Section 10A ... The Contemporary Church
Dominion Theology


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Dominion Theology... The Stench And Foul Smell Of Joel’s Army

Section VIII: Identificational Repentance

Carol Brooks

Index To All Sixteen Sections

Section 1: History, Beliefs and Spread
Section 2: Manifest Sons Of God
Section 3: C Peter Wagner and The New Apostolic Reformation ... The Five-Fold Ministry
Section 4: Genuine New Testament Apostles Or Deluded Con Men
Section 5: Biblical Accountability and Authority
Section 6: Do Miracles Produce Faith
Section 7: Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare (SLSW)
You Are Here 001orange Section 8: Identificational Repentance
Section 9: Portals To Heaven?
Section 10:  Civil War
Section 11:  Phinehas Spirit
Section 12:  Excuses For Gullibility
Section 13:  The Bible Vs. Dominion Theology
Section 14:  More Examples of The Leadership’s Inventive Interpretations of Scripture
Section 15:  A Sinister Twist
Section 16: Fate of Joel’s Army




Identificational Repentance Defined
Corporate Sin
The Solution… 2 Chronicles 7:14?
Prayer Journeys
10 Major Prayer Innovations of the 1990s

YWAM, Aloha Ke Akua
The Centre for International Reconciliation & Peace

Biblical Basis?
John Dawson’s “Royal Priesthood”
Corporate Guilt?

Ezra, Nehemiah and Daniel
Nehemiah, Ezra, Daniel and Leviticus 26

C Peter Wagner And Biblical Justification
For Identificational Repentance

Healing The Past?
1) Heredity Iniquity… A Spiritual Principle?
2) Sin and Iniquity
3) Stopping The Cycle
4) Satan’s Strongholds

Reconciliation Walk for the Crusades

A Final Thought
A Ps

Section IX: Portals to Heaven

Identificational Repentance: as described by a Christian apologist, and two leaders of the Dominionist Movement.

Al Dager, a Christian apologist who rightly calls the Manifested Sons of God doctrine erroneous and unbiblical briefly defines Identificational Repentance in his article on The World Christian Movement. He says...

    The idea of identificational repentance is to stand in the gap as a substitute for a corporate people in order to nullify so-called "generational curses." In essence, it is to identify oneself with a corporate group of people to confess that group's social sins (I’m a white man who killed an Indian and stole his land). This is the basis of the Reconciliation Movement. [1]

John Dawson, International President of YWAM (Youth With a Mission) is one of the leaders in the forefront of the Identificational Repentance movement and his book Healing America's Wounds is considered by C Peter Wagner to be “one of the books of the decade for Christian leaders of all denominations”. The web site of the International Reconciliation Coalition which Dawson helped found in 1990 says…

    “… the greatest wounds in human history, the greatest injustices, have not happened through the acts of some individual perpetrator; rather through the institutions, systems, philosophies, cultures, religions and governments of humankind. Because of this, we, as individuals, are tempted to absolve ourselves of all individual responsibility” [2]

C Peter Wagner states

    Why should we be concerned about what our ancestors might have done? This is an important question raised by many who hear of identificational repentance for the first time. The answer derives from the spiritual principle that iniquity passes from generation to generation. One of many biblical texts on the matter comes from the Ten Commandments that Moses received on Sinai: 'I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations...' (Exodus 20:5).

    Technically speaking, sin can be understood as the initial act while iniquity is the effect that the sin has exercised on subsequent generations. [3]

Tragically, that is as far as C Peter Wagner’s Biblical knowledge goes. He has given absolutely no Biblical basis for his definition of “sin” and “iniquity, but has ad libbed the meaning of the words according to his theories. The truth is that there are different Hebrew words used for “sin”, “iniquity”, and “transgression” and they all have very different meanings, none of which even slightly resemble Wagner’s definitions. And when one understands the Hebrew words, Exodus 20:5, which has given rise to all manner of ridiculous doctrines, becomes very understandable... See Generational Curses

[Incidentally Mary Glazier is an advisor to the International Reconciliation Coalition [4]

The importance placed on Identificational Repentance is emphasized in C Peter Wagner’s comments about John Dawson’s book Healing America's Wound. He says

     Fortunately, we now have a textbook on the subject, namely John Dawson's remarkable book, Healing America's Wounds (Regal Books). In my opinion, this is one of the books of the decade for Christian leaders of all denominations. Only because we now have access to this book has the United Prayer Track or the AD2000 Movement been bold enough to declare 1996 as the year to 'Heal the Land,' featuring massive initiatives for repentance and reconciliation on every continent of the world. This is so important to me that I require my students at Fuller Theological Seminary to read Healing America's Wounds and I invite John Dawson himself to come in and help me teach my classes.

    Some may wonder what international significance a book like Healing America's Wounds might have. Only this. We Americans are not ignorant of the fact that our nation has gained high international visibility for many things, some good, but some very bad. Now by God's grace many American Christian leaders want our nation also to be known for our deep remorse over the national sins and atrocities we have committed. We want to be among the first to corporately humble ourselves before God and before the people we have offended, to confess our sins, and to seek remission of those sins in order to heal our deep national wounds. With no desire to be arrogant, we hope that if we provide a good example which pleases God, some other nations may see fit to follow our lead. [4b]

Corporate Sin
C. Peter Wagner wrote in The Power to Heal the Past:

    "We must recognise that nations can and do sin corporately. God loves nations, and I join those who believe that God has a redemptive plan for each nation, or for that matter for each city or people group or neighbourhood or any visible network of human beings. But corporate national sin damages the relationship of the nation to God and prevents that nation from being all that God wants it to be.

    Is this a hopeless situation? No. The Word of God has clearly outlined the remedy:

      If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14).

    "God desires to bring corporate healing. He wants to heal the land. The way that He does this is parallel to the way He deals with individuals. [3]

Wagner then outlines the steps that are essential for God to bring about corporate healing and “heal the land.” The four steps are

    1. Identify the national sin. 2. Confess the sin corporately and ask God for forgiveness. 3. Apply Christ's blood. 4. Walk in obedience and repair the damage.

