DOMINIONISM

by:
S.R. Shearer

"Dominionism" is a militant post-millennial eschatology ("doctrine of end times") which pictures the seizure of earthly (temporal) power by the church as the only means through which the world can be rescued; only after the world has been thus "rescued" can Christ return to "rule and reign." (Some dominionists see the seizure of the earth as the result of "signs, wonders, and miracles;" others picture it as the result of military and political conquest; most see it as a combination of both.)

Al Dager writes, "Some two decades before Pentecostalism found its way into the (mainstream) denominations (i.e., the Episcopalians, the Catholic Church, etc.) as the 'Charismatic Renewal', it experienced a new surge of experience-oriented theology within its own ranks. It was from this neo-Pentecostal experience - what came to be called the 'Latter Rain Movement' - that Charismatic Dominionism sprang. The more prominent leaders of that movement blended Pentecostal fervor with teachings that the Church was on the brink of a worldwide revival. That revival would result in a victorious Church without spot or wrinkle ... (which) would inherit the earth and rule over the nations with a rod of iron." Dager explains that at the core of the dominionist mindset is "a ... premise ... that when Adam sinned, not only did man lose dominion over the earth, but God also lost control of the earth to Satan. Since that time ... God has been on the outside looking in, searching for a ‘covenant people’ who will be His ‘extension’ or ‘expression’ in the earth to take dominion back from Satan ..." [Dager, Vengeance Is Ours, pgs. 43-44. ]

The basic dominionist model is as follows:

  1. The world is plunged into a time of political and spiritual crisis, one which threatens the world with chaos and the church with destruction.
  2. The Lord brings revival to the church.
  3. This revival results in the end of the church's divisions and the rule of the "apostles and prophets."
  4. The "Gospel of the Kingdom" is preached to the whole earth which leads to the conversion of Israel, the conquest of the world, and the judgment of those who refuse to convert.
  5. The Lord returns.

Jewel van der Merwe of Discernment Magazine, elaborates; she writes that the "New Charismatics" are actively pushing a belief system which prophesies that " ... (1) the greatest revival the church has ever known (is about to occur); (2) the greatest baptism of the Spirit the Church has ever experienced (will shortly happen); (3) the greatest army (Joel’s Army) distinguished by invincibility, immortality and divinity (will be raised up); (4) the greatest purging ... in the history of the church (will shortly begin);1 (5) the greatest ministry - the Prize of all Ages (is about to break forth); and (6) the greatest miracles, supernatural signs and wonders far exceeding that of the Apostles and Prophets of old (will shortly take place)."2

The dominionist model, however, is at total variance with the older premillennial model. The premillennial model pictures:

  1. The world is plunged into a time of spiritual and political crisis.
  2. The church is apostatized.
  3. The apostatized church unites with the anti-Christ and seizes control of the world.
  4. A great tribulation breaks out against those Christians who refuse to become a part of the apostatized church, resulting in their persecution and finally their destruction - after which the anti-Christ, who had at first appeared as the champion of Israel, turns on Israel to destroy her.
  5. The rapture occurs for those Christians who "remain," and Christ returns to bring judgment on those who had destroyed Israel and persecuted those Christians who had refused to be apostatized.

[This model is essentially the model of Hal Lindsey's Late Great Planet Earth, with the exception that Lindsey postulates that Christians will be raptured out of the world prior to the beginning of the persecution of the anti-Christ. Premillennialists are divided on the point of the rapture; some argue that the rapture will occur before the tribulation, some say during, and some say afterwards - but the essential elements of the rest of the model remain.]

It should also be noted in this connection that in the dominionist model, the church is the "main player," while in the premillennialist model, Christ is the "main player."

In one way or another Franklin Hall, William Branham, George Hawtin, Percy G. Hunt, Herrick Holt, George Warnock, Bill Britton, Kathryn Kuhlman, Oral Roberts, Ern Baxter, Don Basham, Bob Mumford, Charles Simpson, Derek Prince, D. James Kennedy, William Banks, Marilyn Hickey, Demos Shakarian, Ralph Martin, Steve Clark, Kevin Ranaghan, etc. have all been involved in "Dominionism" and "Latter Rain." [Dager, Vengeance Is Ours, pgs. 49-50.]


  1.  1 And there are not just a few who have remarked on the similarity between the phraseology that is being used here and the phraseology that was used in the Third Reich.
  2.  2 Jewel van der Merwe, "Joel's Army," (Holly, Michigan: Discernment Newsletter Publications, pg. 1.

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