
        “Please, give us love!”
        In their art from their heart
        You can see them searching
        For that their hearts cannot supply.
        Give us love! Oh, give us love!
        Give us love or we shall die!

        And they will! Oh yes, they will!
        All they can give out are friendships.
        “Please, be my friend!”
        And they’ll die, oh yes, they’ll die,
        For such loves can’t stand the hardships.
        “Please, come again!”
        So, they try to invent
        In their songs and novels
        A love that stands the tests of time.
        And they’ll fail. Oh yes they’ll fail,
        For such love must be divine.

        Give them love! Oh, give them love!
        Give to them the love of Jesus.
        “I’ll be your friend!”
        For He died, oh yes, He died
        In that same love that He gave us.
        “But I’ll come again!”
        In this shall all men know
        That ye are my taught ones
        When you give my love to a friend.
        Give them love. Oh, give them love.
        Give them love that has no end.

        Show them love, and they will see.
        Yes, they’ll see a love committed.
        “You I’ll defend!”
        They will see, recognize
        It’s a love not counterfeited.
        “I’m your true friend!”
        They could not reproduce in their
        Grand creations
        A love that Jesus, only, gives.
        Give them love. Oh, give them love.
        Give them love. Oh, give them love.
        Give back what’s His.

        By Stephen Ray Hale

      • Stephen Ray Hale says:


        No morning mists, now, flee the sun

        As they had done since earth begun

        Long ago;

        For the first time since creation

        Plants will thirst for their libation

        From below.

        Creeping things have ceased to dabble

        In the waters as they scrabble

        For the light;

        And the birds have left off singing,

        Quit the earth, are heaven winging

        From the night.

        Even animals that riot

        In that night are strangely quiet -

        Hushed in fear.

        While the beasts that swim the ocean

        Sense and flee from the commotion

        To appear.

        Yet, the “others” will not despair

        Of their fate, nor will they change their

        Erring path.

        Even slumbering of giants

        Speaks toward heaven a defiance -

        Tempting wrath.

        Once, standing by an open door,

        The preacher warned of what’s in store,

        Them to save.

        Now, rumbling low and unseen, yet,

        So far away it seems no threat,

        Comes the wave.

        In vain they find it to implore;

        God shut, last week, that heavy door

        From the seas.

        Now, blanched skies cloud instantly.

        It seems those clabbering skies have

        Spawned a breeze;

        And on each upturned fear drawn face

        Doom drops rain – wages for the race

        Who spites God.

        Resounding cracks, piercing the air,

        And heaving earth compound despair,

        Sloughing sod.

        With groans of grief and suffering,

        In chorus with the roiling,

        Sounding sea,

        The earth, trembling to its knees,

        Flinging to earth God’s enemies,

        Speaks this plea,

        “O, haste not, God, destroy not

        Your servant, Earth, just that cursed lot,

        Men of shame!”

        But purpose deafened ears of God

        Refused to hear creation’s sob -

        Judgment came.

        The waters long envelope earth,

        Drowning sounds of nuptial mirth

        And the sin.

        And those who climb the higher hills

        Await the fifteen cubit spills.

        Oh, the din!

        For clouds redound to sodden throats

        Their cries, pleas, their repented boasts!

        Mankind dies!

        But Noah, in darkened heavens,

        Found grace for him and his seven

        In God’s eyes.

        That grace has passed from then to now

        Through Jesus with His thorn-pierced brow

        To abound.

        But, some have chosen to forget

        The judgment of the waters, yet,

        Grace’s still found.

        And some have chosen to deny

        The fiery judgments from the sky -

        Soon to be.

        But come they will and as they must.

        Though God be love, He must be just.

        Hear His plea!

        For grace, through judgments, will fulfill

        The love, the purpose of His will.

        Christ’s our ark.

        For through the waters and through fire

        Those in Jesus will then retire.

        Sinners, hark!

        Repent your sins, your souls redress,

        And trust in Him, God’s righteousness -

        Heaven sent.

        For as it came, so it will come

        Upon the earth where man begun -

        The Judgment!

        By Stephen Ray Hale – a poem 03/03/1981

  8. Josh says:

    Thanks, Joel. I really appreciated the humility that comes out of how you took on this topic. Ready and open to the possibility that you might have misread them, but making it clear that from their literature, it seems stark, tyrannical, and unbiblical. From your quotations, it does seem you are reading them correctly, but now the ball is in their court to address these issues.

    Thanks for all your work at AV! It’s appreciated!

  9. Brent says:

    Simply unbelievable.

  10. If we begin to accept extra biblical revelation we immediately find ourselves on a slippery slope. Where do we draw the line? At what point do we stop revising our doctrine to accommodate the new revelation? In truth, once we begin the process it is impossible to stop for there is always someone with a new “revelation” who believes they should have the final word. If we accept without any biblical warrant the idea that Joyner (for instance) has received a commission to be the next Apostle Paul, on what grounds do we reject the claim from a similar source that Christ’s mediation has been supplanted by “angelic” representation (see the Malarkey book, “the boy who came back from heaven”). There is no consistent cause for doing so. The irony is, those who demand a place for extra biblical revelation are the first to reject the biblical punishment for false prophets. Yet, it is their position on the issue that would require its unchanging application (Deuteronomy 13:1-4 etc.).

    • E Harris says:

      Mr. Williams, I truly see your point, and I have struggled with the same issue myself (both within myself, and with the tensions within my own heritage and ‘denomination’). “Where do we draw the line?” Why not leave that up to God? God wants to walk with individuals and families. Relationships between humans (and between men of faith and God), is more organic than we usually bother to articulate. God made man relational because He wants to relate, and wants us to relate. As we grow in knowledge, from pre-born baby on up… our minds undergo massive revolutions of perception and sometimes unbelievable paradigm shifts. Nobody else has claim to those. At some point, you got to own it (the growth process) for yourself. YOU got to walk humbly with your God. My God is not a denomination. I will content myself with speaking the truth, regardless of what my fellow man thinks. But I will not exalt myself to a place of rulership over my fellow man that God has not given me (like a “big brother” with spying eyes). God didn’t even deal with Cain that way. People are people, they grow, they stumble, they question, they sin… what matters is: is there someone there to personally love & share the truth with them. We have made these massive towers for ourselves (ivory towers) that we think will save us from the world outside. It doesn’t work. It’s only separating the people of God from each other, and making people outside even more confused, hurt, and angry. (Yea, I really doubt that book “the boy who came back from heaven” as well. I saw it in the store, and I can tell from the boy’s eyes…and of his manner of speaking… that something ain’t right. He may have had the vision…but it was a long time ago, and there’s plenty of incentive to add details. But I saw another book beside it that seemed more intellectually mature, honest, and credible… it was a re-write of an old book from the 1800′s, about a woman who had a vision of heavenly things. You will notice that the Bible consistently uses phrases like “as it were” and “like” and “as” … in order to share with the reader that what they are “seeing” is more of a symbolic nature than an actual THING in a physical sense. MOST visions can be interpreted this way… God gives us the miraculous to help us believe and grow. It helps us fall even more deeply in love with a powerful and mysterious and loving GOD. When I had that flash about a rose…I don’t for one second picture myself as a rose. Uh, I’m not that type. But God is. He was trying to show me something from His heart. Just believe. Take it one step at a time, and pray that God gives you sharp discernment. We all accept things that we shouldn’t from time to time, and we all throw out things that we should hold on to. It’s life, it’s growth, it’s choices. And God IS sovereign. He IS in control. He IS capable of winning, even in the midst of human frailty. It’s time to have faith…or be ‘left behind’ grasping at forms of religion & doctrine that simply don’t feed the soul in some areas that we need to be fed. There’s only so far I can go with stability and doctrine…before my heart cries out for something MORE, to go DEEPER than I’ve ever been, to brave the rapids. It’s time to have faith, as we try to embrace our fellow (unruly) christians. It’s time to figure out & locate where CHRIST is at, in our relationships.

      • E Harris says:

        *correction: I meant that the VISIONS and PARABLES in the Bible frequently use phrases such as “like unto” “appeared as” etc. It’s a hint that what they are illustrating isn’t a physical event but is a symbol for deep spiritual meaning, or something more real than the actual physical appearance. The appearance is simply a way to communicate a truth. Like a man who looks like the Son of Man, but with white hair. Seriously. The Bible (and God’s communications) use a lot of symbolism. Physical symbolism in the old testament becomes spiritual metaphore in the New. And God still speaks the same “coded” language today. I can testify to this. Now, that doesn’t mean that every miracle, vision, or testimony is from God. But neither is every doctrine, denomination, or leadership structure. Just who should we trust and place our faith in, Mr. Williams? Who will not ever let us down? Who should we never question? Jesus. We must walk with Jesus, and that means we must also be willing to allow almost everything in our lives to be challenged, at one time or another. This is why life is so hard…when Jesus said that his yoke is easy. We are picking up the wrong yokes. Jesus wants a personal relationship…but a lot needs to be weeded out of the sinful life (and carnal mind) for that organic personal relationship to TAKE ROOT. I’m sorry, but having some rigid authoritarian structure peering over my shoulder didn’t help me get past a certain relational barrier with God…until I let it drop away (it was a HUGE struggle). Even the wise people in the new testament would listen to the apostles & teachers…and would go home, read the scriptures for themselves, reason with each other, and SEE IF the things that were told to them were true. We are not automatons. We were NEVER called to be that way. It’s time to wise up, beyond the forms of yesterday. Use what we have gained, but throw away the stuff that holds us back, weighs us down, that is unbiblical. And, I’m sorry, visions and healings and miracles are not unbiblical. If one Christian Dominion movement can’t see that, but the other can… well, I guess I know whose company I’d rather be in. But I’d truly, truly, rather not have to make a choice!! I can sit quietly and just read on and on and on…as the blogs keep being pumped out (from both sides). But… I’ve lost my cool on this one. It’s time for unity, even if that means sacrificing some of our Phariseeical instincts. I’m sorry, but we have to let go of some of the pride, the insecurities (and the hurt) of the past – while we hold to what we HAVE that is true. Hold to what you know. But remain open for challenge.

  11. I am not one of those who has to answer every article and every response. I read every response to learn from other posters how they feel about issues presented.

    I do not fit the molds. I am a charismatic Christian thinker. I am an intellectual. I am a Calvinist. I am a postmillenialist. Again, a reconstructionist, a theonomist, a Ludwig von Misesist.

    We are in a paradigmatic time in history. God is challenging us at this point to recognize the validity of each others’ points of view as they agree with His Word. Many charismatics are going off toward demonistic heresies. Many mainline conservatives are becoming pharisees in their attitude towards the charismatic.

    I understand the fear of those who reject the charismatic but I think it is a symptom of the Church’s tendency toward formality that began as a reaction to persecution and was formalized under Constantinianism. There is not the slightest NT evidence that the gifts of the Spirit have ceased, and plenty of history to the contrary. That there have been false prophets all along does not condemn the true. Instead it justifies the need for examining all according to the Written Word. If they (prophets and Apostles so called) do not speak according to this Word (the written word in the canon) it is [proof] that there is no light in them.

    There are many angels of light preaching a different gospel among modern day charismatics. But there have been many heretics who were not of a charismatic persuasion as well down through history. Charismatics are not the enemy of the Kingdom of God any more than the New Age of Dave Hunt is. Both are a part of the Kingdom of God and both have been maligned as part of a Satanic undercurrent. For a refutation of the equation of New Age with occultism see your own book Reduction of Christianity.

    Enough for now.