Under the first step of Identifying national sin, Wagner says

    This is no place for vagueness. We must be specific, not evasive. For example, the principal sin of my nation, the United States, is clearly racism and our corporate sins which have established the spiritual strongholds are clear. The broadest and most pervasive sin that our nation ever committed was bringing Africans to our shores as slaves ­ human merchandise to be bought, sold and used for any conceivable purpose to satisfy the desires of their white masters. But beyond this, the deepest root of national iniquity, and also, as I see it, one of the primary causes of our subsequent lust for slaves, was the horrendous way we white Americans treated our hosts, the American Indians. What does the breaking of over 350 solemn treaties say about U.S. national integrity? [3]

All of the above sounds very good and very “Christian”, but is it?

In the first place, regarding corporate sin... All institutions systems or governments, whether secular or religious, are made up of individuals, and do not have magical powers, or life of their own.  In the case of tremendous injustices, or crimes, each and every individual who was part of the collective, carries their share of the blame. So this corporate sin is nothing but a number of individuals who together participated in the sin, each of whom is individually responsible for repenting of whatever part they played.

I certainly agree that the both African slavery and the treatment of the American Indians are a matter of considerable shame and tremendously black blot in the history of this nation. However I am certainly not sure if bringing Africans to our shores as slaves was  “the broadest and most pervasive sin that our nation ever committed”. In my opinion that dubious honour belongs to the mindless slaughter of hundreds of thousands of defenseless children which continues unabated. At least we have seen an end to slavery.

However the purpose in bringing up abortion vs. slavery is not to quantify the extent or depravity of any particular sin but to bring up another point which seems to have been completely overlooked.

But I will get to that in due time. 

The Solution… 2 Chronicles 7:14: C Peter Wagner then says the damage done to the relationship of the nation to God by corporate national sin is not a hopeless situation and the Word of God has clearly outlined the remedy… this supposedly found in the verse

    If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14).

This verse in Chronicles is very commonly, and mistakenly, used as proof text that if the Christians in America (or other country), will seek God's face then He will hear their prayer and heal the country in question. But is this so?

The problem is the age old one of forgetting that not only were there no chapter and verse divisions in the original writing, but that there are no stand alone verses in the Scriptures. The reader can only accurately understand God's Word the way it is written... in its context. "Context" means the part of a text or statement that surrounds that particular word or passage and determines its meaning. To accurately determine the context, one has to read the immediate surrounding verses, the entire chapter, or even several chapters. [See Context is CRUCIAL]

 In this case, the previous chapter tell the story of Solomon who  has just finished building the Temple and who at its ‘dedication’ makes a long and unselfish prayer (2 Chronicles 6:14-42), which God specifically answers (2 Chronicles 7:12-22). The beginning verse of God’s reply to Solomon reads…

    "Then the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: 'I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice." [V. 12]

If we read 2 Chronicles 7:14 in context it becomes apparent that God's oft-quoted "I will hear from heaven" is qualified by the very next two verses. Reading all three verses together [Emphasis Added]

    " If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (14) Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually." (15,16).

Note that in his prayer Solomon refers to "this place" or "this temple" thirteen times, and in His answer to Solomon God Himself refers to "this house" or "this temple" six times.

In other words the entire two chapters are about a specific location. God’s ears being "attentive to prayer made in this place" meant the Temple or Jerusalem. Therefore the land that God promised to heal, upon prayer and repentance, was Israel, not America or any other country.

This only makes sense considering that Israel was a nation in a covenant relationship with God. Covenants were a normal feature, of international relations between people of the ancient East and simply meant a solemn and binding agreement between two parties. However if the two parties involved were of very different strengths (a stronger and weaker nation) any offered covenant would be on the initiative and grace of the stronger, who may agree to protect the small nation, if certain conditions were met.

    At the core of Israel’s life was her covenant with God. This covenant spelled out her proper relationship to Yahweh (“Lord,” the covenant name of God), showing what he expected of the people and informing them of what he had done and would do for them. When they drifted away from the covenant they ceased to be a distinctive people of God. They lost their character and became “like the nations.” Every call to repentance was a call to renew the covenant. Israel was the nation of the covenant and prospered or suffered in accordance with her loyalty or disloyalty to it.

    Obviously Israel’s covenant with God was the suzerainty type. God had delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage and offered her a covenant at Mount Sinai. “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:4-6). (Also see 1 Peter 2:9-10). [5]

Deuteronomy 28 describes the If you will...then I will conditions set forth by God describing the blessing incurred by obeying the law and the curses incurred by not doing so, while Leviticus 26 emphasizes how the curses get progressively worse as the nation sinks deeper into apathy and sin.  The affliction of the land was part of the curses which they had been warned about well in advance. For example [All Emphasis Added]

    Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather little in; for the locust shall consume it. Thou shalt plant vineyards and dress them, but thou shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worm shall eat them. Thou shalt have olive-trees throughout all thy borders, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast its fruit. [Deuteronomy 28:38-40]

    and your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruit. [Leviticus 26:20] 

The church or the body of Christ is NOT a nation. God has given us no land, and has made no promise to us to bless, curse or heal the lands or nations we dwell in. On the contrary Peter says we are sojourners and pilgrims, which the author of Hebrews agreed with. Paul adds that our citizenship is in heaven... we temporarily live here, but it is not our home. [All Emphasis Added]

    Beloved, I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lust, which war against the soul; [1 Peter 2:11]

    For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: [Philippians p 3:20]

    These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. [Hebrews 11:13]

We have NO LAND here. therefore the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is NOT a promise to us today. However, while certain particular situations that applied to the nation of Israel do not apply to us, there are several principles outlined in His words for all His people, which have been well expanded on in the New Testament. For example God hears the prayer of every righteous person and He always keeps His word.

However what we can not infer from 2 Chronicles 7:14 is that the spiritual efforts of a Christian minority can pull a nation out of the moral morass into which it has sunk. That would take the repentance of the entire nation. Consider God’s words in Ezekiel 14:13 – 20 [Emphasis Added]

    "'Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it, and cut off from it both man and beast, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,' declares the Lord God."

