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As a background, please read our article on Christian reconstructionism, which is closely related to “dominion theology” and “theonomy.” This line of theological interpretation states that biblical Christianity will rule all areas of society, personal and corporate, and that the goal of Christians is to help create a worldwide kingdom patterned after the Mosaic Law. Those that hold these views believe that Christ will not return to earth until such a kingdom has been established, a view that is completely antithetical to the Bible’s teaching on the second coming of Jesus Christ.

The principal goal, then, of dominion theology and Christian reconstructionism is political and religious domination of the world through the implementation of the moral laws, and subsequent punishments, of the Old Testament (the sacrificial and ceremonial laws having been fulfilled in the New Testament). This is not a government system ruled by the church, but rather a government conformed to the Law of God.

God has never called Christians to establish a physical kingdom ruled by His laws, commands, and statutes. The mission of Christians is to share the gospel of salvation with the whole world (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). When people are saved, the Holy Spirit will begin the work in them of changing their lives into conformity with God’s Word (Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:13). It is only when a society or culture is populated with born-again Christians that the society is changed, one heart and one life at a time. That is why Christ put an end to the Old Testament Law (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:24-26; Ephesians 2:15) and instead instituted the law of Christ (Matthew 22:37-40; Galatians 6:2). The law of love and grace is what is needed in the hearts of men who, once their hearts are changed, can corporately effect change in their society.

Attempts to change societies and cultures from without will always fail. Changing people on the inside is God’s work through His Holy Spirit, and therefore no one can be forced into the kingdom. God is more interested in saving people’s souls than He is in forcing people to obey His laws. If an unsaved person if forced to obey God’s law, he would be doing it out of fear and obligation. God wants a person to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) and then to obey His commands out of reverence and love (1 John 5:3). So the answer to the question is no. God has not called us to enforce His commands on an unredeemed world. Rather, he has called us to proclaim the message of salvation—the redeeming power and life-transforming message of Jesus’ death on the cross (Romans 5:8).

Dominion theology refers to a line of theological interpretation and thought with regard to the role of the church in contemporary society. Dominion theology is also known as Christian reconstructionism and theonomy. Dominion theology states that biblical Christianity will rule all areas of society, personal and corporate. Christian reconstructionism reasons that society will be reconstructed by the Law of God as preached in the gospel and the Great Commission. Theonomy is a post-millennial view believing that all of the moral laws contained in the Old Testament are yet binding today. Although these might sound somewhat disparate, they have all been closely linked together to the point that people often use the terms interchangeably.

Those who hold these views believe that it is the duty of Christians to create a worldwide kingdom patterned after the Mosaic Law. They believe that Christ will not return to earth until such a kingdom has been established. The principal goal, then, of dominion theology and Christian reconstructionism is political and religious domination of the world through the implementation of the moral laws, and subsequent punishments, of the Old Testament (the sacrificial and ceremonial laws having been fulfilled in the New Testament). This is not a government system ruled by the church, but rather a government conformed to the Law of God.

Dominion theology / Christian reconstructionism is largely based upon a post-millennial view of covenantalism. Post-millennial refers to the belief that Christ will return to earth after the thousand-year reign of God’s kingdom, and covenantalism refers to the belief that biblical history is divided into three major covenants supposedly described in Scripture—of redemption, of works, and of grace. Adherents believe that we currently exist under the covenant of grace, and that the church has replaced Israel, and we are now in the millennial Kingdom of God. Man, under the covenant of grace, is responsible to rule the world, to hold dominion over it, in obedience to the laws of God.

The problem with these beliefs is that they rest upon a distorted view of Scripture. Scripture clearly teaches a premillennial view of the Kingdom of God (Zechariah 14:4-9; Matthew 25:31-34), the “covenant of grace” is an extra-biblical construct, Israel and the Church are distinct throughout biblical history and prophecy, and God never commanded the Church to revamp society. Instead, believers are commanded to preach the Gospel as in Matthew 28:19, 20, but God clearly intends to implement worldwide reform Himself (Revelation 19:11-20:4). Though it is clearly unbiblical, dominion theology persists. It is, in fact, a great threat to biblical Christianity. Once at home solely within Reformed circles, dominion theology and Christian reconstructionism are now creeping into many Protestant churches and are making a large impact on the beliefs of Charismatic churches in particular.

