Copyright Rev. Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. 1992



I would like to introduce this section with two quotes from a man that preached a similar type theology. The quotes will set the stage for our discussion.

"He [Christ] could have come back five hundred years ago. If we evangelize the world in this generation, He can come back in this generation. Everything depends on our obedience. We can hasten His coming by giving His Gospel to every tribe, tongue, people and nation."

"When the last nation gets the Gospel and there are some in the body of Christ from every nation, tongue and people, then, and then only, will God's plan be consummated. Only then can the Age end and Jesus Christ return to take over the reins of government." (Smith, Oswald J., "THE CRY OF THE WORLD"; London: Marshal, Morgan and Scott, no copyright)

You can see clearly from this that the Church, and the Church's efforts will bring about the return of Christ. Christ must wait upon us to do our job. He cannot return until we allow it. Now, I trust that you have seen the error of that already. How can we control Almighty God? We cannot!

Variations of this thought have come to us in a number of different groups, theologies and belief systems. Some that we will look at briefly are: Kingdom Theology, Dominion Theology, Reconstruction theology, Theonomy, Restorationism, Restitutionism, Third Wave, Latter Rain, and Kingdom Now.

Gary North divides the theological peoples of our day into two categories. The eschatological pessimists and the eschatological optimists. Simply put the pessimists see gloom and doom, and the optimists see vivaciousness and victory. The pessimist views the world situation and Biblical end times as declining until the Lord comes. These people are the dispensationalists.

The optimist views the world scene as getting better and better until the Lord comes. The world getting better comes from the activities of the believers. Those holding this are usually linked in some manner with Post millennialism.

Most agree that many of these people have simply adopted the old Postmillennialism and tacked on a new name with some new trimmings. DeMar does not seem to reject the title Postmillennialist when used of him. ("THE REDUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY A BIBLICAL RESPONSE TO DAVE HUNT"; Gary DeMar and Peter Leithard; Dominion Press; Ft Worth; 1988, p XXXV) He quotes Isa 11 9-10 as something that relates to what believers can do today. (in Reduction, p X) "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious."

To prove their teachings they state that Satan has developed counterfeits. Because their teachings follow closely the teachings of cults and isms, they state that their teachings are the true ones that the cults and isms are counterfeiting. Their teaching has been compared by some to the New Age movement. The New Agers believe that the true Christ is coming shortly, as soon as they can get the earth ready for him. The Kingdom Theology simply are looking for Christ's second coming when they can get the world cleaned up.

The following points are a compilation of information gleaned from the following books: "THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW" Pollock; "SEDUCTION THE BIBLICAL RESPONSE"; "PARADISE RESTORED", Chilton.

1. They view man as God: We can become god and create our own destiny. This is based on several things. First, they believe the church is divine - we are the body of Christ. This is the misuse of literal interpretation! We are not the literal hands, feet etc. of Christ - we are a body of people that belong to Christ and a body that Christ controls. The Scripture nowhere indicates that we are divine beings, nor that the church is divine. Relate the church at Corinth to this teaching. If the church is divine then we have divinity involved in immorality and many other sins. Intolerable!

Their thinking stems from Eph 4:11-16 and Matt. 5:48. They mistake maturing with becoming divine and perfect. We cannot in this life become perfect. We may become more mature and more pure, but never perfect. We may not in any life become divine. God alone is divine and He alone in all of eternity will be divine.

2. They view the church as taking dominion over the world before Christ returns: The Corinthians text is speaking of activities of the Lord in the end and have nothing to do with what the church is going to do. This is the context of the resurrections, not the church age. The Ephesians text is also speaking of the Lord and not the church. Verse twenty two and three mention that Christ is head over the church, but does not show that the church did all that is in the preceding text.

Even the lost understand the program. In the 1992 presidential campaign one of the "religious right" was introduced by a newsman as one that believes that the Christians should take over government and set up a theocracy in the United States. This is what they want to do.

I dislike being lumped in with them by the media as part of the religious right. It seems the media takes the most controversial of a group and label all others that are related to that one controversial belief. The media related all of evangelical Christianity to the religious right that wants a theocracy. I personally believe that only the Charismatic end of the spectrum wants the theocracy yet evangelicals, fundamentalists etc. are lumped with them.

3. All believers will become rich: Prov. 13:22 "...wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just." They teach that the riches of the world will come to the church and this will assist in taking dominion of the world. This is the prosperity teaching of today. This concept is teaching that all believers should be rich and have all that they ask for.

My brother attended one of these churches in Washington. The pastor and his wife (both pastors in the church) both drove Mercedes and the ushers took up the offering in five gallon plastic buckets. If the offering wasn't enough, they would pass the buckets again.