Prayer Journeys
In Gaining Perspective on Territorial Spirits, A. Scott Moreau defines Prayer Journeys as being

    “…essentially field trips to practice prayer walking and, in some cases, to enable better spiritual mapping. Taken as short-term mission trips, they include short visits to strategic cities or sections of cities within a country or continent. [6]

While the Australia based City Harvest that organizes Prayer Journeys says they are  “Strategic and research based intercession for people, cities, nations and regions”. In other words.. “praying on-site with insight

    “A prayer journey is an expedition carried out by a group of Christian Believers to a specific distant region and or location for the purposes of focused intercession. They usually last between one to two weeks” 

    The sights, sounds, smells of Casablanca or Delhi, for example, are vastly different from your normal surrounds. This different perspective of place, people and culture, will enable us to draw a more realistic assessment of the needs of the people that are the focus of our intercession. [7]

However what is really interesting is that City Harvest goes on to say [Emphasis Added]

    “Praying out loud and singing may only be appropriate behind closed doors away from the public in nations with restrictive religious and cultural laws and where Christians or being a Westerner is not welcomed. Therefore praying out loud and singing may only take place in hotel rooms or in vans or busses if driven by a secure driver. 

    On the other hand sometimes it’s best to pray in remote areas like mountains and open country areas that provide for more freedom. Wherever possible, seek the advise of the host nation workers on the ground for their advice and assistance. It is important to work within understood constraints and not to place individuals or the team in a potentially hostile or dangerous situation.

    At certain periods of the year when different cultural or religious festivals occur at the same time as prayer journeys to those nations, a more secure prayer strategy will need to be implemented.” [7]

Unfortunately working “within understood constraints” and praying “in remote areas” that provide more freedom (read avoid persecution), makes impossible an open presentation of the Gospel. And without a clear cut Gospel message to individuals, the prayer journeys and every other manmade game plan becomes a waste of time.

And I am not saying that praying for unsaved groups or individuals is not exceedingly important. What I am saying is that this can be done in your living room or church basement. When you have specially travelled to the state or country of an unsaved group and can present the Gospel to them in person, but do not do so, you have accomplished little.  I am afraid that I do not understand spending much money and wasting valuable resource on “mission trips” that do not present the Gospel.

But this, unfortunately, is exactly the present state of affairs. A simple, basic presentation of the Gospel from Scripture has been supplanted by fancy strategies that have taken center stage… a fact well highlighted in C Peter Wagner’s …

…10 Major Prayer Innovations of the 1990s
Wagner says he “had no trouble in compiling this list of the top ten innovations in the prayer movement”, but “had an extremely difficult time trying to list them in order of importance”. Consequently, he says he “put the items in a hat and drew them in random order”. Note however that virtually none of the items on his list have been given any importance or even mentioned in the New Testament, which focuses solely on preaching the Gospel.

    Strategic-level spiritual warfare. The idea of taking authority over high-ranking principalities and powers assigned by Satan to keep social networks of various kinds in spiritual darkness was the focus of the Spiritual Warfare Network starting in 1990. Key authors included Cindy Jacobs, Dick Eastman, and C. Peter Wagner.

    Identificational repentance. The body of Christ began to learn that it is possible to heal the wounds of the past through identificational repentance and thus to weaken strongholds that Satan has built. The key author was John Dawson.

    Prayer evangelism. Prayer has ordinarily been an add-on to evangelism, but now we know that prayer itself, when intelligently strategized and focused, can be a direct force for winning people to Christ. The key author was Ed Silvoso.

    Personal intercession for leaders. For pastors and other Christian leaders, identifying and relating positively to personal intercessors can mean the difference between success and failure in ministry. Key authors included John Maxwell, Terry Teykl, and C. Peter Wagner.

    Two-way prayer. Prayer is not just speaking to God, but also hearing directly from Him. Derivatives of this include prophecy, the office of prophet, and prophetic intercession. Key authors included Cindy Jacobs and Chuck Pierce.

    On-site praying. Prayer began to move out of the church and into the community through praise marches, prayer expeditions, prayer journeys, and prayerwalking. Key authors included Graham Kendrick, Steve Hawthorne and C. Peter Wagner.

    City transformation. Through prayer, the kingdom of God can move out of the church and penetrate all levels of society, thereby transforming cities and other territories. Key authors included George Otis, Jr., Ed Silvoso, John Dawson, and C. Peter Wagner.

    The AD2000 United Prayer Track. A vehicle for mobilizing prayer for the lost at a level never before seen in church history. Key authors included Luis Bush, Beverly Pegues, and Dick Eastman.

    Commitment to the land. Spiritual authority of pastors and other leaders increases proportionately to their commitment to the territory in which God has placed them. The key author was Bob Beckett.

    Spiritual mapping. Spirit-guided research can help target our prayers and produced informed, and thus more effective, intercession. The key author was George Otis, Jr. [8]

And, of course, not a few organization have picked up and run with these ideas that have little or not Biblical basis. While City Harvest of Brisbane Australia has already been mentioned, other examples abound, two of which have been mentioned below.

YWAM, Aloha Ke Akua and The Centre for International Reconciliation & Peace 

YWAM or Youth With A Mission is one of the largest mission groups in the world -- an international parachurch organization with roughly 11,000 permanent and 51,000 short-term and student youth "missionaries" serving in over 800 operating locations in over 135 countries [8b]. YWAM however is neck deep in all manner of ecumenical unscriptural practices including Identificational Repentance.

Aloha Ke Akua (God is Love) Ministries is a non-denominational, religious non-profit corporation registered in the State of Hawaii and boasts John Dawson of YWAM on the Advisory Board. Part of the mission statement of the Hawaiian ministry reads “To facilitate the reconciliation of indigenous peoples to their Creator”. With this in mind they produced two videos (one in 2005 and the sequel in 2007) entitled God's Fingerprints in Japan, which ends with the words…

    "'As a member of the International Reconciliation Coalition board, Daniel believes that it's important to let the Japanese people know that God loves them just the way they are.

