sexta-feira, 8 de julho de 2011

Third Wave, Kingdom Theology....

I. Introduction to the subject

A. Third Wave

At a certain point the Kingdom Theology and the Third Wave of the Holy Spirit are linked to each other. There is also a link however small between them and the Prosperity Gospel.

The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit is a Christian theological theory first introduced by C. Peter Wagner to describe what he believed to be three historical periods of the activity of the Holy Spirit in the 20th century and beyond.

The first (period) wave was the pentecostal movement.

The second (period) wave was the charismatic movement.

The third (period) wave - the 'new charismatics'.

The Third Wave movement gives an over emphasis in healing, tongues and other gifts of the Spirit. Like the kingdom Theology they follow “Restoration Teachings” or "Last Reformation", so they believe that “signs and wonders” have been restored and we have today the same power and authority than in the times of the prophets and apostles of the Bible and some say that "we shall do greater works (signs ans wonders) than Jesus".

Together with “signs and wonders” the Third Wave resulted in all sorts of weird errors and bizarre behaviour, like holy laughter, soaking, and slain in the Spirit, imitating animals, visualization, lots of prophecies and “rhema” words; and finally "Kundalini"- an experience that has invaded the church in many places.

Signs and Wonders can even include even gold dust, diamonds and feathers falling from heaven.

B. Kingdom Theology

About the Kingdom Theology, it is a system of Christian thought based on the selected teachings about the kingdom of God which speak of the coming of the kingdom of God as a future event in some places, but in other places as a completed event.

The emphasis of the Kingdom theology is that the purpose of both individual Christians and the church as a whole is to manifest the kingdom of God on the earth, incorporating personal evangelism, social action, and foreign missions.

A key term is "dominion" with a claim that Christians are to take an active role in securing dominion in every facet of society, but especially in the roles of public servants, political leaders and the like. When Christians have caused the earth to reach a certain state of perfection, the return of Christ will then occur.

This theology is subtle and its “restoration teachings” have misled many born again Christians in the U.K. and USA. The Kingdom Theology is the most powerful and influential movement in the Church, and has been spread all over the world.

The Kingdom Theology, Third Wave movement and the Prosperity Gospel are more “linked with each other” than we may think. This is the reason why many leaders of the Kingdom Theology and Third Wave movement have a great sympathy for prosperity preachers like Benn Hynn, Tod Bentley, Joel Olsten, Bob Jones etc; instead of standing firm and denounced these false teachers and prophets.

It is not a bad thing when believers have role positions in society. But it is wrong to over emphasis this idea to the point some people teach that the primary role of Christians is securing dominion in every facet of society, to take the earth to a certain state of perfection.

Where do we see in the Bible that Christians will rule the earth one day!? I believe that the Bible and our history reveal the contrary: “believers have been always persecuted on earth instead of being dominant, until the end of times, as we read in the Bible.

Matthew 5: 11-12 11 blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 24:9, 21 9 Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

Revelation 17:6 6And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly

C. Dominion Theology

this section about Dominion Theology is from Got Questions?
Dominion Theology and other similar theologies, they all come from Kingdom Theology.

Dominion theology refers to a line of theological interpretation and thought with regard to the role of the Church in contemporary society. Dominion theology is also known as Christian reconstructionism and theonomy.

Dominion theology states that biblical Christianity will rule all areas of society, personal and corporate. Christian Reconstructionism reasons that society will be reconstructed by the Law of God as preached in the Gospel and the Great Commission.

Theonomy is a post-millennial view believing that all of the moral laws contained in the Old Testament are yet binding today. Although these might sound somewhat disparate, they have all been closely linked together to the point that people often use the terms interchangeably.

Those who hold these views believe that it is the duty of Christians to create a world-wide kingdom patterned after the Mosaic Law. They believe that Christ will not return to earth until such a kingdom has been established.

The principal goal, then, of dominion theology and Christian reconstructionism is political and religious domination of the world through the implementation of the moral laws, and subsequent punishments, of the Old Testament (the sacrificial and ceremonial laws having been fulfilled in the New Testament). This is not a government system ruled by the Church, but rather a government conformed to the Law of God.

Dominion theology / Christian reconstructionism is largely based upon a post-millennial view of covenantalism.

Post-millennial refers to the belief that Christ will return to earth after the thousand year reign of God's kingdom, and covenantalism refers to the belief that biblical history is divided into three major covenants supposedly described in Scripture—of redemption, of works, and of grace.