    • Stephen Ray Hale says:

      Actually, there is a very large and complicated body of Biblical evidence that many of the gifts (not all of them) were terminated early in church history. The ones I call the marvelous sign gifts to the Jews led up by tongues, including special signs (miracles) and special healings at the hands of the Apostles, mainly, and some select disciples stopped at the destruction of the temple. The two revelatory gifts of holy spirit enhanced memory of eyewitnesses chosen by Jesus we call apostles (and again, a few other disciples) and prophets continued until the death of John the Apostle in 90-95 AD or at least the penning of his last eyewitness, the Gospel of John, and his last prophecy, Revelation, and the few epistles which gave amen to Paul’s prophecy of such terminations, that they were for the sake of exalting Agape love as being the only credibility giving gifts left for the church. Even Jesus said “in this shall all know that ye are my disciples in that ye have love one to another.” Such gifts HAD to cease and be done away with for love to be the primary gift practiced among each other in the churches. Done rightly, it is almost the perfect evangelizing tool for missions and local outreach. Think about it…Charismatic folk among others are not any less likely to be short in this area as other born from above children of God. I would think that expressions of love that are real, and something recognized but not actually practiced by the unsaved world, are the real draw to Christianity and its message of salvation.
      The secret to 1 Corinthians 13:10 as to what class will be completed in the near future that will cause the class practiced by individual gifted saints currently during the time of Paul (the EK MEROUS identified in 1 Corinthians 12:27 and its sister ANA MEROS in 1 Corinthians 14:27) is found in the neuter singular word TO MARTURION in 1 Corinthians 1:6 and possibly in 2:1. This is the resolution of the ellipsis found in 1 Cor. 13:10, for the phrases TO TELEION and TO EK MEROUS. It is the class TESTIMONY of which ALL the gifts fit. It is the living demonstration of individual gifted members of the body of Christ organized according to the torah law of two or three witnesses that establishes a matter. When the last archivable testimony is made by the last eyewitness and last prophet (John the Apostle in this case) then the living demonstration of the law of multiple witnesses that Paul admonishes the Corinthians concerning two or three speakers in tongues and two or three prophets, orderly done in the Church will pass away or be done away with…depending on whether it is the death of John the Apostle or his last written testimony, as found in the last testimony of prophecy done by the last prophet and eyewitness of Jesus in what he said and did, in the last gospel and book of prophecy, where the word testimony or witness is found in about the very last verse of the last chapter of Revelations, for example.
      It is simple to recognize who is a false prophet because when Muhammad, Nostradamus, Joseph Smith, Jeane Dixon, Edgar Cayce, Oral Roberts, and Pat Robertson all are to be found in time beyond the true and real last prophet John the Apostle, these are false prophets.
      There are gifts of the spirit still in existence, but not these fancy ones. The discerning of spirits, by necessity in that it is the gift of the teacher, continues today, though majoring on different forms of testimony. The spirits of the prophets which Paul says can be constrained by the prophets that one once witnessed alive is replaced with the testimony of many of these same, written down, and spread before one, like Paul was able to do partially in the last chapter of 2 Timothy, where one can see the words of Jesus which He says are spirit and are life, and according to the law of two or three witnesses, we use that discernment of spirits to judge what is going to be established doctrine – from several gnosis we obtain an established epignosis (1 Cor. 13:12 and 1Cor. 14:37, and Luke 1:4 where “know” is EPIGNOS). Paul was anxious or impatient to see that day because he also suffered from not being able to interpret his every single prophecy without the acknowledgement (epignosis) of a corroborating other prophecy. Peter, the commentator of Paul’s writings in 2 Peter 1:20 says, “this first knowing that every prophecy of scripture is NOT OF ITS OWN INTERPRETATION.” This simply put is the first corollary of Moses’ law of multiple witnesses which is stated something like, “in the mouth of one witness shall no man be put to death,” or like Jesus says, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.”

      • E Harris says:

        You want to have this debate about miracles and cessationism? Let’s have it. I think that this is the true reason why thinkers at American Vision continue to mischaracterize certain other movements that are advancing within Christianity, and isolate themselves from their fellow Christians that are of a Pentecostal and charismatic bent. This is not a small issue: Pentecostals and charismatics are arguably the fastest-growing segment of Christianity, and possibly of any faith in the world. And it is making inroads into Islamic regions. Pentecostalism (generally speaking) values change, and at the same time values the inerrancy of Scripture and tends to be socially and fiscally conservative. Sarah Palin attended a Pentecostal congregation, and has (according to some secular sources) been “linked” to the NAR. (ooo, conspiracy.) It turns out that secular sources have a WORSE picture of “NAR” than even American Vision. Not only that, but they were helpful in stigmatizing it and labeling it, by helping make Wagner the de facto voice for it just because he was the first to say those words in front of the press. In other words, the secular press has made an effort to pidgeonhole the NAR. (Alinsky: Isolate your target. Freeze it. Personalize it. Attack it.) It’s the same thing that was done to the Christian Reconstruction before it happened to them. The folks over at the NAR (being a little too naïve, and a little too prideful) didn’t perceive the danger in getting in front of the press back in early 2000’s. (They probably still don’t know what has happened – they lost control of “imaging” by dealing with someone who had more ink and wider distribution.) We’ve since seen what the press is capable of.

        Now, I don’t think it was necessarily a wise decision for Wagner to seek to label a movement, and carve a titled or paid position out for himself. I disagree with the use of titles before one’s name and labels for movements… Christ is not divided. On the other hand, it does NOT appear that titled positions and even the “NAR” movement is his primary concern. It appears (from the writings that I have studied) that TRUTH is his primary concern. Truth about how God operates with people. I look past errors of my fellow Christians all of the time, to try to learn and build with the good. There is a lot of good to be found in the miracles, wonders, and faith of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movements. It is still a “young” movement in modern terms (and it is far from dying, it merely continues to change and mature).

        In the days of Scripture, the Jews had both written word…and prophets. The two CAN exist simultaneously. So, Stephen, let’s take a look at this “complicated body of Biblical evidence that many of the gifts (not all of them) were terminated early in church history.”

        You mentioned supernatural aid, such as enhanced memory. The Holy Spirit does bring things to remembrance and to mind. That is/was especially helpful when ministering and writing. It’s like having an epiphany, and then being able to “connect the dots”.

        Why must all miracles and miraculous aid cease? If you study the physics of consciousness, and try to pinpoint precisely where free will comes from, and how it enters our physical body… you will easily find that your ability to even perceive and take your next breath (consciously, and willfully) is a small miracle. The same metaphysical (spiritual) realm that “contains” free will (the ability to make ANY choice at all)… quite possibly is an open door to the spirit realm, if not the spirit realm itself. We are not living in a closed box, a clockwork universe that is completely separate from the Sustaining, Providential, Miraculous Hand of God. What kind of faith tries to say that miracles have ceased? What kind of faith tries to say that People (and every other living thing) which are practically miraculous and metaphysical in some of their nature… are somehow void of communication from God, directly? That is not the picture of prayer that I had. Now, I realize that Pentecostals & Charismatics go overboard in desiring the spectacular. But I wonder just how many words from God, healings, and miracles we miss… because we don’t notice them, they come too easily, and they are too small. A gentle nudging from the Spirit, a whisper from the Almighty, a healing that happens before we pray for it, etc. If we should get all bent out of shape that people believe in miracles, it should be to point out that they haven’t noticed ENOUGH of the miracles that are happening all around them! (It would build their faith…instead of always seeking after a sign to confirm their faith, they would have faith BEFORE praying for it.) One of my close friends, felt led to rebuke a hurricane even though she felt it awkward, she finally did (she was by herself, and she hasn’t told hardly anyone about this)…and the hurricane abruptly turned back to sea. Maybe a coincidence. But she is certain that she felt, in the Spirit, the urgency of rebuking the storm…and she felt a release when she did what she was told to do. I realize how this type of thing would disturb people… it opens the door to all kinds of foolishness. But so does thinking, itself. So does the capacity to discover and challenge doctrines, with one’s own individual mind. Yet, after the Reformation, we have learned to encourage and provoke people’s thought process and critical thinking skills. The same should be said of our prayer life and God’s gifts.

        “Such gifts HAD to cease and be done away with for love to be the primary gift practiced among each other in the churches.”
        You are assuming that the existence of the SPECTACULAR (as in “the spectacular world of filmmaking”… see “Movieology”) is necessarily greater than the SIMPLE act/demonstration/manifestation of the Spirit of God (God is the Spirit of Love… there is no agape Love outside of Him, in my opinion). This error has surfaced from time to time among “Pentecostals” just as it does among ALL men (who prefer the large & spectacular, to the small and quiet). Paul is basically telling them that CHARACTER and HONESTY is better than formulaic obedience, and even better than the spiritual gifts that he encouraged them to practice. It’s a matter of Priority, not cessationism. We are to do everything in love, even practicing the spiritual gifts. We must all learn that LOVE is the real draw (and the real edifier). If we do not have love, and the Spirit of love, when practicing the gifts – then we are doing it in vain, it is not building us up. (To the contrary, pride comes before a fall.)

        1 Corinthians 13:2
        And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
        1 Corinthians 13:3
        And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

        In this time, more than ever, we are going to need people with a heart for God…who are also in-step with His acts. It’s not a “Pentecostal” thing. It’s not “charismatic”. It’s God. And all Christians can open up to it, as they learn to refine their discernment and faith. (The same as any Christian can become a teacher, a leader… we are all supposed to exercise our gifts even if that means it makes us a member of the ‘5 fold’. We don’t need titles, salaries, logos, and names. We simply need to be in step with what God wants, with our WHOLE being.)
        The secular press doesn’t want to deal with God, because then they would have to open their imaginations up to His motives, His nature, His character – and they don’t want to even touch that. They would rather deal with Moses, and make it all about him. They would RATHER Moses be isolated, frozen, personalized, and attacked… than deal with the Almighty God. I say, if you have a problem with the possibility of God’s working with man, take it up with God for yourself. You may be surprised where He takes YOU.

        “…the EK MEROUS identified in 1 Corinthians 12:27 and its sister ANA MEROS in 1 Corinthians 14:27) is found in the neuter singular word TO MARTURION in 1 Corinthians 1:6 and possibly in 2:1. This is the resolution of the ellipsis found in 1 Cor. 13:10, for the phrases TO TELEION and TO EK MEROUS. It is the class TESTIMONY of which ALL the gifts fit. It is the living demonstration of individual gifted members of the body of Christ organized according to the torah law of two or three witnesses that establishes a matter.”

        Thank you! I didn’t know that. Very interesting. That only demonstrates that the Spirit in operation behind the Gift… is the same Person that gave the Law in the Old Testament. God is, in essence, telling His People… “Come Up Higher. I want to deal with you in deeper and more profound ways, but it is still Me.” C.S. Lewis once said that many of the miracles that Jesus did…were simply natural processes speeded up. Even healing may be somehow God restoring the normal operation of the body, against the infirmity. Thereby demonstrating that He is the God that created the original template. He IS a God that establishes patterns.

        Please…if I have anything useful to say… it is this: be more gentle to us brothers and sisters in Christ, who happen to believe something that the Bible never contradicts. We are trying to follow Christ in Spirit, just as you do every day using your gifts. Unity in Love is to be promoted in the Body. There is no other way (according to the Bible) that the whole world will willingly embrace Him, as a whole. The Body is the only Home that is possible for the world. They must enter through the door. But “Home” doesn’t look like a very warm place, with all of the divisions that we currently suffer. “Ephesians 4:2-4 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling”

        When that which is FULL has come, that which is in part passes away. When we see God face-to-face, we will have no more need of prophecy, for then we will KNOW even as we are known. You don’t need to write a book, if you’re standing in the presence of the one you’re communicating with. So will it be then. We won’t have one-sidedness when the Whole has been attained, we won’t be separate from God in any important thing. There will be no need for someone to come along & say “know God.” We will all have attained greater stature than Moses even had, when he was walking the earth, leading Israel. God wants to commune with His People like that…and He doesn’t change. It’s we who change.

        So as to the charge of Wagner & them being “open theists”… most of them are not! That is a preposterous charge, and very irresponsible (and libelous) of Joel McDurmon. He’s only showing a surface-level understanding of their beliefs, if he’s leveling that charge. Those guys (Bill Johnson, Joyner, etc) simply have the position that WE don’t know everything. God is complete, never changing. And He gave us a book that will endure. But our understandings of the depths of that Book CONTINUES TO change (at least after the Reformation broke away from centralized control, and placed the written Word in the hands of ordinary people). That’s the whole meaning of the Reformation after all. Helping the individual person relate to God through Christ, directly…while maintaining that all humans are limited, open to growth, and that God is Alimighty without any help from us. Beleiving in the gifts, or in individuals dealing with God (and receiving from God) directly is NOT “anti-Calvinist”. It’s Christian. That’s why we are called to THINK about the Scripture – because WE change, as we ponder GOD’s words. Our way of thinking, relating, understanding matures. That’s what the gifts are there for. God is real, but we are limited and growing beings just the same. We are children. Nobody on this earth is yet complete.

