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An Examination of Kingdom-, Dominion-,
and Latter Rain Theology
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An Examination of Kingdom Theology - Part 3/3

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Immortilization

If the dominion overcomers are to be God's instruments of destruction upon not only unbelievers, but believers who do not submit to the authority of the apostles and prophets as well, they will need immunity from reprisals. It is an essential ingredient of Dominion Theology, therefore, that these overcomers, through their perfect (sinless) living, attain immortalization and become impervious to injury and death. That's why it's such a tragedy for someone in the movement to die - especially someone in a position of dominion leadership. If God does not count such an one worthy to escape death, then those close to him must make excuses such as equating his death with some vicarious suffering for the Body of Christ.

Of the fringe movements in dominion teaching, Positive Confession is most susceptible to this theory of immortalization. The believe-it-and-receive-it mentality of Positive Confession must inevitably result in the belief that if one can muster enough "faith" to live in "divine health" (which has never been sufficiently defined), he can also believe for immortality.

Of course, it is believed that this final state of physical perfection will come about only through the attainment of spiritual perfection. The reason is that death is the final enemy to be conquered (I Corinthians 15:26Off-site Link).

Earl Paul

THE FIFTH FUNCTION OF THE CHURCH IS TO CONQUER THE LAST ENEMY, WHICH IS DEATH, AND TO BRING REDEMPTION TO THE BODY OF CHRIST. When the Apostle Paul says that redemption has not yet taken place, he speaks, I believe, of the redemption of the individual body; yet in my spirit I perceive that he speaks also of the redemption of the Body of Christ. [Boldface Paulk's throughout.]

Jesus Christ Himself overcame death individually, and WHEN THE CHURCH BECOMES SO CONFORMED TO HIS IMAGE THAT THOSE WHO DIE DO NOT PASS THROUGH THE GRAVE, BUT BECOME INSTEAD GLORIOUSLY CHANGED IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE, IT WILL BE THAT CHURCH WHICH WILL BRING THE KINGDOM OF GOD TO PASS ON THE EARTH. [Paulk then quotes Romans 8:18Off-site Link,22-23Off-site Link, and Ephesians 1:13-14Off-site Link.]

We have received the earnest of the EXPECTATION through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but we must move on to the POSSESSION, which is overcoming the last enemy, death. Sometimes the interpretation has been made that Jesus Christ conquered death, but if that were so, why would Paul's epistle to the Corinthians, written at least ninety years later, say that the last enemy that SHALL be destroyed is death (I Corinthians 15:26)? JESUS CHRIST CONQUERED DEATH INDIVIDUALLY, BUT IT IS LEFT TO THE CHURCH TO CONQUER DEATH ON A CORPORATE BASIS..

Is it possible that there will be a people who so possess the authority of Almighty God, as Elijah did, that they, as a group, will say to death, hell, and the spirit of Satan, 'We will NOT die. We will stay here and be changed, and we will call Jesus Christ to return to this earth as King of Kings and Lords of Lords'? Yes, that is what I believe the church must do! But it will not be easy, because GOD IS LOOKING FOR THE MANIFESTATION OF A MATURE CHURCH WHO CAN SPEAK WITH THE AUTHORITY JESUS HAD WHEN HE STILLED THE WINDS AND CALLED LAZARUS FORTH FROM THE GRAVE.

An exciting prospect? Oh, yes! We are God's people, called to do the will of God in the world today and to see the King of Glory return to establish His Kingdom on earth! Jesus Christ had the authority to say 'No' to death on earth, and He is waiting for us to come to that same authority He had so we can say, 'The last enemy - death - has been conquered!' (1)[Paulk then quotes I Corinthians 15:20-26Off-site Link.]

Jesus Christ, as the firstfruit of the Kingdom, began the work of conquering death on an individual basis, but we, as His church will be the ones to complete the task. Jesus said (Matthew 28:18Off-site Link), 'All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,' and the church today has that same power. Death will not be conquered by Jesus returning to the earth. It will be conquered when the church stands up boldly and says, 'We have dominion over the earth!' How else will God be able to show Satan a people for whom death holds no fear, over whom death no longer has any power? When God can do that, Satan's hold on us will be broken forever!

History shows that true believers don't need to be immortal to be free from the fear of death. It is 'faith,' not immortality, that removes fear. I suspect that those who so earnestly desire immortality that they will twist Scripture to fit that desire are the ones who really fear death. So great is that fear that they have deluded themselves into believing they can overcome death through their own works of righteousness. This is why so many demonstrate such fervor toward God. It isn't so much that they fear Him as much as it is that they fear death and the consequences if they haven't proven themselves worthy of eternal life. At the root of much dominion thinking is a works-oriented salvation rather than a faith-oriented salvation. When immortality does come it will be after the dead in Christ rise (I Thessalonians 4:13-17Off-site Link; I Corinthians 15:50-55Off-site Link).

