Notes from Peter Wagner’s Dominion Eschatology Teaching

These are notes from C. Peter Wagner’s talk on Dominion Eschatology, given on 4/22/16, at Glory of  Zion International.

Introduction:

  • Times and seasons change, and times and seasons change by the hand of God.  
  • We have seen many:
    • New paradigms.
    • New wine.
    • New wineskins.
    • New comfort zones.
  • The Second Apostolic age began in 2001.
  • This was necessary to open the door to what Bill Hamon calls:
We have had a lot of paradigm shifts:

  • “Dominion” + “Eschatology”
    • What do these words mean?
      • Eschatology = the doctrine of the end times.
        • An interest of most Christians.
        • One of the “fuzziest” areas in scripture.
          • To understand Eschatology, we need to understand this important aid to use to understand the Bible.
            • There are three circles, going from center, outward:
    • A I D:  absolutes, interpretations, and deductions.
      • In the center are “absolutes”.
        • The diety of Christ is an absolute.
          • To be a Christian, you believe in the diety of Christ, which cults to not believe.
        • Next, there are “interpretations”.
          • Baptism is an example.
            • Different Christians believe in different ways of baptism, including not at all.
          • Next and finally, there are “deductions”.
            • That speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, is a deduction.
              • The Bible does not clearly say this, but it is a deduction some have made.
          • Eschatology is mostly an assortment of interpretations and deductions.
            • Don’t try to put Eschatology in the “absolute” category.
              • Scripture is just not that clear.
              • One thing in eschatology is an absolute:
                • Jesus is coming again!
              • But the:
                • How?  When?  Where?  Details??
                  • Are fuzzy.
                  • Suggesting that we should hold eschatology loosely.
                    • Take the advise of lee Grady: “Don’t get infected with last days fever.”
          Dominion
          • One of the most radical paradigm shifts in the Second Apostolic Age.
          • Wagner never considered changing his eschatology, until he understood and committed to the Dominion Mandate:
            • And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis  1:28 (ESV)
              • Adam had authority.
                • Satan succeeded in stealing it.
                  • He became “God of this age”, “Prince of the Power of the Air.”
                    • Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy, and continues doing so today.
                • Jesus came as the “Second Adam”:
                  • Came to “destroy the works of the devil.”
                  • Came to “seek and save that which was lost.”
                    • “Was”, not “Were”
                  • Came to reconcile the world back to God.
                    • Fact: The human race is better off now, that it was before Jesus came.
                    • Jesus gave us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18).
                      • Don’t just ask him to do it.
                      • He is in us to do it.
                      • Jesus left us.
                  • Jesus gave us the Great Commission: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19-20)
                    • This is the Dominion Mandate.

                What does this then mean for eschatology? 

                Starting point:
                  

              • Most Evangelicals are what is called: Pre-tribulation, pre-millenial. 
                • The idea is, “Jesus is coming soon and we are going to go.” 
                • The Left Behind Series. 
              • Historical roots are not too deep: 
                • End of 1800’s: 
                • John Darby, O. Scofield, Clarence Larkin: 

              The “futurist” view.

