Kingdom Now Theology is a version of Dominion Theology that is more popular in Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. It teaches that the Kingdom exists on the earth even now, but that the Church must still spread it over the whole earth. The Church will be able to do this when God raises up an elite group of believers known as “Joel’s Army.” This army is also known as “The New Breed,” “The Elijah Company,” “The Bride,” “The Manifested Sons of God,” or “The Latter Rain.”
This teaching is derived from the teaching of the Latter Rain Movement which first arose in the 1940s among members of the Assemblies of God church. The Assemblies of God leadership saw the danger in this teaching and condemned it as a heresy in 1949 and again in 2001.
The Latter Rain Movement is based on Joel 2:23-24. It says that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost was the early rain. The latter rain will occur when God again pours out the Holy Spirit upon the Church just before Christ returns, but this outpouring will be greater than the first. Those who receive this latter rain outpouring will again move in the power and the gifts of the Spirit, but they will be able to perform more and greater miracles and signs than anyone in the early Church ever did. Because of this, the Church will also see the greatest harvest of souls it has ever seen.
Of course, this is not what the Bible teaches. 2 Thess. 2:3 says that there will not be a great harvest just before Christ returns but a great falling away. And the power and the gifts of the Spirit have never been taken from the Church, so why would there be a second outpouring?
The Kingdom Now Theology takes the Latter Rain teaching one step further. It says that those who receive the latter rain outpouring will become the army prophesied in Joel 2:1-11. This army will rise up and take dominion over the whole earth. They will take over all of the governments, all of the schools, all of the economies, and all of the social institutions, thereby breaking the chains of these institutions. They will do so through warfare, spiritual or (according to some) otherwise. Some even teach that the army’s first task will be to eliminate anyone who resists this teaching and therefore stands in the way of this army.
This, of course, is a misinterpretation of Joel. The prophecy in Joel 2 is not about the army of God spreading the Kingdom through an unrighteous world but about God’s coming judgment upon his own people, Israel, for their continued disobedience. Furthermore, the Church has already been appointed to be an army and as soldiers in this army, each of us is commanded to put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:10-17). But our warfare is not “against flesh and blood” but against “spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). In resisting these false teachings, we must remember that we are not fighting against the people who teach these things but against the spiritual hosts who have deceived them.
To be continued…