    "Kikawa - 'We have told you that your culture is not honorable, and not good enough for God. As an American Christian I want to ask you for forgiveness for that. And tell you that God has left so much beauty in your culture. Please, I want to do this, to say please forgive me.'

    "Kikawa then bows to the floor before men and women -- apologizing. For what?" [9]

What exactly Daniel Kikawa, who is not only Aloha Ke Akua’s President, but is also on YWAM's International Reconciliation Coalition, was apologizing for is well beyond me. How did he ever go off on the tangent that the Japanese culture is “not good enough”.

The gospel or salvation message has absolutely nothing to do with culture, be it kimonos and tea ceremonies, Super Bowl Sunday or dancing the Highland Fling. It has to do with believing in and becoming a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ… making him Lord of your life.

And NO, God does not necessarily love people just the way they are.. The Bible tells us God not only hates the sin, but in some cases He actually hates the sinner as well and that there are even certain types of people that God hates! If you just happened to be one of those Christians that subscribe to the big-benevolent-teddy-bear-grandfather-in-the-sky version of God, and have missed those verses in Scripture I suggest you read….

[ God's Love/Hate Relationship with the World and  The Wrath of God]

The Centre for International Reconciliation & Peace

is a para-church ministry in Cairns, Australia founded by Norman and Barbara Miller (“Apostle Norman and Prophetess Barbara”).

Their website says they [Emphasis Added]

    “They have a strong focus on spiritual mapping and spiritual warfare and are linked with the prayer movement worldwide.” And have not only “ministered in England, Canada, the USA, Zimbabwe, Israel, Turkey, Guatemala, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, NZ, PNG, Solomon Is & the Torres Strait Islands”, but have produced a video: “Reconciliation – Transforming Nations, An Account of Prophetic Acts of Reconciliation between Britain & Australia 1997-1999. [10]

Biblical Basis?

What, if any, Biblical Basis is found for implementing this addition to a never ending stream of strategies for supposedly reaching the lost. And yes, I do understand that in certain cases we can do things that are not specifically mentioned in the New Testament, such as handing out tracts with the Gospel message. However note that in doing so, the plain Gospel message is not changed, but is simply in written form.

John Dawson’s “Royal Priesthood”
The website of the International Reconciliation Coalition, which John Dawson helped found, carries an article by him called What Christians Should Know About...Reconciliation. In it he says the following… [Emphasis Added]

    God does not put guilt on the intercessor. We are not individually guilty for what our group did or our parents did, but God “is waiting for the "royal priesthood", which is the redeemed in Christ, to openly confess the truth of a matter before Him and before people, just as the ancient Hebrew priests once did over the sins of Israel”…

    We are called first to be worshippers and intercessors standing in the presence of the Creator…

    In the Bible the redeemed of all nations are called "a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession... " (I Peter 2:9). What does that mean? For too long we have glossed over this title as though it was merely a term of endearment rather than a job description. In fact this New Testament passage has profound implications because it suggests that the responsibilities once taken by the Hebrew priests are in some way transferred to us even though the atoning work of Christ on the cross is complete…  [11]

Since Dawson says the responsibilities of the Hebrew priests are in some way transferred to us, the all important question becomes … What exactly were the responsibilities of the Old Testament priests? A question that is very easily answered by reading the early books of the Old Testament.

The  main function of the priests was mediation between man and God. They stood between the people they represented and the God whom they addressed.  Whereas the prophets usually functioned as downward mediators from God to the people, the Old Testament priests were upward mediators from the people to God. They were the ones who offered sacrifices thereby begging God’s mercy and invoking His aid. Note: this was not a role that just anyone could assume.. not even kings. When Saul dared to take upon himself the task of offering sacrifice he was severely punished, giving rise to the phrase "Obedience is better than sacrifice". The priests were divinely chosen and Saul was a king…not a priest.

The High Priest's service went further and was distinguished by the fact that he alone could pass through the veil that separated the Holy of Holies, the earthly dwelling place of God’s presence, from the rest of the temple. He did this once a year on the day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) to enter into God's presence to make atonement for the sins of the nation (Leviticus 16). [See The Seven Feasts of Israel]

This system stayed in place until the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, buried and rose from the dead.  The tearing of the veil at the moment of Jesus' death dramatically symbolized that the office of the priest was done away with and we can now approach God ourselves… partakers of a better priesthood.  We can now enter the Holy of Holies through Him.

However there is now only one mediator between men and God: “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). He is the High Priest who will enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on the Mercy Seat… [See The Two Phase Atonement] …The “living stone” on which the church is raised (I Peter 2:3).

However His followers have taken on the role of the other temple priests.

And what is this role? …Peter is clear that believers are living stones that “are built up a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”. (I Peter 2:5)

And what exactly is a spiritual sacrifice? Under the Old Covenant the priest offered several different types of sacrifices… the blood sacrifices, made as an atonement for sin and the others like the first-fruits, etc. However in all cases the one who offered the sacrifice released all claim or right to the offering, it was submitted to God, set apart and wholly devoted to His service. 

This is exactly what Paul entreats the Romans to do…

    I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. [Romans 12:1]

And what Peter stresses several times in his letter. [Emphasis Added]

    because it is written, Ye shall be holy; for I am holy [1 Peter 1:16]

    ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. [1 Peter 2:5]

    But ye are a elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light [1 Peter 2:9]

In other words the spiritual sacrifice being offered up is the believer himself, who presents his very self as a living sacrifice, submitting to God and wholly devoted to His service. Note that the very definition of the word “Holy” is set apart.

Yes, Dawson is right when he says the responsibilities of the Hebrew priests are in some way transferred to us, but it has nothing to do with identificational repentance. Now no longer is the sacrifice presented by a few select men who mediate on behalf of the many. Instead all men can mediate on their own behalf, offering themselves as holy spiritual sacrifices.

Corporate Guilt?
Dawson then goes on to say

    “The New Testament emphasizes the salvation of individuals but continues to affirm that God is dealing with corporate entities such as our nation, people group or even a sub-structure within society. Consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 23:29-32 "

      "Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say 'If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' Consequently you bear witness against yourselves that you are sons of those that murdered the prophets. Fill up then the measure of the guilt of your fathers."

