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Spiritual Warfare Eschatology

The Destiny of Enforcing a Kingdom

2012 will be a year of the release of heavenly authority to many who have turned from religion to the reality of life in God.

The enemy was in the garden with Adam and Eve but was completely powerless until he deceived Eve and then Adam. The devil must deceive human beings to usurp the authority given to mankind to rule in the world. To usurp our authority, he must separate us from the reality of life with God and entice us to follow him. The more he can make his false religion look like the reality of life in God, the more easily he can deceive people into following him and releasing their God-given authority to rule in this world.

“ [T] he manifest presence of God will lovingly bond together and prepare His people to endure the hard times immediately ahead and to eventually plant the kingdom of God solidly into the entire world.

Beyond the season of devastation, in another season to come, the fullness that is developing under cover will be released into the world. The clearing and the deep plowing of the land of this world will leave little to none of the previous world order and fully prepare the soil of this world to receive the seed of the kingdom planted by the prepared people of God. The Bride City of God will become a reality on earth.[1]

This above quotation from the December 1st newsletter released by Ron McGatllin, whose own apostolic network is working alongside C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation, who takes a classic Dominionist position that Satan’s deception in the Garden of Eden was a matter of keeping the church from ruling the world – thereby thwarting the church’s divine destiny and purpose. The Dominionist strategy is to re-take the world via any vehicle upon which they can hitch a ride – community and civic involvement, peace promotion, political and social action, cultural and worldview change, societal engineering, corporate and philanthropic endeavors, partnerships and collaborations with global entities, etc. These methods for achieving Dominion are often called “spiritual warfare.” Additionally, various forms of esoteric, hyper-spiritual altered-state-of-consciousness activities, are practiced within the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR/IHOP) Dominionist camp under the term “spiritual warfare.”

In his most recent newsletter McGatlin, like an increasing number of New Age/NAR/IHOP and evangelical leaders, is giving credence to the significance of the year 2012. Under his brand of eschatology, the “Bride of Christ” is to “manifest the presence of God” and “eventually plant the kingdom of God” on earth. In this worldview, spiritual warfare it something that is waged against external threats to the church. Lip service may be given to traditional understandings about resisting sin, but the over-riding Dominionist principle of spiritual warfare is based on the heretical premise that enemies of the Lord (however this is defined by various groups) must be conquered and ruled over, including ultimately sin and death. This, of course, negates the necessity of Christ’s salvation, His shed blood for our sins on the cross. Dominion becomes a method of reversing the effects of the curse.

NAR Issues Strange Statement of Faith
In the past month, C. Peter Wagner has reiterated all of this. He issued a doctrinal defense of his New Apostolic Reformation last week. In an e-mail issued from his “Global Spheres” entity, titled “NAR – What are its beliefs?” (11-20-11) Wagner expressed dismay that some have considered him a heretic. He also explained why he has not previously issued an official NAR statement of faith; he says it is because it is a movement, not an organization. That is, by the way, the chief advantage of his downline networking structure. The NAR is a network that superimposes itself upon existing denominational and doctrinal divides and networks them under a new hierarchical structure, thereby supplanting (and eventually eliminating) denominational distinctives. This is a virulent new form of structural ecumenism.

In classic Leadership Network-trained fashion, C. Peter Wagner claims to affirm the “classical Christian Creeds.” This is a clever bait-and-switch technique devised by the change agents, who promote the idea of putting forth a conservative-sounding “public statement,” meanwhile freely embracing additional doctrines (i.e., heresies) that supersede or compromise the original. It is a very slick maneuver.

In articulating the doctrine of the NAR, C. Peter Wagner refers people to his Global Spheres, Inc. document called “The Belief system … The Revelation That Advances the Above Kingdom Entities Forward and Constitutes the Foundations for our Future.” The peculiar use of language and terminology in this document is, to say the least, exceptionally unorthodox and not technical in scholarly sense. Amazingly, the document points to books written by leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation for its source of theology rather than simple Scriptures. This whole document is strange, and very uncharacteristic of a traditional “statement of faith.” For those who are not converted, or who are biblically illiterate or dumbed down, it is an unfortunate and grievous document because it does not teach the Gospel of Salvation.

