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.”

                                      Household Faith

                                      So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

                                      -Acts 16:31
                                      Photo: Pixabay
                                      Some of us are very troubled about the lack of faith or unbelief of some people in our families.  Our brothers or sister, mothers or fathers; who do not believe in Christ.  Funerals are hard enough when the deceased is a believer.  What do we say when they were not?
                                      The truth is that the love of God remains.  The truth is that we love them and God loves them and salvation is God’s work.  These are our anchors.
                                      In the years leading up to the end of my grandmother’s life, just like some people I know today, I was very concerned about her salvation.  When we were younger, she told us she was an atheist, and I never forgot that.
                                      But sometime, and how it happened I do not know, she joined the neighborhood church, a few blocks from her home.  Unfortunately, I always assumed it was a “liberal church” that did not embrace or teach the gospel.  I was wrong.
                                      It is funny that I was earnestly praying Acts 16:31 while God had already been working in my grandma’s life.  It was a case of, “before you call, I will answer”.
                                      Everyone’s stories are different, but that is part of my story.  I have a brother who is a believer and my wife’s brother is a believer.  But I know people who have siblings who do not believe, and who are the only Christians in their families of origin.
                                      The New Testament also speaks to the possibility of being married to a non-believer.  Marriage is hard enough when your Christian spouse is not very mature in Christ, but the Bible addresses the scenario where they don’t even have Christ.
                                      Jesus was raised by loving parents, who were told who he was; but that revelation did not get passed on to his siblings.  When he left home, at age 30, and began his ministry we read about, his family thought he was crazy (Mk. 3:21).  When they stood outside where he was teaching and called for him, Jesus said that his family (brothers and sisters) are like these who obey God (Mk. 3:31-5).
                                      Later, his brothers did get saved; and we have Jude and James, the authors of those two books of the Bible.  If Jesus was misunderstood and rejected by his brothers, it might happen to you.  Jesus warns of betrayal from the family of his disciples, because of their belief in him (Lk. 21:16), and seems to say that it will be more common that not, for his disciples to leave family and their homes because of him (Mk. 10:29-30, Matt. 19:29).
                                      Then, we also have the hard word from Jesus, that we will hate our families of origin, compared to how much we will love him (Lk. 14:26).  In the NT epistles, “brothers and sisters”, means other Christians.  But, there is counsel and instruction about one’s immediate family.  For example, we are to take care of our parents (1 Tim. 5:8).
                                      So, on the one hand, we have the declaration, “You shall be saved, and you whole household”, which I personally applied upward, to my grandparents and have applied to my parents, wife and child; and I believe in it.  I wrestled with that verse and believed it and prayed it.  I claimed it.
                                      But, I have had many friends with unbelieving siblings or parents.  What about them?  We can draw some comfort from Jesus.  His family (brothers and probably sisters) did not believe in him, until after his resurrection.
                                      We have a savior who can identify with our suffering.  He was perfect, did nothing wrong, and was obedient to Father all his life.  Yet, to this day, people reject him.
                                      My advice would be to lean into him.  Walk close with your savior.  That is who he is and he cares about the salvation of those you love, more than you do.
                                      Keep caring, keep loving, keep praying, and keep believing.  Even while someone we love is unsaved, in unbelief, resisting and rejecting the good news; we can rest in God, surrendering to him as The Almighty, continually sharing our broken heart with him and keeping fresh.
                                      The alternative is aggravated grief, bitterness, and lack of faith on our part that will morph into deception and delusion about God’s goodness, where we question God and drift from our faith in the Lord’s faithfulness (Heb. 2:1).
                                      The Bible says that the Lord is close to and heals the brokenhearted  (Ps. 34:18, 147:3) because our hearts do get broken in this life.  So, you have loved someone and your heart is broken.  Take your heart, open it to the Lord, over and over and over.  
                                      Jesus wept.  It wasn’t fake.  God weeps.
                                      When I was in rebellion, God wept over me.  Someone who loved me wept about me.  They wept with God.  Their prayers, when I was lost, were tears.
                                      And I found my way back to the Father.
                                      Have you wept lately over the lost?