4. The Church will evangelize the world, then Christ can return: Rev. 7:9 "After this I beheld and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues," This text simply states that there will be believers from all nations etc. in heaven. It does not state that the church must accomplish this before the Lord returns. The how of this is up to God, not man.

One final thought in refuting their thinking. Lu 18:8 seems to show that the righteous may not be in the majority when He comes. "Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" The teaching that we are studying requires that the believers overtake the world, not as this verse indicates dwindle to the point that it is questioned whether there will be faithful or not when the Lord returns.


I would like to list some of the different groups that I have run across and comment on their teaching. Some of the groups, I have found no information on so comments will be limited.

LATTER RAIN: A revival broke out in 1948 in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada. This was likened to the outpouring of the spirit upon those at the Azuza street church when the modern Charismatic Movement was born. (The Azuza street meetings were the foundation of the modern Charismatic movement. People were gathered and they were involved in an outpouring of the Spirit and speaking in tongues.)

Out of this revival came revelations that told the leaders that the church had completely misunderstood the great commission and the end times scriptures. This group later gave way to the Manifest Sons Of God.

MANIFEST SONS OF GOD: They were a pentecostal group in the 40's and 50's. They preached a victorious gospel. Involved in their thinking was the beginnings of the Prosperity theology.

They felt that they could come to a point where they could think as God thinks, and operate at the same level of faith as God operates. If the above is true then you will have all that you want and lack nothing. They feel by the use of prosperity and bringing people to righteousness we will bring in the kingdom.

They are not reconstructionists as such. They felt that they could Christianize through prosperity, rather than reforming society and government.

Their new revelations were viewed as equal to, if not above the Scriptures.

KINGDOM NOW: Earl Paulk is the leader and has appeared on the PTL club (Jim Bakker's show). His church is the Kingdom Church. He has been appointed a Bishop by a group of Charismatic churches.

He mentioned in a newsletter called "The Omega Letter" that God wants Christians to be the vehicle by which all kingdoms of the world are brought to be the kingdoms of God. He called for the establishment of the Kingdom Of God now in this time.

He mentioned that Christians would begin taking public office in all levels of government. I might mention that this is a great idea, in that we as believers ought to be involved in our government. Indeed, we might be useful in helping turn this country around spiritually. I would disagree that God wants us to set up the kingdom and create a theocracy, however.

COALITIONS ON MORALITY: A gathering of very dissimilar groups for a common cause, such as abortion. One such group is CAUSA which was set up by Sun Myung Moon (Unification Church).

We have seen fundamental Christians beginning to work with Roman Catholics against abortion even though they have very dissimilar backgrounds.

THEONOMY: DeMar seems to tie theonomy and reconstructionism together in that he uses men from both to back up one of his statements in a footnote. ("THE REDUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY A BIBLICAL RESPONSE TO DAVE HUNT"; Gary DeMar and Peter Leithard; Dominion Press; Ft Worth; 1988, p 31-32)

I would like to just adapt some information from an article in Bib Sac. The article was written by Robert P. Lightner. (Jan-Mar 1986)

WHO: Lightner mentions that they are from the covenant-Reformed, Westminster tradition. (P 26)

WHAT: They hold to the postmillennial position and preach that the Mosaic law is for our day. (p 26)

DEFINED: Theonomy comes from two Greek words. One meaning God and one meaning Law.

AIM: Basically they want to set up the theocracy that we have already mentioned. They want to institute the Mosaic law as the civil/religious law of the land. They feel that the Church should impose the religious upon all of society. Sounds like the Roman Church in Europe some centuries ago. (p 29)

PESSIMISTS: That's the good guys. Everything is getting worse until the end times when it will be the worst and Christ will come to restore the heavens and earth to the glories of God.

A listing of DISPENSATIONAL PREMILLENNIALISTS might be in order. D.L. Moody, C.I. Scofield, Alva McClain, Herman Hoyt, Charles Ryrie, Dwight Pentecost, Hal Lindsey, H.A. Ironside, John Walvoord, and many many others.

DeMar includes Jimmy Swagart and David Wilkerson in this camp as well. Some of the writings of Jimmy Swagart indicate that he may be in this camp even though he would disagree in other areas. I have not read nor checked out David Wilkerson.

DOMINION THEOLOGY: DeMar suggests that Christ has a dominion. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Believers are co-heirs with Him so they should also have dominion with Him. This dominion is a bit premature and possibly overstated. The Scripture is plain that we will reign with Him and be with Him in the kingdom and eternity, however there is no indication that this ruling will occur before He comes to set up His kingdom.

They feel that as the world sees the believer living within His dominion they will see what the believer is like and the world will begin to change and improve, not by oppression, but by service to mankind. I THINK MOST WOULD AGREE THAT THE BELIEVER LIVING LIKE HE SHOULD WOULD HAVE A TREMENDOUS EFFECT ON HIS WORLD.