      • Stephen Ray Hale says:

        Brother Harris, I am not a Preterist, though I see a great value in understanding the nature of that “evil generation” which for the Preterist, ends at some sort of spiritualized “coming” of Jesus. I am not a hater of the brethren who are charismatic, but of the lie that forces folk of this movement to emulate what they think are the gifts that the spirit truly gave to our first century Christians alone. In presuming such gifts according to some law of experience…which my mother has placed in a ditty, “The one who has the experience is not at the mercy of the one with the theory,” places a very large burden against taking the word of God, the archive of testimony of that which God wants us to know (and the date of the coming of Christ, perhaps the hour of His coming is not that which we are to know, yet) as the only revelation we are to place our trust in. That there is a Biblical termination of several of the more popular gifts, actually two sets of terminations, places the charismatic movement as one with a large credibility deficit. Folk let down so catastrophically bodes not well for the tender or weak spirituality of many of the brethren, so since you are the only one caring who is actually reading this, then Paul’s placement of a large part of that information right in the middle of the love chapter means we need to be careful concerning the weak conscience of brethren, brethren I am not adverse to fellowship with.
        Though I am old and surely mature enough to get over it, I early experienced a phenomenon that seemed to be a source of limited fellowship between those who “experienced” the signs of what at the time was called “the second blessing” or “the sign of tongues.” When my lack of that experience was acknowledged, I discovered my charismatic brother giving me that frozen smile indicating the boundary to further or more intimate fellowship. This was the look of an arrogated spiritual superiority implying that I was at some upper limit of maturity which actually meant that there was no more meaningful Biblical exchange because there was no respect for the Word of God in the charismatic camp. All Biblical knowledge was countered by some “experience,” and for the charismatic, the discussion closed.
        I do not know how to change the mind of anyone committed to whatever form of doctrine they are comfortable in when people have different credibility thresholds or means. THIS is not lost to the charismatic folk, and to fanaticize a continuing phenomena represented in the first churches of the first century as a credibility device, of which it definitely was to those early churches, I am not faulting them to wish for it, for even Jesus said, “The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it” (Luke 17:22).
        But the truth of the matter, Jesus had a purpose for that generation, that generation which can be numbered as being forty years of 360 day years. “This evil generation” required certain conditions in order to enhance the calamity that would befall it as well as merit the disasters. Such conditions could not continue beyond the limit lest the significance be voided. In fact the idea of the “unpardonable sin” was limited to that forty years of 360 day years. I think folk get it backwards as to the significance of the “unpardonable sin” in reference to the Jews of the period of the peerage of Jesus. The idea of election and predestination has all of our eventual states tied up, whether to suffer the eternal lake of fire or to enter into heavenly bliss, because God already has chosen who are the elect…the ones He determines to love. For the Jews, tied to the Law of Moses, there was only one concern for which all their attempts at righteousness was aimed, and that was to live LONG in the LAND, or to live out an expected life span. The unpardonable sin stung them at THAT part, LIFE IN THE LAND. The people who blasphemed the Holy Spirit were already those understood to not be children of God, hardened as the prophets foretold.
        The fate of the Jews who blasphemed the Holy Spirit was to die before the destruction of the temple, even if they COULD have lived beyond it as John the Apostle apparently did. But the condition that fated these Jews was that they witness the WORKS OF THE SPIRIT, not only through Jesus but by the hands of the Apostles and select disciples. These are the marvelous sign gifts to the Jews that gave credibility to not only the words of Jesus but that of the witnesses called Apostles and select disciples (one among those, for instance, chosen to take the place of Judas).
        I see I am not going to have the space to set up properly the conditions for the premise of cessation or termination of select gifts of the spirit in lieu of the exaltation of agape love, so please inform me of some other medium I can continue with you, not a debate, but the body of information that you can determine for yourself my premise. I would have wished to only give you the hints that would allow you yourself to discover, by valid Biblical based tools, the situation that Paul calls a more excellent way dealing with Agape’s enhancement to being the only credibility giving gift left to the churches today…until the rapture. After the rapture, there is no more church, but there will be a return of signs and healings, perhaps, but assuredly prophets, among the tribulation saints (during the seven years following the rapture).

      • E Harris says:

        “When my lack of that experience was acknowledged, I discovered my charismatic brother giving me that frozen smile indicating the boundary to further or more intimate fellowship.”

        I apologize, on behalf of my “pentecostal” brethren for our treatment of tongues. I know if some of them were reading this, they may take offense at what I am about to say, but it is true. (And I have been allowed to teach this from a “pentecostal” pulpit… as young as I am.)

        Some have said that tongues is THE INITIAL sign of the Holy Spirit. This is not in scripture. At all. It is merely one of the many signs, and I’m not exactly sure that the list is as limited as many christians like to make it seem. God sees the heart, we look at the outside. A wicked generation seeks after a sign. For me, just the idea that a person speaks as the Holy Spirit gives utterance…is proof that the Holy Spirit is already residing…even if only for a split-second. And if that window is possible, who knows if a person can go days with the Holy Ghost without speaking in tongues. Tongues was a sign used as an indicator of the Holy Ghost’s presence… for those who didn’t believe. (That’s in the Bible.) Tongues is a sign for the unbeliever, while prophecy edifies the believer. Why is tongues a sign for the unbeliever? It’s foolishness to those who don’t even understand how the Holy Spirit operates. It’s a sign: for those who don’t believe that God is working with someone outside of their camp!!!! The evidence for this is bountiful, if not even in the sign itself!!! Every time that tongues was used as the indicator of the Spirit’s residing… it was in an instance where there was some doubt as to whether God was really working with “those people” (as a class or group). It was God’s way of saying “that which I have made clean, don’t call unclean.” It was a way of boosting faith IN THOSE WHO ALREADY BELIEVED in God, but DIDN’T BELIEVE in God working with “those guys”. Once the barrier is broken, and the followers of God saw how God was working, tongues was no longer used as THE litmus test. BUT it was still widely used (as was prophecy)… by regular saints… as Paul wrote in his letter.

        The pentecostals that I know are breaking away from a 100 year old tradition of seeing saints who don’t speak in tongues as “unsaved” or somehow “second class” citizens of Heaven. That view is flat out unbiblical. But so is the view that tongues have ceased. That which is in part does not cease, until the FULL HAS COME. … and nowhere in the New Testament does it say that the full HAD come. …so tell me, when did the full come? What is the indicator (in the Bible) of when the Full comes?

        As for me, I endeavor to see all things summed up in Christ…who is alive… not necessarily in the physical time frame that his human feet walked the earth. I need to study your remarks further: for preterism or partial preterism is a mystery to me. It seems to me that it is an effort to sum up nearly all prophecy in the A.D. 30-70 time frame, by hook or crook. What if something escapes that hermeneutic? Nowhere is that hermeneutic so throughly embedded in scripture…as when I read the writings of a preterist or partial preterist. What if a runaway miracle takes place?

      • Stephen Ray Hale says:

        E HARRIS – your point below
        “In the days of Scripture, the Jews had both written word…and prophets. The two CAN exist simultaneously. So, Stephen, let’s take a look at this “complicated body of Biblical evidence that many of the gifts (not all of them) were terminated early in church history.””
        You are right EHARRIS, even in the time of Paul at the writing of his prophecy in 1 Cor. 13:8-13, he was actually WRITING scripture if 2 Peter 3:16 means anything.
        2 Peter 3:15-16(KJV)

        15And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother PAUL also according to the wisdom given unto him HATH WRITTEN UNTO YOU;

        16As also in all his EPISTLES, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the OTHER SCRIPTURES, unto their own destruction.
        I also am aware of the warning of Peter concerning the hard to be understood writings of Paul, and am very careful that I do not fall into the careless type of writing that folk, when they are in hyper APPLICATION mode, make in those areas that there seems to be confusion as to what Paul is trying to say.
        When I began to be interested in the set of scriptures in chapter 13, I could not understand why Paul would use a device like the Ellipsis to edify VERY confused Corinthians when even the current Divines and Theologians of today cannot make heads and tails of, so they try to “spiritualize” all sorts of “plausible” scenarios. Because an Ellipsis implies a missing substantive in a phrase, and one only is confident of using such if that person suspects the reader to be able to resolve the missing portion, I begun to wonder, HOW DOES Paul use the ellipsis?
        But before I do, I would like to give the definition of Ellipsis given, ironically, by a “woodenly literal” Dispensationalists who has collected the definitions of the largest collection of if not all the spiritualized, allegories, types and other LITERARY devices used in literature found in all languages. As literalists we KNOW how people use LITERARY devices, as we try to obtain the interpretation of the scriptures.
        “The figure is so called, because some gap is left in the sentence, which means that a word or words are left out or omitted. The English name of the figure would therefore be Omission.

        The figure is a peculiar form given to a passage when a word or words are omitted; words which are necessary for the grammar, but are not necessary for the sense.” (Bullinger, E. W. Figures of Speech Used in the Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1986.)
        I discovered that Paul uses it quite frequently but he seems insecure that people would not supply the correct one, as in a phrase where the word “day” ought to be naturally understood in a phrase such as, “toward the third of the month, he prepared to move on.”
        Upon inspection of how Paul uses the ellipsis, I found that he puts the word, especially if in the singular, within some context, whether it is intimate, near or, if reason can account for it, a far context.
        So I suspected that Paul ALSO placed in some context the singular neuter word the phrase containing the ellipsis seemed to demand.
        The ellipsis in the following verse is marked by an underline [______] and I also will give the Greek of the modifying words surrounding the ellipsis.
        As an aside, I know that you think that much of the scholarly work is quite dry compared to the “emotional” aspect in reading of scripture, and you seem to also indicate that a pure emotional aspect is not sufficient for a truly deep understanding of what the writers are naturally trying to say as they are led by the Holy Spirit to create words that are life and spirit in themselves, but we are not natural readers of Greek or Hebrew so there is tasked for us in understanding the real intent of the writers, the need to understand the nuts and bolts of raw grammar (of course there is a natural gift of understanding languages among some – the secret is trying to balance it with integrity). This slows US down, but even this is not a handicap because it makes us appreciate EVERY word of scripture, and to allow us to remember and see how such words are used in other contexts.
        1 Corinthians 13:10(KJV)

        10But when THE COMPLETE _____ is come, then THE____ IN PART shall be done away.
        Now substituting the Greek for the Capital words above:
        10But when TO TELEION _____ is come, then TO____ EK MEROUS shall be done away.
        Now I discovered that there were very few single neuter candidates found in the near contexts that could be used to resolve the Ellipsis, though the ones I did find, many of them actually WERE resolutions to local ellipses and encouraged me in how Paul uses this literary device and to encourage me that such so called “missing” words, if not accounted for, we would have very few doctrines indeed. I pressed on till I came to 1 Corinthians 1:6 where I found a neuter singular that would fit the context of 13:10, in an area that actually was giving introduction of the topics Paul would be writing about.
        I will do the same as I did with 13:10
        1 Corinthians 1:6(KJV)

        6Even as THE TESTIMONY of Christ was confirmed in you:
        Now substituting the Greek for the Capital words above:
        1 Corinthians 1:6(KJV)

        6Even as TO MARTURION of Christ was confirmed in you:
        I also found this word in the next chapter, though there is some doubt if this was to be the correct word:

        1 Corinthians 2:1(KJV)

        1And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you THE TESTIMONY of God.
        Now substituting the Greek for the Capital words above:

        1 Corinthians 2:1(KJV)

        1And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you TO MARTURION of God.
        Now substituting MARTURION for the ellipsis of 13:10:
        10But when TO TELEION MARTURION is come, then TO MARTURION EK MEROUS shall be done away.
        Now interpreting the above sentence:
        10But when THE COMPLETE TESTIMONY is come, then THE TESTIMONY IN PART shall be done away.
        So Testimony turns out to be a CLASS that includes the various types of knowledge found to be the result of the gifts of the spirit. It so happens that miracles, signs, healings, tongues, eyewitness testimony, ALL were a witnesses or testimony. In the economy that Paul uses of his writing, this word TESTIMONY was pregnant in its application of the various individual spirit gifted means in obtaining that mind of God of those things He desired us to know.
        But we still have the sense, “But when the complete testimony is come, then the partial testimony shall be done away.” And so we could have it says when particularizing individuals under the class TESTIMONY the following, “But when the complete knowledge is come, then the partial knowledge shall be done away.” And then since this is nonsense by itself, we surmise or apply this thought that the only time when partial knowledge be done away is when we see Jesus, or when time shall be no more.
        We would except for this one major disruption…scripture has a tendency to interpret itself when the Holy Spirit is involved.
        The phrase EK MEROUS is NOT alone in a near context because we see this very phrase in Chapter 12:27 in leading up to the Love chapter of 1 Cor. 13.

        1 Corinthians 12:27(KJV)

        27Now ye are the body of Christ, and members IN PARTICULAR.
        27Now ye are the body of Christ, and members EK MEROUS.
        Now, are the members PARTIAL MEMBERS? Or are they, together a COMPLETE BODY, though they be INDIVIDUAL members? In this chapter, every member was gifted in some manner and their diversity, together integrated by the Holy Spirit, they all together function as a body.
        In that this portion is going quite long, I am going to stop here and continue on in another post.

      • E Harris says:

        I’ll address one comment, and then hopefully get to the others.

        “You are right EHARRIS, even in the time of Paul at the writing of his prophecy in 1 Cor. 13:8-13, he was actually WRITING scripture if 2 Peter 3:16 means anything.
        2 Peter 3:15-16(KJV) ”

        There are plenty of people (in my own circles) who may have a problem with me saying this, but so what. What is the definition of “scripture”? Words on a page. Hopefully inspired by God. It is the christian consensus that all of the words in the Bible are true, in some way. Even those scriptures written by men who were questioning God or questioning Job. They are true, in the sense that they really were words uttered by real men – and so sometimes the scripture takes on the form of a conversation between God and men.

        When you get inspiration from God, I absolutely agree that you should write it down. I’ve woken up with fresh words on my mind (like words flowing through my mind, in crystal clarity) and not written them down. I tend to forget them. Since I hold up the Bible, and the books of the Bible came first, then I agree that all revelation that I receive should (somehow) line up with Scripture (by not contradicting it). Otherwise, if it contradicts scripture, I am in error.

