Why You Must Take Dominion Over Everything

Why You Must Take Dominion Over Everything

C. Peter Wagner explains why our focus should be on advancing, not escaping.

I can still remember prophecy teachers who tacked rows of charts and diagrams on the church wall and explained spell-binding details of the past, present and future. I cut my spiritual teeth on the Scofield Bible and devoured Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth. My seminary professors instructed me in pre-tribulationism and premillenialism. I quickly categorized anyone who disagreed as a “liberal.”

Now I look back on those days with a strange combination of regret and amusement. How is it that I was so wrong for so long? As I analyze my change, I can sum it up by admitting that I simply did not understand the kingdom of God.

Let me explain what I mean by starting with the Great Commission. The Great Commission has been central to my life. I committed myself to missions the night I was saved when I was 19. I spent my first 16 years of ministry as a field missionary and the next 30 as a professor of missions.

My heart’s desire was to help fulfill Jesus’ mandate to “make disciples of all nations.” However, the time came when I had to make a radical shift in the way I interpreted those words of Jesus.

Formerly, I thought my task was to go to as many nations of the world as possible and save as many souls as possible and plant as many churches as possible. Now I take the Great Commission more literally when it tells us not to make as many individual disciples as we can but to disciple whole social groups—such as entire nations. This is kingdom theology.

When God created Adam and Eve, He told them to take dominion over all His creation (see Gen. 1:28). This was God’s plan until Satan succeeded in persuading Adam to obey him rather than God. The result was that Satan usurped Adam’s authority and took dominion himself.

But Jesus came as the second Adam. He brought the kingdom of God to earth and sent His disciples out to preach the gospel of the kingdom. He has now commissioned us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to advance His kingdom, to push Satan’s kingdom back and to retake the dominion that rightly belongs to the human race.

This is the Great Commission. It still includes healing the sick, casting out demons, saving souls, multiplying churches and feeding the hungry, but it goes far beyond these activities. It is putting feet to the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:“Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

How has this played out? The human race is enormously better off now than it was when Jesus died and was raised from the dead 2,000 years ago! Satan is losing ground more and more rapidly.

Those who think the world is getting worse and worse are missing the big picture of human history. I now regard my former pre-tribulationism and premillenialism as escapist eschatology.

I do not plan to give any territory back to Satan or his Antichrist.Yes, there will be setbacks, but the advances will far outnumber them. Instead of an escapist eschatology, I expouse a victorious eschatology!

My favorite term is “dominion eschatology.” Why? Because Jesus did not give His Great Commission in vain.

The battle will be ferocious, and we will suffer some casualties along the way.However, we will continue to push Satan back and disciple whole nations.

We are aggressively retaking dominion, and the rate at which this is happening will soon become exponential. The day will come when “‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever’” (Rev. 11:15, NKJV)!

10 Stupid Things Ministers Should Never Do

10 Stupid Things Ministers Should Never Do

If you aspire to ministry, don’t be stupid. Decide now to avoid these obvious pitfalls.

I had the privilege of sharing a pulpit with Dr. Mary Ann Brown two times. She was bold, prophetic and painfully blunt. People who hate women preachers hated her even more because of her no-nonsense sermons—always delivered in her Texas twang. She would get her audience laughing and then skewer them with a hot blade of truth.

When this spiritual giant died last month at age 73, I remembered the last words she said to me when we were together at a conference in Chicago in 2011. After lamenting the fact that so many ministers in the United States were failing, Mary Ann locked eyes with me and said with stern, motherly authority: “Lee, please don’t ever get stupid.”

I knew exactly what she meant—and I’ve pondered her words often, especially since her death. I don’t want to be stupid; I want to finish well. So how can we avoid spiritual stupidity? We can start by avoiding these 10 mistakes that have become common in our movement during the past decade. If you are a minister, or if you aspire to be one, please decide now that you will never copy these behaviors.

1. Take illegal drugs. I know people who never got complete deliverance from their drug habit—and then when the pressures of ministry grew intense they turned to illegal substances to escape. That’s stupid! If you aren’t in control of your actions 100 percent of the time, you have no business in the ministry.

2. Reject accountability. The Lone Ranger may have been a great comic book hero, but isolation doesn’t work in real life. Lack of accountability is stupid! If you don’t answer to people smarter than you, you are an accident waiting to happen—and you’re going to hurt God’s people. You have no right to be in authority if you are not under authority.