As with any new teaching we are exposed to, we need to be like the Bereans of Acts 17:11: “And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to check up on Paul and Silas, to see if they were really teaching the truth.” Dominion theology / Christian reconstructionism doesn’t align with what we read in the Scriptures. Although this is just a “nutshell” summary of dominion theology, the points made are very clear. Dominion theology is not a theology for a believer to live by, but rather one to avoid.

There are four places in the New Testament that refer to the “holy kiss”—Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; and 1 Thessalonians 5:26. In each instance, the Greek words denote a kiss which is sacred—physically pure and morally blameless. It was a common custom in most nations for people to kiss each other at meeting or parting to display their love, sincere affection, and friendship for each other. The kiss is called “holy” to distinguish it from a sexual one and from a hypocritical and deceitful one, such as Joab gave to Amasa (2 Samuel 20:9) or such as Judas gave to Jesus when he cried, “Hail Rabbi,” and betrayed Him into the hands of His enemies (Matthew 26:49).

In New Testament times, the holy kiss was a sign of greeting, much like the modern handshake. For Christians, it further expressed brotherly love and unity. The holy kiss was especially precious to the new believers during the early church years, because they were often outcasts from their own families because of their new faith. These new believers gloried in the new spiritual kinship they had found among other Christians. Furthermore, the holy kiss from a Jewish Christian to a Gentile believer was evidence that the Gentiles were accepted fully into Christian fellowship, despite the teachings of the Judaizers, those who would return to the Mosaic law as their source of justification. So prominent were these false teachers in the early church that they even temporarily drew such a prominent Christian as Peter into their web of deceit (Galatians 2:11-13). The holy kiss between the Jewish and Gentile believers was done righteously in recognition that all believers are brothers and sisters in the family of God.

Whether or not the holy kiss should be a tradition we carry on today is not clear in Scripture. Whether or not our salutations to our brothers and sisters in Christ include the holy kiss, the important thing is that our greetings spring from real love and friendship, be characterized by sincerity, and represent true Christian fellowship.

There is only one place in Scripture where God is said to speak in a “still small voice,” and it was to Elijah after his dramatic victory over the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:20-40). Told that Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, king of Israel, was seeking kill him, Elijah ran into the wilderness and collapsed in exhaustion. God sent an angel with food and water to strengthen him, told him to rest, and then sent him to Horeb. In a cave there, Elijah voices his complaint that all of God’s prophets had been killed by Jezebel and he alone had survived. God instructed him to stand on the mountain in His presence. Then the Lord sent a mighty wind which broke the rocks in pieces; then He sent an earthquake and a fire, but His voice was in none of them. After all that, the Lord spoke to Elijah in the still small voice, or “gentle whisper.”

The point of God speaking in the still small voice was to show Elijah that the work of God need not always be accompanied by dramatic revelation or manifestations. Divine silence does not necessarily mean divine inactivity. Zechariah 4:6 tells us that God’s work is “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” meaning that overt displays of power are not necessary for God to work.

Because He is God, He is not confined to a single manner of communicating with His people. Elsewhere in Scripture, He is said to communicate through a whirlwind (Job 38:1), to announce His presence by an earthquake (Exodus 19:18), and to speak in a voice that sounds like thunder (1 Samuel 2:10, Job 37:2, Psalm 104:7, John 12:29). In Psalm 77:18, His voice is compared to both thunder and whirlwind. And in Revelation 4:5, we’re told that lightning and thunder proceed from the throne in heaven.

Nor is God limited to natural phenomena when He speaks. All through Scripture, He speaks through His prophets over and over. The common thread in all the prophets is the phrase, “Thus says the Lord…”. He speaks through the writers of Scripture. Most graciously, however, He speaks through His Son, the Lord Jesus. The writer to the Hebrews opens his letter with this truth: “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world” (Hebrews 1:1-2).