Adherents believe that we currently exist under the covenant of grace, and that the Church has replaced the nation Israel, and are now in the millennial Kingdom of God. Man, under the covenant of grace, is responsible to rule the world, to hold dominion over it, in obedience to the Laws of God.

The problem with these beliefs is that they rest upon a distorted view of Scripture. Scripture clearly teaches a premillennial view of the Kingdom of God (Zechariah 14:4-9; Matthew 25:31-34), the "covenant of grace" is an extra-biblical construct, Israel and the Church are distinct throughout biblical history and prophecy, and God never commanded the Church to revamp society.

Instead, believers are commanded to preach the Gospel as in (Matthew 28:19-20) but God clearly intends to implement world-wide reform Himself (Revelation 19:11-20:4)

Though it is clearly unbiblical, dominion theology persists. It is, in fact, a great threat to biblical Christianity. Once at home solely within Reformed circles, dominion theology and Christian reconstructionism is now creeping into many Protestant churches and is making a large impact on the beliefs of Charismatic churches in particular.

D. Kingdom Now Theology

this section about Kingdom Now Theology are from Got Questions?

Kingdom Now Theology and other similar theologies, they all come from Kingdom Theology.

Kingdom Now theology is a theological belief within the Charismatic movement of Protestant Christianity, mainly in the United States. Kingdom Now proponents believe that God lost control over the world to Satan when Adam and Eve sinned.

Since then, the theology goes, God has been trying to reestablish control over the world by seeking a special group of believers—known variously as "covenant people," "over-comers," or "Joel's army"—and that through these people, social institutions (including governments and laws) would be brought under God's authority.

The belief is that, since believers are indwelt by the same Holy Spirit that indwelt Jesus, we have all authority in heaven and on the earth; we have the power to believe for and speak into existence things that are not, and thus we can bring about the Kingdom Age.

Among the most controversial tenets of the theology is the belief that secular or non-Christian society will never succeed. Hence, Kingdom Now opposes a separation of church and state. Other beliefs include the idea that, as the Body of Christ, we are Christ. In other words, we have His divine nature.

Kingdom Now theology sees the second coming of Jesus in two stages:

First through the flesh of the believers (and in particular the flesh of today's apostles and prophets).

Second in person to take over the kingdom handed to Him by those who have been victorious (the "overcomers").

Prior to the second coming, overcomers must purge the earth of all evil influences. Kingdom Now claims that Jesus cannot return until all His enemies have been put under the feet of the church (including death, presumably). 

The idea that God has “lost control” of anything is ludicrous, especially coupled with the idea that He needs human beings to help Him regain that control. He is the sovereign Lord of the universe, complete and holy, perfect in all His attributes. He has complete control over all things—past, present and future—and nothing happens outside His command. Everything is proceeding according to His divine plan and purpose, and not one molecule is moving on its own accord. “For Jehovah of Hosts has purposed, and who shall reverse it? And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?" Isaiah 14:27

As for men having “the power to believe for and speak into existence things that are not,” that power belongs to God alone, who doesn’t take kindly to those who would attempt to usurp it from Him.

“Remember this, and be a man; return it on your heart, O sinners. Remember former things from forever; for I am God, and no other is God, even none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from the past things which were not done, saying, ‘My purpose shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure’; calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my purpose from a far country. Yes, I have spoken, I will also cause it to come; I have formed; yes, I will do it" Isa 46:8-11.

Kingdom Now’s denial of the rapture of the church is also unbiblical. The explanation that the rapture is nothing more than the people of God being caught up in rapturous feelings ignores the fact that such an application of the term "caught up" is strictly an idiomatic expression peculiar to English, not Greek.

"I was all 'caught up' in the movie (or other excitement) is not the equivalent of harpazo, used to describe the catching up bodily into heaven in 1Thessalonians 4:17; 2 Corinthians 12:2-4; and Revelation 12:5. The word is also used in Acts 8:39, where Phillip is bodily "caught away" by the Spirit to another location.

As for our being Christ and having divine nature, we are not Christ, although we do partake of His divine nature at salvation with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:4. But Christ is the second Person of the Godhead, and no one becomes God. This is a lie from the father of lies, Satan, who first told it in the Garden of Eden when he tempted Eve with “you shall be as God” (Genesis 3:5).

