This collection of articles covers the topic of Restoration, which means "restoring the authority and apostolic leadership to the global Church". It has other and deeper implications too, as can be seen by the articles on warring in the heavenlies (to pull down the satanic strongholds that restrict the church) and "The Glory" (which is a skewed belief that the full power and visible glory of God will ultimately descend upon the restored Church.)
The two main Dominion movements are Christian Reconstructionism and Kingdom Now Theology. Though these two movements differ greatly in their general theological orientation (the first is strongly Reformed and Neo-Calvinistic, the second is Charismatic), they share a postmillennial vision in which the Kingdom of God will be established on Earth through political, spiritual and in some extreme cases military means.
Dominion Theology and Restoration today has progressed far beyond the reach of these early articles of mine; however it is always good to refer to the roots of the movement, and to understand its core objectives.
Topics covered in this section are: Gatekeepers and Spiritual Warfare, Restorationism, Shepherding, Kingdom Theology and its proponents, historical roots such as Gnosticism, Sonship and the Latter Rain, the coming glorification of the ascended saints, and the part that the Toronto revival and such things as Celtic Mysticism have to play.
(By Tricia Tillin)
This booklet was written in the mid 1980's to combat the growing interest in the doctrines of "Shepherding" in the UK. Many charismatic churches were at that time going over to shepherding, discipling or "covering" doctrines as they were then known. These were brought over to the UK from the States in the late 1960's and early 1970's by the leadership team known as the Fort Lauderdale Five, though Bob Mumford was the speaker who most affected the UK leadership, and he was idolised by the charismatic christians of the day.
Under the new system of "covering" each member of a fellowship had to answer to his/her own personal shepherd, and in some cases every minute detail of the spiritual and personal life of a church member was routinely monitored. No contribution to church life or worship was accepted unless it had been passed by the elders, and no teaching of the leadership was to be questioned - for they were the anointed "government of God" and stood in the place of Jesus! In this situation, it was easy to introduce heretical new doctrines, for the sheep were honour bound to eat everything they were fed.
Thus, "restoration" dogma arrived and quickly became the cornerstone teaching of almost every charismatic fellowship in the land. When this booklet was first written, "restoration" was in its infancy, and the exposé was therefore limited in scope. However, it remains a useful reference work and tool for those who have never heard of "restoration" or for those who are puzzled about the origins of what their church actually teaches.
Part One of the booklet examined the doctrines of "replacement theology" and post-millennialism - both foundational to restoration teaching. Another name for restoration teaching is "Kingdom-Now" because it teaches that the Old Testament Kingdom of God, the universal reign of peace and righteousness, is a present-day reality, rather than a future literal event. It has also been called "Kingdom-Dominion" because restoration doctrine teaches that the Church has the task of extending its present-day religious dominion until it becomes the Government of God upon the earth, instructing and ruling every earthly instituion.
Part Two will examine the implications of restoration teachings, especially with regard to the New Age Movement. It will ask how closely linked these teachings on world dominion are to the creed of the New Age Movement, which is seeking to re-educate the whole world into a One World policy of government and worship, supposedly to bring peace, plenty, and restoration to creation.
Part Three will expose the roots of the restoration doctrines, and to show how heretical views of the Kingdom, the Latter Rain Movement, and various metaphysical cults have influenced their development.
In part one, the scriptures relating to Israel, the Church and Restoration were examined, and the conclusion there was that the Bible does NOT support Kingdom Now theology, for the following reasons:
- The Church is not the Israel of prophecy.
- The Jews are to be restored both spiritually and nationally, and will then receive the promised Kingdom.
- The Kingdom comes at the time of the Second Coming.