Adam was given dominion in the garden, but blew it when he fell. All now is a work to restore dominion. The believer is to work toward restoring dominion to man in every area of life and they do this through Christ. This by the way is part of the reason that Charismatics believe that women should pastor and preach. They are attempting to get the world back to the pre-fall days when Eve was EQUAL to Adam.

Chilton uses a quote by Spurgeon on the back of his book. (Chilton, David; "PARADISE RESTORED"; Ft. Worth: Dominion Press)

"'It would be easy to show that at our present rate of progress the kingdoms of his world never could become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. Indeed, many in the Church are giving up the idea of it except on the occasion of the advent of Christ, which, as it chimes in with our own idleness, is likely to be a popular doctrine. I myself believe that King Jesus will reign, and the idols be utterly abolished; but I expect the same power which turned the world upside down once will still continue to do it. The Holy Ghost would never suffer the imputation to rest upon His holy name that He was not able to convert the world.'"

I've attempted to locate this quote but have not been able to at this point.

I'm not sure that Spurgeon meant what the Dominionist means, but there is a lot of truth in what he said. We would agree that at the present rate the world cannot merge into the kingdom as a righteous body of believers. We would agree that the Holy Spirit could transform the world into a Christian world, however this does not mean that He is going to do it to bring in the kingdom.

He also quotes other big names and indicates that they were in agreement with his thinking. A study of each man's belief systems would be required to prove that they indeed, were in agreement with Mr. Chilton. He quotes John Milton, St. Athanasius, and others.

They suggest that man in salvation is resotred to his original state which assures that he will fulfill his calling and purpose. (Chilton, David; "PARADISE RESTORED"; Ft. Worth: Dominion Press, p 25)

They see the cross as the final and ultimate judgment on the Devil and that he is of no problem to the believer today.

He gives a lot of information that is not footnoted and as such very suspect to me. Example: He mentions that Columbus was not only looking for a new route to the Indies but that his journal was full of references from Isaiah that prove that he was interested in expanding the kingdom to the Indies. This may well be. I might suggest that he was looking to expand the Roman Church kingdom by seeking riches for the Queen. If fact the American Indians call him a very greedy person based on his desire to enrich the Queen. (1992 Columbus day celebrations were hampered because of demonstrations against Columbus.)

Chilton identifies solidly with the postmillennial position thus identifying dominionism with reconstructionism.

DeMar, on the other hand, seems to give the reconstructionist the stance of not using politics as a part of their movement.

Some question where Pat Robertson stands. He seems to feel that reform through government is right. This was the reasoning behind his running for president of the United States.

As I see it in my study, the postmillennialist, dominionist, reconstructionist, are all the same with the Manifest sons of God. I don't know if they would hold to the "new" revelation of the Manifest sons or not. (The Omega letter classes Pat Robertson as a reconstructionist.)

KINGDOM THEOLOGY: DeMar suggests that the terms kingdom theology and dominion theology are used by some interchangeably. The two are very similar in nature. Kingdom theology is an intellectualization of the dominion theology. The dominionist has the belief, and is working toward fulfilling that belief, while the kingdomist is doing all this plus trying to figure out when the kingdom is. Is it now, is it future, is it real, is it spiritual.

Both seek to gain good in the world by works of the believer.

TRANSFORMATION THEOLOGY: They believe that God is involved in saving the whole person, body/soul/spirit/social/etc., and that he is doing this in this life.

This is some information from a paper published by the Fellowship Of Missions. (The article was "Transformation Theology") "The term 'social transformation' was lauded as one that could include both the spiritual and the social aspects of the Church's duty and thereby a wholistic expression of its mandate."

In speaking of redemption, they don't "'...see the mission of the Church as the saving of disembodied souls to go to heaven' out there.' Rather, this statement is based on the premise that God intends to redeem whole persons...body, mind and soul, and God intends to redeem His creation bringing into being a new heaven and a new earth.'"

RECONSTRUCTION THEOLOGY: The following are some that I have seen listed as being in the movement:

R.J. Rushdoony Greg L. Bahnsen

James Jordan Ray Sutton

David Chilton George Grant

Gary DeMar Peter Leithard

Dr. Gary North Abraham Kyuper

American Vision Chalcedon Foundation

Geneva Ministries Institute for Christian Economics

Counsel of Chalcedon

They follow their roots at least back to the Puritans, but some indicate the current movement finds its beginnings in the 60's. They feel that the humanistic world order is in error, but that there is a Biblical world order that is to be brought in by the reconstructionists. The Biblical world order is founded in the Old Testament, in that the Old Testament was God's plan for the entire world and not just the faithful. The whole world is to follow the Old Testament ways to the restoration of the Biblical world order. This determines that the Church will be victorious over the world system of the Devil. The Churches victory will come through social reform or reconstruction.

