Apologetics Index
An Examination of Kingdom-, Dominion-,
and Latter Rain Theology

An Examination of Kingdom Theology - Part 3/3


Purging The Earth

A sure sign of religious authoritarianism is a zealousness to rid the world of opposition to its peculiar tenets. In the minds of many dominion teachers the authority of the apostles and prophets must not be questioned. The Kingdom of God (as they understand it) must be free from dissension. Therefore it will be necessary that those who challenge their authority be removed.

There are differences of opinion among dominion teachers as to how those dissenters will be removed, but there are essentially five ways in which that may occur:

  1. God will supernaturally strike dead those who oppose His apostles and prophets;
  2. God will send, or allow satanic forces to send, plagues upon those opposers;
  3. The Church (or certain "overcomers") will pronounce God's judgment upon their enemies, thus moving God to destroy them;
  4. The Church will, out of "necessity," use physical force by which it will judge, sentence, and execute penalties (including death) upon the opposers;
  5. All or any combination of the above may take place.

According to some dominion teachers, in order to effect this purging of the earth the overcomers must attain immortalization, thus becoming immune to any physical resistance to their program. Becoming immortal, and thus impervious to death and injury, will result from having attained spiritual perfection through obedience to the apostles and prophets.

We will deal with the teachings on immortalization in the next chapter. The subject matter at hand is the purging by the overcomers of not only the earth, but of the Church as well.

Franklin Hall

(Pioneer of the Latter Rain Movement):

In his book, 'Subdue the Earth, Rule the Nations,' Hall quotes Revelation 12:5, and states that the man child of the sun-clothed woman represents the overcomers of the Church: (32)

The man-child company will have dominion of this planet first. Those who possess a house may decide who shall occupy it. In the same manner, as a group from the church take up their authority and rulership of the planet that God gave them, they will likewise be able to choose whom they will, to occupy it.

The man-child group of the sons of God will be required 'to rule all nations with a rod of iron' (Revelation 12:5). To those not accepting this invitation into the Holy Ghost Light of fire, there is but one alternative: the opposite to light is DARKNESS. The Light of Life will be to them a blinding and consuming fire of destruction!

Hall's fanciful interpretation of Revelation 12:5 is not consistent with Scripture. While the symbolism of the man child is open to interpretation (whether he is Jesus, Israel, the Church, certain overcomers, etc.), the fact remains that the man child is caught up to Heaven while the woman who gave him birth is driven into the wilderness. If the man child is in Heaven while the earth is being purged, then he cannot rule with a rod of iron until after he returns to the earth. He cannot exercise dominion prior to his return which, if he is the Church, will be with Jesus at His return (Jude 14-15).

Royal Cronquist

...The greatest decision that the church is going to have to make in these days ahead (and especially the ministries in the body of Christ) is to have to face that there are apostles of God, and that they must submit to that foundation as though it was Jesus Christ, and whoever will not submit to that authority shall be destroyed from among the people.

...Jesus cannot, will not return, until there literally exists this kind of church, body of Christ. This Church (remnant) is to be...executing deliverance and judgment, in all authority and power, to all the people of the earth, first to and in the Church, then to all the nations of the earth.

...The kingdom of God is now ready to appear, now ready to be literally established in all its fullness within the earth. The first-fruits people will be counted worthy to escape the things that are to come to pass upon the earth. They will have absolute immunity to destruction and death in any form. Even vengeance and wrath which is about to come, will not touch them, but they themselves will be the execution of this vengeance and wrath.

All I can say is, if some religious attempt to execute God's vengeance and wrath is to take place, those doing the executing had better be under the absolute control of the Holy Spirit. The problem with Cronquist's scenario is that the premise upon which it is built (immortalization prior to Jesus' return) is unscriptural. I shudder at the possibilities.

Earl Paulk

In his book, 'Thrust in the Sickle and Reap,' Paulk quotes Matthew 13:40-43:

Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Applying his own interpretation that the angels who will accomplish this task are ministers of the Church, rather than the angels of heaven, Paulk calls upon God's people to rise up and judge the kingdoms of this world:

The book of Revelation makes it clear that John wrote his letters to the angels of the Church. Who are the angels that God will use? they are ministers called by God to boldly proclaim the Word of God. They will sound the trumpet. One should never separate prophecy of the New Testament from prophetic Old Testament scriptures. The trumpet sounded in the Old Testament as a warning. Today the trumpet sounds from the angels of the Church, God's ministers who cry out, 'It is harvest time!' Witnesses to God's power will shine as never before. God will gather righteous people together to raise up a witness of Jesus Christ and judge the kingdoms of this world.

Paulk goes on immediately to say that the first sign of the time of harvest is an answer to Jesus' prayer in John 17, "that they all may be one just as We are one." Unity aside, the chilling aspect of Paulk's reasoning in these passages of his book is the realization that he is looking forward to the day when the "angels" (i.e., ministers of the Church) will gather out of God's kingdom "all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire." I hope I'm misreading his intentions.