The difference between God speaking through the thunder and whirlwind, then through the still small voice can be also considered as showing the difference between the two dispensations of law and grace. The law is a voice of terrible words and was given amidst a tempest of wind, thunder, and lightning, attended with an earthquake, Hebrews 12:18-24, but the Gospel is a gentle voice of love, grace, and mercy, of peace, pardon, righteousness, and the free gift of salvation through Christ. The law breaks the rocky hearts of men in pieces, shakes their consciences, and fills their minds with a sense of God’s fiery wrath and punishment they deserve, and then the gospel speaks gently to them of the peace and pardon available in Christ.

It is less important how God speaks to us than what we do with what He says. God speaks most clearly to us in this day through His Word. The more we learn it, the more ready we will be to recognize His voice when He speaks, and the more likely we are to obey what we hear.


  In all the New Testament incidences where the word submit occurs, the word is translated from the Greek word hupotasso. The hupo means “under” and the tasso means “to arrange.” This word and a root of it are also translated by the words subject and subjection. The word’s full meaning is “to obey, put under, be subject to, submit oneself unto, put in subjection under or be under obedience or obedient to.” The word was used as a military term meaning “to arrange troop divisions in a military fashion under the command of a leader.” This word is a wonderful definition of what it means to “submit” to God. It means to arrange oneself under the command of divine viewpoint rather than to live according to one’s old way of life based on a human viewpoint. It is a process surrendering our own will to that of our Father’s.

The Scripture has a great deal to say about being in submission to the “higher powers.” This has reference to the establishment principles that God has ordained in our world—the government and the leaders, in whatever capacity, that God has placed in authority over us on this earth. Passages that teach this principle are Romans 13:1-7; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 2:13-14; and Titus 3:1. The principle is that being in obedience to the authority over us, whatever that authority is, will bring a temporal blessing in real time here and now and, for the believer, reward later. The highest authority is God, and He delegates authority to others; so, in order submit to God, we submit to the authority He has placed over us. You will notice that there are no caveats that distinguish between good or bad authority or even just or unjust authority. We are just to humble ourselves and obey as “unto the Lord.”

We are also told to submit ourselves to God (James 4:7). In Ephesians we read the wife is to submit to her husband as unto the Lord and the husband is to “love” his wife (Ephesians 5:22-25). The Apostle Peter writes, “Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5). The theme here is one of humility. One cannot submit to God without humility. Obedience requires us to humble ourselves to surrender to the authority of another, and we are told that God resists pride—the opposite of humility—and the arrogance that fosters that pride.

Therefore, having a humble and submissive heart is a choice we make. That means as born-again believers we daily make a choice to submit ourselves to God for the work that the Holy Spirit does in us to “conform us to the image of Christ.” God will use the situations of our lives to bring us the opportunity to submit to Him (Romans 8:28-29). The believer then accepts His grace and provision to walk in the Spirit and not after the manner of the old nature. That work is accomplished by choosing to apply ourselves to the Word of God and to learning about the provisions that God has made for us in Christ Jesus. From the moment we are born again, we have all the provisions we need, in Christ, to become a mature believer, but we have to make the choice to learn about those provisions through study of the Word and to apply those provisions to our daily walk.

We have to choose to submit to God for the process of learning in order to grow spiritually. It is a process begun at salvation and ongoing with each and every choice that we make to submit ourselves to God. This process will continue until the Lord comes again or He calls us home. The wonderful thing about this is that, as the Apostle Paul so aptly states, “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

God does not require us to submit because He is a tyrant, but because He is a loving Father and He knows what is best for us. The blessings and peace that we gain from humbly surrendering and submitting ourselves to Him daily are a gift of grace that nothing in this world can compare to.

This question has been asked by countless people throughout the ages. Samuel heard the voice of God, but did not recognize it until he was instructed by Eli (1 Samuel 3:1–10). Gideon had a physical revelation from God, and he still doubted what he had heard to the point of asking for a sign, not once, but three times (Judges 6:17–22,36–40). When we are listening for God’s voice, how can we know that He is the one speaking? First of all, we have something that Gideon and Samuel did not. We have the complete Bible, the inspired Word of God, to read, study, and meditate on. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). When we have a question about a certain topic or decision in our lives, we should see what the Bible has to say about it. God will never lead us contrary to what He has taught in His Word (Titus 1:2).