The idea that the church has replaced Israel and that the fulfillment of the prophecies to Israel pertain to the church is known as Replacement theology (or fulfillment theology) and it is unbiblical. The promises to Israel will be fulfilled in Israel, not in the church. God’s blessings to Israel are eternal, and they are without recall.

Finally, the second coming of Christ will be when He, not men, defeats His enemies and puts all things under His feet. The description of the second coming in Revelation 19 is the description of a mighty warrior who comes to put all things to right, not of one who comes to an earth already cleaned up and ready for Him to rule. Verse 15 is clear: “And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, so that with it He should strike the nations. And He will shepherd them with a rod of iron. And He treads the winepress of the wine of the anger and of the wrath of Almighty God.” If the earth has been “purged of all evil influences,” as the Kingdom Now-ers believe, why does Christ need a sharp sword to strike the nations, and why does the anger and wrath of God still exist against them?

Kingdom Now theology is another in a long line false, unbiblical, and misleading philosophies of men whose vain imaginations seek to humanize God and deify man. It is to be avoided.

E. What is behind all these doctrines

What is behind all these Kingdom Theology's types and third wave doctrines and prosperity gospel?

I believe is the false idea that Bible prosperity speaks about material prosperity: welfare, dominion, power, health, wealth, happiness and joy in this life.

We understand why those doctrines come from the richest countries of the west - UK and USA and not from the Churches in Africa, Asia or Arabic countries, forgive me the though!

Unfortunately Christians who teach that the kingdom of God will be established as a completed event in certain places, believe that the kingdom of God will be or has been established in a such way on this earth (at least in west countries) that we will have an increase of material stability and prosperity around us, which will give us the possibility to enjoy life to the maximum having: “great funny, great joy, great money, great food, great holidays, great houses, great business and great parties”.

But God calls us to a daily sacrificial life for the sake of the Gospel and the good of the poor people around the world, like Jesus and the prophets and apostles of the Bible lived: they preached the good news and defending the needy.

Christians involved with the kingdom Theology, if they are not careful, they will adhere to the teaching that says: "Jesus took away all the curses, so we don’t need to be ill or live poor any more". Soon or later they will give another step towards the prosperity gospel or at least they will not see anything wrong with this doctrine and their preachers.

The problem with the Kingdom theology, Third Wave theology and Prosperity theology is an over emphasis in life on earth. I have noticed also that they only want to invest where the Kingdom of God has already come as a complete event, like they teach.

They are not really interested in lost souls and poor people; because they want to have a quick return – in money, power and influence - from their investment and for that, they have to work in the centre and not in the periphery. It is very sad when we, born again Christians, can be so attached to this world, and lost the vision of a real spiritual prosperity and the passion for the spiritual salvation of the world.

D. The Central idea

I know many born again Christians who can be influenced by the third Wave Doctrines or the Kingdom Theology and have allowed some concepts from these teachings to be part of their theology. But, normally speaking the influence of these teachings on their theology don't make them to go to extremes like Bill Johnson and other preachers.

But, I believe that Bill Johnson's Kingdom Now Theology for instance, has as its goal 'the glorification of man', hence the reason he diminishes Jesus' Divinity. I would say the same to other similar theologies.
Firstly, because he affirms: "Because of Jesus' self-imposed restriction, His miracles were only done by virtue of an anointing of the Holy Spirit on His ministry and this same anointing is also available to us".

And he goes on and make another presumption: "If we are filled by the Spirit like Jesus, we are capable of doing the same signs, miracles and wonders that Jesus did on earth".

He then goes completely heretic, based on John 14 v 12, when he says: "Not only that, but 'we shall do greater works than Jesus", referring that we are capable to do greater signs and wonders than Jesus. 

But the 'greater works' in John 14:12 cannot refer to signs and wonders that are greater in quality than those done by Jesus because no believer ever has or ever will do greater miracles than Jesus. He raised the dead, opened the eyes of the blind, restored hearing to the deaf, cast out demons, healed the lame, walked on water, calmed a stormy sea, multiplied bread and fish and turned water into wine.

No miracle-worker has even come close since the days of the apostles and even the apostles did not do any signs and wonders that were greater.
Secondly, Bill Johnson is obviously wrong when he says: "When Christ died on the cross he took away the curse and defeated Satan in order for us to reach prosperity: welfare, dominion, power, health, wealth, happiness and joy, while living on this earth".