This NAR belief system document also teaches this new spiritual warfare eschatology. Here are a few snapshots:

God provided a specific order and alignment for these gifts (first apostle, second prophet, third teacher…) so that His people can be equipped to function as a mighty army in the earth.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND APOSTOLIC GOVERNMENT – We serve a King who is advancing a Kingdom. The King has chosen to position His Kingdom within humankind. He sends those who have His Kingdom within them into every aspect of society’s culture. The Kingdom of God is here now! The seven mountains of society are meant to be influenced and dominated by the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom has Jesus Christ as the cornerstone and apostles properly related to prophets form the foundation of the Kingdom. Apostles create and execute God’s prototype plan in the earth and through each nation of the earth until there is a house of prayer built for every people group. Jesus taught us to pray that God’s Kingdom would come to earth as it is in heaven. (To learn more about the Kingdom of God we recommend you read Apostles Today and Apostles and Prophets.)[link added]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE – Because we represent a Kingdom, we are at war to enforce Kingdom principles and plans in the earth. We are at war and must be equipped to stand against the enemy. Accomplishing God’s purposes on earth is not without opposition. . . . [emphasis added]

THE COMMISSION TO DISCIPLE and HEAL NATIONS – From the beginning of God’s covenant with Abraham, His plan was to bless all the nations. One of the purposes of the nation of Israel was to show the other nations how they could relate to God. They were to live in such a way that the glory of the Lord would be on them and Gentiles would be drawn to them (Is. 60). His House was to be a joyful House of Prayer for all the nations (Is. 56:6-7). When the Jews rejected Jesus, they missed fulfilling this portion of their destiny…. Jesus sent His disciples out to fulfill this promise and commanded them to disciple the nations – helping whole nations to be disciples of the Lord. From generation to generation, the Lord develops His Church to disciple the nations until the fullness of His plan has been completed and all nations have been restored.

In the NAR/IHOP world some of this deception becomes very subtle indeed. The Elijah List just released a promotional advertisement for a January 4-7 “Breakthrough 2012 Global Celebration” event with Lance Wallnau of seven mountains dominion fame, along with a lineup of prominent NAR leaders, which says:

This gathering is for the express purpose of revealing and imparting *everything* that is available through the out-of-all-proportion solution that Jesus provided for us on Calvary.

The stated purpose sounds like it has included the cross. But read the fine print, which states that “Jesus died to make you more than a conquerer.” It isn’t talking about sin. This is about Dominion![3] 

What is Biblical Spiritual Warfare?

It might surprise those who have only been steeped in the error to learn what the church taught during the Protestant Reformation, now sadly dying off at a rapid pace, about what Scripture says about spiritual warfare. Spiritual warfare teaching in the Bible is actually the exact opposite of what is being taught in the NAR/IHOP church world today. The Scriptures teach that man cannot perfect himself in the flesh, and the Bride of Christ cannot perfect herself on the earth, nor can she perfect the earth itself. In fact, spiritual warfare wars against this very mentality and heresy!

In the 1858 Gospel Pulpit sermon of J.C. Philpot titled simply “Spiritual Warfare”[4] one can read the old truth, what Scripture says about spiritual warfare. Below are some excerpts. The entire sermon is downloadable HERE.

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (Gal. 5:16-17)

It is sad to a spiritual person to look around and see how that, through the legality of our nature, and through the veil of ignorance spread over our carnal mind, men are constantly seeking to make that perfect in the flesh, which they think deficient in the spirit. They feel how short they come in knowing, feeling, and enjoying what they would know, feel, and enjoy. And in order to obtain this blessedness, they have recourse to all sorts of expedients which are not only foolish, but altogether opposed to the spirit of the gospel. Now the issue of all these attempts to make that perfect by the flesh, which is begun in the spirit, is to lead men to fall into sin; for men, being unable to live nearer to God by attempts of legal obedience, actually fall into the other extremity.

The reason of this is, as the Apostle explains in the seventh chapter of the Romans, because the movements of sin are by the law; for the law comes to condemn and curse; but God never promised any strength in the law. The only strength he promised is that which he gives in and by the gospel.…

Now the Apostle tells them a more excellent way, that which the law was never meant to give,—to walk in the spirit—and what will be the blessed fruit? Ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh: because by walking in the spirit there will be such an influence and power given that you will not actually be able to fulfil the lust of the flesh; for there is no inclination then to do so. He goes on to open up the conflict and struggle which takes place between these two principles, one of which he calls the flesh, and the other the spirit, and he tells us that the flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh; and that these are contrary the one to the other, diametrically opposite, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would….