        Nowhere does it say, in the Bible, that inspiration or words from God would cease… unless the people were stubborn and rebellious.

        God’s additional words to us, today… only strengthen our faith in the words that other men wrote down for posterity, in the Bible. All words coming to us today, should agree with those words in the Bible or they are suspect. Therefore, Biblical scholarship remains more important than “getting a word” for myself right now. However, getting a fresh “rhema” word (as it is called in my circles) is a faith-building experience, that boosts faith in God and in His capacity TO GIVE WORDS to people. Otherwise, the words of the Bible itself begin to be questioned…why would God cease speaking? Merely so we can… go through the motions of what he has already said? So that we can obey and regulate ourselves…without any personal contact?

        Just how does God relate to us, then? Is He off at a great distance merely appreciating our obedience to what we read of His Word? I would say that He is… but He is also nearby.

        I have known people in my own circles saying that we are not to add to scripture. (Yet these same people believe in the prophetic.) “adding or taking away from the words of this book” as at the end of Revelation… probably refers to THAT book! The Bible wasn’t assembled into a fully formed cannon yet! And as we know, books didn’t roll off the assembly lines back then. They were carefully duplicated by hand. So, that phrase wasn’t talking about a cessation of books. It meant what it said (and the general principle should hold true for ALL of the Bible’s books). Don’t change the wording!!! Stay as close to the original wording and phraseology as possible. This is ESPECIALLY true for Revelation, because the exact words are the symbols used to convey meaning. If you change one word of revelation, you can quite possible obscure the meaning of important historical (foretold) events.

        By all means, if you have an epiphany, a breakthrough, a prophetic experience of any kind… you should write it down. And if it proves to be true and compatible with Scripture… preserve it for posterity! It is an aid to understanding the Scriptures and the Mind of God… and we all need that.

      • Stephen Ray Hale says:

        Brother Harris,
        I see that you have replied recently to my posting, giving the reason of my yearning to see in what way fellowship could be restored with a great group of Christians, though in the charismatic camp, in reference to personal spiritual emphasis in one’s Christian life. I appreciate your apology on behalf of your brothers, but want to assure you that any soul pain involving this attitude I have long overcome by the agape in me desiring that THEY be healed from doctrine that tends to damage their credibility for their sake, hindering what righteous message that they do possess for the glory of God.
        You had asked the question concerning “when the full comes” and in my last post before this one, I was beginning to answer that, and will attempt to complete THAT discussion in this post.
        However, when I mentioned that there was a large body of scripture concerning these subjects, I really mean that nearly the whole of the scriptures crowd in as background as well as detail that establishes the matter. To manage that much information is going to test my small abilities to reveal them without exposing so much backside to prod when I am majoring on some smaller point. I guess you know what I mean on these limited (though the current forum has been kind to give us more space than some others) forums. To top it off I have to curb my verbosity, I learned while in Texas…when loving Christians here healed my wounded psyche and spirit, hurt while growing up in the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area among vicious peers enjoying the “cut them down at the ankles” game.
        But first I must clarify some things (part of that “backside” left undefended I mentioned above):
        While ALL of the sign gifts to the Jews headed up by tongues, including special signs (miracles), marvels, and healings, as well as the revelatory gifts of eyewitness and prophecy are testimony, the ones that are done away with, that you call FULL is come, are only the holy spirit enhanced memory of ONLY those eyewitnesses that saw Jesus in all he did while alive, and the gift of prophecy are involved in that doing away, and this as I mentioned around the time of the death of John the Apostle…truly the LAST eyewitness and Apostle .
        I will give here a very short description (I hope) of what happened to the marvelous sign gifts to the Jews that were headed up by tongues.
        This was not original with me for I discovered this while in a Church of Christ library in Midland, Texas (I had issues concerning the doctrine of this cult like denomination, but was enjoying their kindness to let me peruse their library). I was reading a debate book The Hardeman Bogard Debate between the Church of Christ Hardeman and the Little Rock, Arkansas Baptist preacher Ben M. Bogard. Bogard had said:
        Do you endorse it most heartily? We do not now receive one particle of teaching direct from the Holy Spirit, for the age of miracles is passed. There is nobody inspired today. All the instruction that we ever get is written in the New Testament, but when I read the instructions written in the New Testament I find that by those instructions there are nine different things that go into the work that leads the soul to Christ. My friend says there is only one! Certainly we don’t need any further instructions. We have all that we need in the New Testament. The age of miracles is passed: no man has the power to work miracles today. Must God speak to Professor Hardeman to convince him the Bible is true when it mentions eight things in addition to the word?

        May I make you a little speech on miracles? Miracles began when Jesus turned water into wine. Miracles ended when forty years were passed as foretold by Micah, the prophet. In the same length of time the Israelites were corning out of Egypt, he shall “show unto us wonderful things.” (Mic. 7:15) How long? Forty years! [This emphasis, mine. S.R.H.] The only time when anybody ever worked miracles in New Testament times. There were Old Testament miracles. The power for man to work miracles has nothing to do with the ordinary work of God. If you say that all extraordinary power is a miracle then man himself is a miracle. (Hardeman & Bogard, 1938, p. 67)
        Well THAT was unexpected! I never heard this implied before…and that somehow dealing with Micah 7:15. But the thrust of his contention was dampened when I realized that his quote was actually a paraphrase when I checked out my KJV:

        Micah 7:15(KJV)

        15According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I show unto him marvellous things.

        I recognized right away that “According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt” would have to be forty 360 day years, before the year changed to a 365.242196 day year in 700 BC. I also noticed that the scripture has God talking in the first person rather than the “he” paraphrase of bogard’s, but what mystified me was the “I will show HIM marvelous things.” Who was the “HIM” in this phrase. Other translations using translator’s license renders the “HIM” as Bogard did as being the Jews. Other questions left me cold as to consider this verse having anything to do with the ministry of Jesus and the Church concerning a forty year spate of miracles. To top it off I could not find a companion scripture according to the law of Multiple witnesses found in the Torah to compare with verse 15, and according to Peter’s admonition concerning the corollary of that law of multiple witnesses which Moses says, “in the mouth of one witness shall no man be put to death,” or Jesus said, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true”:
        2 Peter 1:20(Corrected Greek translation)
        20This first knowing that every prophecy of scripture is NOT OF ITS OWN INTERPRETATION.”
        I dropped the inquiry after I had confirmed that the “HIM” was indeed part of the Hebrew using a form of Hebrew that includes the “I” as subject and “HIM” as the object of the action in one Hebrew word or “I will cause HIM to see.”
        That vacation lasted only a few months when upon following a progression of the word “greater” in John, the same Greek word in 1 Corinthians 13:13 in describing AGAPE or “charity/love” in the translations, I came across John 5:20:

        John 5:20(KJV)

        20For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

        While Micah 7:15 produced the time-line, John 5:20 identified for me who the “HIM” was in Micah, and this verse so parallels Micah 7:15. This is WHY Peter insists that every prophetic scripture must have some mate according to the law of two or three witnesses that establishes a matter in order to interpret it, and this compounding of testimony on top of testimony is why my contention that there are indeed near Biblical terminations in view concerning the gifts in reference to Paul’s time. In fact the mirror of 1 Corinthians 12-14 is found in Ephesians 4 and it talks of doctrine being complete enough to not allow the truly mature church to stumble.

        Ephesians 4:10-15(KJV)

        10He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

        11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

        12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

        13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

        14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

        15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
        This passage when compared to 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (at least) is way TOO information bound for me to discuss in this small portion of my discussion. But the point is in verse 14 where Paul anticipates a very near fulfillment of knowledge that will allow the saints not to stumble any more, were they to be zealous in maturing in THAT complete archive of testimony we call the Bible. Paul sees this in his NEAR future or that of the saints, and even TODAY we have everything we need of the mind of Christ and God of those things He desires us to know (1 Cor. 2:1-16), and if this is found today, there IS no future “FULL” for us to maintain among the churches till the rapture.
        I have not been able to adhere to my own schedule I presented at the first of this post to continue off from my last, but it may have been important for you to know that this marvelous sign gifts to the Jews, led by tongues will have stopped in forty years of 360 day years, and if the temple destruction in August 70 AD, marks the end of that forty years of “this evil generation” then it was the death of John the Baptist in March 31 AD that marks the beginning, and since Jesus came to his temple in April 6, of 32 AD, Jesus would have shown the Jews marvelous things greater than the healing of the impotent man at the pool at about John 5 until his death a year later. But the apostles would carry on the work that God showed Jesus what he would do during that forty years as Jesus promised:

        John 14:12-16(KJV)

        12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and GREATER WORKS THAT THESE SHALL HE DO: because I go unto my Father.

        13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

        14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

        15If ye love me, keep my commandments.

        16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

        Be careful, Jesus is talking to His apostles and select disciples alone, and while they were alive in that forty years, every one of them gave testimony through their mighty works that they were doing, and this according to Micah 7:15. One of the signs of an Apostle was the ministry of eyewitness testimony, as well as prophecy, and this ministry of the apostles continued after 70 AD when the marvelous sign gifts to the Jews were done away with at the destruction of the temple until the death of John the last apostle and prophet. Baptist preachers, DEAL WITH IT, you do NOT have the gift of Prophecy after the magnitude of the Apostles, by calling it for the-telling as opposed to foretelling.
        There are gifts remaining, such as discernment of spirits, teaching, helps, governments and the like, but the greater of all the credibility gifts which are currently absent is agape love, and it is THIS gift alone that gives credibility to the saints provided they marry it with truth. It is AGAPE that we need in our churches to show to the world we are the disciples of Christ for He himself said in John 13: “In this shall all know that ye are my disciples in that ye have love one to another,” and for Paul, this was “A MORE EXCELLENT WAY.”

      • E Harris says:

        “I appreciate your apology on behalf of your brothers, but want to assure you that any soul pain involving this attitude I have long overcome by the agape in me desiring that THEY be healed from doctrine that tends to damage their credibility for their sake, hindering what righteous message that they do possess for the glory of God.”

        Brother Stephen, (by the way, my name is Erhardt) you are mistaken. Love can be practiced through our mistakes as well, for it covers a multitude of sins (and doesn’t try to number them or blame anyone). So I don’t question your love, which leads to forgiveness and healing. (And I can only imagine the hurt of a person who was ostracized for not speaking in tongues. I can imagine…for I have endured much personal pain on similar misunderstandings about my character!)

        By the testimony of numerous people (some of whom I know) tongues exists. I know it by experience for having spoken in tongues a few times…I should practice it more and seek God on the matter. When I do… God moves.

        I heard a testimony once of a man who was schooled in ANCIENT greek. He walked into a church assembly and heard a tongue – and he understood it. Then he heard the interpretation in english and it was almost word-for-word. And he would know. Afterward, he went to find the speaker to ask her where she learned the language, and she had a blank face…she was just surprised and happy to know she had spoken something intelligible. He went to the translator…and found the same thing. Nobody knew that language, except for him. …that’s interesting, as that is the PURPOSE behind at least one of the times tongues “broke out” in the Bible. It crosses divides between languages and cultures, on a world-wide scale.

        On a personal level, I have had a friend tell me that she walked into a room where another friend of mine was praying in the Spirit. It was a young girl of 16 who was speaking in tongues, and the one who walked into the room was a middle-age lady who was a teacher at the school that we both attended. (It was a christian school located right by the church hall.) The teacher informed the student that she was speaking fluent spanish! But Sarah (the student) didn’t know spanish at that point. She learned it years later, though. That is what can happen to those who seek after God with a passion, who want to abandon themselves to God to such an extent that they are willing to (perhaps) lose a little physical control over their body and their tongues. It’s not literally a losing control, but it’s a yielding. It feels natural, sweet, pure, and good…like a flow. And it comes from your belly (unless it is being done from memory, or faked). I have often questioned tongues, even to the point of questioning whether God was with me, or whether God was real. I’m not the only one to question this. One of my closest friends did, before she spoke in tongues. I prayed VERY HARD one night that God would make me speak in tongues, otherwise I didn’t know where I stood or what to believe. I went to sleep & forgot about it. The very next evening, a strange lady came to pray for me (a friend, who isn’t quite “put together”). But while she was praying one of her generic prayers, and the preacher up front was encouraging us to speak in tongues as he always does… I began to try. As usual. Then something happened. I don’t know the moment I crossed over from a dry tongues (as if from my memory, like I can do) and when it became more fresh and real… but it did. It felt TOTALLY good, like a sweet yielding… and I got embarassed, I questioned if it was indeed God (and not myself or Satan) and I stopped. I immediately decided that it felt good and pure, so I shouldn’t have stopped. I asked God to give it back, I tried to start again…and I could not. It wasn’t something that I knew how to switch on & off…and that was part of the evidence for me that it was God and not me. I had failed (to proceed for a few minutes in tongues). But even in my failure, it was an assurance that I was close enough to God for Him to hear my prayer, and that He could still flow through me.