The Church will not only be victorious over the world order, but over all of the isms of the day including the New Age movement. It should also be observed that they are attempting to put down even pessimism - the dispensationalist.

They see the transformation in all areas of life including such things as Ecology, mandating lower taxes and governmental change. I assume by governmental change that he has in mind a reconstructionist government. Can you show me anywhere that the Lord desires of us to take over governments and set up our own?

DeMar charges that Hunt in "THE SEDUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY", correctly shoots down the new age movement, but that he offers nothing in place of it. Reconstructionism, however replaces the error of the new age with the truth of reconstructionism. My first thought was that both new age and the reconstructionist feels that by faithful work of their followers they can bring in a utopia. If I were a reconstructionist I would feel very uneasy with being identical in goal and method with the new age movement.

They hold to hold that the Old Testament law is for use today. They seem to follow the philosophy and thinking of VanTil, however I don't think that VanTil was a reconstructionist. They view the entire world as ultimately coming under the authority of the Lord through their efforts.

Kuyper held that Calvinism related to every area of life and this led to the thought system of VanTil. Though they follow VanTil and Kuyper they differ in that VanTil did not hold to their thinking and Kuyper was an Amillennialist. He did not see the church as being ultimately victorious.

There are a couple of articles concerning this topic that might be of interest. Christianity Today, Feb. 20, 1987, Democracy as Heresy, Rodney Clapp. Voice (IFCA's Magazine), July/August (don't know the year), The Lure Of Reconstructionist Theology, Jarl K. Waggoner.

COALITION ON REVIVAL: This seems to be a coalition of both sides. They attempt to find common ground on the real meaning of the Kingdom of God.


Gary North R.J. Rushdooney

Bob Weiner Bob Mumford

Ed McAteer R. E. McMaster

Dr. James Kennedy

The following are on the steering committee listed on their letterhead.

Dr. Gleason Archer Ph.D Gary DeMar

Dr. Duane Gish Ph.D. Dr. James Kennedy Ph.D.

Mrs. Beverly LaHaye Dr. Tim LaHaye D.Min.

Dr. Harold Lindsell Ph.D. Rev. David P. Mains

Dr. Josh McDowell D.D. Bob Mumford

Dr. Gary North Ph.D. Dr. Raymond Ortlund D.D.

Dr. J.I. Packer Ph.D. Dr. RJ Rushdooney Ph.D.

Dr. Robert Saucy Th.D. Mr. Franky Schaeffer

Dr. Jack Van Impe Ph.D. Brother Andrew

SOME CONCLUSIONS TO THE END TIMES POSITIONS: To draw the end times positions to a close, I would like to recap some items that need to be understood in the multiple views of how God will end His present age.

1. The people we have been discussing are believers for the most part, if not all of them.

2. We need to treat one another as such, even though we disagree.

3. All are dispensationalists of some sort, even though some of them deny it. None of them bring sacrifices to the church and most see different governing relationships between God and man.

4. When you have a new thought introduced to you or a new interpretation, take time to study that verse or the thought. Check several commentaries. Try it in relation to other verses you know relate. Check it out. Accept, reject or hold for further thought. When verses are used, be sure that you consider the context of the passage. Most of these varying positions misuse Scripture to arrive at their interpretations.

5. If you don't know if something is true - don't present it in a lesson or sermon. If you are fairly sure you have the truth and you've checked your thinking with some knowledgeable men - teach it.

6. The pretrib/premill position is:

The most logical position. If God is trying to communicate with us, the literal method of interpretation would be the best method for Him to use. We have seen that this type of interpretation leads to pretrib/premill.

This is the most trouble free position. You have few problem passages to deal with. All verses that relate to prophecy seem to fit into this system easily.

The system presents hope to the Church in that we will not have to go through the terrible time of tribulation that is coming to the earth. I might qualify that statement. The position offers more hope than any of the other systems that believe in a tribulation. Some of the systems just ignore the fact that there is going to be one. They spiritualize all of that prophecy and say that we are going through those problems today.

Lastly, what good, what purpose and what result would come from having the Church go through the tribulation? As I have studied the positions I have never seen an author that stated a need for, nor a purpose for the church being in the tribulation.

God seems in all ages to have a plan and a purpose. If there is a no purpose for the Church in the tribulation, if there is no profit for the church in the tribulation, then why would God allow the Church to go through such a horrible time?

Related to this - there is no proof text that says the Church will be in the tribulation. Indeed, to have the Church present in the tribulation would be an argument from silence.