Bill Johnson's central idea about "life-affirmation" puts in question all Biblical doctrines that teach the possibility of Christians going through suffering, weakness, sickness and poverty while living on this earth.
But, if we read Romans 8:1-39, the central idea of this chapter  is that we believers also 'groan', even though we have the Holy Spirit within us, as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We too, wait with eager hope, for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies He has promised us. 

While we are part of the creation, we will know 'suffering' v18, 'weakness' v26; 'hardship', 'persecution', 'famine', 'nakedness', 'danger', 'sword' v35 and 'death'. As Paul says, "For your sake we face 'death' all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered" v36

But through the Holy Spirit, in spite of suffering, troubles, afflictions, hardship, we have the hope of future glory v18-27 and because of this hope we are more than conquerors v31-37. In v28 we read that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. 

In my opinion, these extremist beliefs about the "Kingdom Now" theology and "Dominion" theology are heretical and therefore it is another Gospel.

For the protection of people who are under our leadership, we should have the courage to stand against these extremist teachers, denouncing them rather than making a compromise with them, like many Christians leaders are doing.

I I. Wrong doctrines attached to these theologies

A. The restoration of the Five-Fold Ministry

The neo-Pentecostal "Restoration" movement and its "kingdom now" teaching, claim that one of the things which God is "restoring" to the church is this five-fold ministry mentioned in Ephesians 4:11-13.

Personally, I believe in these five ministries in the Church. But I don’t believe that God “restored” the ministry of the apostles and prophets of the Church to a such point that they have the same authority than the Prophets and the Apostles of the Bible.

They don't have the same mission, neither the same authority or power to do signs, miracles and wonders like the Old Testament Prophets and the Apostles of Christ.

In resume, about the apostles and prophets of the Church (Ephesians 4:11), in my opinion:

The Apostle is a trans cultural missionary or is the one who have vision and spiritual ability to organize missionary departments, agencies or missions, which send missionaries for trans cultural missions.

The prophet is a preacher with the gift and spiritual ability to use the scriptures to warn people when they live away from God, making an appeal for repentance. He might have a certain revelatory and predictive role, and power, but not like the Prophets and Apostles that wrote the Bible and began the Church. 

B. Restoration "The Latter Rain Movement" or “New Anointment” or "Last Reformation".

After the Assemblies of God denounced this movement and excommunicated some ministers it died down as a movement. Yet its heretical teachings were never abandoned and they took root in the Charismatic Renewal Movement of 1967.

And now, apparently, some of the Assembly of God Churches are subscribing to these doctrines. The later rain movement apart from other errors, opened up the way for the widespread doctrines of signs, wonders and miracles that need to be done in the same power of the Apostles of Christ and Christ Himself.

We must not mix up things:

We must believe in revivals, and we should pray and look for revival all the time. We should also believe that God’s have sent revivals and reformation through our history and He will still be sending revivals until the end.

And we all know that revivals brings always repentance and sanctification to the Church. Also brings salvation to many lost people and evangelism, missionary and charity work, together with signs, miracles and wonders.

Possibly like many believers say, we are going to have a great revival (a great reformation) before the end comes.

But, we are speaking about revivals that come from a special “anointment of the Spirit”. We are not speaking about anything new. The Spirit has been given at Pentecost. Although some people think that in the great revival before the end comes, the Church will have a harvest that never had in the past history, we really don’t know for sure.

Because, we could think about the way the Holy Spirit work in the primitive Church with signs, wonders, conversions, extension of the Church all over that region, and also the impact of protestant reformation with Luther, Calvin and others. We also speak about the revival in Wales and in many other times and places, when the Spirit revived the Church in a very powerful way.  So, what can we say, that the great revival near the end will be greater than those times, or will be just another great revival!?

It is the same Spirit. There is not a “new” Bible or a “new” revelation. It is the same powerful word of God that has a tremendous impact in the Church and in the world when is preached by anointed preachers.

Our task is not new; it is the same task to look always for more and for better from what God has given us already – His Spirit and His Word.

God’s task is to send revival, or because we have searched for it, or simply because in His Sovereignty He decides to send revival to awake up His Church and the lost world.

We might have the greatest revival, the greatest reformation or last reformation at the end of the times, I even don’t mind if people call it  "the last reformation" or “the later rain”.