So, the spiritual battle is not to take over the world, the culture, the nations! The spiritual battle is in our flesh, which is constantly being tempted. Below, note how Philpot describes the actual events in the Garden of Eden. His biblical teaching runs completely counter to the heresies currently taught by the NAR/IHOP leaders:

By the flesh we are to understand that corrupt principle which we inherit from our fallen sire, Adam. God created him innocent, there was no sin in his nature. He did not possess holiness; for that is a new covenant gift produced by the Holy Ghost through the gospel; but he was a partaker of sinless innocence, it being impossible for God to create anything but what was pure. God was not bound to give him grace; for he needed not grace; but God could do no other as being pure, than create a being which was pure also; but he created him subject to sin. He knew from all eternity that he would sin. He had no hand in the matter. He did not tempt man to sin; for he tempted no man with sin; but he permitted Satan to do it, and allowed him to fall under that foul fiend. But this is a deep mystery, and therefore I will not enter more minutely into it.

We still feel the fall, we know that we are fallen creatures, for every movement of sin in our carnal mind tells man that he is fallen; sin works in him all the day long, and every movement of sin in his heart is a proof to him that he is a fallen sinner; so that you need not go further than yourself, you need look no higher, you need look no lower than your own heart to know that you are a fallen sinner before God. And not only so, but being a fallen sinner, your flesh is diseased to the very core; it is true of you as it was true of the church of God of old that the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint, from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot there is nothing but wounds and bruises and putrifying sores. This then is the flesh—all we were and have as inherited from our fallen ancestor—everything we have, every faculty of our mind, every power of our body, all that we are in this time and state and have derived from Adam is comprehended in that expression used here and elsewhere,—the flesh—but still so called because our bodies are composed for the most part of flesh, and therefore the Holy Spirit has used that expression to stamp the whole of the human body and soul in what man is as having a fallen nature, and inheriting sin and death from his father Adam.

…[A] child of God has not merely the flesh that is a wholly corrupt nature and whose every member contains in itself a proof of its corruption; but he has also another principle called here the spirit, and called by Peter the divine nature, and the new man by Paul. All these expressions refer to the same thing—that spirit which is born by the Spirit, and lodged in the heart of the sinner, and just as the flesh is the seat of everything base and evil, polluted and vile; so the spirit is the seat of everything gracious, spiritual, and holy, “In me, that is, in my flesh,” says the Apostle, “dwelleth no good thing.”

…[T]he Apostle represents the child of God as carrying in his bosom these two opposing principles; he views them as continually in movement one against the other, two opponents who are always fighting hand to hand, one desiring to spill the blood and see the death of the other. The flesh wars against the spirit because the spirit is against it; therefore the flesh is striving against the spirit; because it is always being checked by it, and it will not be checked; the more it is tied the more it raves against the spirit which binds it. Whereas the spirit is continually striving and contending against the inward movements of the flesh, against what are the lustings of the flesh, everything that is evil, the gratification of every sensual desire, and every other wickedness, for there is nothing too evil, too base, for this flesh always to be lusting after….

The spirit is continually prompting to everything good, to prayer, to reading of the Scriptures, to calling upon God’s name, to believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, to hoping in his mercy, to loving him with a pure heart fervently, to watchfulness, prayerfulness, and patience in God, and to anything that is good. All this lies in the spirit, and the flesh lusteth against it….

Now there is a spirit that keeps lusting against the flesh and desiring everything contrary to the flesh, a sweet manifestation of the blood and love of Christ, a sense of God’s presence, a tenderness of conscience, to walk in the straight and narrow way; and both these are opposite the one to the other; the spirit lusting toward God and the flesh toward carnal objects, these two are directly contrary the one to the other, the one loving everything that God loves, and the other loving everything that God abhors…. The flesh is always running against the spirit; but the spirit is always running against the flesh. These two can never be at peace; nor does God mean them to be so…

The spirit keeps the flesh from doing what it would, or it would break free entirely from all control, would cast away all religion, throw off all restraint; but the spirit will not permit it; therefore it puts a check upon it and holds it back, and will not suffer the flesh to rush forth into these tracks of evil, work out its desires, and speak and do as it wishes. So you will find that your flesh would work evil; but your spirit will not let you do it. When you would burst into a passion, and wicked words spring up into your heart, when you would do evil and infidelity arises in your mind, there is an internal principle that checks you: the flesh may say, “What use is prayer and reading the Scriptures? What good will that do for you? Be like other people; what do you want to be tied down to all this religion for? to be thus continually reading and praying, always going upon your knees before God?” But you say, “I cannot leave my room without bending my knees, and I must read God’s word.” Here is the flesh casting off everything that is good; and the spirit holding it under restraint; as the horse is held by the horseman, and held back by a powerful hand; so the spirit holds back the flesh.