                                      Notes On Baptism From Michael Green

                                      So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.
                                      -Acts 2:42

                                      Photo: Luke Addison (CC BY-SA 2.0)

                                      Here are some notes about baptism from Michael Green (b. 1930), in his book, Evangelism Now & Then (1979), pp. 81-3:

                                      They baptized new believers

                                      There can be no doubt that in the first days of the church baptism was administered as soon as possible after profession of faith. Quite apart from the day of Pentecost, the case of the Philippian jailer and the Ethiopian eunuch give a good guide to early practice in the matter. Commitment to Christ, baptism in water, and reception of the Holy Spirit were three sides of the same thing, Christian initiation. In Galatians, for instance, we see that justification by faith or becoming ‘Abraham’s offspring’ comes about through reception of the Spirit, or being baptized into Christ, or believing in Christ (3:2, 14, 29, 26). Ideally, they belong together. In practice, however, one element would come first, sometimes another: such is still the case.

                                      Two second-century developments can be traced back, at least in outline, to the earl days of the church. First, there was a growing tendency to postpone baptism, preface it by a period of instruction, and perform it, along with first communion, at the highly significant season of Good Friday and Easter. Scholars have seen many signs in the New Testament itself of a basic catechism leading up to baptism, and many people think 1 Peter was written as a homily for a baptism occasion.

                                      Infant baptism?

                                      Second was the practice of baptizing infants when born into a believing family. This is a divisive subject nowadays, and was to the end of the second century when we find Tertullian discussing it in his Treatise on Baptism. He was advocating delay in baptism when only one parent was a believer: it is clear he wrote against a background where the baptism of infants was common. How could this be justified when originally baptism was the mark of the new birth, and appropriate only for believers?

                                      Well, I doubt if baptism was ever as clear-cut as that. We read in the New Testament of whole households being baptized, and an ancient household consisted of not only children, but the slaves, all of whom were committed by the action of the head of the house (1 Cor. 1:16, Acts 16:33, etc.). You see, baptism was not exclusively the act of man, representing his faith: it was also the act of God, representing his grace. And that free grace of God sent Jesus to the cross to die for us and rise again whether or not we ever respond. It is that once-for-allness of Jesus, his sacrifice and triumph, which is marked upon us in baptism. It should ideally be matched by our total and immediate response. But that sometimes comes later – and sometimes does not come at all. Even if it never follows, that cannot destroy the initiative of God, who gave himself once for us in history: that holds good whether or not we respond – thought of course we cannot make any use of his gift unless we receive it in adoring gratitude. By far the largest part of the Christian church has believed in baptizing not only believers but their children. The Baptist view regards baptism as appropriate only for those who have already responded in faith to God’s gracious initiative. Christians will continue to have differing views on this matter since no clear Biblical teaching clears it up one way or another. And as far as the nurture of new believers is concerned, you will find that some of your converts have already been baptized (generally in infancy) while others have not.

                                      Rebaptism?

                                      I believe that those who have already been baptized should not be rebaptized. It makes no more sense to be baptized again than to be justified again or to enter the Lord’s family again. Baptism emphasizes the once-for-allness of our incorporation into Christ, and by its nature cannot be repeated: communion is frequently repeated and stresses the ongoing side of the Christian life.

                                      – Michael Green (b. 1930), Evangelism Now & Then (1979), pp. 81-3

                                      Hope Is What They Need

                                      But since we belong to the day, we must be serious and put the armor of faith and love on our chests, and put on a helmet of the hope of salvation.
                                      -1 Thessalonians 5:8 (HCSB)

                                      Picture: Pixabay

                                      People who are lost need hope.  Not false hope but real hope.  Real hope is found in the gospel.

                                      I specifically have in mind, Christians who have lost hope, and have embraced false hope or hopelessness.  I believe that when Paul mentions putting on the helmet of the hope of salvation, here in 1 Thessalonians and in Ephesians 6:17, he is telling us that if we do not, we will get hit and hurt, in the head.

                                      Our heads symbolize our thoughts, our minds.  Did you know that the hill where Jesus’ cross was set, was called Golgotha, which is Hebrew for “Skull Place”.  We need salvation in our minds.