BUT, that doesn't mean that the Church will dominate the earth, every believer will be healed, no one will be poor, we will see signs, miracles and wonders that never happened, and the Apostles and Prophets of this future revival will have more authority and power that the Apostles of Christ and the Prophets of the Bible and they will greater signs and wonders than Jesus himself!

If you think so, I believe you are wrong. You are following the Third Wave Doctrines!

C. Kingdom Now theology and Dominion

A careful reading of the Bible indicates otherwise. Simply put, the Bible never commands Christians to take dominion, because this will never happen any way. A search for such a mandate proves fruitless. The Bible never even hints that this is to be the purpose of the church between Christ's first and second comings. The purpose of the Church firstly is to preach the Gospel to all creation.

Together with this purpose, believers have also a cultural mandate to be the salt and light of the earth, praying for our governments, defending God’s values and justice before all men and giving help to the poor. It is a mandate to help, not a commandment to dominate the earth in order that the Kingdom of God will be a complete event where we live in our life time.

On the other hand, we must not forget that the Bible makes it very clear that the Church of the end of times will be Laodicean type church. Lukewarm, not hot or cold. The real point is that according to the Scriptures, the end-times church will be in a state of almost complete spiritual bankruptcy, because we will be living in a world of increasing darkness.

The Church will have no more dominion, but more persecution and suffering, will be fighting against the “power of lawlessness (or iniquity) that is at work since the beginning of creation but will reach its maximum stage in the end of the times, with the coming of the Antichrist revealed in Revelation and other books. It is the power of Satan, the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. Thes 2:7-8 and I John 4:1-2

But God has always kept a “remnant”. And just as with many previous moves of God right down through the ages, God can use a “remnant” of believers in the end of the times, who have willingly gone through the necessary preparation, to be part in a coming revival, perhaps in this “great revival or reformation” that some genuine prophetic preachers are speaking about, basing their views in some Bible texts.

The “remnant” of God, will be a few people compared with the world population, but who will shine forth God’s light with the greatest possible effectiveness. This is what the coming Reformation is all about – finding and cleansing and anointing such a people so that they can shine forth His light in all the earth. This is why such a massive `shaking’ and repentance must first come upon the church. But for that God must find and rise up such a people.

The problem when instead of calling “revival”, people began to call “the later rain”, “new wine”, “new anointment” and so on, giving the impression that we are going to see something spectacular, never seen in the Church, really a “new thing”.

Because of this, lots of people, some are born again Christians, have fall into Satan deception resulted in all sorts of weird errors and bizarre behavior, like holy laughter, soaking, and slain in the Spirit, imitating animals, visualization, lots of prophecies and “rhema” words; and finally "Kundalini"- an experience that has invaded the church in many places.

Well, this behavior is completely “new”, “bizarre”, we don’t find it at all in the Bible and in all the history of the Church!?

Is it coming from God’s revivals, or Satan’s deception?

I believe in revival, I even believe that we are going to see a great one, maybe the greatest one, but it is not anything “new”, it will come from the same Spirit and the same Bible.

D. Holy Laughter Doctrines and other bizarre behavior

Together with signs and wonders the third wave resulted in all sorts of weird errors and bizarre behavior, like holy laughter, soaking, and slain in the Spirit, imitating animals, visualization, lots of prophecies and “rhema” words; and "Kundalini"- an experience that has invaded the church in many places. What is holy laughter? Is laughing uncontrollably under the anointment of the Holy Spirit, like they say?

E. “Rhema” word

"Rhema" is a Greek term that is often translated "word" in English versions of the New Testament.

The Greek word "Logos" is also translated "word" in a number of English translations.

Many Charismatic teachers insist that there is a very special difference between these two types of "words."

The logos kind of word is viewed as being the biblical "written word." But a “rhema” word is a special, modern revelation to someone. It may be in the form of a flash of insight into some spiritual matter that is not clearly covered in scripture. Or it may be an intuitive understanding that a particular scripture verse or passage has immediate application to a current circumstance, even though in the context in of the Bible it may have nothing at all to do with the topic of the circumstance.

Such “rhema” words are sought more than the Bible itself to give daily guidance to the life of the Christian.

According to most Greek scholars, however, there is no real linguistic validity to this theory that the Bible writers deliberately made such a distinction between these two Greek words. And much of what passes for “rhema” words in many Charismatic circles appears to be extremely unsubstantiated, highly fanciful inventions of the subconscious of the person claiming to have the “rhema word” all these "modern revelations" of our days.

