There hasn’t been much activity here at the blog lately because most of my writing has been focused on a new project. I’ve submitted the first draft of a chapter that will be included in a forthcoming anthology, and now I’m in the middle of converting it into a presentation for the Orlando Prophecy Summit in March.
The more I look at the topic, which examines the appeal of Dominion Theology to conservative Christians, the more I believe I need to flesh it out into a full book.
While writing the chapter, I stumbled across a teaching that seems to be gaining popularity in some circles, particularly among Christian Zionists, Messianic Jews (and the Hebrew Roots subculture), and especially the apostolic-prophetic movement, also referred to as the New Apostolic Reformation.
The NAR seems to be fascinated with Israel, and it appears that the “One New Man” doctrine is why. It’s based on an interpretation of Ephesians 2 that follows a pattern for teachers in the NAR, who tend to view literal verses symbolically and symbolic verses literally.
When Paul wrote that Jews and Gentiles are formed into “one new man” in Christ, he was imprisoned in Rome, falsely accused of bringing a Gentile into the Temple in Jerusalem. He was making a point to the predominantly Gentile believers in Ephesus that Christ had removed the wall of hostility that existed between Jew and Gentile, affording all believers, regardless of ancestry, direct access to God the Father.
To the NAR, however, it appears that these verses are taken as prophecy, referring to some future time when Jews and Christians are molded into a new body of believers, neither Christian nor Jew, that will inherit the land promised to Abraham. This is problematic in the current political climate because that would include not only the Palestinian territories but a big chunk of land from Egypt and Saudi Arabia to Syria, Iraq, and southern Turkey.
Furthermore, the end of the chapter, verses 19-22, is interpreted to mean something very different from what Paul intended. He wrote:
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Rather than understanding Paul’s point, that we are all one in Christ, the Dominionists of the NAR take the final verse to mean that when Christ returns, He will literally incarnate inside this One New Man — a “dwelling place for God’.
If I have my head around this, One New Man is Joel’s Army, the Many-Membered Man Child — the Manifest Sons of God heresy from the old Latter Rain movement of the ’40s and ’50s repackaged for the 21st century.
More on this as I do more digging.