        This is not to mention ALL of the miracles, visions, and experiences that family, friends, associates have had all around me and mounds of documentary evidence for healing miracles. Not dozens of things. Hundreds. It is a lifestyle for those that I hang around. Miracles, visions, premonitions, words of knowledge, healings, etc. I have had things prophetically spoken that became true. (And yes, often the physical and the symbolic merge in real life as well, when it comes to visions, spirits, and the like. And it all matches scripture, to such an extent that I can usually pick out when something is fishy and NOT right about a supposed miracle or happenstance.) It’s not something that I even question or even get excited about anymore, because I know a great deal of how the spirit realm OPERATES. It’s undeniable for those willing to believe. Believe that God works. Believe that He hasn’t ceased, and that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is OUR understanding that changes.

        I may be out of my league in understanding the names of certain logical fallacies, or in understanding some deep meaning in scripture… but all those who don’t believe in miracles are out of their league when it comes to many of those who have spent decades immersed in a culture that both experiences and studies them on a regular basis. We know of what we speak…and my faith in miracles and in a God who works in these ways has grown with time…despite me being the more logical type.

  12. E Harris says:

    I have read and followed C Peter Wagner, Rick Joyner, and many others associated in the prophetic circles of the evangelical/pentecostal movement. I personally know many people who share in these spiritual gifts, and are inclined toward those types of understanding scripture. Basically, that is my background, and I understand it well (emotionally). And that’s just the thing: many pentecostals have been trained to worship God emotionally first, and intellectually second. We have our pet doctrines and pet truths, but beyond those… we tend to be very experiential.

    So when someone who is very intellectually strong (like a Christian Reconstructionist) comes along who seems to know nearly all truth, apart from the Spirit-leading of God… (apart from any simple and easily accessible emotional content) … the first instinct of the Pentecostal is to not quite trust the source, until we know that they are working with us. And therein lies an additional hurdle. As much as I’ve seen the Reconstructionist movement SLAM the pentecostal and prophetic types, I’M not convinced that the two are really working together. It seems to me that Christian Reconstructionists are slamming the prophetic types… who already struggle with an inferiority complex that is a consequence of their “anti-intellectualism” (their inability to relate to people that aren’t easily accessible and simple). You see, they aren’t anti-intellectual, they simply think on a more simple level. If you trace the origin of Pentecostalism, you will know why. Many pentecostals came from the poorer sectors of society (even its leaders) and pentecostal culture was multicultural from the start (that is to say that Blacks and Hispanics were welcomed with open arms at the start… and even after re-segregating itself, the movement maintained it’s multicultural atmosphere). We are dealing with a movement that is atmosphere and ambiance and simplicity of worship FIRST, and critical thought second. They may hate that I say this, but I have found it to be true. The movement is still in its infancy, moving into adolescence. While they were infants (in the 1900′s) they had GOOD REASON not to trust intellectuals. Most intellectuals (outside of the Christian Reconstruction movement) could not be trusted! Their theories (even those sounding spiritual) are junk. Most of the philosophies of men (Aristotle to Acquinas) are mostly junk. And much higher criticism remains so critical that it doesn’t let the light of God shine through. It is TRULY a war, as God’s People rise out of the ashes of the 1500 – 1900 years. Every step toward higher knowledge must be fought for, as the weeds are taken out of the territory that should have been ours all along. Every time we get to a new level (intellectually) we have found that the enemy has been resisting us from that level for a very long time…and he knows the terrain and the political tricks to pull… to make us weak again.

    So many people simply gave up on a challenging thought life, because they felt like they got illumination much faster just by sticking to the Bible and worshipping in Spirit and truth. So they take a more entrepeneural approach (try this, try that)… because most of the people who are “in-the-know” truly AREN’T on God’s side.

    As I said, the pentecostal movement is now in it’s teenage years. Teens have a lot of ideas. Ambitious and foolhardy, because they truly do not understand some of the deeper matters. They are merely trying to follow the Spirit, as they grow. I have read Joyner and watched him closely (along with others, such as Osteen, Wagner, etc. etc.) and I trust their heart. I know they make mistakes, and I know they can be arrogant without realizing it at times. They know this, too. Some of those who are in the prophetic/pentecostal/charismatic movement are vipers. But many are not. They are simply looking at a HUGE LOOMING SYSTEM (that is the world) and thinking about how they can work in the kingdom of God, and spread the kingdom of God, in the presence of those systems.

    (I happen to think that one of their main fallacies comes from the root of the same thing the rest of the church is contending with right now: paid clergy (profit motive, even seeking profit from tithes), and unpaid “laymen”. It makes many ministers have concerns and burdens that they would otherwise not have to contend with. I KNOW that having paid clergy (or paid staff…supported by tithes and donations) shapes the worldview of christian ministers. It shapes what they are willing to say, and even think about. When they think about “going bigger” they think about going bigger in the same type of ways that they employ to have their own “big ministries”… cleverly devised marketing and strategies. After all, the only intellectuals that have been willing to stoop down to their level without bashing them first… were those skilled in marketing and growing the ministry that way. It’s a fallacy, but one that is easy to understand from a human point of view.)

    Joyner usually knows good and evil when it’s right in front of him… when it’s made simple. It’s when things are highly abstract that Pentecostals tend to struggle. They aren’t interested in the abstract. They are interested in the Personal. And God is personal (a person, Hebrews 1:3). This is how Pentecostals operate, how they think, how they breathe. And when Christian Reconstructionists bash them… it’s kind of like blaming a teenager for not getting it right. They don’t trust intellectuals who bash them. They have a LONG HISTORY of being bashed by intellectuals of every stripe (including the secular stripe).

    I’ve seen them get revelation by the Spirit, as the Spirit enlightens their mind and experience… that would take a professor years to get to. Somehow the two streams (critical thinking and Spirit) must get together. I think that change is more likely to come from WITHIN the pentecostal movement than from outside of it – because outsiders truly don’t understand nor appreciate our culture and heart-yearnings.

    By no means do I speak for the whole movement, but … these are the inner reactions that I have had to confront IN MYSELF as I have read reconstructionist lieterature. It seems dry. It seems content to operate without the spirit of God and the spirit of worship. It seems to be more political than worshipful. It doesn’t appear fresh to me… It doesn’t even appear to have the unity of the Body of Christ at heart, many times. And the one writer at American Vision who was the most spiritually devotional in his writing… openly bashed the tent meetings which were a staple of Pentecostal and Charistmatic circles in the 20th century. …. so there you have it. If Pentecostals don’t understand you… (and seem to stumble behind you)… it’s probably because of the way that you are coming across TO THEM. Those are just my two cents.

    We got to somehow get together as ONE BODY in CHRIST, while keeping the things that we KNOW. Pentecostals have some things to offer. Christian Reconstructionists have many things to offer. I wish the two could see eye to eye.

    I really identify with one commenter who wrote A.V. He said that he finds the FULFILLMENT of Calivinist theology in his Pentecostal worship and abandonment. That may be the key to unity for the Christian Reconstructionist Calvinists to finally join the Pentecostals and Charismatics.

    God is trying to move His people toward UNITY in the Spirit, and in His Son. I know it’s hard. In my city (Oak Creek, WI) the two largest congregations are pentecostal. One is Assembly of God, the other is UPCI. And both are working toward unity…but aren’t there yet. I’m still not sure if I could get two pentecostal congregations to unify as one…but I can see it happening very soon.

    • E Harris says:

      That last post was not written in the best form. It was a very hurried draft, as I headed off to work. But, in a way, it demonstrates my point: those who have towering intellects do also have an additional burden: finding ways to condescend and come alongside those who are struggling in their ignorance, even when the ignorant can’t even articulate what is in their spirit with any grammatical correctness or precision.

      Be patient, long-suffering. I would say that to BOTH “sides”: the prophetic people should be patient with the intellectuals, and visa versa! One errors on the side of personal relationship and loving people (and God) relationally, and the other prefers to analyze and dissect to get to the bottom of things in order to decipher good and evil. My whole point is that we need both. We need a very fresh, personal relationship with God – and we need to learn to THINK as He thinks…and this requires us to be willing to go to war in the realms of intellect, just as we would a battlefield filled with mines.

      Too many of the pentecostals have a picture of spiritual warfare that is only half complete: we pray, intercede, receive visions, cast out demons, and see all manner of miracles happen. But we often fail to perceive that the devil most consistently attacks us in our own thinking, and our own minds, and that we only become aware of the invasion as we learn to grow and challenge our assumptions INTELLECTUALLY. This helps us sharpen our sword – and would make us MORE effective in prayer. To understand truth is to understand an aspect of Reality, and God is the Living Heart of Reality, as it’s Sustainer. We DO experience in prayer, visions, and feelings. We DO know that we face huge systemic obstacles in the world. We fail to decipher the terrain, with precision, though. We are straining to see. And we have the Bible and the prophets (including shepherds) to help guide us.

      I’ll give you a small example. I once had a conversation with a young single mother. She told me about how (when she was around 20 years old) she was really worried that she didn’t have the Holy Ghost. She probably felt condemned, and needed God’s assurance that she was saved and that He loved her & was with her. Well, soon after, she had a crystal-clear dream of a rose on a stem… and it was on fire! She took this to mean hell-fire. And because she didn’t understand the symbology involved, and didn’t have enough faith in her ability to decipher the dream, or even in any symbolic message in it beyond condemnation… she went years believing that she may not be saved, and may be destined for hellfire. The devil can use ANYTHING to make us feel like running away from God, ashamed and insecure. Well, I asked her a few questions: was the rose alive? yes. Was it being burned by the fire? no. Had you indeed asked God if you were filled with the Holy Ghost? yes. What is the symbol for the Holy Spirit in the Bible? fire. A fire on a rose, that is not consuming the rose. Then I shared with her a vision that I had experienced a few years prior in a flash that lasted only a few seconds. In my vision (after I had prayed to receive one, and then forgotten about it) I was looking down at a huge rose blossom that was steadily opening up. All I could see around it was blank white. And I heard in my spirit’s ear (as it were) a voice from behind/above me telling me: this is how I see you. I didn’t know anything about scriptural symbolism, so I took that vision at face value. It’s not the sort of thing that I naturally think about or even dream about at all! I took the two symbols (the fire and the rose), applied the Bible and experience to them: and counseled the young and insecure single mom. I told her that God was trying to answer her question, exactly. The rose was her, the fire was the Spirit.

      Yet because she didn’t have the confidence in her ability to perceive correctly, and didn’t have the Bible knowledge of symbolism to apply to the vision… she took it’s meaning for it’s opposite!

      Until a man of God came along, who could (with patience and kindness) help her understand.

      In a similar way, I believe that those who are a little clearer in the mind, and more experienced in public matters… would come alongside those who are a little more impatient and mystically-prone… we may break through to higher understanding on both sides.

      • Excellent comments, Mr. Harris! This article caught my interest because I’ve heard Lance Wallnau speak on this topic. And I’ve felt called by God to be involved in the mountain called Entertainment. Very thought provoking article and comments. I pretty much left it out of my new book, Will the Real Christianity Stand Up, with just a blurb mentioning it. Perhaps I need to add another section dealing with this school of thought. My suspicion is if people quit distrusting others and sat down for serious dialogue, we’d discover that the differences are smaller than at first glance.

      • E Harris says:

        I don’t know if you’ll see this, Mr. Parker – but you would be interested in the replies that I made to Gary Demar’s article “Defending Dispensationalism At All Cost” …and the article itself is good of course. (Since AV is gracious enough to provide us with the space in the response section, I found the time to fill in where a lot of preterism has dared not go: exploring a Biblically sound way of making sense of the last 1800 years of Christian life, and well into the future. Sounds ambitious, but I only write what makes sense to me.)

  13. Alex Alexander says:

    Wow! I just got a clearer glimpse into my personal pool of ignorance by reading this fascinating article. Thanks, Joel!
    Alex A

  14. Tom says:

    Joel McDurmon explains dominionism fairly well. While the goals of the various versions may seem lofty, they err in a major regard. From what I understand from this article, dominionism shares the main fallacy of islam; lack of allowances for free will. This, above all, is a major concern in Christianity and the Hebrew faith. Piety or a belief in the divine cannot be forced upon anyone. A church or govenrment can force people to observe and act in accordance with a given set of rules or practices and do so without the will of the people so affected. This is true; for a time. But eventually, the slaves of such a totalitarian regime will come to resent and even hate those rules and the rulers who so callously impose their will upon them. Eventually, these slaves will discover their strength in comparrison with those who have declared themselves as their masters and they will rise up to destroy these masters and claim their freedom. To try to impose a set of rules on someone and supplant free will itself, is to plant the seeds of resistance, resentment and hatered most foul; an evil of the worse sort. In so doing, suppression of the free will by others who wish to believe they are doing this for the “good” of all “wheather they like it or not” actually crushes the spirit and turns the suppressed wills to festering resentment and hate which burns until it turns to the full flame of insurrection; turning upon those who lit the flames until they and their leaders are wholly destroyed. Only a choice that is made out of love and the willingness to abide by a decision can truly last. This is why “those who would be first,” are admonished in the Christian bible that “they will be last,” and “those who are humble (meek) will inherit the Earth” are mentioned by Christ. We should all take heart in the actual wording and intent in God’s word and guard from impatience, lest we give in to the corruption of power like those in Washington and the enemies (the islamic muslims) waiting at our gates and err as they do. Such tyrants will come and go, but only the true believers and followers of God and his love can endure forever.