F. The Word of Faith/Positive Confession

Some of the adopt teachings in “restorations teachings” are very similar to the metaphysical cults such as: New Thought, Christian Science, Unity School of Christianity, Mind Science, and Religious Science.

It can even touch in the doctrine of deification that believes one is able to reach godhood. That man is a little god "in God's class" and therefore can use the same faith-force that God does."

The 'positive confession' comes also from this idea of the "rhema word" and which they mean that because God spoke and the universe was created it is the power of words that makes things happen. So, our words have power and they can be used as "rhema" words. (our words may have negative or positive power on us or others but not in this sense).

Also when we use the scriptures, we don't need to explain the context remote - when, how, why, whom God was speaking and apply it in a fairy way to our actual situation. We can just use the "Logos" completely out of the context as a "rhema" word to speak to a person or to a situation.

So the "logos" only God's Word, may say or mean one thing, but the "rhema" (my imaginative word) that I pretend to come from God's Word, might say or mean a completely different thing.

 G. The ministry and role of the woman in a Church

Kingdom Theology have elevated the status of women in society and in a Church where women have a full and equal ministry role.

There are those who say that Scripture does not teach that there are role distinctions between men and women, and especially between redeemed men and redeemed women in Christ, in the Church, and in the home, and they use the verse in Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, and there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

They have twisted the concept of man’s headship clearly revealed in the Bible. Ephesians 5:22-25, I Corinthians 11:1-14 and other texts of the Bible, like for instance Peter 3:1-7

In Peter 3:1-7, the blessing of being joint heirs of the gracious gift of life is connected with the exhortation for women to submit to their husbands, and for their husbands to treat their wives with respect. In other words, Peter saw no conflict between the "neither male nor female" principal regarding or inheritance, and the headship submission principle regarding our roles Galatians 3:28 does not abolish gender based roles established by God and redeemed by Christ."

I am not saying that a Church which have a woman minister is a Third Wave Church. Some Churches might allowed  a woman to be a minister for other theological or cultural reasons.

But the role and status of a woman in a Third Wave Church is more prominent and elevated (twisted) than a Church which has a woman as a minister for other theological or cultural reasons. 

H.  Kenosis theology

A new heresy has arrived - the Kenosis theology and Bill Johnson is one of its principal teacher.

The doctrine called 'knosis theology' - meaning that Jesus 'put aside' His divinity when he became man.

'Kenosis' is a Greek word for emptiness. So, the 'kenosis doctrine' is based on a misuse of Philippians 2:7 where Paul says that Jesus emptied Himself.

'Functional knosis' speaks about Jesus 'putting aside' His functions; 'Ontological knosis' speaks about Jesus 'putting aside' His nature or divine attributes.

Some theologians say that 'functional knosis' is not heretical, but 'ontological knosis' is.

I myself don't believe in 'knosis', because I believe in the 'hypostatic theology', or 'hypostatic union', that describes the union of Christ's humanity and divinity in one, meaning that Jesus was complete man, but also complete GOD on earth from His conception until His death!

Bill Johnson's doctrine about the divinity of Jesus is very confusing. On one hand his followers imply that  he teaches 'functional knosis', but on the other hand, in saying that Jesus 'put aside' his divinity and lived on earth as a man anointed by the Holy Spirit, Bill Johnson is diminishing Jesus' divine nature as a man. So, actually, he also teaches 'ontological knosis'. 

Bill Johnson' kenosis view is a very serious heresy, because in a subtle way, he wants to come to the following presumption: 

If Jesus did all the miracles, signs and wonders as a man, 'anointed' by the Holy Spirit, we also, 'anointed' by the Holy Spirit are capable of doing the same things that Jesus did. Bill Johnson goes on to affirm, "Not only that, we shall do greater works than Jesus, referring to Jesus' signs and wonders". Based on John 14:12.   

I believe that Bill Johnson's presumption about the Divinity of Christ has as its goal 'the glorification of man', hence the reason he diminishes Jesus' Divinity.

Why is it? 

Because he affirms: "Because of Jesus' self-imposed restriction, His miracles were only done by virtue of an anointing of the Holy Spirit on His ministry and this same anointing is also available to us".

And he goes on and make another presumption: "If we are filled by the Spirit like Jesus, we are capable of doing the same signs, miracles and wonders that Jesus did on earth".