THE CHURCH AND ISRAEL CONTRASTED
THE CHURCH - Includes Believing Jews
- Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4)
- "Called out" from all nations, peoples and tongues
- Given a heavenly rulership in Christ (Eph 2:6)
- Incorporated into the Body of Christ, one spirit with him
- Christ is the head of the Body
- Christ the Saviour, Redeemer and Friend
- The slain Lamb, seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven
- Enter into Christ by receiving him by faith
- Co-heirs with Christ in spiritual blessing and glory (Rom 8:17)
- Freed from the Law (Rom 7:6)
- Being a spiritual Temple, not made with hands (1Cor 3:16)
- A virgin bride, espoused to Christ awaiting her marriage in heaven (2Cor 11:2)
- Having passed from death to life, no longer under judgement. Will account to God for service (Jn 5:24/ 2Cor 5:10/Matt 25:19)
- Ambassadors of Christ's grace with citizenship in heaven (Phil 3:20)
- Promised to Abraham at his call (Gen 12:1-3)
- "Elected" from the tribes of Israel, the seed of Abraham
- Promised an earthly rulership under Christ (Is 2:2-4)
- Joined to God by covenant, in trust and obedience
- Messiah, the King of Israel
- Messiah the Deliverer, Ruler and judge
- The Sceptre, enthroned on David's throne in Jerusalem (Ezek 43:7)
- Enter into the Kingdom of God by faithful obedience (Rev 20:4-6)
- Inheritors of wealth, power, land and earthly pre-eminence (Is 35/49)
- Subject to the Law (Ezek 11:20)
- Having a physical Temple, to which Christ will come (Mal 3:1/Ezek 43)
- An adulterous wife cast off by her husband, awaiting forgiveness (Ezek 16:8)
- Judged by purging and refining, by tribulation and testing. Will be called to account for deeds (Mal 3:2-5/Is 4:3-4)
- Arbiters of God's rule with citizenship in Jerusalem (Zech 8:23)
LINKS TO THE NEW AGE DOCTRINES?
There also seem to be worrying similarities between Restoration teaching and the New Age dogma, which proclaims a utopian new world of peace, brotherhood and spiritual advance. Nor is the Restoration type teaching confined to Shepherding fellowships any more. Since the Seventies, there has been a concerted effort towards unity amongst Christian groups, and it has been made possible by one pivotal belief - that great revival, restoration and Christian domination is on the way. Added to this is the belief that Jesus cannot return to earth until the worldwide Church is both united and victorious. [But see Luke 18:8/Is 63:3,5]
Faced with this task of global evangelism, many Christian groups - charismatic, evangelical, liberal and Catholic - have agreed to forget their doctrinal differences and work together. In effect they have thrown out doctrinal purity and based their faith on a new creed of brotherly love. It is a creed that has only a superficial appeal and no scriptural authority.
Three major Christian streams are now converging and flowing together into an alarming flood of ecumenism and restorationalism:
(A) RECONSTRUCTION: Founded by R. J. Rushdoony, Gary North and Greg Bahnsen and supported by such leaders as David Chilton and Gary DeMar. Appeals mostly to educated conservatives, liberals, Catholics and mainstream denominationalists, including conservative evangelicals. These focus on the need for economic change, social justice, peace, conservation and so forth, and believe that the Church will eventually reconstruct the world by applying and enforcing Biblical principles. These principles, or laws, must be applied to all mankind, not just believers.
"I believe that the world will see the progressive triumph of Christs people until the whole world is Christian and a glorious material and spiritual era unfolds." (1)
"God has a plan for the conquest of all things by His Covenant People. That plan is His Law." (2)
(B) POSITIVE FAITH: Supported by charismatic Christians including the American Faith teachers. They teach that we can "operate on the same level of faith as God" and that by our faith-filled words Christians can renew the environment, bringing increasing peace, prosperity and victory not only to the Church, but to the world. They believe that a full-scale revival is on the way that will radically transform the earth; the last days will be ones of unlimited wealth, power and victory.
"Since Jesus gave us the Great Commission, the life or death of the world has been in the hands of the Church (and) if we band together, we can prevent wickedness in high places from ruling our nation." (3)
"We have the privilege and responsibility of being the pioneers of a new age. We are coming together...with one goal...to rid the earth of satan and all he stands for." (4).
(C) RESTORATION: Shepherding fellowships believe that they are restoring the proper governmental order of God. Where the Bible speaks of the "government" being "upon His shoulders" (Is 9:6.) they see their apostolic leadership as the shoulders of the Body! The kingdom of God, for restoration churches, is this government which is being extended by their churches all around the world.
The problems with this attitude emerge with a little reflection. If people enter into the kingdom of God by coming under the rulership of the Restoration leadership, then firstly it makes obedience to authority the qualification for the Kingdom, and secondly it rules out any Christian who does not happen to bow to the Restoration system. Indeed, as we shall see, Restoration leaders make it clear that no person is truly saved unless he or she submits to the authority of eldership.