    Here we see specific reference to the judgment of God on a multigenerational vocational cast, the stewards of the temple. Jesus teaches that both their corporate and personal guilt are unresolved before God because of lack of repentance.” [11]

Dawson is trying to say that, as a group, even the “stewards of the temple” had unresolved “corporate and personal guilt” originating with their fathers who murdered the prophets. However this is not what Jesus is teaching at all.

Note that virtually the entire chapter is focused on the hypocrisy of these so called religious men who were building tombs for the prophets and decorating the graves of the righteous. However as has been said so many times on this site, one has to read all the surrounding verses to get a sense of what Jesus is saying.

Those who, in the past, murdered the prophets thought they were right and that the prophets were wrong.  However the underlying reason was almost always because they did not want to obey God and did not want to hear His voice through His servants the prophets, so silenced them. Similarly the Scribes and Pharisees found the words of condemnation directed at them by both John the Baptist and Jesus to be harsh and baseless. It is apparent that they believed that since they kept the letter of the law, they themselves were guiltless.

However it goes even further than this..

Jesus says that He will send them prophets and wise men and scribes, whom they will persecute and kill, exactly as their forefathers had done. By this, they would not only show that they possessed the same spirit as their forefathers but, in similar circumstances, would have done exactly as their fathers did and in fact will do exactly the same thing .

There was no “unresolved corporate guilt” or “multigenerational vocational cast”,  but the Scribes and Pharisees would prove themselves sons of their fathers by repeating their sins, all the while maintaining their own innocence just as their forefathers once did.

Ezra, Nehemiah and Daniel
Dawson further states..

    In responding to the broken heart of God, we need to identify with the sins of the nation in personal and corporate repentance. Even though Nehemiah was apparently a very righteous man and innocent of the specific sins that the nation of Israel had committed, when he prayed for the restoration of Israel he prayed as a member of the guilty nation, identifying with their sins, saying, "I and my father's house have sinned" (Nehemiah 1:6-7). Ezra went even further when he said, "Oh my God: I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens" (Ezra 9:6).

    Both Ezra and Nehemiah were righteous men, but they so identified with the people that they were interceding for that they considered themselves guilty with them. You may be a righteous person who is not involved in any direct way with the vices present in your nation, but there is no temptation which is not common to humanity (I Corinthians 10:13). We can all identify with the roots of any given sin, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). .” [11]

Once again, these incidents have been ever so slightly shaded to make a point that they do not, in fact make. Besides which the point of the prayers of both Ezra and Nehemiah has been completely missed.

Please Note that it is likely that, in the Hebrew canon, Ezra and Nehemiah were one book. Certainly Nehemiah 8:2 identifies both men as contemporaries, with Nehemiah arriving the first time in Jerusalem some twelve-thirteen years after Ezra. They were both in Jerusalem at the same time and were both involved with the rebuilding.

Nehemiah: The name Nehemiah means Jehovah comforts, and like many of the giants of the Old Testament Nehemiah had a unique role in the history of Israel. He was cupbearer to the Persian king Artaxerxes, and was in Shushan, the (winter?) residence of the Persian kings when he heard that the wall of Jerusalem were broken down, and its gates burned with fire. At this, Nehemiah sat down and wept and mourned and fasted, and prayed before the God of Heaven. In fact, he prayed for weeks before the matter came before king Artaxerxes who noted Nehemiah’s sadness and gave him permission to return and rebuild Jerusalem.

Note however that the point of his prayer is for the fulfillment of the promises the Lord had made to the nation. He identifies himself as part of the nation of Israel and acknowledges that they, as a nation, had disobeyed God's commands. However Nehemiah’s faith told him that just as the Lord kept His word and let the nation go into exile because of the sins of the people, He would also keep His word and bring them back to their homeland…

    Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye trespass, I will scatter you abroad among the peoples: but if ye return unto me, and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts were in the uttermost part of the heavens, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen, to cause my name to dwell there. [Nehemiah 1:8-9]

Considering the history of the nations transgressions, and the fact that they were presently in captivity and exile because of these transgressions, it is not possible that Nehemiah (or anyone else) could beseech the Lord to keep His word without any acknowledgement of the sins that had brought them there in the first place. Besides which it would violate very clear instructions from God given in Leviticus 26, which I will get to later.

The story goes on to tell us that after the walls were rebuilt Ezra the scribe assembled the people together and read them the book of the law from early morning until midday “and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law”.  On the second day they “found written in the law, how that Jehovah had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month”. Accordingly they built the booths and lived in them for seven days and kept a solemn assembly on the eighth day according unto the ordinance. [Nehemiah Chapter 8]

Some time later (in the twenty and fourth day of this month) comes the part about which Dawson says

    “Nehemiah and the families with him assembled themselves before the Lord with fasting, in sackcloth and with dust on their heads. Though they were just a remnant, they completely identified with their nation and its history. "Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers" (Nehemiah 9:2).”

However in this verse they were not only identifying with the sins of their fathers, and that they had been sinners against God throughout all their generations, but that they had copied their fathers’ offenses. Read the verse again. It says they separated themselves from all foreigners. It was this consorting with foreigners and learning their ways that was a huge and recurring part of the problem. Even much earlier, in the time of Moses and Phinehas, the Israelites began to consort with pagan women who were calling the people to the sacrifices of their gods and causing them to bow down to strange gods [Numbers 25:1-2]. If something had not been done, the nation would have destroyed itself. [See Section 11.. The Phinehas Spirit]

However, it did not stop with the people confessing the iniquities of their fathers. While it is true that, starting in verse V.6, they traced the history of their nation from the time of Abraham to their own time, focusing on the goodness of God seen over and over again, and their many transgressions repeated over and over again, verse 34-38 makes it clear that thy were not just acknowledging the sins of their fathers, but were guilty of the same sins. History had repeated itself…

The section begins with the words.. [Emphasis Added]

    neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments” and thy testimonies wherewith thou didst testify against them.

(Note that all too often the nation too followed in the sins of their king or ruler. Whether caused by or merely influenced by the king the people committed the same sins as he did.   

