Some popular worship songs, written over the last few years, teach Dominion/Kingdom Now theology.
Let me give some history behind these songs. In the late 70s, a group of people within Calvary Chapel, led by John Wimber, the pastor of the Calvary Chapel in Yorba Linda, California, wanted the worship to be more emotionally expressive and open to the Holy Spirit. Chuck Smith, the leader of Calvary Chapel, disagreed. So these people left Calvary and joined a small but growing group of churches known as Vineyard Fellowship. Wimber became the leader of this group.
In the 80s a Vineyard church was started in Toronto, called the Toronto Airport Vineyard Christian Fellowship, pastored by John Arnott. He is still the pastor of that church. A “revival” broke out in that church in January 1994, in which the people began to laugh uncontrollably, rolling in the aisles, and even making animal noises. This “revival” attracted international attention and became known as “The Toronto Blessing.” Arnott prefers to call it “The Father’s Blessing.” It has since spread to many churches around the world. These manifestations are still going on in this church even today.
Apparently, these manifestations proved to be too emotional even for Vineyard Fellowship because this church was eventually excommunicated from the Fellowship. It was renamed Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. Now they call themselves Catch the Fire Fellowship.
In February 1995, Bill Johnson, the pastor of what was then Bethel Assembly of God Church in Redding, California, visited the revival in Toronto. He claims that he never was touched by the Spirit like the others were and so never had any of the manifestations, but still believed it was a move of God nonetheless and brought it back to his church. There have been reports of these manifestations occurring in his church ever since. Bill Johnson has kept in touch with the Toronto church. In January 2014, the Toronto church celebrated the 20th anniversary of the revival and Johnson was the keynote speaker. There is a video on YouTube of his sermon. In that sermon, he states that he sees the Toronto church as the “Mother Ship” and his church as just one of the “satellite ships” of the Toronto church (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0mPt2twjlE).
Besides promoting the Toronto revival in his church, Johnson is also a health/wealth preacher and a Kingdom Now preacher. Johnson’s favorite slogan is “On earth as it is in heaven.” He teaches that if one truly has faith, then it will be here on earth as it is in heaven for that believer. Since there is no poverty or sickness in heaven, there should be no poverty or sickness for the believer here on earth. In short, by faith, we can bring heaven down here to earth. Bethel Church is no longer an Assembly of God church. Neither Bill Johnson nor the Assemblies of God will publicly say why Bethel Church left the Assemblies of God denomination, but one can surmise that the Assemblies of God did not agree with Johnson’s teachings. Twice in the last 60 years the Assemblies of God have publicly denounced the Latter Rain movement (another name for Kingdom Now Theology) as a heresy.
To be continued…