              • Most of us Evangelicals have been brought up in this view: 
                • The world is getting progressively worse. 
                • The church will be raptured! 
                • Antichrist and The False Prophet will take over. 
                • The Great Tribulation will last for 7 years. 
                • The Battle of Armageddon erupts – Jesus wins! 
                • Jesus leads us into a Millennium of peace. 
                • Satan rises up again. 
                • He and the demons are cast into the Lake of Fire. 
                • We all go to the New Jerusalem forever!
              • But, what about Jesus prayer (He taught us), “You kingdom come – your will will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
                • Futurists look at that and say, “that is all future”, and “we just wait.”
                  • They say, “we have faith and we have hope that Jesus will come and take us away.”
                  • Question: Do you see the disconnect with this futurist view and the Dominion Mandate?
                    • We’re discipling nations!
                    • Ministry of reconciliation!
                      • We’re not defeated – we’re victorious.
                      • We’re not escaping – we’re engaged.
                        • The world is actually getting better, not worse.
                        • The world is less violent than it was in the past.
                      • Question: Do we change The Dominion Mandate or our eschatology?
                        • Answer: Change our eschatology!
                          • The Dominion mandate is closer to the “absolute” inner circle, than eschatology.
                            • Our eschatology must change to fit the Dominion Mandate.
                          • Harold Eberle’s book: Victorious Eschatology (2nd ed. 2007).
                            • Most Christian leaders in history have held to a victorious eschatology, writes Eberle.
                  • The two most detailed scriptures (on eschatology) are:
                    • Matt. 24-25 – “Olivet Discourse” & The book of Revelation
                        • We previously (as futurists) thought Matt 24 was all future.
                          • But what about Matt. 24:34, where Jesus says, “This generation will by no means pass away, until all these things are fulfilled.”
                            • This was addressed to his original listeners.
                              • “This gen.” means those at that time.
                                • That is what “this” means.
                          • Matt. 24:1-2 sets the context.
                            • Not about the future.
                            • Jesus tells then about the destruction of the Temple.
                                • Matt. 24:3: “When will these things happen?  What will be the sign of your coming?  What of the end of the age?”
                                  • Jesus answers (24:4-26), that these things will happen in your generation.
                                  • With the signs of this destruction explained (24:27-34)
                                    • Including 7 years of tribulation.
                                    • Nero
                                    • Temple destroyed
                                    • But Jesus’ second coming and the end of the world is future .
                                      • vs. 35, Jesus changes the subject: Second coming and end of the world are future.
                                        • vs. 36, There are no signs: No one knows except Father.
                              • The book of Revelation:
                                • Most important issue: When was it written?
                                  • During Nero, before 70 AD
                                  • During Domitian, after 70 AD
                                  • Most of Revelation was fulfilled by 70 AD
                                    • Scholars argue for both the earlier and later date for Revelation.
                                    • Wagner is convinced of the earlier date, before 70.
                                • Another theological term:
                                  • Old view = “Futurist”
                                  • New view = “Partial Preterist”
                                    • “Preterist” = fulfilled
                                      • “Partial Preterist” = partially fulfilled
                                        • Ministry of reconciliation is ongoing.
                                          • We have work to do.
                                            • What we do can hasten Jesus return (2 Peter 3:10-12).
                                          • Jesus’ return and the marriage feast of the Lamb are future.
                                        • Aside: The Full Preterist view is being taught today, by people like John Eckardt, and it is not a means for division.  I Come Quickly, by John Eckardt.
                                      Conclusion (Wagner): These are interpretations and deductions:
                                      • I believe in the Dominion Mandate.
                                      • I do not expect to escape or be defeated.
                                      • Satan will lose more and more ground more and more rapidly.
                                      • The nations of the world will be reformed.
                                      • The bride of Christ will be victorious.
                                      Mark Pfeifer’s book, Dominion Eschatology, is recommended by Wagner. 

                                      “the church is not sitting around waiting for the return of Jesus.  It is working for the return of Jesus.  It is the job of the redeemed sons and daughters of God to Make disciples of every nation and prepare the earth for His return.” (Mark Pfeifer)

                                      Rev. 19:7, “Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory,because the marriage of the Lamb has come,
                                      and His wife has prepared herself.”

                                      Bad Moon Arising? Don’t Give Up The Fight

                                      Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap,  because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.  So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.
                                      -Galatians 6:7-10 (HCSB)

                                      Photo credit: Pixabay

                                      Don’t give up the fight.  The epitaph of every Christian’s life, should be, “I have fought the good fight” (2 Tim. 4:7).  I could not find a verse that said, “don’t give up the fight”.  But, Galatians 6:9 comes the closest, with the phrase, “don’t give up”, or “do not give up”.