The concept of the Church as the door to the kingdom, and the vital role of the eldership is so strikingly similar to the Roman Catholic religious system that one might wonder if they are working hand in hand to restore the Roman ecclesiastical power worldwide.
Restoration leaders see their task as extending the kingdom on earth by bringing all nations under the law of God, and since the Great Commission was to "disciple ALL nations" they argue that the whole world, including Israel, will eventually be transformed into obedient disciples through submission to the eldership of the Church.
The task is not only one of evangelism, but of social reform, since a new government will require a new social and political structure. Amongst restoration fellowships there is a wide variety of belief and opinion on these matters. However, there is agreement on the principles of rulership - that the Church has dominion over the forces of evil, and that therefore every enemy of Christ must be subdued before He can return as King.
This belief requires that the majority of mankind submits to Gods rule, in one way or another, before Jesus can return. The desperation for "revival" and "renewal" and "restoration" is becoming greater as the watershed of the year 2000 draws nearer, and some leaders are being driven into the arms of secular powers, and even to link with non-Christian sects, in order to bring about their unbiblical version of events.
In order to bring righteousness and peace to the whole world before Jesus returns, a massive change must take place. If mankind will not willingly submit to their rulership, then some kind of cataclysm must occur to remove all unwilling parties. Clearly, this is a recipe for disaster.
"Jesus wants us to face (this present order) with a new order - the kingdom government of God...the end is brothers dwelling together in unity." (5)
"Before Jesus returns again the gospel will be victorious throughout the entire world...The Kingdom of God and all who dwell in it are destined to increase. Further ground will be taken, mens hearts will be captured, the devils kingdom will weaken and crumble before him, and one day...Christ Jesus himself will return to put the one last enemy under his feet." (6)
The pivot on which this diverse Christian merry-go-round revolves is a vision of earthly glory for the Church and transformation for mankind. This is a very optimistic and attractive vision for todays believer who is increasingly bothered by the chaotic state of the world. It is presented by Christian leaders as being the only sane option for the world, and the only fitting end for the Church.
Unfortunately, this exciting vision of glory is a delusion. It is the vision of the New Age Movement, satans ultra-cult. It is also the vision of globalists and the architects of the so-called "new world order".
World dominion is not a concept that is backed up by scriptural evidence, and it relies on its emotional impact for acceptance. Those who DO check up with scripture and reject the glorious vision are made to be objects of derision. They are said to be "plagued by a shortening of vision (in believing) that Armageddon is inevitable...this is one of the most successful lies in history." (7)
And this soulish desire to rise up and take the land is causing thousands of Christians to play directly into the hands of Antichrist in establishing his worldwide kingdom before the coming of Christ. There is now much less emphasis in restoration circles on the need to "watch" for biblical prophecy to be fulfilled, for they are taught that the Antichrist, tribulation and apostasy are practically irrelevant. While they look for a 'new era' of peace without taking into account the prophecies of the Tribulation, and while they look for a powerful coming without the scriptural signs, it is all too possible for them to accept Antichrist as their prince of peace.
Restoration believers seem only to see the occult dangers of the New Age Movement, and ignore their more subtle intentions, perhaps believing the movement to be a useful secular counterpart to their own quest for dominion. They appear to have a blind spot about the many ways in which the new-age infiltrates and aligns itself with the Church. In some cases they work alongside members of the new age movement (for instance, in attending the Earth Summit). Yet this movement is totally satanic in its origin and activities.
SO WHAT IS THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT?
This is not one single organisation, but an extensive network of like-minded people working towards a one world government, a one-world religion, and a new christ leader for mankind. The devotees of this movement are held together by their common experiences and goals, and there are literally thousands of non-governmental organisations, charities, societies, cults and pressure groups that belong to the New Age Movement and uphold its aims.
