Commanding Heaven onto Earth

I have heard a teaching going around that says: All ministry flows from the prayer, “Thy kingdom come… on earth as it is in heaven.”

I believe this teaching is called Dominionism. The adherents claim God has given us power and authority to take the world by spiritual force and this verse is Jesus teaching our ability to command. 

The verse they quoted, why are they leaving out the words in the center and changing the phrase? Remember Matthew 6 and Luke 11: ​”Your kingdom come. ​Your will be done ​on earth as it is in heaven.”

  • Why leave out “Your will be done”?
  • Why change Jesus’ prayer from submissively asking for “God’s kingdom to come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven” to commanding “His kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven”?
  • Why change the words of Jesus? If twisting the words of Jesus is not anti-Christ, what is?
  • Why ask for the kingdom and eliminate asking for Father God’s will to come with it?
  • Having the kingdom without having God’s will would be a kingdom ruled by whom?
  • The kingdom in heaven ruled without God’s will is Satan’s organization.
  • Who would teach people to pray this way? Not God, only the enemy.

Remember Jesus did empower our prayers (John 14-16 several times):

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14)

If we think this is to fulfill our desires then we misunderstand what Jesus meant. Remember James said, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3). Think of a ten year old boy asking for a flame-thrower and machine gun, or a 16 year old asking for a crotch-rocket motorcycle: the father should say no for both the child’s good and everyone else’s good!

We must see Jesus empowering our prayers for the express purpose of fulfilling Father God’s desires, and Jesus’ desires, to bring glory to the Father and the Son, which often comes through our suffering, even as it came through Jesus’ suffering—we must bear the cross, not command it away.

Jesus immediately followed these empowering statements with: “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (v15). And His commandments are to love God, each other, the world, and even our enemies. There is not much room for selfishness, rather prayer becomes our joining with God to fulfill God’s desires to build the Body of Christ and prepare the Bride of Christ.

We know the line “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” is taken from the Lord’s Prayer as Jesus teaching the disciples how to pray. If we are to understand this as Jesus teaching us to pray authoritatively—as adherents to Dominionism teach—then it means the Lord’s Prayer would be prayed as us commanding God, sounding something like this:

“Holy Father in heaven, I command You to make Your kingdom come onto earth, as it already is in heaven. I command You to give us our daily bread. I command You to provide our food for today. I command You to forgive my sin, because I have forgiven those indebted to me. I command You to lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil.”

I shudder to write and read this! We know we cannot command God to do anything, because that would make us sovereign over Him, and that is horrifically wrong.

We further remember the context of Jesus’ teaching on prayer is Matthew 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount, which is about character development, not exercising authority to command.

Jesus’ teaching on prayer demonstrated submission to God, our Father Who is in heaven, recognizing and declaring His holiness, submitting to His system of government, committing to follow Him here on this corrupt earth now even as all of heaven does, asking for today’s needs, asking for forgiveness of sin with proof of His principles at work within us as we have already been forgiving others, asking for cleansing, ending with recognition of His eternal kingdom, power, and glory. 

Be wary of people teaching you to command heaven onto earth. 

Jesus does not force us to love Him, He invites. In the same way a man does not (cannot) force a woman to love him. The woman has to respond to the man’s invitation, line up with the man, and the two become one. Similarly, a woman cannot force a man to love her. She can but request. 

We cannot force heaven to come to earth. We can but line up with God, become one with Him, and see what He does. 

Don’t Boil Goats

A 2 month old goat kid in a field of capeweed

“Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.” Exodus 23:19b KJV. Translate to modern English: Do not boil a baby goat in its mother’s milk.

What? Why does God command this?

This command is the last phrase God gives in the moral Law–the ten commandments and its unpacking–which is still God’s instruction for our morality and ethics (the moral Law is entirely separate from the ceremonial and sacrificial law which in its attempt at atonement foretold, and finally was replaced by, Jesus’ sacrificial death).

The Jews took this command as instruction to keep dairy and meat separate, and voila we have the basis of kosher law. If it were that important to keep dairy and meat separate, I think God would have made it more explicit.

What was God communicating to the Hebrews, and now to us, with this phrase as the final proclamation of the moral Law?

What if this verse is a proverb, a saying, perhaps even common in the day? What principle does it teach? What is God saying by giving the moral Law and finishing off with this proverb?

If you boil a baby goat in his mother’s milk, what do you get? A dead baby goat. To get an adult goat the milk is applied inside the baby goat, not outside.

Was boiling in milk a cleaning method? Apply a life-substance externally with heat … you might get a very clean baby goat, but it’s still going to be dead.

What if the point is not what you get, but what you do not get? And what do we not get?

You do not get an adult goat.

You do not get a lamb.

You cannot apply life-substance and heat to a baby goat to clean it up into being a lamb. Remember Jesus’ parable of judgment day and separating the sheep from the goats–we want to be the sheep welcomed into heaven, not the goats condemned to hell.

I think this is the essence of what God is saying: “I give you My moral Law, now take it into your hearts and be changed–grow up into My character, be like Me. Application on the outside is not going to work, it must be on the inside. I want to change you from goats to sheep, and here is my moral Law to help you understand the goal. But it has to be an internal change, not an external clean-up. Take My words to heart.”

And yet we cannot do it. We are incapable. Our best efforts result in self-righteous Pharisee-ism.

So comes the rest of God’s message: “And struggle with this impossible task, for you cannot keep My Law. You cannot become like Me in your own efforts. You will fall short. And that is the point. You must see that only I can change you from being goats to being sheep. You must see your need for a Savior. So see your need, and come to Me and ask My help. For I am the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. I came into the world, kept the moral Law living perfectly, and died for your sin, thus providing the way of salvation, enabling you to be like Me. If you ask I will give you atonement and justification, impute righteousness to you and sanctify you. Come to Me, and I will give you rest.”

That’s what I’m getting out of it. How about you?

Who knew God would summarize the entire gospel message with, “Don’t boil goats in their mother’s milk”?!

Beautiful Judgment

I drive America’s highways looking at the beautiful plains, hills, mountains, deserts, forests, rivers, lakes, and oceans. It struck me that everything I see was sculpted by water, by a lot of water; it was all underwater and formed by lots of moving water. It is all evidence of the Flood.

The Flood was God’s judgment on a world full of sin–He was sorry He made mankind on the Earth (Genesis 6:6). God caused the fountains of the deep to open and rain to fall, and the world was changed forever.  

Every day we see the evidence of God’s judgment, but we do not comprehend. We live in the wake of His judgment without thought of the patterns around us.

And then I made the connection: His judgment is beautiful! He is beautiful, His works are beautiful, His judgment is beautiful.

We need to hunger for His heart, His character, His word, His morality, His rule, His kingdom, and His judgment. In that mode we can be salt and light.

Have you noticed His beautiful judgment lately? Do you enjoy His beautiful judgment? Have you thanked Him for His beautiful judgment lately? Have you asked Him to judge your heart now, while you have time to change and grow? Limited time offer: today is the day of salvation. This era will end, His final judgment will crack down and our eternities will be decided.

Run to His beautiful judgment now, while there is still grace and mercy available at the cross of Christ Jesus.

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me.” All history revolves around this one perfect man–Jesus. Run to Him and receive eternal life, then pass the word!