This immortality unto eternal life, the hope of our salvation, will occur suddenly and will take effect throughout the Body of Christ, not just among a select few "overcomers." It won't occur because we happen to come to the realization that we can speak it into existence because of our attainment to holiness through outward works of righteousness. Such a notion is ridiculous and is contradicted by Scripture.

Likewise the very Scriptures Paulk quotes contradict his belief that the Church will destroy death. For verse 26 of I Corinthians 15Off-site Link says, "For he [Jesus] must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." Jesus, when He returns (not the Church prior to His return), is the one who will put all enemies under His feet. He must reign on earth until that is accomplished. The context of these verses shows clearly that death will be destroyed 'after' the Millennium, when Christ "shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father" (I Corinthians 15:24Off-site Link).

David Ebaugh

(Leading apostle of the Identity Movement):

In a communication to his followers, Ebaugh reprinted a proclamation by a Rev. Dean Gross entitled "Melchisedec Order Decree," and offered it free on request to those who would write to his organization, Word by Word Association. This decree, affirming belief that the end-time overcomers will be a part of the Melchisedec Order of priests, states in part:

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, through his blood, fire, water, and Spirit, I receive glory, honor, and immortality by imparting his now-blood, liquid streams of living light into my blood. My whole spirit by faith, soul by works, body by hope is now being preserved blameless until the coming of the Lord. When I decree a thing, it is established unto me; and your light shines upon my ways. I decree that the full manifestation of the Kingdom of God from within me now come forth. I decree that every atom within my earthly, physical body bring forth health, light, life, and immortality. My light is now coming forth as the morning, and my health is springing forth speedily, and my righteousness goes before me. Your glory is my rear guard. For I am made in the image of Elohim, after Elohim's likeness. I have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. I am helping to bring about the revelation and restoration of all things which you have spoken by the mouth of all your holy prophets since the world began.

Sam Fife

(A leading apostle of the Manifested Sons of God Movement):

In his book, 'One Corporate Man,' Fife states:

Therefore let all men know, that in this dispensation of the fullness of times, God is going to fulfill His purpose to bring together into one, all things that are in Christ, both in the earth and in heaven, and make of all the twos, one new many-membered man, who lives after the order of Melchisedec. When He has finished preparing this many-membered man, He is going to purge the earth of every other man by His Judgment Day, and there will come in a new age, and a new earth, with a new man living in a new order, where every member is so dead to self that he lives unto the rest of the Body, and that order shall perpetuate eternal life.

The more we study the Kingdom Now Movement, it becomes increasingly evident that it's proponents have adopted a pattern of taking Scriptures relating to entirely different time periods and applying them to the present age. Much of what is said is true if placed in proper context relative to the time period for which it is meant. For that reason, they can quote Scripture seemingly with authority to prove their hypotheses.

What the immortalization theory fails to explain is how, if death is the 'final' enemy to be conquered, there will still be other enemies left to be conquered by those who will have conquered death?

Of all the bizarre elements that make up the total picture of Dominion Theology, immortalization caters most to spiritual pride. When one comes to the place where he believes he can say he has no sin he will move into an amoral mindset whereby he can justify any action in the name of God. Earl Paulk gives a clue to such reasoning by suggesting that whether one sins is dependent upon his motive.

...The accusers said to Jesus, 'We have Moses as our father, and Moses said, Thou shalt not commit adultery.' Jesus replied, 'I believe that too, but let me carry you to a heavenly dimension. If you don't lust in your heart you cannot commit adultery.' They said, 'The law says, Thou shalt not kill,' and Jesus replied, 'I believe that too, but let me speak to your heart. If you don't hate first, there is no possibility of murder.' How wise Jesus was!

This is a perfect example of twisting the meaning of Jesus's words. While motive does play a role in sin, there are objective standards instituted by God and revealed in His Word which cannot be abrogated simply on the basis of one's personal conviction. If, as so carelessly stated by Paulk, "If you don't hate first, there is no possibility of murder," then out of a motive of purifying society, and with a "heavy heart," dominion overcomers may put dissenters to death at will. Hit men for the mobs don't necessarily hate their victims - for the most part they're indifferent to them. Using Paulk's rationale, they are innocent no matter how many people they kill.

This is a chilling statement that, without clarification, could possibly cause some neurotics to get "trigger-happy." There is a strange paradox revealed among some who, on the one hand denounce the atrocities of Hitler, yet on the other hand passionately look forward to the day they can "speak the word" or pull the trigger that will destroy the "sinners" (and unyielding Christians) they perceive as God's (i.e., their) enemies. Yet if the utopian society of the dominion teachers is to be realized before Jesus returns, a holocaust worse than any history has ever witnessed must take place. The "holy wars" of early "Christianity" may yet be revived.

- End -

- Footnotes -

  • 40 Earl Paulk, "The Proper Function of the Church" (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, undated), p.13.
  • 41 Dean Gross, "Melchisedec Order Decree" (Chattanooga, TN: Word by Word Association).
  • 42 Sam Fife, "One Corporate Man" (Miami: The Body of Christ), p.22.
  • 43 Earl Paulk, "Harvest Time," July, 1984.



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