The head of this occult organisation is undoubtedly satan himself, who plans to appear on earth for one last fling before his demise, as the leader of a One-World Government and Religion. What we see taking place all around us is the erection of the scaffolding for his Orwellian dream world. New Agers draw on what they call the ancient wisdom for their creed, and they look to Ancient Egypt and Babylon as their roots. Since those days the cult has manifested itself in history in various ways: the French Revolution and Hitlers Reich are two recent examples. (*)(**)
However, it was not until the turn of the century that the final push to world domination began. At that time, the blueprints for the New World Order were drawn up. A lady called Helena Blavatsky (1836-91), writing under divine illumination, produced "The Secret Doctrine" and her work was continued and extended by Alice Bailey (1880-1949) who wrote a whole series of books published by Lucis Trust (formerly Lucifer Trust).
These books are regarded as foundational works for the coming New Age, as are such books as H.G. Wells "Open Conspiracy: Blueprints for a World Revolution" and the writings of David Spangler such as "Revelation: Birth of a New Age" which is the bible of the New Age Movement.
Since 1975, when the New Age Movement went public, its members have worked tirelessly towards their goal of spiritual and social evolution. They are conditioning minds to accept psychic power and satanic wisdom as the way forward for mankind, and instilling such fear for the future as will lead people to long for unified world leadership.
In effect, they are preparing the stage for Antichrist. Their work can be seen everywhere: from childrens toys to alternative medicine, from plastic money to peace marches, from fantasy films to save-the-whales. The principles and teachings of the New Age have successfully infiltrated every quarter of society, and almost without knowing it we have imbibed their "wisdom". The concepts of male-female equality, child-centred education, right-brain/left-brain distinctions, alternative medicines, political correctness, environmentalism, vegetarianism - this and much more is a product of new-age thinking. The world is changing, and ideas are being planted that even Christians now uphold as sane and progressive.
THE SAME AIM?
There is a definite pattern to the New Agers plan: their aim is to bring the whole world together in peace, love and harmony - but under the reign of their false christ. It will entail a psychic one-ness of purpose, and a unity with Lucifer in his disguise as beneficent world leader. World unity will be achieved by the interconnectedness of minds, by technology, by re-education and by the use of various kinds of mind-manipulation such as meditation, self-hypnosis and channelling. Thus, people accept the direct control of demon-guides to steer them into the New Age for mankind.
To this end, several worldwide events have already taken place, for example the Popes Global Day for Peace, linking all religions including tribal witchcraft. Since 1987 annual Harmonic Convergences have taken place on December 31st in an attempt to link all minds in harmony and "lift the earth into a higher vibration". Social events such as Live Aid, and political action as in the Earth Summit are putting the New Age agenda for change top of the list.
This humanistic ideal is the only hope that non-Christians have for the future, and it involves a one-world luciferic religion, so it's distressing to see gullible Christians joining in. Those who know the Bible ought to understand that the hope of believers is the Lord's coming, and HIS triumph over evil. Believers cannot and will not avert Armageddon. God has decreed that the rebellion of mankind MUST come to a head for His righteous judgement to take place.
Nevertheless, a new emphasis on earthly triumph is emerging in Christian teaching: the New Testament scriptures relating to apostasy, persecution and endurance, are being replaced by the Old Testament prophecies of worldwide revival, victory and dominion. The future for Restoration believers as well as New Agers looks rosy - both believe that their own group will emerge as the dominant world power yet the Bible clearly shows the One World Religion of the end-times to be satanic, not Christian.
New Agers follow Lucifer (even if they think they are worshipping nature gods and the like) and they intend to do away with the opposition. They promote the godhood of self, and believe that all religions are a path to enlightenment of some kind. They openly teach that fundamentalist Christians, who refuse to give up their allegiance to the one true God of the Bible, are a threat to world unity and must be "removed" before the New Age can begin. That means a full-scale persecution to put Hitlers in the shade. We can thank God for his promises of protection and provision!
Christians also believe that when the worst comes, God will take his own to be with Him. But, unfortunately, Restoration believers have rejected the Rapture. If the world is about to be restored to its Edenic state, there is no need for the Rapture. One leader calls it "ridiculous, unbiblical, damaging, grotesque, wishful thinking, myth and fantasy", (8) and another describes it derisively as "Gods helicopter escape" . (9)
Other truths are also being discarded.