    And the Lord gave Israel a deliverer, so that they escaped from under the hand of the Arameans; and the sons of Israel lived in their tents as formerly. Nevertheless they did not turn away from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, with which he made Israel sin, but walked in them; and the Asherah also remained standing in Samaria. [2 Kings 13:5-6]  

For a list of the kings who “walked in the ways of their fathers” (committed the same sins as their fathers) See Footnote I)

However, returning to Nehemiah, just acknowledging the sins of their fathers was far from enough. Confessing sins is absolutely useless if the sinner does not turn from those sins.. [See Repentance]

In this case, to show they were truly repentant the people made a written covenant which was sealed by “our princes, our Levites, and our priests” [V.38]. The list of those that sealed the covenant is given in Nehemiah 10:1-28. Verse 28 making it clear that virtually every one repented and agreed to henceforth walk in God's law,

    And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinim, and all they that had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one that had knowledge, and understanding. They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of Jehovah our Lord, and his ordinances and his statutes [Nehemiah 10:28-29] 

Read the rest of Nehemiah 10 for the details of all they covenanted to do.

The situation in the case of Ezra’s prayer is similar to that of Nehemiah in several ways, although he was not praying for the fulfillment of a promise.  Ezra had already returned to Jerusalem when he was told that “The people of Israel, and the priests and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands” and had taken of their daughters of the surrounding pagan nations for themselves and for their sons [Ezra 9:1-2].

Incidentally, it was not Ezra alone that confessed the sins of the nation, but everyone that feared the Lord (possibly including Eleazar the son of Phinehas who according to Ezra 8:33was also present in Jerusalem.)

    Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the trespass of them of the captivity; and I sat confounded until the evening [9:4] 

[See Section XI: The Phinehas Spirit]

Ezra was horrified that although God had used the kings of Persia to revive the nation, rebuild the house of God and repair the ruins of Jerusalem, the people had still forsaken His commandments [9:9-10]. In light of the nation already being punished for their evils deeds, Ezra asks the rhetorical question… “shall we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the peoples that do these abominations? He then follows it up with another rhetorical question..  “wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant, nor any to escape? [V.14]

Ezra and those assembled with him knew that if they continued consorting with the people who did abominations and did not separate from them, they themselves would be utterly consumed by God and none would escape. 

However once again the crux of the matter is the fact that “the people wept very sore”, which means that they were very sorry for what they had done. AND made a covenant with God to put away the foreign women.

    And Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have married foreign women of the peoples of the land: yet now there is hope for Israel concerning this thing. Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law. [Ezra 10:2-3]

So John Dawson saying that Ezra and Nehemiah “so identified with the people that they were interceding for, that they considered themselves guilty with them” only presents half of the picture. The other, and far more important half, is that the people themselves repented and covenanted with God to turn from their sins and obey the laws of Moses.

If the people who actually commit the sins do not repent and turn from the sin, then indentifying with them is so much waste of time. Ezra and Nehemiah could have confessed the sins of their fathers and the present generation until they were blue in the face, but if the nation had not repented and turned from evil, they would have been utterly destroyed, as Ezra himself made clear.

     “shall we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the peoples that do these abominations? “wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant, nor any to escape? 

    God does not put guilt on the intercessor. We are not individually guilty for what our group did or our parents did, but God “is waiting for the "royal priesthood", which is the redeemed in Christ, to openly confess the truth of a matter before Him and before people, just as the ancient Hebrew priests once did over the sins of Israel”.

So when Wagner outlines the steps that are supposedly essential for God to bring about corporate healing and “heal the land” as being…

      Identify the national sin. 2. Confess the sin corporately and ask God for forgiveness. 3. Apply Christ's blood. 4. Walk in obedience and repair the damage.

…. he leaves out the heart of the matter.

According to the Bible, repentance is when the sinner, turns to God and away from his sinful ways, Biblical repentance is part and parcel of saving faith and is God-centered. The Prodigal Son’s repentance is a perfect example. His words were…   “I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee” (Luke 15:18). [See Repentance ...The Missing Message]

Similarly John Dawson leaves out this part when he states that “We can all identify with the roots of any given sin” then proceeds to give the example of “the shedding of innocent blood in the act of abortion”.

The sin of murdering an unborn child is multiplied thousands of times over as abortions are performed on an hourly basis. The ones taking part in this murder are not repentant, therefore identifying with the sin and asking for God’s forgiveness is so much nonsense. If the sinner does not turn to God and away from the sin, identifying the sin and asking God for forgiveness is a WASTE OF TIME.

How in the world can anyone confess a “corporate sin” and “apply Christ’s blood” if the sin is being repeated on a daily basis. Note that this principle does not apply to abortion alone. In lieu of the fact that this nation and most others are riddled with violence, racism and hatred constantly raise their ugly heads and pedophiles walk the streets... The only “healing” that this land will receive is when The Wrath of God falls on this planet in full measure.

In The Power to Heal the Past C. Peter Wagner refers to both Nehemiah and Daniel as examples of identificational repentance, saying

    We have two clear biblical examples of how this is done, Daniel and Nehemiah: Daniel said, 'I was... confessing my sin and the sin of my people' (Daniel 9:20). Nehemiah said, 'Both my father's house and I have sinned' (Nehemiah 1:6).

    Notice that each of these two confessions has two parts: the sin and the iniquity. Both Daniel and Nehemiah confessed sins that they did not commit, and both recognised that the iniquity had been passed to their own generation. Because of this they admitted that they were not personally exempt from the residue of that sin in their own daily lives. For many of us the second part is more difficult than the first because we have too often tended to fall into patterns of denial. [3]

Although the situation with Daniel preceded that of Nehemiah, they were identical in a couple of important details. Daniel had understood from his reading of the Hebrew Scriptures that the ordained time of their captivity (seventy years) was drawing to a close and, like Nehemiah would do a little later in time, Daniel was praying for the fulfillment of the promises the Lord had made to the whole nation. His faith told him that the Lord would keep His word and end their exile. 

