In this weeks sermon passage there is a verse that has cause some controversy and I thought I’d take this opportunity to explore it in a little more detail. The verse is from Romans 8:19:
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
This is just a short post regarding the false doctrine attached to this verse. There are some groups that take this phrase “revealing of the sons of God” and use it as the foundation for a doctrine that I don’t believe is Scripturally faithful. The doctrine goes has gone by many names over the years but today it’s associated with the movement called New Apostolic Reformation. For the most part this movement still accepts the basic tenets of the Gospel and so in that sense they would be included in orthodox Christianity. It is evangelistic and charismatic, it believes the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. The movement also usually takes a conservative stance on moral issues, values prophecy, promotes social action and can encourage support for Israel. For these things they should be commended.
However, on the issue of end times, in my opinion, they are inescapably unbiblical.
So what does the NAR believe about this verse? Well it says that there is going to come in the last days before Jesus returns a “new breed” of Christians called the “Manifest” or Revealed “Sons of God” who will have super-natural spiritual power. These people are likened to Moses and Elijah. The are collectively known as “Joel’s Army” and are the same as the mighty men from Genesis 6. They will subdue all the enemies of Jesus until they eventually gain power and authority throughout the world. This means that the governments of all the nations will be under their control and when all authorities, governments, monarchs have finally submitted to them, Christ will return and they will present the kingdom to Jesus.
So who are they?
Well I think it’s pretty easy to establish that the sons of God are Christians. Whilst they will have supernatural power (Acts 1:8), the ret of what NAR affirms is an over realisation of end times theology. Of all the mentions of the sons of god in the New Testament they are refer to people who trust in God:
Matthew 5:9 (ESV) — 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Luke 20:36 (ESV) — 36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
Romans 8:14 (ESV) — 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Romans 8:19 (ESV) — 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
Galatians 3:26 (ESV) — 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.