- It is not necessary to suffer with Christ in order to share His glory (but see Rom 8:17);
- dying to self is out-dated and a defeatist attitude (but see Matt 16:24-26);
- the world is not corrupting to a Christian, but useful and enjoyable (but see 1 Jn 2:15-17 and James 4:4);
- being prepared for deception and persecution is not a priority (but see Luke 21:34,35).
Conventional evangelism is abandoned as well. Philip Greenslade in Restoration magazine (March/April 1985) describes it as "a phoney war with puny leaflet raids". Because of their beliefs, Restorationalists see all evangelism as extending the Kingdom-rule; converts are not really saved unless they become disciples.
A Legalistic Salvation
Increasingly the emphasis in Restoration literature is on corporate action in the community instead of individual salvation. As the Kingdom Rule of God is a proposed system of government for the entire earth, so individual identity is merged with national or global identity, and salvation becomes more a matter of kingdom discipleship than personal conversion. The personal element in religion becomes a threat to church unity and to the authority of the eldership.
The 'new order' of government which Restoration Christians believe will be instituted world-wide before the coming of Christ has been likened by some to Israel under the reign of King David. The Davidic kingdom with its rule of law, its king, city and temple, its formalised worship and its dominion over the nations is said to be symbolic of the Kingdom of God on earth; in this view, there are THREE Covenants - the Old, the New and the Davidic, the latter being "a special provision for us in these last days" (10)
What follows from this teaching is that salvation (as in David's day) would depend on obedience to God's Rule as prescribed by His appointed elders. And in fact this is so - we are told that entry into the Kingdom of God is "through the door of the elders...As Jesus is not now physically on the earth...the church leaders replace Him in this function" [as The Door of the sheep!] (11)
There is no entry into personal salvation without submission to the authority structure of the church, because this is seen as the Kingdom Rule of God on earth. Of evangelistic sermons which urge the listeners to accept Jesus as their own personal Saviour, Hugh Thompson writes: "By CONTRAST, the consistent appeal of the gospel preachers of the New Testament was to make Jesus LORD and then he would AUTOMATICALLY accept responsibility as Saviour... How does one get saved? By submitting to the rule of God." (i.e., the eldership of the Church!) (12)
It has been made plain in Restoration literature that personal salvation is not enough. "Restorationalists believe that a Christian who is not prepared to be a disciple is no Christian at all." (13) "We may only (rule in the Kingdom) if we truly live under the authority of King Jesus now and are approved by him as competent to rule on his behalf." (14)
Whether they admit it or not, this makes the Restoration churches unique and exclusive - they alone are the representation of the Kingdom of God and the salvation of the world depends upon all mankind submitting to its rule. The logical conclusion of such teaching is that no Christian outside of the Restoration system is a bona fide member of the Kingdom of God - and this raises the question of what will be done with those who refuse to submit?
We all, of course, desire to see our culture and environment radically changed, with justice for all. But as Christians we must hold to the Word of God as the basis of our beliefs.
Does the Bible predict "the greatest spiritual revival the world has ever known"? Does it speak of "hundreds of millions of people coming into the Kingdom"? Does it tell us of a coming world "where church members have taken dominion over the forces of the world, where satans power is bound by the people of God, and where there is no more disease..." ? (15)
No indeed! For if the mis-interpretation of the Old Testament - taking Israel to be the Church - is discounted (see part one) then no other source of victory verses can be found on which to base a "social transformation that will dwarf the Reformation". (16).
The Old Testament prophecies of world dominion, peace, justice and righteousness will be fulfilled, in fact, when Jesus Christ returns as King of the Jews to establish His reign in Jerusalem. The New Testament prophecies for the Church DO NOT promise worldwide victory. Quite the reverse! (See Matt 24:9-12)
What the Lord Jesus predicted, confirmed by the consistent teaching of the rest of the New Testament, was increasing lawlessness, rebellion and denial of the true gospel before His Coming. He warned strongly of a false gospel which would arise in those days, with false teachers and prophets coming in His Name to deceive Christians. (Matt 24:4-5 & 23-28) He prophesied that Christians at that time would be despised, betrayed, persecuted and even put to death by those who thought they were serving God. (Jn 16:2).
