A Tale Of Two Kingdoms
by Sandy Simpson, 8/27/11
Be careful of those who teach about a "kingdom" that is not the same as what the Bible teaches.
The reason for the opening photo of hands bestowing a key is to make the point of this article on two Kingdoms. The apostles were given the "keys to the kingdom of heaven" not the keys to the earthly physical kingdom of Christ at the second coming.
Matthew 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.These keys are giving the apostles and, finally, the leadership of the churches, the authority to preach the Gospel and of church administration. It is up to the Church to decide who to preach the Gospel to, thus binding people to heaven and, conversely, who to loose or disfellowship in the churches due to sin, false teaching, false prophecy, etc. It is not giving the Church the ability or authority to take dominion over the governments, businesses, and every aspect of life, thus establishing the physical kingdom on earth. It is about establishing the kingdom of heaven in the hearts of men preparing them for the Kingdom to come.
There are two kingdoms being taught in many churches today. Teaching about one of the kingdoms is on the decline while the other is being promoted all over the place. I am warning Christians that they need to check out who is using the word "kingdom", the books they have been reading and recommend on building "the kingdom", the people they have been hanging out with at conferences, and what they mean by "the kingdom".
Biblical Christians need to understand that many of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), Emergent Church, Church Growth, Word of Faith and other related movements are operating under a paradigm shift. Because of that when they use the word "kingdom" they do not have the same biblical concept of that word that biblical Christians do. Whether purposely or under the influence of the Zeitgeist, the "new breed" paradigm shifters use the word "kingdom" in order to lure people into their Dominionist/social gospel worldview. They know that most Christians love to hear about the "kingdom" so they act like they are talking to them in the unity of the Faith. But they are not.
This is an old trick of the false teachers and cults. They redefine certain words so that when they talk to biblical Christians they can sound like they are on the same page. For instance, the New Age cult called "Unity" did this years ago with many Christian terms and was able to lure in some people on that basis. Once you lure them in then you slowly brainwash them away from their former understanding of those terms into a new paradigm.
The first concept is called "Kingdom Now (KN)" and the second we will call "Kingdom Come (KC)". "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10). KN claims this prayer is about Kingdom Now. Biblical Christians understand this is referring to the Kingdom being first established in the spirits of born again believers (Col. 1:13) and finally physically established in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ when He returns (1 Cor. 15:24), since the dominion over the earth currently has been temprarily given to the devil (Luke 4:5-8, Eph. 2:2).
1Jo 5:19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.The KN people expect the Church to fulfill the "Lord's Prayer" even though Jesus was not referring to the Church when He gave this example prayer to the disciples. This prayer is to be prayed to God the Father, not the Church. Jesus was primarily talking about KC, the physical Kingdom of Jesus Christ in the Millennium when He comes again, because establishment of the physical Kingdom on earth is impossible because it is against God's will at this time.
KN theology has been around for a long time. Those who have been spreading KN basically represent a whole number of denominations and movements. Some of those who teach some form of KN are as follows (some of whom are dead):
Ernest Angley, John Arnott, Rob Bell, Todd Bentley, John Bevere, Mike Bickle, Markus Bishop, Reinhard Bonnke, William Branham, Michael Brown, Juanita Bynum, Paul Cain, Tony Campolo, Morris Cerullo, Paul (David) Yonggi Cho, Randy Clarke, Kim Clement, Gerald Coates, Chuck Coleson, Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch, John Crowder, Paul Cunningham, John Dawson, Joy Dawson, Jack Deere, Creflo Dollar, Jesse Duplantis, Colin Dye, Gene Edwards, Richard Foster, Francis Frangipane, Nicky Gumbel, Ted Haggard, Kenneth Hagin, Bill Hamon, Christian Harfouche, Jack Hayford, Ruth Helflin, Marilyn Hickey, Steve Hill, John Hinkle, Benny Hinn, David Hogan, Rodney Howard-Browne, Larry Huch, Bill Hybels/Willow Creek, Cindy Jacobs, T.D. Jakes, Bill Johnson, Tony Jones, Manasseh Jordan, Rick Joyner, John Kilpatrick, Dan Kimbal, Patricia King, Roberts Liardon, Bishop Eddie L. Long, Brennan Manning, Brian McLaren, Clarence McClendon, Joyce Meyer, Miles Munroe, Steve Munsey, Mike Murdock, George Otis, Jr., Joel Osteen, Doug Pagitt, Rod Parsley, Carlton Pearson, Chuck Pierce, Peter Popoff, Fred Price, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, Robert Schuller, R.W. Shambach, Gwen Shaw, Dutch Sheets, Ed Silvoso, Don Stewart, Karl Strader, Leonard Sweet, Chad Taylor, Tommy Tenney, Robert Tilton, Richard Twiss, C. Peter Wagner, Rick Warren, Paula White, Bruce Wilkinson, John Wimber, Ed Young, YWAM
There are many others. Read these excellent articles on KN.
