There is a movement growing inside the Church that has several different names and many variations. I’m calling it “dominion theology” for the sake of simplicity. Below are some of the doctrines being pushed:
- Jesus isn’t literally returning to administer justice and establish His kingdom on Earth; He’s waiting for Christians to do that.
- Christians will achieve this via display of spiritual gifts, and political efforts.
- Meanwhile, everybody is supposed to be rich.
- Those with more spiritual maturity will prosper most.
- Making disciples of the nations means proselytizing governments, not individual souls.
- Christians, not Christ, will conquer death.
- Satan is powerless against spiritual warriors who, once they achieve a certain level of faith, will defeat him decisively once and for all.
- The Church has replaced Israel, and therefore inherits all the natural, physical Abrahamic blessings in this life.
- Once Christians have fixed everything and taken over the world, then Christ can rule the Kingdom.
For the believers who don’t study/believe the Bible enough, convincing arguments that sound biblical can be made for these doctrines. When the blatant contradictions to the Word are pointed out, the old “prophecy is all allegorical” argument covers that. And frankly these are feel-good ideas. Deep down in our flesh, we all want to be the hero of the story; we want to slay giants and dragons (on our own terms); we think God should sign on to our agenda and timetable, and pitch in when we reach the limit of our natural ability.
Well, there is somebody who wants us to follow our fleshly impulses, and therefore will endorse our human efforts to bring about utopia.
In fact, he will help it along to varying degrees.
He delights in our obsession with money, and in fact will give wealth to some (but for most it will suffice to merely use riches as a carrot to draw us farther away from the Gospel). He approves of our elevation of miracles and spiritual gifts* higher than the will of God as revealed in His word. In fact, he’s got a plan to bestow a seeming victory on us, with a pseudo-peace and pseudo-unity for the whole world. Of course along the way he’ll have to flip the script on what supernatural beings are good and which are evil. Starting out by getting people to reject certain parts of the Bible, he will expand his enlightenment, gradually rejecting more and more of God’s word until the erstwhile Christians are ready to discard the entire Bible.
And make no mistake: the devil does have power.
He sometimes lets his followers tap into that power (remember Pharoah’s magicians and the witch of Endor, for instance). But toward the end this will happen on a scale we’ve never seen.
Once the devil is re-cast as good, and God is re-cast as evil, it makes sense that people in the world would gather together to go to war against the Lord and His Anointed, using all their concentrated spiritual energy in a collective effort–kind of like in Babel, but overtly warlike this time.