    • aCultureWarrior says:

      “To try to impose a set of rules on someone and supplant free will itself, is to plant the seeds of resistance, resentment and hatered most foul;…”

      Whose rules are you talking about Tom? Are you saying that legislating God’s Laws (those that are legislatable) is wrong? Do you not realize that by not imposing a set of rules on someone, and allowing their free will to run it’s course, you will end up with anarchy?

      • Micah Martin says:

        AHHH Anarchy! Run for the hills….

        BTW, aCultureWarrior, I do have a comment from another thread that I want to send to you. It has some information you might find interesting. Apparently it has been “awaiting moderation” for nearly a week now so I have given up hope that it get’s published. Anyway, hit me up with an email and I will send it your way. You won’t be disappointed.


      • E Harris says:

        I have a generic question: if the system of government that we have is wrong or tyrannical (as Joel McDurmon asserts elsewhere), then isn’t it wrong or tyrannical to want to be in that office even for the sake of trying to dismantle its cords of control? Is it better to be like Daniel (a voter, an advisor) than to try to actually be the one IN office?

        We are free. We are not under law, like unbelievers are. We are supposed to live in freedom within God’s law-structure, without trespassing against our neighbor. We can certainly do this (for ourselves) without legislation…and we certainly have the power in our households to discipline our children, until they are of age & become independent of us. So why do we need to legislate anything? Why can’t we simply continue in ALL seasons, to testify to the truth? Why can’t we those in totalitarian positions (who are always fewer in number than than those who they dominate) run their course, as they heed or don’t heed our advice? Why do we have to legislate anything? We have a book, that was made for a self-governing and self-regulating people, under an altogether different form of government. Their form of government was in fact halted by Babylon – and God’s people never got it back again. Instead, Jesus came, fulfilling the promises. I’m not sure if we will ever get the OT model back, again. It’s physical temple surely isn’t coming back (that temple which was a shadow of Jesus’ own body). So how do we know which “laws” to legislate, and what form of government is useful for implementing such legislation?? How do we get to that proper form of government from here? What does the proper form of government look like? There are still too many questions in my mind to see this clearly. This is why “pietist” thinkers such as most pentecostals are currently gaining momentum. The Bible’s reasoning is much more obvious when implemented on a PERSONAL and relational level, than on a corporate level…

        Isn’t it enough to stick to proclaiming the truth, without over-burdening our message with how we’re going to go about corporately punishing those who transgress?? Did the early church burden it’s proclamation with such concerns as how to punish the homosexual or the murderer (beyond simply disfellowshipping…and letting the world and the devil handle them)? God’s message is spreading to the regular people (who are always the majority). It will continue to spread until (perhaps) our systems of government become more and more free and individualistic…because the people will demand it. The best changes don’t happen through war. They happen through principle, and (as Reconstructionists rightly say) withdrawing from harmful connections (insitutions) and living out our own righteous connections (friendships, family, education by the parents, etc.).

        I always thought of America as the “good guys”. That is true of the people, for the most part. But our government is increasingly taking the shape of empire, in accordance with a centralizing character that first was born with the original Constitution. Yet it was christians who set up that constitution, in order to preserve a means for unity and legislation. …. Something ain’t right, obviously. And I realize that it’s an Alinsky tactic that the left is using on the Christian Dominionists. The LEFT wants THEIR values enforced on the populace (by hook or crook) in order to “create” THEIR version of freedom. But they don’t want to debate us on an even field…so they choose to try to make us live by our own rules, by saying that WE should not be involved in heavy-handed centralized positions of control. (Alinsky.)

        In one way I agree with the other dominionists: infiltrate and influence. Like Daniel. When in Babylon, live as an individual (and family unit) for God as best you can, honoring God. And God will take care of Babylon. Part of the reason the left is so adamant of taking over the reigns of centralized control, is that they perceive US as being that way. All WE got to do is something that they hate even worse than a Republican president being elected: all we have to do is tell the truth about what’s going on, and articulate the Bible in ways that people understand.

      • aCultureWarrior says:


        Your mockery of my anarchy statement is duly noted.

        (Note the part that says “Gods Law or Chaos”).

        So what do you have to share with me Micah? Something about the attributes of medical marijuana? Perhaps we could swap links and I could show you how George Soros is behind the pot legalization movement, and how the medical marijuana movement is nothing more than a front for the legalization movement.

        In any event, I’m curious.

      • E Harris says:

        CultureWarrior, I don’t think Micah was advocating FOR anarchy. I think he was simply saying that we don’t have enough trust and faith in the individual to discern & make up their own minds – so we tend to lift up the collectivist institution. Am I right??

      • aCultureWarrior says:

        E Harris:

        When all of mankind accepts Christ as his or her Savior and walks in Christ’s footsteps, then and only then will we not need civil laws to control behavior.

        We have a long way to go before that happens.

      • Micah Martin says:

        @ aCW,

        Here is a part of my comment that is still awaiting moderation. Hopefully it makes it through:

        Oh, and BTW, to prove that us Christian-anarcho-capitalist-libertarian-full-preterist’s are generous… if you really want to make headway against Joel all you need to do is a bit of research.

        Now here is a long article the Gary North wrote:

        It is a good read but I will give you the money quote:

        Gary North: begin quote

        Fourth, covenant-breakers possess equally valid eschatological claims to the earth as covenant-keepers do. The tares will occupy the field of history eternally, right alongside the wheat. Matthew 13 will never come to pass as the end of history: “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The 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; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (vv. 40-42). Anyone who equates the fulfillment of this prophecy with A.D. 70 is a Manichean. The Manicheanism of any such interpretation stands out most clearly in its rejection of the post- resurrection fulfillment of verse 43: “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Heretical preterists refuse to hear.

        End quote:

        Now, here is what Gary North said about David Chilton.

        So the question you can try to find out (because I can’t get any straight answers and I don’t believe in coercion) is this:

        1) Is North holding Joel to the same standards that he held Chilton to and calling for a public excommunication of Joel by his local church authority?
        2) Is North just an enormous hypocrite and looking the other way while Joel publishes “heresy” according to North’s own writings?
        3) Is North a coward and won’t admit that his exegesis of Matthew 13 was just wrong and that he sinned against David Chilton by publicly damning him to hell as a heretic?
        4) Did I miss North’s public apology to David Chilton and the rest of the full-preterist world. (I hope not because I and others have been calling for it since Joel printed his “heretical” article)

        There are a few other options but I won’t take the time to list them. You get the picture.

        Anyway, all you need to do is get North to understand that Joel is a heretic. Once you get someone labeled a heretic, you don’t have to interact with them… according to North.

        Another North Quote:

        I would suggest that we not encourage his heresy by interacting with him on this matter on this or any other forum. It is now a matter of Church discipline, assuming that he is under any.

        End quote:

        See how easy that is! Goodbye Mr. Joel McDurmon aka “Deviant Manichean Heretic” as defined by Gary North!

        Good luck, and may the force be with you in your quest. If you need me I’ll be in the garden bringing in the harvest.


      • Micah Martin says:

        @ aCW,

        I have the documentation that according to North, McDurmon is a heretic and should be excommunicated from his local church. To my knowledge North has never publicly recanted his position. It’s all public knowledge and has been brought up many times with no response from McDurmon or North.

        IMO, people need to be aware of the rank hypocrisy going on at AV. Many people have been kicked out of churches for stating the same things McDurmon has published. (Reformed Churches) North has led the way in the heretic hunting. It is time more people hold their feet to the fire and expose all the “winking and nodding” going on.

        Again, my email is if you want all the public documentation.


    • E Harris says:

      Tom, you are speaking truth.

      There is a greater whole… I cannot see it with my mind, but there is a way to get to it…and there are ways not to get to it. May we learn the ways of holiness, holiness to the Lord. By personal surrender to the Lord, we can be conformed into his image.

  15. interpreter says:

    I like the dominionist movement. After all, we are commanded to execute the enemies of Jesus (see Luke 19:27) .

    • interpreter says:

      why the name 7 muntains?

      • Winston says:

        Look to the “logo” of “Reclaiming the 7 Mountains” as they represent the following wide areas of living: Business, Government, Family, Religion, Media, Education, Entertainment. Saying 7 Mountains is just another way of their personal “worldview” ideology.

    • Denise Porter says:

      Wow. That’s a prophetic parable that hasn’t happened yet. How do you get the physical presence of the Lord commanding the saints before His return? And, if it’s supposedly happened already —just when did He set foot on the Mount of Olives and rule the nations from Jerusalem?

      • Winston says:

        As you know there are all kinds of “Christians” as to the end times beliefs. The preterists (“Preterists” believe that all Bible prophecy is history; that most of it took place in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. They suggest the Tribulation was the persecution of the saints and Nero was the antichrist.) There there are the “millenialists” (pre-tribulationists, mid-tribulationists, and post-tribulationists). Pre-tribs are said to be the correct station as to what must occul as to Biblical prophecy before Jesus’ return.

  16. Jesse says:

    I have heard Lance Wallnau speak on the 7 mountain mandate and have been both encouraged and challenged by his message. Granted, it is necessary to test any message in light of scripture. As far as I am concerned, there was nothing in the 7 mountain mandate that is not supported by scripture. I am not questioning the scripture that McDurmon uses in his rebuttal, what I do question is his understanding of the scripture. God’s Word is Living, Truth is both progressive and flexible. It is not rigid. It is flexible enough to incorporate the death of the Lord Jesus Christ in the plan of God for salvation. No one in the 7 mountain mandate camp is questioning the authority of the scriptures, it is so divisive when an author misrepresents the messenger on the basis of his understanding. In so doing, he is guilty of the very thing he accuses his brother; dogmatism

    • Denise Porter says:

      The NAR folks most certainly do NOT submit to the authority of the closed canon of Scripture —but insist upon new apostolic authority to ADD TO IT and to redefine it upon self-claimed authority buttressed by unbiblically supported non-edifying, signs and wonders that are not different in any way from the outwardly manifested ‘signs’ displayed by the practitioners of demonic channeling, kundalini, guru worshippers, voodoo practitioners, shamanists, wiccan earth, sex & human consciousness worshippers etc. They are certainly not biblically verifiable, nor do they resemble biblical miracles. —The procedure is to 1) desire some ‘deeper’ knowledge or experience beyond that revealed & ordained in Scripture —the hidden things belong to God, but the things revealed belong to us and our children forever, 2) open oneself to any means of obtaining said ‘deeper’ knowledge or experience, —test the spirits to see if they be of God… but the Bereans were more noble…daily searching the Scriptures to see if these things be so’ and ‘be not unequally yoked’ ; and 3) self-delusion & hysteria, or worse: progressive demonic possession. ———This is much like what happened when portions of the early church went ‘Roman’ with that first pontiff, Constantine: merging with pagan mystery belief systems & ‘techniques’ stemming from Babel and ended with ‘doctrine by democratic vote’, nicolaitanism run rampant, ‘Goddess’ worship reborn in Mariolatry (whose been making waves with recent lying signs & wonders of her own); gross immorality & abuse of power, inquisitions, levitating ‘nuns’ such as Teresa de Avila, and the ongoing Jesuitical Counter-Reformation subversion. ——This is nothing to be toyed with. There are TWO spirits in the world —the Spirit of Truth which is the Holy Spirit, & the spirit of this world who is subtle & deceptive —masquerading even as an angel of light & ‘puffing’ the pride of man, whispering that he can be as God —if only he’ll move beyond the ancient boundaries & the faith once delivered to the saints. ———-Love and ‘unity’ without truth & biblical verification is spiritual whoredom & fornication. ——-And, I must say —if dogmatism is a sin —then John the Baptist, who Jesus said was the greatest prophet who ever lived, stands condemned! —–And, Christ was the worst of them all!!

      • E Harris says:

        “…buttressed by unbiblically supported non-edifying, signs and wonders that are not different in any way from the outwardly manifested ‘signs’ displayed by the practitioners of demonic channeling…”

        Thanks, Denise. You verify something for me that I suspected about the Christian Reconstructionists, but they never have the courage to say. The reason the two camps of “dominionism” never see eye to eye has less to do with social theory, or even actual scripture, than with the MIRACLES that are claimed by the people with a slightly different approach to the matter. Though there is no scriptural backing for cessationism, Reconstructionists (Presbyterians?) are afraid that prophetic revelation may contradict established scriptures (the Bible). They are afraid that “progressive revelation in the church” means that existing Scripture is subject to being thrown out the window. This is not the case. Scripture is, however, subject to re-interpretation…according to what it actually says.