                                      The perseverance concept or way-of-life is common to the believer’s life, referenced in the Bible.  Galatians 6:9 is one of the best verses that expresses this.  I grew up, hearing the KJV version that says,  “Do not become weary in well doing”. 

                                      That verse is there, because believers can become weary in well doing.  We get worn out, discouraged, and we forget the value and need of rest  We also get tired, because we keep sowing or doing good, with seemingly little return.

                                      So, as we go on to maturity, we must learn perseverance.  In Romans 5, for example, Paul teaches that tribulations (NASB), suffering (ESV), or problems (CEB); produce in us perseverance (NASB) or  endurance (ESV, CEB).  Persevering and enduring during hardships build your character, resulting in solid hope.  Being justified by faith is a glorious experience that gives us great hope, as we move through this life.  We take that righteousness that we have received through Christ’s faithfulness and let God apply it transformationally, to our lives as we endure suffering.

                                      Don’t give up the fight.

                                      The book of Hebrews mentions “Don’t give up”, several times:

                                      • “Don’t give up meeting together” (10:25), means don’t stop having fellowship (twos and threes (Matt. 18:20)) with other believers, when you get discouraged in life.  
                                      • 12:3 says that we have the example of Jesus who did not give up when he continually faced opposition, during his life.  We should fix our eyes on Jesus, when we are going through problems.  
                                      • 12:5 tells us to not give up or not fall down, fainting, when God disciplines us as his children.

                                      We just had the “Blood Moon”, this past weekend.  Some Christians have made a serious issue of that astronomical event.  Some others have said that it is, “much ado about nothing”, and just like any other eclipse.

                                      I was considering Credence Clearwater Revival’s song, “Bad Moon Arising”.  I read that John Fogerty was inspired by the Faustian movie, “The Devil and Daniel Webster”, wherein he saw a hurricane coming in one scene, foreboding calamity.  Seeing the trouble coming, John’s lyric says, “Don’t go out tonight”.

                                      I thought about this song, related to current events and the end of times, and I changed the line, in my mind, to, “Don’t give up the fight”.  I don’t know if that Blood Moon means anything, but I do believe that the world will end one day. Christians are called to keep on keeping on, fighting the good fight, doing good, and praying; until the end.

                                      The word to all Christians is, “Do not give up”, “Don’t give up the fight, no matter what happens in the world.”  The call is to perseverance, endurance, and sharing in Christ’s sufferings.

                                      If you are very interested in The End Times; there is nothing wrong with that.  The Thessalonian church was very interested in this topic.  If you open 1 Thessalonians, in chapter 1, verse 3, perseverance is mentioned.  And both of these letters are encouragements to Christians.  Opening to 2 Thessalonians, chapter 1, in verse 4; endurance is mentioned.

                                      I give this example to say that if you are a Christian who is very interested in “End Times”, then, you are not alone.  The first churches were also very interested in this, and Paul wrote to them inspired words, that today is the Bible.  All of the letters are about, “how to live in the end times”.  The four gospels and Revelation are also about how to live, in Christ, in the end times, too.

                                      We are people living in the end times, but the big question is not, “when will the end come?”, but, “how then shall we live?”  Matthew through Revelation answer that question.

                                      So, if we ask, “Are apocalyptic events about to unfold?”, the answer is always, “perhaps”, or “they may”.  Asking that question, puts us in very good company.  After everything they had seen and experienced of and with Jesus, and when he was about to ascend to heaven, the first disciples asked him if this was “the time”, or when would “the time” happen; and he told them two things (Acts 1):

                                      1. It was not for them (or us) to know, and only the Father knows (Mt. 13;32, Matt. 24:36).  Jesus not knowing shows us that his submission to the Father is eternal.
                                      2. That they would soon receive power, when the Holy Spirit came, and be witnesses to the ends of the earth.

                                      So, we are still in that time, the time of receiving power and being witnesses.  Don’t give up in this time.

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