                                      If we lose the hope of salvation in our minds, then we can become captive to all sorts of other ideas, fantasies, or illusions.

                                      Hurting people have lost hope or are embracing false hope.  The antidote for lack of hope is the gospel.  But delivering the gospel to the person who has become delusional and setting them free is difficult.

                                      You must stand in and on real, authentic love, when you deliver the gospel to the person who has become captive to illusions and is embracing something other than the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Direct confrontation, that comes in pride, arrogance, lack of patience, and with a “you’re are wrong, now get with the program” attitute, will be met with defensive push-back, rationales, and hurtful retreat.

                                      See the person with love, mercy, and compassion; as someone who lost hope and became captive to hopelessness and/or false hope.  We are not happy about their lost-ness, but we care.  Show you care by standing in and on authentic love for them.

                                      In the administration of the hope of the gospel to this person, you also want to be praying for them.  Pray for them when you are not with them and be in prayer for them when you are face to face with them.  In prayer, you are getting God’s love for them, from which you minister and you are asking God for special help, for grace, for them.  You may receive a spiritual gift for them, which will give them faith to re-assimilate the gospel.

                                      ____________________________
                                      Further Reading:

                                      Miracle Work: A Down-to-Earth Guide to Supernatural Ministries, by Jordan Seng

                                      Conversational Evangelism


                                      I starting listening to the sessions from the Conversational Evangelism conference yesterday.

                                      A few take a way points so far are that there is a disconnect between Jesus and the church. Non-Christians and non-church attenders don’t always have any problem with Jesus, but they have lots of problems with the church. There is a perception that church goers are out of touch with regular, non-church-going people. Jesus wasn’t this way at all.

                                      Another key is that as a Christian, you don’t need to add evangelism or a missional focus to your already busy life. What you need is a new life(style), like Jesus.

                                      A Christian is not someone who just goes to a lot of Church meetings, who just studies the Bible, just shops at Christian bookstores, and who just watches Christian television. A Christian is someone who follows Christ, who has Christ in them and who is in Christ. Evangelism is not about inviting someone to a meeting to hear and see someone else, although that’s not invalid. Evangelism is about getting involved with people where they live and listening to them.

                                      Todd Hunter: “Most seekers don’t want to be talked down to from a stage in one way communication. They need to talk, they need to tell their story, they need a place to unload all their fears and pre-judgments about religion, etc. This requires a conversation. It requires that we come down from stages and sit with seekers around a dinner table, letting them set the pace and direction of the conversation.”

                                      Outside the Box

                                      A few years ago, I started hearing it said we need to “think outside the box” in order to evangelize this generation. I barely grasped what was meant by this, but it sounded good. I’m finally beginning to get it on what this means. To do something “outside the box” means to be unconventional or to innovate.

                                      I love being an outside the box person. I love unconventional people. I love innovations. But I also am constantly pulled back by the “boxes” of thinking and doing, so I am far from being completely unconventional or innovative. I am open to these things and people that are outside the box and want to be more open.

                                      Jesus is the prototypical outside the box person- unconventional and innovative. But he always respected core values for living. Unconventionality and innovativeness are never equatable with immorality or badness. But conventional, box bound people (and I’m not judging them as bad either) can easily react negatively or in fear at the outside the box people or ideas and that is ok. It’s just human. Here’s a great short piece on what it means to be outside the box:

                                      Exactly what is ‘Thinking Outside the Box’? By Ed Bernacki

                                      Thinking outside the box requires different attributes that include:
                                      * Willingness to take new perspectives to day-to-day work.
                                      * Openness to do different things and to do things differently.
                                      * Focusing on the value of finding new ideas and acting on them.
                                      * Striving to create value in new ways.
                                      * Listening to others.
                                      * Supporting and respecting others when they come up with new ideas.

                                      Out-of-the box thinking requires an openness to new ways of seeing the world and a willingness to explore. Out-of-the box thinkers know that new ideas need nurturing and support. They also know that having an idea is good but acting on it is more important. Results are what count.

                                      Ed Bernacki created The Idea Factory to help people and organizations to develop their capacity to innovate.

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