To hear God’s voice we must belong to God. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). Those who hear God’s voice are those who belong to Him—those who have been saved by His grace through faith in the Lord Jesus. These are the sheep who hear and recognize His voice, because they know Him as their Shepherd. If we are to recognize God’s voice, we must belong to Him.

We hear His voice when we spend time in Bible study and quiet contemplation of His Word. The more time we spend intimately with God and His Word, the easier it is to recognize His voice and His leading in our lives. Employees at a bank are trained to recognize counterfeits by studying genuine money so closely that it is easy to spot a fake. We should be so familiar with God’s Word that when someone speaks error to us, it is clear that it is not of God.

While God could speak audibly to people today, He speaks primarily through His written Word. Sometimes God’s leading can come through the Holy Spirit, through our consciences, through circumstances, and through the exhortations of other people. By comparing what we hear to the truth of Scripture, we can learn to recognize God’s voice.

altruistico:

its really hard, but through my own life, ive had to let go of things or i would go mad. Quoting the Minstrel’s Wife.  And, I believe we all have had to let go of something in our lives……….. to make room in our hearts for goodness, love and happiness.

Originally posted on A Small Act Of Kindness Can Bring Smile On Million Faces:

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All that God deemed essential knowledge for His children is found in His Word—the Bible. Beyond that, all truth is God’s. God has, however, revealed His truth to all humans in the things created (Romans 1:20) called general revelation, and in His written Word called special revelation (1 Corinthians 2:6–10).

There is a difference between “earthly wisdom” and the “wisdom that comes from above” (James 3:14–18). To tap into God’s wisdom, we must, first of all, desire it and ask God for it. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5). The next verse specifies that we must “ask in faith, nothing wavering” (verse 6).

We acknowledge that true wisdom comes from God and that Jesus Christ is the embodiment of that wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30). To trust in Christ and yield to His Holy Spirit is to walk in wisdom; as Christians, “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Love of God, the greatest commandment, is also required. “As it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’—the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9–10; cf. Isaiah 64:4).

To have knowledge is to have understanding or information about something. To have wisdom is to have the ability to apply knowledge to everyday life. It is in the reading and understanding of God’s Word that we obtain knowledge, and meditating upon that knowledge brings wisdom. The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119, which is all about gaining understanding and wisdom from God’s Word. Just a few verses are “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.” (verse 97). “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (verse 105). “I will meditate in your precepts, and have respect to your ways. I will delight myself in your statutes: I will not forget your word” (verses 15–16). The word meditate is used five times in Psalm 119 and in various forms another fifteen times in the book of Psalms. Meditation is required to fully consider how to apply God’s Word in everyday life.

The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom. In that book, Wisdom calls for a hearing: “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings” (Proverbs 1:22–23). The promise of Wisdom is that those who desire God’s truth can have it, but it requires giving up the world’s foolish mockery of the truth. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).

To have the “fear of the LORD” is to have an awed respect of who God is and a reverential trust in His Word and His character, and to live accordingly. When one is walking in the fear of the Lord, he or she is relying on God’s wisdom in the matters of everyday life and making whatever changes need to be made in light of God’s Word.

Those who have God’s wisdom will show it in how they live: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom” (James 3:13).

In summary, to tap into God’s wisdom, we must diligently study God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15), meditate on the Word, pray for wisdom, seek it with all our hearts, and walk in the Spirit. God desires to give His wisdom to His children. Are we willing to be led by that wisdom?

Everyone knows that God exists. “God has made it plain” that He is real, “for since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20). Some try to suppress the knowledge of God; most try to add to it. The Christian has a deep desire to know God better (Psalm 25:4).

In John 3 we read about a man who clearly wanted to know God better and who became more studied than most in the things of God. His name was Nicodemus, and he was a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews. This Nicodemus knew that Jesus had come from God, and he was truly curious to learn more about Jesus. Jesus patiently explained to Nicodemus how he must be born again (verses 3-15). In order to know God better, Nicodemus had come to the right person—“In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9). Jesus is indeed the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14). Jesus revealed God through His words and works. He even said that no one comes to the Father but by Him (John 14:6). If you want to know who God is, look at Jesus.