Believers, like Jesus, are "not of this world" and can expect to receive the same treatment as their Lord. (Jn 15:18-19) Only a "few" would enter in at the narrow gate that leads to life. (Matt 7:14/Luke 13:24). In the Revelation, John saw that most of mankind "blasphemed the God of Heaven, and did not repent of their deeds". Although at least a third of mankind die in the Tribulation, still "the rest of mankind did not repent". (Rev 16:11/9:15,20) This is far from being a worldwide revival!
What then is the hope of believers? Is this really a 'doom and gloom' gospel, as Restoration teachers say?
If it is, then the crucifixion of Jesus, too, was 'negative' and 'fatalistic'. If the concept of dying to this earthly existence and setting our minds on things above is 'doom and gloom' then Jesus was wrong to have pointed the way as He did. He ought to have resisted the Cross and pressed into the earthly Kingdom there and then, as He had every right to do.
But the Lord had no false illusions about establishing the Kingdom on earth - He knew that seeds must die and be buried before the harvest can come; He knew that the rule of God could only come to men's hearts through death and re-birth. Jesus refused to impose a Kingdom rule on an unwilling, disobedient and rebellious people (as Restoration Christians intend to do!)
And what does the Word say about the future? The Lord promises "I will come again and receive you to Myself" (Jn 14:3), so that those who at that time are "counted worthy to escape all these things" (Luke 21:36) will not endure the wrath of God on the earth but will be gathered to the Lord "in the air" (2 Thess 4:17) to "keep them from the hour of trial" (Rev 3:10) for the Lord "knows how to deliver the godly out of trial" [same word as inRev 3:10] (2 Pet 2:9).
This is the true gospel, as preached by the Lord. It is found in the Bible, His Word. Anyone who comes preaching 'another gospel' is to be accursed, says Paul (Gal 1:7-9)
ANOTHER GOSPEL TODAY?
The false prophets of which Jesus and the Apostles warned will not be easily recognised as leaders of non-christian cults. These will be CHRISTIAN preachers, arising "from among yourselves, speaking perverse [distorted] things to draw away disciples after themselves", (Acts 20:29,30) fierce wolves in sheep's clothing who "transform THEMSELVES into APOSTLES" (2 Cor 11:13) speaking "lies in hypocrisy" (1 Tim 4:2) in order "by covetousness to exploit you with deceptive words" (2 Peter 2:2) "for the sake of dishonest gain" (Titus 1:11).
We do have a 'distorted' gospel among us today, and it preaches earthly triumph, worldliness, covetousness and domination. It teaches Christians to make the world their home; to look for authority in the earth instead of in the spiritual realm; to expect transformation to a perfected spiritual walk ON EARTH, instead of the redemption of the body in Heaven; to work for a new and better present world, instead of seeking the 'world which is to come'. In extreme forms, this teaching even goes on to replace the Second Coming of the Lord with an invisible 'coming' into the life of the Church...heresy indeed! Yet this teaching can be shown to be the foundation of much Restoration church doctrine.
THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD
In 1948, during meetings held in Saskatchewan, supposed new revelations from God about the restoration of all creation were received.
Those present were told that God would "manifest His governing authority throughout the whole Universe", and that through a new emphasis on unity, prophecy, shepherding, and the five-fold ministry, God would perfect the Body of Christ to take over and rule the planet.
They were also shown that Christians will go on to acquire 'full sonship' and be manifested as perfected, immortal spiritual rulers on the earth. The Christians who were involved in these meetings went on to become what is now called the Latter Rain Movement, but their influence was not confined to their own sect - they have introduced the 'new' revelations into mainstream denominations via the Restoration Movement.
Though many Christians caught up in the Restoration fellowships would deny any involvement with Latter Rain teachings, and probably have never heard of the Movement, the truth is that one (at least) of their founders - Ern Baxter, who was working with William Branham at the time of the 1948 'revival', later used Latter Rain (or, Manifest Sons of God) teaching as the basis for his ministry in Restoration.
In a message given to leaders in 1975, he says: "we are part of a cosmic scheme inaugurated by God and intended by Him to be carried on until the entire universe acknowledges that Jesus Christ is Lord." (17) Quite a number of leaders in the charismatic Church today were influenced by Latter Rain teachings, and these teachings passed down by word of mouth and through the literature of the time until they permeated the entire charismatic movement.