However just like Nehemiah would do, Daniel identifies himself as part of the nation of Israel and acknowledges that they, as a nation, had disobeyed God's commands and then entreats the Lord to let His anger and thy wrath be turned away from His city Jerusalem, which came about because of their sins, and the sins of their fathers. In other words He is entreating the Lord to have mercy and return them to Jerusalem, which he could hardly have done without admitting the sins that had brought them into captivity in the first place.

Nehemiah, Ezra, Daniel and Leviticus 26
However there is one important point to be noted here and that is that all three of these men, Nehemiah, Ezra and Daniel were, without the shadow of a doubt, very familiar with the Torah, and knew exactly what God had said in the book of Leviticus.  Leviticus 26 is a summary of the blessings of keeping God’s commandments, then paints a very bleak picture of the fate of the nation if they did not do so. After listing several severe penalties, God speaks of the remnant who would be carried off into the land of their enemies, and says [All Emphasis Added]

    So those of you who may be left will rot away because of their iniquity in the lands of your enemies; and also because of the iniquities of their forefathers they will rot away with them. If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed against Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me-- I also was acting with hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their enemies--or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity, then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land. [Leviticus 26:39-42]

Also note carefully that neither Daniel nor Ezra nor Nehemiah identified with the sins of their people against the Gentile nations, in spite of a long history of wars between Israel and the surrounding nations. They did not apologize to these nations, so as to reconcile with them and open the doors to conversion.  All of them confessed their sins and the sins of Israel to God, against whom they had sinned.

The church is not a nation with ancestors that directly received and were supposed to be walking in God’s statutes, and therefore can nor possibly have any connection with historic sins of the ‘fathers’.

C Peter Wagner’ And Biblical Justification For Identificational Repentance

Peter Wagner is honest about the lack of explicit teaching about identificational repentance in the New Testament, although he states that this is not a “crucial” problem. In his book Confronting the Powers, the fifth book in the "Prayer Warrior" series, C. Peter Wagner says

    ". . . a growing number of us believe that identificational repentance is an extremely vital ingredient in effective strategic-level spiritual warfare. When we look for the biblical justification for this, however, we find relatively little about it in the New Testament. We may find bits and pieces here and there, such as the analogy of Jesus' substitutionary atonement, Peter accusing Jews who were not on site at the time of crucifying Jesus (see Acts 2:36) or some hints on Stephen’s speech in Acts 7. Some stress the first person plural of the Lord’s Prayer and argue that “forgive us our sins” could refer to corporate sins. Still the fact remains that the New Testament contains no outright or explicit teaching about identificational repentance.

    The Old Testament, however, contains abundant amounts of material about the principles and practice of identificational repentance. Important books about the subject, such as John Dawson’s Healing America’s Wounds (Regal books) and Cindy Jacob’s Possessing the Gates of the Enemy (Chosen Books). Will confirm this.

    My purpose here is not to argue the merits of identificational repentance, but rather to point out that the apostles, as biblical believers, must have been thoroughly familiar with David remitting the sins of Saul against the Gibeonites (see 2 Samuel 21), Nehemiah confessing the sins of his father (see Nehemiah 1:6), or that the iniquities cause by the sin of one generation can pass on through subsequent generation  (see Exodus 20:5).

    The fact that the apostles did not reiterate this teaching in the Epistles in an important, but, in my opinion, not a crucial observation”…  [12]

However it seems to me that the New Testament covers everything that is necessary for the spiritual health of the body of Christ, and the making and discipling of New believers. If identification repentance is, as John Dawson says, a… [Emphasis Added],

    “neglected truth that opens the floodgates of revival and brings healing to the nations” [13]

then surely we should expect to see some explicit mention of it in the New Testament. Surely Paul, in one of his many epistles would have at least briefly touched on the subject.

Unfortunately for the proponents of man made technique and methods without end, the silence in the New Testament is deafening when it comes to identificational repentance. Quite simply because it serves little or no purpose.

Healing The Past?
Peter Wagner has more than once referred to Exodus 20:5, claiming that the iniquities caused by the sin of one generation can pass on through subsequent generations. In The Power to Heal the Past he states [All Emphasis Added]

    Why should we be concerned about what our ancestors might have done? This is an important question raised by many who hear of identificational repentance for the first time. The answer derives from the spiritual principle that iniquity passes from generation to generation. One of many biblical texts on the matter comes from the Ten Commandments that Moses received on Sinai: 'I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations...' (Exodus 20:5).

    Technically speaking, sin can be understood as the initial act while iniquity is the effect that the sin has exercised on subsequent generations.

    I interpret the reference to the third or fourth generation as a figure of speech meaning that it can go on and on. Time alone does not heal national iniquities. In fact if the sin is not remitted, the iniquity more frequently than not can become worse in each succeeding generation. But the cycle can be stopped by corporate repentance. Quite obviously, the only ones who can confess the sin and put it under the blood of Jesus are those who are alive today. Even though they did not commit the sin themselves, they can choose to identify with it, thus the term 'identificational repentance.'

    When we remit the corporate sins of a nation by the blood of Jesus Christ through identificational repentance, we effectively remove a foothold that Satan has used to attempt to hold populations in spiritual darkness and in social misery. It happens because we are recognizing that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, as Paul says, but 'mighty in God for pulling down strongholds' (2 Corinthians 10:4). When we do that, the glory of Christ can shine through and the Kingdom of God can come in power. [3]

As I have said before, completely erroneous statements can easily be made in a sentence or two, but Biblically refuting them takes considerably more time and effort. So tackling the above quote one point at a time…

1) Heredity Iniquity… A Spiritual Principle?

Exodus 20:5 is attached to the second commandment, the prohibition against making and bowing down to idols. Reading it in it’s entirety…

    “You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them, for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me [V.4-5. Cf. Deuteronomy 5 -10]

Note that the children on whom God visits the iniquity of their fathers are expressly said to be "the third and fourth generation of them that HATE him." While the next verse says God shows “..loving kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” Compare this to Psalm 103:

    But the loving kindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who  fear Him,

    and His righteousness to children's children, to those who keep His covenant and remember His precepts to do them. [Vs. 17-18]

So what did God mean when He said that the iniquity of the fathers would be visited upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate Him?