3. Beat or abuse your wife. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:7 that God will not listen to your prayers if you mistreat your wife. If you are an abuser (and even if you are a master at hiding your sin from others), the Lord will oppose you until you seek help.

4. Surround yourself with adoring fans. Years ago, fallen PTL founder Jim Bakker said his biggest mistake was planting “yes men” around him instead of people who had the guts to challenge his bad decisions. If you aren’t willing to invite input—including criticism—from your followers, you are a weak leader headed for disaster.

5. Fabricate spiritual gifts to impress others. In our movement there’s a lot of pressure to produce the sensational in order to keep people entertained. But if you stoop so low as to fake a healing, conjure up a false prophecy or push someone to the floor, the Holy Spirit will step aside and let you run the sideshow without His power. It’s stupid to mix strange fire and risk offending God!

6. Be lenient toward sexual sin. In our movement today we celebrate the grace message while frowning on anyone who dares to identify fornication, adultery, homosexuality or pornography as sins. If you are casual about sexual sin in your own life, or if you don’t require purity among those you lead, you are stupid.

7. Manipulate people during the offering time. Ministers often twist Scriptures and use hypnotic mind games to raise funds on Christian television. Nobody challenges their fraud, so it seems they get away with it. Be assured that these people will answer to God one day for their deception. You are stupid if you try these tactics in your church.

8. Refuse to share power. I meet many ministers who have been leading their churches or organizations for 30 years and yet have no succession plan in place. That is dumb! You are not going to live forever. Train the next generation now so they will be ready to lead in your place—and do it before you keel over from a heart attack!

9. Teach exotic doctrines rather than the core truths of the Bible. We charismatics tend to feed people a “flavor of the month” in order to satisfy the craving for angelic visitations, third-heaven visions, gold dust, gold teeth, manna, angel feathers, heavenly portals and indoor rain clouds. But history has proven that those who make spiritual manifestations a primary focus always get tricked into deception. We will be wise if we keep the main thing the main thing. Focus on Jesus!

10. Become an egomaniac. In the past 10 years some of America’s biggest religious stars have gone totally loony because of pride. They require private jets, body guards and personal chefs while maintaining a cold aloofness from the people they are called to serve. If you let Satan dupe you into becoming an arrogant ministry diva, you are stupid. Repent, get on the same level with the people, and start acting like Christ instead of a rock star.

In memory of my late friend Mary Ann Brown, I pass on her advice to you: “Please don’t ever get stupid.” Let’s grow up, reject foolishness and aim to finish well.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project (themordecaiproject.org). You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. His latest book is Fearless Daughters of the Bible.

Daniel: A Travel Guide by Michael Milton

The Book of Daniel is the place where prophecy and theology meet in a teenage boy named Daniel in captivity to a foreign king. Along with Daniel’s friends, the reader comes face-to-face with the realities in his own life:

How a believer must live in times of apostasy

How a believer may follow the Lord in the most secular of conditions

How a follower of Christ can trust Christ even when it seems He is not in control

How a disciple of Jesus can meet the demands of discipleship in the tough, hard places of life

This part of Daniel grips me as your pastor. So I am back to why I love travel books. Think of Daniel as your divine guide to living for God in those times when it looks like God is nowhere to be found. And if we are truly becoming the secular nation that many say we are, then Daniel is God’s guide for our lives as we stand up for Him in this generation.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone

We Can Take Authority

We believers can take authority over the evil spirits that are out to destroy the nation because we are important to world affairs.

We are the ones whose prayers can change every office of authority in this land. It’s up to you and me to intercede right now, using the power God has given us.

Jesus Christ is our Lord. And that alone is enough to alter the spiritual complexion of this earth.

The Carpenter

An elderly carpenter told his contractor of his plans to retire. The contractor asked him to build one more house as a personal favour.

The carpenter agreed to do it. Yet, this time, the carpenter didn’t put his heart into his work; he used cheap materials and bad workmanship.

After the house was finished, the contractor came by and told the carpenter, “Here is the key to the front door. The house is my gift to you for your years of service.” What a shock! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well. So it is with us. We are now living the life we have built.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Each action you take is a nail hammered, a board placed, or a wall erected. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and choices you make today.

Quotes: “Do not throw the arrow, which will return against you.” – Kurdish Proverb

“Anyone can predict your future, all they have to do is take a close look at the actions that you are taking today”

As He Is, So We Are

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world – 1 Jn. 4.17.