Theology by Gary Gilley
Kingdom Now Theology by Jan Markell
What Is The Gospel Of The Kingdom? by The Berean Call
Kingdom Dominionism by Mike Oppenheimer
Kingdom Triumphalism by Mike Oppenheimer
Kingdom Theology by Albert James Dager
Following is a comparison chart of KN and KC.
|The Church is to take over the systems of government in the world by populating them with Christians.||The Church is to preach the Gospel, disciple all believers of every nation, be light and salt, and expect Jesus to change the world when He returns.|
|The Church is Christ on earth.||The Church is not Christ, but the body of Christ, children of God, the bride.|
|There will have to be a world government headed and policed by Restoration Christians. This will require a universal KN on the earth.||There is no Christian government in Scripture till Jesus Christ returns and sets up His theocracy.|
|Claims are made that Christians will "solve" the issues of poverty, disease, lack of education, etc. by Dominionists such as Rick Warren.||Christians will never solve all these problems stemming from sin. Jesus Christ will "save the planet" when He comes. Till then we need to be about the work He left for us including the Great Commission.|
|Passages in the Old Testament that talk about the blessing that Israel will be to the nations are stripped from them and attributed to the Church.||Taking Old Testament promises out of their context and attributing them to the Church is what NAR, Word of Faith and other false teaching systems have been doing for decades. This simply robs the Jews of their inheritance.|
|Often, though not always, the KN paradigm includes a direct or indirect assertion that Christ will not (or cannot) return until the Church accomplishes the goal of total domination.||This removes the hope of the imminent return of Christ. In fact many KN mock the idea of a rapture, especially the Emergent Church leadership. This also takes away from the sovereignty of the Godhead.|
|KN is based on a Postmillennial model where Christ comes back to a cleaned up world.||KN Postmillennial ends up denying many end times prophecies in the Bible because they do not believe that there is a thousand year Millennial Kingdom to come. Biblical eschatological views are always pre-millennial.|
|KN wants across the board unity to accomplish it's goals. This unity extends to liberal apostate churches, cults, the Roman Catholic Church, and is even beginning to include Islam.||Unity for the sake of creating a large group is not biblical unity. Biblical unity is based on unity of the Spirit when a person is truly born again and is held together by unity of the Faith (unity of doctrinal teachings).|
|In KN their pragmatism is built on extra biblical prophecies and directives of new apostles. They believe that programs and devices will be effective in building the "kingdom".||The Kingdom does not rest on human ability, but on God establishing his spiritual Kingdom in the hearts of believers followed by the return of Christ which will establish the physical on earth.|
|KN requires a structured Church system based on modern day foundational apostles and prophets.||KC requires only adherence to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostles.|
|KN tends to replace the role the Bible records that belongs to Jesus alone in His Kingdom. Thus is also degrades the sovereignty of God.||The true Kingdom is being established both now, spiritually, by Jesus Christ and after His second coming the throne of David here on earth by Jesus Christ.|
|There are many roots of the false KN teaching going back to William Branham, the Latter Rain, Reformed Theology, Manifest Sons of God, Word of Faith and many other heretical systems||The roots of KC are rooted in the written Word of God.|
There are many more aspects of KN and KC that could be included in the above chart. Again, for more information on KN please read the excellent articles linked above.
Keep a keen ear ready to distinguish between those who talk about the "kingdom" and what they are actually teaching, whether it is KN or KC.
There are many arguments by KN teachers that they try to use to convince people of their position, but ultimately all those arguments end up being either entirely unbiblical or they twist Scripture to try to prove their points.
One argument KN promoters make is that we are to be light and salt, therefore we must populate every aspect of life in order to accomplish KN/Social gospel. They say that Christians must take over every aspect of life ... businesses, government, all leadership positions, etc. But this is not only not taught in the Bible, how to live as light and salt in a fallen world was also practically demonstrated by the first century Church in Rome. Here is an example of how the first century church were being light and salt to their generation.
The Romans, during that time, were becoming ever more immoral. Because of the proliferation of prostitution and adultery in Rome, there were a number of unwanted pregnancies. It became a practice for Romans to take their unwanted babies out to the rocks around the city and leave them there to die in the hot sun. What did the first century church in Rome do? Did they go to the authorities and protest? Did they try to get laws passed to forbid this practice? Did they try to get people of the government on their side? Did they try to populate the government with Christians? Did they protest in the streets and form public prayer meetings to "divorce Nero"? Did they make claims that they would rid the land of this practice? Did they try to "overthrow" the government of Rome? No. They simply went out, got the babies off the rocks, took them home, nursed them back to health, and kept them as their own children.
Instead of addressing social amorality from the top, true Christians deal with the problem from the bottom because that is the only solution that actually works. They live in the law of Christ, which is love, by demonstrating that in a practical way, thereby influencing people to find out what makes Christians different. Ultimately the Gospel is demonstrated then taught and people get saved.
You may wish to read A Response To "An Urgent Message From Peter" by Sandy Simpson, 8/20/11 for many more links and quotes on this subject.