So, we must start with faith. The first step in knowing God better is to know Jesus Christ, who was sent from God (John 6:38). Once we are born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can truly begin to learn about God, His character, and His will. “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10). By contrast, “the person without the Spirit . . . cannot understand [the things of God] because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (verse 14). There is a difference between the “natural” man and the “spiritual” man.

Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.” It cannot be emphasized enough how the study of God’s Word, the Bible, is paramount to knowing God better. We must, “like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it [we] may grow up in [our] salvation, now that [we] have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2-3). God’s Word should be our “delight” (Psalm 119:16, 24).

Those who are learning more about God are also those who obey the command to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Born-again believers always have the Holy Spirit, but Ephesians 5:15-21 teaches us to walk in the Spirit and surrender to His will.

Prayer is also an important part of knowing God better. As we pray, we praise God for His character and for what He has done. We spend time with Him, relying on His power and allowing the Spirit to intercede for us “through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26).

Also consider that one can get to know God better by fellowshipping with other believers. The Christian life was not meant to be lived alone. We learn more about God through the preaching of God’s Word and the godly counsel of those who walk with Him. Make the most of your church experience, get involved, do small-group Bible study, go witnessing with fellow believers. Just like a log ablaze on the hearth soon goes out when it is removed and placed aside, so we will lose our fervor for God if we do not fellowship with other believers. But put the log back into the fire with the other logs, and it will burn brightly again.

To summarize how to get to know God better: 1) Accept Christ as your Savior. 2) Read His Word…it is alive (Hebrews 4:12). 3) On an on-going basis, be filled with the Holy Spirit. 4) Seek the Lord through prayer. 5) Fellowship and live out your life with the saints (Hebrews 10:25).

Within all of us there exists a strong desire to be known and to know others. More importantly, all people desire to know their Creator, even if they are not professed believers in God. Today we are bombarded with advertising that promises many ways to satisfy our cravings to know more, have more, be more. However, the empty promises that come from the world will never satisfy in the way that knowing God will satisfy. Jesus said, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

So, “what is the key to truly knowing God?” First, it is imperative to understand that man, on his own, is incapable of truly knowing God because of man’s sinfulness. The Scriptures reveal to us that we are all sinful (Romans 3) and that we fall well short of the standard of holiness required to commune with God. We are also told that the consequence of our sin is death (Romans 6:23) and that we will perish eternally without God unless we accept and receive the promise of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. So, in order to truly know God, we must first receive Him into our lives. “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). Nothing is of greater importance than understanding this truth when it comes to knowing God. Jesus makes it clear that He alone is the way to heaven and to a personal knowledge of God: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).

There is no requirement to begin this journey besides accepting and receiving the promises mentioned above. Jesus came to breathe life into us by offering Himself as a sacrifice so our sins will not prevent us from knowing God. Once we have received this truth, we can begin the journey of knowing God in a personal way. One of the key ingredients in this journey is understanding that the Bible is God’s Word and is His revelation of Himself, His promises, His will. The Bible is essentially a love letter written to us from a loving God who created us to know Him intimately. What better way to learn about our Creator than to immerse ourselves in His Word, revealed to us for this very reason? And it is important to continue this process throughout the entire journey. Paul writes to Timothy, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:14-16).

Finally, truly knowing God involves our commitment to obey what we read in the Scriptures. After all, we were created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10) in order to be part of God’s plan of continuing to reveal Himself to the world. We carry the responsibility to live out the very faith that is required to know God. We are salt and light on this earth (Matthew 5:13-14), designed to bring God’s flavor to the world and to serve as a shining light in the midst of darkness. Not only must we read and understand God’s Word, we must apply it obediently and remain faithful (Hebrews 12). Jesus Himself placed the greatest importance on loving God with all we are and loving our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22). This command is impossible to keep without the commitment to reading and applying His truth revealed in His Word.

These are the keys to truly knowing God. Of course, our lives will involve much more, such as commitment to prayer, devotion, fellowship, and worship. But those can only follow making a decision to receive Jesus and His promises into our lives and accepting that we, on our own, cannot truly know God. Then our lives can be filled with God, and we can experience knowing Him intimately and personally.