James McKeever

(Editor and publisher of 'Endtimes News Digest,' author, lecturer, and financial consultant):

In an article entitled, "When Is The Rapture?" McKeever states that the Great Tribulation will be a time when God's people will supernaturally destroy their enemies:

God is raising up an end-time army of overcomers (bondslaves). God never raised up an army that ran. So, we need to take a look at why God is raising up that end-time army.

Most people do not realize why there is going to be the great tribulation at the end of this age. Let me see if I can help you understand. If Christ came back tomorrow morning to rule and reign on the earth for a thousand years of peace and joy, what is the first thing He would have to do? He would have to get rid of all government buildings and employees, because He is going to be the government. He would have to get rid of all armies, weapons and factories that build weapons, because there is not going to be any war while He is here on the earth during the millennium. He would have to get rid of the people who do gross evil on the earth, such as dope pushers and murderers....

This would be a messy way to begin a thousand-year reign of peace and joy. Thus, the period of the great tribulation is when God gets rid of all governments, all armies, all grossly evil people, and geologically plows up the earth, so that it is a renewed, refreshed earth, ready for Jesus Christ to come back to rule and reign for a thousand years....

When the children of Israel went into the promised land, God could have caused all the evil inhabitants of the land to disappear. However, that is not God's pattern. He uses His people as an army when He wants to get rid of evil people....

People ask me if I am afraid to go through the tribulation or if thinking about it makes me gloomy or sad. The exact opposite is true. I am excited about going through the tribulation, as a bondslave of God. I am excited about getting His seal on my forehead and being protected against Satan, because we know that the victory is ours in Jesus Christ.

Before I comment on Jim's statements, let me make it clear that I have a personal liking for him. I have in the past recommended his newsletters and have quoted him in 'Media Spotlight.' He has done me the same honor. And for the most part I agree with his teachings. They contain many useful facts and spiritual truths. Now, it isn't just a matter of two brothers holding differing opinions on some minor point. It is crucial to the Church's position during these end times that it not be misled in its understanding of the events which are soon to transpire.

In Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Revelation 6 and 7, we see separate accounts of the same events relating to the Great Tribulation. I agree with Jim that the Church will go through the Great Tribulation, but as the first several verses in Revelation 7 point out, when God's wrath is poured out upon the earth, we will already have been taken up with Jesus into heaven.

The error of most pre- and post-tribulationists is the equating of God's wrath (the trumpet and vial judgments) with the Great Tribulation period (the opening of the first six seals). The Great Tribulation will be a time of chaos upon the earth during which the Church will be persecuted, and many believers will be slain for the witness of their testimony. It will be a time of judgment not upon the earth as much as upon the Church, which will result in the Church being purified from its spots and wrinkles (Ephesians 5:27). The Church, as an organism in which currently reside both sheep and wolves, will be purged through persecution. Only those who are truly God's people will stand, and will be driven out of necessity toward maturity in faith and in deed. [Note: Here I disagree with Al. The church has always had both sheep and wolves in it, and has continuously gone through the process of removing "spots and wrinkles". While persecution tends to separate them, it doesn't necessarily take a tribulation, "Great" or otherwise, to do so. Only when we see Jesus face to face will we be like Him - not before. That is why we purify ourselves - a process that won't be finished on earth (1 John 3:2-3)- AWH]

The only servants of God who will be sealed in their foreheads are the 144,000 members of the twelve tribes of Israel described in Revelation 7:1. These will be restored when they see their Messiah (on whom they have not believed until that time) return in the clouds to receive His Church. It is important to distinguish, however, that these 144,000 Jews are not necessarily part of national Israel. They will be a remnant of natural Israel whom God will bless as a witness of His power to preserve His integrity among those people, and to honor His covenant with Abraham.

The only other seal to be placed on anyone's forehead will be that ordered by the false prophet in conjunction with his command for all men to worship the image of the Beast (Revelation 13).

It isn't my intention to be dogmatic on the subject in this writing, but merely to point out that the dominion teachers' interpretation of Revelation is a delusion which will leave those who believe it unprepared for the troubles that lie ahead. If, because we believe this error, we are looking forward to receiving any mark in our foreheads, we may well be set up for the strong delusion which, if it were possible, would deceive the very elect (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22).


- Footnotes -

  • 32 Franklin Hall, "Subdue The Earth, Rule The Nations" (Phoenix, AZ: Franklin Hall Ministries, 1966), p.10.
  • 33 Ibid., p.11.
  • 34/a> Ibid., p.57.
  • 35 Royal Cronquist, p.4.
  • 36 Royal Cronquist, "Why the Feast of Tabernacles?", (Spokane, WA: Love Ministries Newsletter, August, 1984).
  • 37 Ibid.
  • 38 Earl Paulk, "Thrust in the Sickle and Reap" (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, 1986), p.103,104.
  • 39 James McKeever, "When Is The Rapture?", 'End-Times News Digest,' Special Introductory Issue (Medford, OR: Omega Ministries, 1985), p.8.