He then goes completely heretic, based on John 14 v 12, when he says: "Not only that, but 'we shall do greater works than Jesus", referring that we are capable to do greater signs and wonders than Jesus. 

But the 'greater works' in John 14:12 cannot refer to signs and wonders that are greater in quality than those done by Jesus because no believer ever has or ever will do greater miracles than Jesus. He raised the dead, opened the eyes of the blind, restored hearing to the deaf, cast out demons, healed the lame, walked on water, calmed a stormy sea, multiplied bread and fish and turned water into wine.

No miracle-worker has even come close since the days of the apostles and even the apostles did not do any signs and wonders that were greater.

I I I. Conclusion of the subject

A. The two covenants

God made a covenant with Abraham promising him an earthly posterity the Nation of Israel, and a heavenly posterity – the Church of Christ.

So, most promises in the Old Testament are about Abraham’s earthly posterity – the Nation of Israel. God promised to Israel was: “if they would obey Moses’ laws, they would live in the land He promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they would prosperous, conquer all their enemies around and live in abundance and peace.

The promise about the heavenly posterity was fulfilled when Christ came; the gospel began to be preached; and God began to call Abraham’s heavenly posterity from all nations to be part of the Church of Jesus Christ until He comes back again.

So, the New Testament is a covenant based in the sacrifice and the blood of Christ, together with the Great Commission giving to his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all creation and through out the proclamation of the Gospel God will call to be part of this posterity whosoever believes in Jesus. So, although we find in the New Testament that God bless people and Nations materially if they turn to Him, most of the blessings promised have a spiritual connotation.

The greater promises made to the believers, they will only receive in the Promised Land – in Heaven. Until they arrived to their heavenly City, they are asked by God to live faithfully and work hard and sacrificially for the extension of God’s kingdom in this world, bringing salvation to many souls and blessings to the people who accept the gospel in their culture.

In the New Testament believers are challenged to follow the sacrificial example of Christ and His Apostles, renouncing themselves for the sake of Christ and the Gospel, and in doing that they are storing treasures in Heaven.

However, although the Old Testament mainly promise is about material prosperity, we find some texts like the one in Habakkuk which shows us that we must always praise God even in times of material difficulties:

Habakkuk 3:17-18 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Also, the text below in Isaiah 61 shows us that the real blessing Jesus would bring for the poor is: “the good news and deliverance from captivity and darkness”, “and the ones who mourn will receive comfort and gladness instead of mourning, a crown of beauty instead of ashes, a garment of praise instead of Spirit o despair”.

Isaiah 61:1-3 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah reveals that God promised in the Old Testament was that Jesus will bring above all spiritual prosperity to the poor.

B. The Kingdom of God brings justice not dominion 

We are not saying that the Kingdom of God doesn’t bring restoration and freedom. Jesus asked us to pray “your kingdom come”. We know that the most prosperous and democratic countries in our world, are the ones who have accept the gospel. In all aspects: educational, justice, health, wealth, political, freedom of speech etc. Where the gospel penetrates brings restoration, freedom, health and wealth in all areas, and believers as well unbelievers benefit from all the reforms brought to the society by the impact of Christian values and teachings.

People around, including Christians, will have better schools, hospitals, jobs, shops, goods, Churches and Governments when the kingdom of God comes to take place. But to say that when the kingdom of God comes, every one who believes in Christ will be healed and rich, that is not the case, that it is not biblical!?

When the kingdom of God comes brings justice, freedom, wealth, forgiveness, healing and restoration, but doesn’t mean that “all believers will be healed and rich”. And if they are not healed or become richer the only reason is because they don’t allow Jesus to break the curse of the law on their lives, by lack of faith or understanding.

And it doesn’t mean also the key task is "dominion" with a claim that Christians are to take an active role in securing dominion in every facet of society, because their role is to take the earth to reach a certain state of perfection, before Christ return.

C. The Kingdom of God brings eternal life  

There is only one absolute promise in the New Testament for believers. It is the promise that if they accept Jesus as their personal savior “they will receive forgiveness for their sins and consequently Eternal Life”.

This is what believers receive immediately from Jesus salvation – forgiveness and the certitude of eternal life. Other than that, what concerns their bodies and even their souls, they are saved in “hope”, waiting for the day, after the second coming of Christ, when they will receive the fullness of Jesus redemptive salvation - all God’s promises for believers - by the resurrection of their bodies and ascension to the heavenly places”. Romans 8:18-30 and other texts.

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