        Am I right in saying that is close to the heart of the divide?? Here we have two camps trying to see the big picture, and trying to “redeem all areas of society for the Lord.” Neither claims to be totalitarian, both claim to want freedom… so what is the REAL problem? Fear of progressive revelation, fear of the miraculous, a bedrock fear of what would really happen if the Scripture were left in the hands of individual people and families for interpretation?

        I once had a conversation about a hypothetical merger of the UPCI and the AOG (two pentecostal denominations). The person I was speaking with professed to hate the idea because it would mean sacrificing some of the standards of one of the sects. I said that unity was more important than the particulars, and that some of the standards that she held dear were not even in the Bible (expressly)…and thus were FAR less important than unity in love. I would rather sacrifice those standards, even some of them which are expressly in the Bible, and have GOD sort out who’s in and who’s out… than have a lack of unity in the Body of Christ.

        The Body of Christ is made of individual members. Our unity is personal, in Christ. We don’t have to have all of the rules figured out, in order to enjoy our identity IN HIM. I think that it’s high time we start cutting each other some slack, and looking past the details in order to enjoy the SPIRIT (and the heart) that we share in common. Work backwards from there. Work FROM our place of unity. Find out what we agree on, and work backwards from there.

      • E Harris says:

        I would like to correct an impression that I gave in my last comment: I don’t think that unity is imposed on people. Regardless of whether top-down human institutions merge or not…is irrelevant when the foundation of those very institutions is an error (clergy/laity divide, misappropriated tithe, misunderstanding of biblical authority and titled ministries). They can merge all they want…but true human liberty and fidelity comes from another source. It’s personal, from the heart, between a person and GOD directly. From THAT (the Holy Spirit, and a person’s relationship to God) flow all of the other things.

        God’s eyes are primarily on human individuals and families. God wants to form A PEOPLE out of people…not out of a system of rules and regulations that more closely resembles Babylon than it resembles ‘living stones’. God wants individual liberty…and the Bible is a way of explaining our exodus from the fleshly ways into the Way that gives life – the ways of God. It doesn’t require another human being in order to “walk with God”…it requires one’s own obedience in all of one’s life – including relationships. But God’s preferred ways of government are very Personal. That is the meaning of Covenental.

  17. JoAnn says:

    Very interesting.

  18. Stephen Ray Hale says:

    HMMM! The only TRUE tyranny of Righteousness will be found in the Thousand Year Millennial Kingdom. During these times which have tyrannies of unrighteousness abounding, the influence of Christian living hinders them and for some, a modicum of peaceful living exists.
    My other point is that the Apostle, though a word for “sent one” or “messenger”, in the Christian context was a witness where Jesus has this definition of “wise man and scribe,” of whatever Jesus said and did. The office of Apostle was limited only to the ones that witnessed Jesus from the beginning of his ministry to that of His resurrection by means of His many appearings after crucifixion. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (including contexts) pairs this ministry with prophecy by means of the word know/knowing in his prophecy of the terminations of the class of testimony, first of the marvelous sign gifts to the Jews which were tongues and interpretations and special signs and special healings which stopped at the destruction of the temple, ending the liability for the unpardonable sin, and the final termination of revelatory gifts of Holy spirit enhanced memory of eyewitnesses of what Jesus said and did called by Paul, Know/knowing, and this paired with prophecy/prophet which ended at the death of the last Apostle, John the Apostle, or of his last penning of the eyewitness called the Gospel of John, and the prophecy called Revelation, and the epistles which agreed with Paul, that. at the ending of these, agape love was the last of the credibility giving gifts, which Paul said would not be done away with, of which Jesus said “in this shall all know that ye are my disciples in that ye have love (agape) one to another.
    As a dispensationalists, I do not see why there is a need to confuse things by having this dominion thing headed up by “apostles.”
    The wisdom of God in allowing this parenthesis called the church age where influence is the only means of hindering the complete program of evil, is that when we have a government like the one our founder’s imagined, there will be a protected class of the pending saints…allowed to make mistakes, and unlike the forced theocracies of the Catholic and some protestants, there will be no maiming or killing of those naturally sinning non-life threatening sins. Those that are not of the elect can peaceably exist with the saints practicing emulations of Biblical virtues that, peradventure, might be found in their worldview’s tenets. In fact, it is possible that such worldviews can compete in producing the best citizen of the community while preparing their own for whatever nirvana, utopia or heaven their worldview maintains. When the competition is for the top management of the force of the community, in order to force compliance to some particular worldview’s tenet on the rest of the citizenry, especially when it is a matter of competing names to the same virtue, friction and occasions of violence, not loving competition is the result. For this, the founders were wise to chain down the responsibilities of government to be only for the protection of the innocent life, liberty and possessions of the people for their good, and allow the society according to its diversities to practice their own versions of Biblical virtues or emulations thereof. That is why government should be divested from all usurpations in the responsibilities of the people to do their own charity and to train up their own children in the tenets of their worldview to compete in whose worldview produces the best philanthropic citizen of the community. Competitions to demonstrate the most loving rather than to obtain the force of the community to oppress competing virtues is the best of governments till Jesus comes.
    That is why it is not raw “freedom” that America stands for, but “liberty” according to the hint of John Locke of it being in opposition to life threatening “license” he exemplified by a false right to suicide. The definition of Liberty that our early American society tried to put forth was a subset of freedom to do that which is right, and for the Christian, that which is right in the sight of God. The successful of such governments in this is that ordained of God authority in the life of the saint, where the rulers (magistrates) are not a terror to good works, but for the evil…meaning government OUGHT to be a terror or terrorists to evil deeds.

  19. Winston says:

    It seems to me that whether it is 7MD or DT, both create a top down form of unbiblical authority placed in those outside the Church mandate of church authority… Bishop/Elder (authority over spiritual matters) and Deacon (authority over temporary matters), creating a global for of Nicolaitans. I doubt seriously either are prescribed by God for man to do. There’s already a problem like this occuring in some church’s where pastors “assume” the authority role over even the mandated Bishop/Elder, and Deacons. Reverse theology is a dangerous thing and that’s the purpose of the Biblical church authority of pluralistic eldership for the church. Evil flourishes from the heart of man.

    • Denise Porter says:

      AMEN. Studying the history of the church and the Bible has led me out of dominionism for good. Recommend a good study on II Corinthians 11:1-15, Galatians, Hebrews & Revelation —–not to mention the prophets & Matthew 10, 23-24. It is written —to come out of her —and to walk circumspectly in the world, and that to love the world is to hate God —–not to join her, to leap into the fleshiness, and to love what God hates in order to seduce the world! It is not wise to tempt God.

  20. ThirstyJon says:

    I’m a former YWAMer and I find this article fascinating.

    I’ve never seen an emphasis in YWAM on trying to implement God’s kingdom from the top down via a political agenda. I can’t speak on behalf of the main leaders, but I haven’t seen it.

    I personally think that there are many in YWAM who would be very receptive to the American Vision message. Of course, I am a FORMER YWAMer, so I could be wrong.

  21. Micah Martin says:


    I am a bit confused. Could you help me out with this. You say:

    “Second (and based on the first point), the leaders almost all make a point to acknowledge that the gospel and the Great Commission are so much greater than just the visible church itself. Rather, the gospel applies to every area of life, and the Great Commission is a renewal of the dominion mandate of Genesis 1:28. Thus, we should apply God’s Word to things like business, economics, government, family, media, art, etc., with the goal of dominion throughout the earth.”

    My question is simple. Gen. 1:28 comes before the fall. Yet you equate the Great Commission with a pre-fall dominion mandate. We know before the fall sin did not exist. Almost everything you say that we have to take dominion over (via Gen. 1:28) did not exist in the pre-fall world. So logically, how can it be a part of the dominion mandate of Gen. 1:28?

    In fact it seems odd to me that your theology seems to teach that by fulfilling the Gen. 1:28 mandate we will usher in the 2nd coming and then a return to the Edenic State…

    Wouldn’t we have to be returned to the Edenic state before we can again pick up the Edenic dominion mandate?

    What exactly (please be specific) was Adam supposed to have dominion over in the Garden? Corrupt civil magistrates? Homosexuals? Disease? Sickness? Dysfunctional families? And once the great commission is fulfilled and we return to the new re-made Edenic state in the New Physical heavens and Earth how will we fulfill the Genesis mandate to be “fruitful and multiply” when we won’t be having biological kids (no genders).

    (A follow up question, just out of curiosity, would be: will there ever be a woman who has a child in the Edenic, un-cursed state? )

    Thanks, I look forward to your insight.


    • E Harris says:

      Thanks for posing those questions, Micah! I’ve had those questions lurking in the back of my mind, too.

      Jesus said that they are not married or given in marriage in heaven. But the Bible talks about a new heavens, and a new earth. Earth entails biology, and quite probably reproduction (at least among the animals and plants). God is certainly big enough, that He can handle an infinately expanding population and universe.

      • E Harris says:

        *Oops! I said that Jesus said “in heaven” they are not married or given in marriage. No. In the RESURRECTION. … but I have wondered about the period of time between now and his return… it may be another thousand or two thousand years. If you do the calculations: you will find that in a thousand years, we could easily have over a quadrillion people alive. It is biologically inevitable. And that’s what scares all of the unbelieving atheists and “environmentalists” to death. That’s why they argue for population control. Anyway, such a large population as would exist in another 5oo years, would also lead to an impossibly large beureaucracy…which is why we got to nip that in the bud right now! There’s simply no way a large totalitarian government will let a population expand that quickly and become that large: it’s impossible to govern, in human terms. But not impossible for God.

      • Micah Martin says:

        @ E Harris,

        Maybe we should look at it differently. Jesus said that in the resurrection (that age) they would be sons of God. Are you a son of God? If you are that is proof that you are in the age to come and are living post resurrection!

        Maybe we are looking at the curse all wrong. Maybe we should question our biological definition of the curse?

        Try part 2 and part 3 of this series. (Part one will be a good introduction to my position.)


    • Ken Palmer says:

      Hi Micah,

      You said:

      “We know before the fall sin did not exist.”

      Is this true? According to Covenant Theology Paulk says in Romans 5:18

      “For until law, sin was in the world, but sin is not iumputed where there is no law?”

      Paul goes on to say in Acts:

      Vs 30: “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent”

      Repent of what? Sin was in the world, or are you willing to say that sin did not exist between the time of Adam to Moses?

  22. Don Confalone says:

    ‘We have also said, consistently, that such a world will never exist without successful evangelism ahead of it. If there is no personal revival and recourse to God’s Word, there will be no free society, no Christian Reconstruction, no godly dominion in the land.’

    I was a reconstructionist from 1987 thru 1992 and you are singing my tune. That is what we always believed. And what was taught. You guys were lumped in with 7MD today on the Jane Mefferd show on WNIV. I listened to the whole thing and could have crushed them. Not alot of critical thinkers those futurists. Always putting those who do not agree with them in the worse possible light. Kinda like us liberals. Go figure. However.

    ‘In many respects, the Reformers were not only theological but social reformers as well, spending much of their time and effort building communities, cities, and nations in obedience to the Gospel. Geneva, Zurich, Strasbourg, the Netherlands, Scotland, Puritan England, the American colonies, were not known for their “religiously neutral” culture. To the contrary, much of the work of the church leaders at the time was building the legal, economic, and political structure of their communities and societies in accordance with the Biblical principles. In the words ascribed to Bucer, “Reformation is nothing less than the Christianization of all of life.” Far from limiting their Reformation to personal salvation and the church, these men wanted to see the whole world submit to God, in its politics, economics, science, business, cultural relations, international relations, etc. “City on a Hill” was what they were out to build, not a Reformed church preaching “grace” to a limited choice of religious topics.’

    Couple this with:
    ‘No, it isn’t “primarily” that. (evangelism?) Neither is the cross “primarily” for the salvation of sinners, as we saw from the correct quote from Revelation 5. (Your quote was false.) God’s plan is to make His glory known to the creation. He may do that by saving some people, but he also does it through condemning some people.’

    A response to this:’The Bible, though containing many things, is primarily the unfolding of God’s plan to save His people through His Son Jesus Christ.’

    Then this: ‘You need to change to the true Gospel. The Gospel that places God – not you or your need of salvation – in the center of the universe. The Gospel that acknowledges that you are too insignificant to claim to be God’s primary purpose in His plan.’

    At a minimum I find it hard to see how ‘evangelism’ is ‘ahead’ of ‘dominion’. After all the people are ‘insignificant’. These other quotes are from this site: Piecemeal reformed-sovereignty-vs-grace-as-the-foundation-of-theology.