Thus there is a continual struggle between the flesh and the spirit, the flesh suggesting evil courses and the spirit acting in the fear of God, and thus counteracting the motions of sin and for the most part getting the best of the day…. Looking then at one side of the picture it seems gloomy and dark; but turning the canvass then you see the evil you cannot do; so that you are kept in a straight though rough and rugged path, and the Lord will be on the side of the spirit. He will not let you be tempted above that you are able.

But now I pass on to our last point, which is to “walk in the spirit.” There is a walking in the spirit, that is to walk in the light of the spirit, in the way of the spirit, in the midst of it, to be spiritually minded, which is life and peace. Now you may feel at times all the lust of the flesh, in the baser and more usual sense of the term; the movements of the mind, whether pride, or worldliness, anger, evil temper or general carnality, these are all the lust of the flesh from the early bud to the ripe crop. Now our desire in our right mind is not to fulfil the lust of the flesh. We cannot help feeling the lust; because it is not only not dead; but it thinks, moves and acts. You don’t carry a dead weight of corruptions; but a principle that breathes, moves; acts, and works, and all towards evil; and you wish as much as lieth in your power not to fulfil what the flesh desires. You want to walk in a path where the flesh shall not have the power to seduce you into words and acts which are unbecoming of a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, never to fulfil the lust of the flesh by bringing forth those wretched fruits that the flesh is ever bringing forth. And you want to know how this is to be done.

The Apostle says—“Walk in the spirit” that is—live, move, think, act, dwell, walk in and by the spirit; but how? You cannot do it, God must work it in you, he must give you strength and power to walk, and act, and think, and dwell in the spirit, and then the flesh will become weakened and crippled, and unable to do the things it would….

1. “Ron McGatlin, “2012 Reality Replacing Religion,” e-mailed newsletter, OpenHeaven.com Digest, December 01, 2011.
2. C. Peter Wagner, newsletter, “NAR – What are its beliefs?” November 21, 2011, including a doctrinal document issued from Global Spheres, Inc.Global Spheres Center: An Oasis for the Nations Glory of Zion International Ministries, Inc.: An Expression of One New Man, “The Belief System …The Revelation That Advances the Above Kingdom Entities Forward and Constitutes the Foundations for our Future.” Posted here: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=iscjkybab&v=001BowwB-ubI_GiU7RaLho3RSyf939VH0_M70hU4kw6YxMblxRI_3MJrR9mVInTgz_g3lQ4FTaLUtLa386atph85JVHtGQhGkQdaj7W9YCvAOffboEsYeC_QJTy_Xix2HLU
3. The Elijah List, Dec. 2, 2011, advertisement, “Breakthrough 2012, San Francisco, CA, January 4-7, 2012, with Georgian and Winnie Banov, Heidi Baker, Kris Vallotton, Patricia King, and Lance Wallnau.” http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=4xrw9udab&v=001WeBrwlP3VB0NXDSrP-2hFTusRB85DxcJzysmxvsarAmTKdqE087tgJJpqp_IeyjrrEsUiy7AUbr7fxOSPOJUM2QM_EOvJ516xziUJOeCGS3wxcpTxTKd8b8yzLnwL62846i2Ufh8iutIQ3deJkSsMKVTih6xGcwN449W20mG6kbCjTh7-H0Zg2GUnAsrRuRzGdNo63xsLc-axRxLrmuxyF_IzQbXWvPKhOFSKKwAVsb21_n5YZJcIg%3D%3D
4. J.C. Philpot, “Spiritual Warfare,” Preached at North Street Chapel, Stamford, on Thursday evening, October 13, 1858. Published in Gospel Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 14 (Old Paths Gospel Press, 406-466-2311), pp. 125-134. Also downloadable here: www.paradisepbc.org/Articles/Philpots%20Sermons/JCP145.doc