There is, moreover, a striking similarity between the teachings of the Manifest Sons of God (hence, Restoration) and the New Age deception. It seems that the spirit who revealed these teachings in 1948 was not the Spirit of God, but the spirit of deception whose task it is to bring the whole world into obedience to Antichrist.
The Same Beliefs?
Only global oneness of thought, desire and purpose can bring about the "quantum leap" into the New Age, say its proponents. This is the age-old plan of Babel, which the Lord confounded by separating mankind into distinct nations. Restoration believers are also dedicated to unity, but at the cost of doctrinal truth. Gerald Coates writes: "Doctrinal differences need not hinder fellowship...we do not need doctrinal or behavioural conformity to love one another." (18) Restoration believers may even be creating the climate for the One World Church of Revelation in teaching that: "denominations are alien to God's desire...new wineskins must take their place as the one worldwide church comes into being". (19)
Only those who achieve a transformation of mind which 'alters the consciousness' will be able to go forward into the New Age. New Agers see themselves as a new breed of evolved human beings, heading towards an invincible, immortal 'spirit life'. Disturbingly, we find the same belief in the teachings of the Latter Rain group, which has so influenced the Restoration fellowships. It may not be long now before we see the scriptures on resurrection and the new life of Christ being used to support a New-Age-style transformation into a higher plane of living.
[NB: the above was written in 1988. Since then, we have indeed been introduced to a form of spiritual initiation that takes a Christian onto a new level of consciousness. It is called the "toronto blessing"!!]
THE GREAT INVOCATION:
By their 'prayers', efforts and united desire, New Agers plan to bring the World Teacher to earth to lead us to the 'light'. Each December 31st, the World Instant of Co-operation takes place in which all those who long for the New Age are invited to bring it closer by their concentrated mind powers and thoughts of peace. Restorationalists also believe that Jesus CANNOT return without the united intercession and work of Christians towards the establishment of the worldwide Kingdom.
Restorationists and charismatics believe and teach that the joint action of the Church - in marching on the streets, proclaiming Jesus, holding mass meetings, worshipping, praying, singing and shouting in tongues - is bringing the revelation of Jesus closer.
Gerald Coates in 'What On Earth' says, "The second coming is not a matter of time, it is a matter of response...(it) is not a fixed day set in God's diary...(it) is DIRECTLY RELATED to what we are building and how we are building today."
RESTORATION OF CREATION:
The Word tells us that the creation is under a curse and cannot be restored to perfection in the present era. In Romans 8:18-23 Paul links the deliverance of the physical world with the redemption of the Christian's body - ie, the Resurrection, which takes place at the Second Coming of Jesus.
However, both New Agers and Restorationalists teach that the physical creation is already redeemed from the curse (at least, potentially), and only waits for them to put its release into full effect.
Roger Mitchell, in "The Kingdom Factor" writes that "The kingdom of God must have a king, citizens and a place to reign over. In the good news of the kingdom, Jesus announces reconciliation with God the king as our father, peace to mankind as our brothers and sisters, and reconciliation with creation...The good news of the kingdom is restoration for all creation as the sons of God take hold of the kingdom Jesus has secured for them."
Again, Howard Snyder in "Kingdom Lifestyle" writes, "The peace which Jesus brings is rooted in the Old Testament promises. It therefore clearly means universal 'shalom' throughout the whole created order...The healthy or normal state which corresponds to the will of God is not to be limited to the soul, or even to man. It extends to the universe as a whole."
It will come as a shock to Restoration Christians that the doctrine of dominion over the earth is basically satanic!
Though Adam was created to have dominion over the physical creation, he was never given authority to rule other men. Since the Fall, creation being cursed, mankind's dominion of earth is also incomplete and the only restoration of his authority today is in and by Jesus Christ. (Heb 2:8,9)
However, the serpent's plan is to rule all the world himself through human agencies. His offer of godhood to Adam was his way of separating man's rulership-authority from God's perfect will. It was turned to self-motivated domination!
All through the centuries to follow, God has shown that human domination was not His way for mankind - He commanded His disciples to have done with the old system and return to the family of love in God, in which all were equally servants and sons. So it is no surprise to find domination and human godhood linked in New Age (and in Christian!) literature.
