An Examination of Kingdom-, Dominion-,
and Latter Rain Theology
An Apologetics Index research resource
An Examination of Kingdom Theology - Part 1/3
With every move of God comes a countermove of Satan to snatch the seed of truth from those who desire to glorify God with their lives. From the very start of the Church Age Satan has attempted to destroy the work of God and bring liberated souls back into bondage to man-made religion. Yet in spite of the awesome power Satan's emissaries in the spirit realm display, the gates of hell have not prevailed against the Church - nor will they ever. It may seem at times that the Church has been subdued. But even during the twelve-hundred years of oppressive rule by the Roman papacy under the claim of apostolic authority, there were faithful saints who kept their relationship with God pure - even if at times perfect understanding may have been withheld from them. Certainly we cannot say that God's grace was nullified during that time. Even the Reformers of the sixteenth century and after sorely lacked the full understanding that would have allowed them to lead their followers into paths of complete harmony with God's Word. Yet line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little, God has shed more understanding upon His Word. The Azusa Street (Los Angeles) revival of 1906 marked the beginning of today's Pentecostalism. During the outbreak of that revival the Baptism with the Holy Spirit became widely experienced and many Christians spoke in foreign languages with interpretations, extolling the glories of God. Out of this move of God came the establishment of large churches that broke from the formalism of a stagnant Protestantism. Various Pentecostal denominations such as the Assemblies of God, and the Church of God, were born virtually overnight, and found great success as memberships burgeoned. Many independent Pentecostal churches sprang up as well. The Church as a whole realized a new surge of vitality and enthusiasm for God. And if people were healed of sickness and delivered from demons in the process, so much the better. But with this move of God came a counterattack by Satan's forces. Recognizing that people were hungry for demonstrations of God's power, and that in their enthusiasm many had neglected to ground themselves in the Scriptures for protection against deception, Satan, as an angel of light, began to manifest his own demonstrations of power. By this means he sought to beguile Christians away from their Lord, and focus their attention on the benefits they could derive from personal "experiences" - in Jesus' name, of course. I believe the Pentecostal explosion that occurred in 1906 was a mighty move of God to prepare His Church for the unique challenges that the twentieth century has presented, and to demonstrate to the world that Jesus is not dead, but alive for evermore. The manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit are as valid for us today as they were for the first-century Church. If anything, they are more needed today than ever. We must jealously guard the gifts, and not misuse them as has been the custom of many who, overcome with zeal, have thwarted the work of God in their lives. Signs and wonders, miracles and healings are good when they originate with God. The problem lies in our inability sometimes to distinguish whether they are from God or Satan. For Scripture gives us ample proof that Satan, as well as God, can perform marvelous miracles (Exodus 7:8-15; Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22; II Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:11-18). It's not a question of counterfeit versus real; Satan's miracles are not counterfeits any more than foreign currency is a counterfeit of our own currency. Counterfeit "miracles" are those feats of legerdemain performed by professional magicians, and charlatans who create ruses to bilk people out of money. A miracle from the spirit realm is genuine, whether from God or Satan. Satan's healings are not illusory; they are real. That's what makes them dangerous. The reason people believe teachings when they are accompanied by signs and wonders is that they don't believe Satan or his demons can perform genuine miracles. Therefore they think that any teaching accompanied by signs and wonders must be from God.
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