    • E Harris says:

      I am beginning to see the light about what the Christian Reconstruction is all about. It’s basically to submit to all of the particulars of whatever particular Christian sect that the speaker belongs to… or face various degrees of sanction. It does not have ALL of the kingdom at heart, however, for it generally leaves out the most important and vital parts (individual free will, God’s relationship with the individual, the quest for meaning in life, etc). It’s an attempt by an institutional thinker to re-conquer a christian world that has already moved on, in its search for a more holistic treatment of the Scriptures. Though I continue to gain much insight by reading Reconstructionist literature… I do it mainly to figure out the vices buried in history and our sinful nature (primarily those of pride, presumption, and evil forms of control). I don’t get much insight into God’s DEEP relationship with man. This is probably what makes the Christian Reconstruction crowd seem ‘political’ to pentecostal types. Because their main concern is a Christian society…and God’s relationship to man seems to only be a means to that end, rather than the christian society being the means through which the individual learns to relate holistically and independently to GOD.

  23. Jesse L says:

    Thank you for this article Joel, it really helped to clarify the mindset of these types of people in the broader evangelical arena. The way you’ve described and analyzed their position, I would not be surprised at all to find out most of the leaders in the movement are already members of secret societies (your comment in the article about secret societies leads me to think you may have a suspicion of this already).

    What is interesting is that I have been to churches that embrace many open-theist type charismatic ideals (not necessarily in professed theology, but in practice), and there is always the feeling of an “inner circle” to which the lesser members of the church are only invited into if they meet the criteria of said inner circle; the criteria is often couched in Biblical language, but when you actually examine such people the reality is they are either yes-men who do whatever the guys in power tell them to do (with the idea that the yes-men will have greater “treasures in heaven”), or the men (or even women these days) are relatively wealthy in comparison to the normal congregants.

    Is it possible the church itself is engaging in the practice of secret societies already (and has been for centuries)? I think an interesting article might be an overview of the parallels between ancient and modern secret societies, and how bad theology inevitably leads to the church oppressing it’s members for the sake of the few privileged, thus embracing in practice the same ideas of the pagans.

  24. john cummins says:

    wow, wow, wow

    I am glad you are keeping track of all of this. I remember reading some of Wagner’s stuff 20 years ago on missions. They’ve always been a mixed bag but the problem is when Colson and others get even more confused and write books like Kingdoms in Conflict and/or NPR or some other left wingnuts group all “dominion” groups together.

    It seems we have a lot of work cut out for us. Makes me think it will be a while before the Lord returns.

    • Or he could send 10 A-Bombs out to get rid of a lot of people and make the number much smaller….either way…He’s in control and will be victorious. We either get to work or duck for cover.

      Grace and Peace,

    • John Hunter says:

      Do I read you correctly, that you don’t think that Jesus can come for a long time?
      Seems to me that Christ will come as “a thief in the night” to ones with such a
      view. The Bible to me isn’t saying that Christ will return only after man has
      subdued the world and regained dominion. Evil men and seducers are going to get worse, iniquity shall abound, and Christ is going to return in “the darkest hour”, in
      a time of exceeding wickedness and not in a time of Millennial blessedness. He
      alone is going to “Bring in the Kingdom.”

  25. Leah says:

    Thanks for looking into this and defining the difference Joel. With all the general jargon they use, it was confusing to figure out their “angle”.
    I pray they will embrace the Law and realize they are adding to the Word when they say their receive their own.

  26. Mark says:

    For those who speak about personal revelation, and Gods mandates for the future,
    I will refer them to the serious words of Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
    Sola Scriptura

    • ThirstyJon says:

      It is possible to hear something from God that doesn’t contradict “Sola Scriptura.” Which job do I take? Which church do I go to (assuming there is more than one that is Biblical)? Where do I go today to tell someone about Jesus? These are all questions that God could speak into a Christian Heart that would not be a “new doctrine” of any kind.

      I have no problem with Loren Cunningham and Bill Bright “hearing from God” about the 7 mind molders (that is what I always heard them called. I am less familiar with calling them “the 7 mountains.”)

      The 7 mind molders is just a strategy. The University of Nations (YWAM) has organized it’s colleges around these 7 things.

      Although I’ve never heard anybody in YWAM teach that we need to rule the world in a top-down way. In fact, almost everything I heard in YWAM would be exactly consistent with the idea that American Vision has of “practicing servanthood dominion.” Loren Cunningham taught in YWAM years ago about bringing the Gospel into the world by “going barefoot.” (Symbolism servanthood).

      I know that some pentecostal / charismatic types claim to get stuff from God that is weird. This should be rejected. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. There is nothing that prevents God from speaking to His people today.

      • Mark says:

        I agree that God can speak to us whenever He wants. He is soveriegn after all, but I am sceptical about many of todays teachings. Power and prosperity promises that teach the warm fuzzy side of Rom 8:28 and not the “carry your cross” side. I think of what John Darby did with Margaret McDonald’s vision in the 1830′s; look what that gave us, it shaped the direction of the church’s teaching into the Rapture mania we have today. I hear so much bending out of shape of the scriptures, it often sounds like what I hear from politicians. My statement was in the spirit of caution not condenmation.

      • Josh says:

        It is possible to “hear” something as you mentioned. The question then becomes whether or not it contradicts Scripture. The standard for such words is the already written and recorded Word of God. If such new “revelation” does not contradict the already in hand Scriptures, then it may be a way God directs you in making such a decision.

        Some other questions to ask are whether or not the ways that God “speaks” to someone today inerrant? Are these new messages accompanied by miracles and prophetic predictions? These seem to be the credentials required to be a prophet of God. Finally, if we truly are receiving new revelation on par with Scripture, we need to be writing it down!

  27. Paul says:

    Great article Joel! Dominion not Domination!

  28. John says:

    The kingdom will start out necessarily authoritative in many ways, or in many areas, but will move toward increasing liberty–so do all true churches and movements that are advancing toward the kingdom.

    This sounds suspiciously like the dictatorship of the proletariat

    • Denise Porter says:

      I think you are right. A strange thing happened when I studied church history, the Bible, world history, American history & world religions for myself …all of the cults and false religions & wickedly legalistic false humanist authoritarian forced-kingdoms-now had some VERY SUSPICIOUSLY similar philosophies & ideas springing from supposedly differing sources. —-And they ALL foretell a forced, one world dominion that will demand ‘eliminating’ the recalcitrants. Given Ephesians 6:10-20 — amongst other Scriptures—they don’t have to be copying & ‘stealing’ one another’s ideas to be receiving the same ‘inspiration’ in slight ‘familiar’ variations —-especially inspirations not subjected to the test of I John 4! ———————- I found supposedly wacko conspiracy theories, new age pantheistic & panentheistic teachings, alien theories (can you say Mormon!) & old occultic secret societies, theosophists & mystical extra-biblical Catholicism & emergant/humanist psychological ‘techniques’ and fundamental ideas connecting in ways that at first surprised me —but that I now find very common —fitting in beautifully with Isaiah & Jeremiah’s descriptions of spiritual/political/economic conspiracies and with Romans, Ephesians 6:10-20 and Revelation. —————– It’s the way of mystery Babel. The Man-determined, Man-centered will religion & authoritarian system that steps out of the Refuge & off of the Rock, opening itself to whatever powers pragmatically ‘work’ to achieve their self-actualizing ‘vision’. Whenever and wherever men have developed an over-optimistic view of Man’s ability or goodness —or fallen into the idea of sinless perfection salvation or some infallible class of men/experts/initiates into the ‘deeper’ wisdom —–and sought to harmonize pagan ideals, traditions & philosophies —-much of which was mingled freely in the writings of many so-called ‘church fathers’ ———-with Scripture (adding to and subtracting from): trouble followed for the saints & old-time prophets alike who adhered to sola scriptura. ————–I now pray to be as wise, as brave and as bold as those who have stood up to false authority wielded by deceived men, holding forth the Gospel —the Word of Life, Christ alone, even to their persecutors —– as was done in Samaria, Jerusalem, on the gibbets of Geneva, the wharfs of the Netherlands, at bloody Mary’s burning posts, and in the stocks of old Boston —by those who perished at the hands of Catholic ‘converted’ natives from St. Augustine & Montreal —or in the pogroms of Ireland, the St. Bartholomew’s massacre, the Yugoslavian purge of the Orthodox, of the victims of Spain’s hidden inquisitorial dungeons & tortures that horrified & turned the stomachs of even Napolean’s war-hardened soldiers as Hitler’s did in the next century’s version of the Holy Roman Empire/New Age—and Spanish dungeons that endured into this century through the civil war & even to Franco whose press extolled the deceased Hitler as a ‘great Catholic son and hero’, as brave as the protestants of Rwanda who perished at the hands of trusted Catholic ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ —as well as the duped tribal fall-guys set up as surely as the Jewish bankers who front the Vatican’s money in a dangerous game of expendable cat-and-mouse whenever their ‘usefulness’ to Rome wanes & she decides to play her anti-semitic tarot card of death —-and all those who fall to Rome’s whorish wiles & the bondage of her unbiblical & diabolical ‘doctrines of demons’ , the saints of Russia & China facing the ‘new’ humanist authoritarian State 3-Self-Patriotic Movement —-that looks as frighteningly like the NAR, liberation theology, the three-legged stool model as the Catholic dictatorship of Vietnam did—-the betrayed Karen of Burma, and beyond. ————————————–Ignorance is a dangerous thing —and selective, self-protective ignorance is the most subtle & deceptive of all ————which is why we are to exhort one another, confront & edify one another, to not forsake the meeting together of the saints, to test all things & to seek always to grow in wisdom in the manner of I Corinthians 3:6-16 as opposed to following men as in I Corinthians 1 & 2. There is no compromise with Christ —one is either for Him, or against Him. And there is no setting up of idols beside Him —-He will topple them all: including America if she so presumes. It is more likely that America was a ‘vehicle’ sadly taken over, used & ‘steered’ toward the one world consolidation of false spiritual & temporal power as she abandoned the Word of God —than it is that she will somehow take Jerusalem’s place. The evidence is overwhelming. ————————– Nevertheless, faith is the victory that overcomes the world —not temporal dominion which cannot righteously be imposed by men still in the flesh anyway. If —and when—God sends judgment, He still protects & preserves His remnant according to His purposes. His grace is sufficient for all of our struggles & tribulations —even unto the death as our forefathers’ example—and that of the current martyrs— so eloquently & bravely reveals. ————–Our sword is the sword of the Spirit & men submit to the Gospel by faith from the heart —-external coercion yields nothing but hardened & deceptive, white-washed tombs and spiritual confusion. ——————–The ordained mandate of State is different –and it can only be nominally Christian in any case since only God can actually see and judge hearts, and the Word is clear that the battle against sin remains so long as we remain in the flesh —–that temporal ‘sword’ is for the protection of freedom of conscience & the free presentation & debate of ideas —the pursuit of Truth; the protection & preservation of life & property; and maintaining order by punishing overt evil that violates another’s body or property (not presumptuously claiming the ability to read hearts & minds as ‘hate’ and ‘religious’ test laws do —protecting invisible & subjective & fickle ‘feelings’ and ‘sensibilities’ and ‘opinions’—–or ‘creating’ new ‘rights’ such as ‘anti-conversion’ and no proseletyzing or redefined marriage and human identity laws do). ———-We must never forget that the great deception (II Thess 2), the falling away (II Thess 2 & II Timothy 3) & the apostate Whore one-world religion (Revelation17 and 18) will have a vineer & cover of ‘Christianity’ —and even ‘lying signs and wonders’ as did Jannes and Jambres who worked mighty signs by their demonic arts (though they were no match for Moses with God :-)—-but will be false & anti-Christ. ———————It is written that MANY will be deceived into joining with her —the Word says, ‘if it were possible, even the very elect’…so her deception must be terrifically subtle, and of the ‘there is a way that seems right to a man, but the end of which is death’ variety & satanic subtlety. ————- That spirit of anti-christ and lawlessness and self-justification and works has been with us since Eden, through the Flood, Babel and so forth —and was spoken of as already present in the world by Peter, Paul, James, Jude & John. We should be sober & cautious, and not surprised, to see it with us today —and in increasing measure —given what we are told of the imminent return coming suddenly, unexpectedly (to those not taking Scripture at its word & noting the leafing of the fig tree), and like a flood. We should not be easily fooled into apathy by those who point out that others before us thought they lived at the ‘end’ & were apparently ‘wrong’—-doesn’t II Peter address this very thing? —the End has now lasted two thousand years or so. ——————-Better to be found actively watchful —neither insisting on what some term the ‘Rapture escape’ –though the Word calls it the ‘blessed hope’ —NOR on ‘taking dominion’ —but rather humbly submitting to the Word and will of God in obedience, taking the Gospel to all, and not wickedly looking around in some sort of subtle elitist game of ‘who’s elect’ and ‘deserving’ —–and who are the subtly depersonalized & devalued ‘masses’. The Word of God says that God is no preferer of persons and that He hates nicolaitanism —-from either the left or the right. —-Don’t forget: the dialectic began in Genesis 3. You can’t dialog fruitfully with error or the Lie. Truth divides —demanding choice—-so that there are TWO unities. We want to be found united members of the true Christ & under that ‘head’ —not united to, and under the dominion of that ‘other’ –that anti- that vicarious–that usurper —that impatient & presumptuous –that pretender—-’Christ’ & Lord.

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