The beginning of our Christian experience according to John was the gift of the power to become sons of God. If no other portion of the scripture was written to expatiate on this, we would have been locked, as we think, to a state far away from God’s transcedence; a state that we can only escape bye and bye.

That power works in us now, not just to reveal Christ in us, but to do the same through us. He came to this world and “… became what we are that he might make us what he is” (Athenasius of Alexandria).

The love of God is perfected to us in that as His beloved “…now are we the sons of God…” because as he is, so are we in this world. What a glorious basis for boldness when we shall appear before Him.

Let this mind be in you.

Christ, Head of the Church

By J. Michael Shannon

Can you believe it? The head of a baby Jesus statue was knocked off and carried away by vandals at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church, Wauwatosa, Wis.. The church members are angry and looking to get the statue fixed. If the head is not found, the church will have to replace the entire statue at $12,000.

Disturbing! Isn’t it? We often have done something worse without even knowing it. The Bible says Christ is the head of the church, and frequently we assume we are. Understanding that Christ is the head of the church will not solve all our problems, and we still will debate and discuss what we think Jesus would have us do; but it is guaranteed that if we take Jesus away from His place as head of the church it is a prescription for disaster.

His Will Must be Done

The night on which He was betrayed started as the night in which He reclined at the table with them in a festive mood for the last time. He ate with them with His eyes on the future. Salvation at last has come to mortals; for those who shall believe, provision of eternal redemption was about to be made. Hence he said, this is my body… this is my blood….

Amazingly, they left the table with a wrong perspective. The concern of some of them was who shall be the chiefest. Let it not be so among you”, he said in response.

How things should be henceforth is found in the garden called Gethsemane. He struggled with the flesh as He stood close to the implementation of the way out for sinners who have been all their lives subjected to vanity. Their salvation would require that flesh should be put under. His humility was not yet complete, not until the cross.

“Not my will”, He said, “but yours be done”

This is the weekend to reflect on our pursuits and ambitions to align them with His; time to use the willingness of the spirit to subdue the weakness and the vulnerabilities of the flesh; time to say not my will but yours be done.

We can dream bigger dreams and have our eyes on the world as the constituency of our service,; but it must be in tune with His will.

God bless you

IAT™

Easter and the Cross

In a church marketing newsletter just a few years ago, a campaign was suggested to attract people to church during the season of Easter. In this public relations campaign, it was suggested the cross be removed from the altar. According to the author, a survey has revealed the cross is one of those symbols the new generation of churchgoers considered too churchy. One pastor interviewed for the campaign gave his wholehearted endorsement. “We are going to attempt to concentrate on the resurrection, and not the death of Jesus.”

Easter without the cross. Is it possible to have resurrection without crucifixion? No. It distorts the entire gospel if crucifixion is separated from resurrection. The road to the empty tomb will forever pass by a cross. The One who is raised from the dead is none other than the crucified Christ. Easter without a cross is a hoax

Trust God And Keep Going

“Gideon crossed over, exhausted but still in pursuit” – Judges 8:4 NKJV

Are you thinking of quitting? You believed you could make a difference until they poured criticism and cold water on you. At that point you decided it was easier to adjust your expectations to their opinion and just keep smiling. Don’t do it; God has too much invested in you! The comfort zone is for those who are exempt from pain but denied progress; protected from failure but held in the grip of mediocrity. Get up and get out of there while you still can: ‘… Strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die… ‘ (Revelation 3:2 NKJV). Open your Bible and begin to fill your mind with God’s promises; they’re powerful motivators. Pray, believing God for great things. Plug in at church. Rekindle your desire, for ultimately that’s what determines your destiny! Jesus suffered the loss of His disciples, His friends, and even His clothes (John 19:23-24). But they couldn’t rob Him of ‘… the joy that was set before him… ‘ (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV). Even while He was dying He continued to minister. Then He went into hell, came out with the lock and keys and announced, ‘I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore… ‘ (Revelation 1:18 NKJV). And He is your example!

When Gideon fought the Midianites we read that he ‘… came to the Jordan, he and the three hundred men who were with him crossed over, exhausted but still in pursuit’. Because Gideon refused to let the Jordan River intimidate him, or fatigue stop him, God gave him a great victory! And He will do the same for you.

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