One of the leading lights of the Manifested Sons of God movement teaches that in God's school of Dominion you can only learn by experience. So when you have learned to become master of your own life's circumstances, you are on your way to becoming a god with your own planet to rule over! (20)
REMOVAL OF OPPONENTS:
Both Restoration Christians and New Agers see themselves as the only people worthy and capable of passing into the new era of earthly peace. This leaves them with the problem of what to do with the rest of mankind.
New Agers openly speak of their plans to slaughter two billion dissenters before the earth can be ready for spiritual advancement (and the main target is fundamentalist Christians.) Restorationalists use scriptural terminology, but the message is the same - Earl Paulk (Dominion Teacher) says that the Church is God's enforcement agency for implementing divine judgement, and that anyone who attempts to lead away from the truths established by divine revelation is a false prophet who 'shall be put to death'. (from his book "The Wounded Body of Christ").
It may be that many other Restoration leaders also quietly hold such beliefs, basing them on the scriptures of God's judgement of the wicked - for they suppose the scripture commands them to remove all opposition to the Kingdom before Jesus can return. To say that 'God will judge rebels' is not enough. The question is - HOW? If the church eldership is God's appointed agency of restoration, then the answer can only be "through His saints" as one MSOG leader, Roy Ralph, writes.
SIGNS AND SYMBOLS:
There is also the use of New Age symbols and 'buzz' words to consider. If Restoration Christians make use of known New Age recognition words in their writings, the best we can say of them is that they are foolishly infected with New Age doctrines and ideas.
The worst could be that some Restoration teachers are deliberately implanting New Age beliefs in an unsuspecting Church. There is frequent use on both sides of 'network', 'new order', 'new era', 'transformation', 'global village', 'model/paradigm', 'global spiritual awakening', 'microcosm/macrocosm' and so forth. Gerald Coates even uses the phrase 'altered state of consciousness' (hardly a slip of the tongue!) It is hard to believe that such words are used in ignorance.
As for symbols - the rainbow is, of course, the major New Age symbol of enlightenment and a new dawn. It represents the 'Seven Rays' which New Agers believe are the gods of the Universe.
Other New Age signs are the prism, pyramid, glowing globe, cupped hands, dove and five-pointed star. This being so, it is alarming to see these same symbols used on Christian book-covers, magazines, record sleeves and many other Christian products. And the Rainbow Company which produces so many of the rainbow-covered artefacts was begun in 1983 by John Noble, one of Restoration's founding fathers.
With all this evidence, can we deny that there is a connection between Restoration teachings and the deceptions of the New Age Movement?
Continue to PART THREE
(1 AND 2) R. J. Rushdoony writing in his book "Gods Plan for Victory: The Meaning of postmillennialism"
(3) Ken Copeland writing in "Believers Voice of Victory" magazine, May 1988
(4) "Sensitivity of Heart" by Kenneth Copeland 1984
(5) "What on Earth is This Kingdom?" Gerald Coates 1983
(6) Restoration magazine article by Ray Barreth July/August 1987
(7) Statement by Gary North, a leading reconstructionalist in America.
(*) Lanz von Liebenfels, Occultist and founder of The Order of the New Templars wrote, "Hitler is one of our pupils" ["The Twisted Cross" by Joseph Carr 1985].
(**) "The Illuminati, Masons, Jacobins and secret agents of numerous factions created the Terror..." ["The Illuminoids" by Neal Wilgus 1978].
(8) Gerald Coates in "What on Earth is This Kingdom?" (1983)
(9) Biblical Blueprints" series, published by Nelson & Dominion Press, USA.
(10,11) "Built to Last" by Ron Trudinger
(12) Hugh Thompson in Restoration magazine, Jan/Feb 1986
(13) "Restoring The Kingdom" by Andrew Walker,
(14) David Mansell in Restoration magazine, Nov/Dec 1983
(15) Televised statement by Pat Robertson at Word of Faith Outreach Centre, Dallas.
(16) Biblical Blueprints" series, published by Nelson & Dominion Press, USA
(17) Ern Baxter, quoted in "Can the Elect Be Deceived?" p 52
(18) Gerald Coates in "What on Earth is This Kingdom?"
(19) David Matthew, Restoration magazine, Nov/Dec 1983_
(20) J. Preston Eby, "Preparation of Universal Dominion" 1983_
(c) Tricia Tillin 2001
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