Quite simply this… Sin has consequences.

If a father/head of the household rejects God and His covenant and leads his family into sin, the children will suffer the consequences, often for several generations. The most outstanding example of this is that sin entered the world through Adam (Romans 5). When Adam and Eve, our original parents sinned, mankind not only was faced with lifelong physical suffering, but also death, neither of which existed before the fall.

However the consequences suffered by non-participants are not always the result of God’s direct intervention. For example a gambler can lose everything he has. If he repents God will forgive him, but the gambler’s family will suffer the consequences of his actions.. and may have a long and hard road towards recovering their losses, rebuilding trust etc.

Regarding the nation of Israel… as a result of sin God withdrew His protection of the nation, and they were delivered up into the hands of their enemies, which certainly affected them to the third and fourth generations. The descendants not only inherited the consequences of their fathers’ sins, suffering disease, poverty and captivity, but repeated the same sins perhaps, in part, because of bad example. Note the words in Jeremiah 16…

    "Now when you tell this people all these words, they will say to you, 'For what reason has the LORD declared all this great calamity against us? And what is our iniquity, or what is our sin which we have committed against the LORD our God?' "Then you are to say to them, 'It is because your forefathers have forsaken Me,' declares the LORD, 'and have followed other gods and served them and bowed down to them; but Me they have forsaken and have not kept My law. [Vs. 10-11]

However the very next verse says…

    'You too have done evil, even more than your forefathers; for behold, you are each one walking according to the stubbornness of his own evil heart, without listening to Me. [Vs. 12]

It seems to have been vastly overlooked that although Paul, in Romans 5, makes it clear that sin entered the world through Adam, he is equally clear that we are equally guilty on the basis of our own sin. [Emphasis Added]

    Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—[Romans 5:12]

There is no doubt that there seems to be a general trend where wicked nations or groups staying wicked for a long time, with the sons following in their father’s footsteps. This phenomena well illustrated  behind by modern day statistics that show that children of abusive or alcoholic parents have a much higher risk of falling into the same destructive patterns.

However several passages in Ezekiel 18 make very clear that a person can observe all the sins of his father, but can choose not to repeat the same sins. This completely negates the idea that there is a “spiritual principle that iniquity passes from generation to generation”. In the final analysis, everyone makes their own decisions and every single person is responsible for himself….

    “Now behold, he has a son who has observed all his father’s sins which he committed, and observing does not do likewise. He does not eat at the mountain shrines or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor’s wife, or oppress anyone, or retain a pledge, or commit robbery, but he gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing, he keeps his hand from the poor, does not take interest or increase, but executes My ordinances, and walks in My statutes; he will not die for his father’s iniquity, he will surely live. As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was not good among his people, behold, he will die for his iniquity [Ezekiel 18:14-18]

Verse 20 repeats the fact that father and son will be judged on their own merits.

    The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself. [V.20]

Which bring us to the whole concept behind the words…

2) Sin and Iniquity

Wagner believes that “technically speaking, sin can be understood as the initial act while iniquity is the effect that the sin has exercised on subsequent generations”. Therefore “if the sin is not remitted, the iniquity more frequently than not can become worse in each succeeding generation”

While most people probably do not realize is that there are three different Hebrew words, all of which have sometimes been translated into the English word sin. However there is a substantial difference between the concepts of all three and, since the Bible does not use any word lightly, there is a different purpose behind the use of each one.

    Chatta'ah or chata' has usually been translated as: sin. The Hebrew meaning is: to miss.

    Avon has usually been translated as iniquity. The Hebrew meaning is: perversity

    Pesha‛ has usually been translated as transgression. The Hebrew meaning is: a revolt or rebellion

Note the use of all three words in Exodus 34:7

    keeping lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity (Avon) and transgression (Pesha‛) and sin (Chatta'ah) ….

Numerous other examples show the use of  sin and iniquity used in conjunction with each other in a single verse. [All Emphasis Added]

    And he said, If now I have found favor in thy sight, O Lord, let the Lord, I pray thee, go in the midst of us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance. [Exodus 34:9]

    and he touched my mouth with it, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin forgiven. [Isaiah 6:7]

    Yet, Jehovah, thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me; forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from thy sight; but let them be overthrown before thee; deal thou with them in the time of thine anger. [Jeremiah 18:23]

    It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin. [Jeremiah 36:3]

The above verses call into question Wagner’s interpretation of sin and iniquity. He says, iniquity is the effect that the sin has exercised on subsequent generations, but this does not make sense in the light of (for example) Isaiah 6:7 which says the angel touched the prophet’s mouth with a hot coal and told him that his iniquity was taken away, and his sin forgiven.

So what do the words mean? Dakes Annotated Bible says that iniquity [Emphasis Added]

    “… signifies not merely that which is wrong, but the tendency to  do wrong. This inclination lies in the disposition and nature and not merely in an act of transgression of the law.” 

As a writer from the Congregation Shema Yisrael points out

     “chatta'ah (sin) almost always refers to an action”, while avon (iniquity) emphasizes the true character behind that wrong action.

It was therefore entirely possible for an ancient Israelite to be considered sinless by following the law completely. However…

     “Just because an ancient Israelite was in a state of no sin did not mean that his or her heart (temperament, disposition, habits) was godly. The word "iniquity" ('avon in Hebrew) is used to express how a human heart is not holy--not set apart, not perfect, not godly.

    The Torah speaks of a "sin offering" but never an offering to remove iniquity. The Torah speaks of "bearing iniquity" but never "bearing sin". They are clearly quite different concepts, even though our modern English has improperly slurred them together.

    Orthodox Judaism understands iniquity, calling it "the evil inclination". [14]

While Christians incorrectly use the word "sin" for both sin and iniquity, this blurring of the two words does not matter as much to the Christian as it does to the Jew, to whom the distinction between sin and iniquity is important, simply because traditional Judaism focuses on the actual wrong action … the sin itself.

    Judaism accepts that people could, in theory, lead a "sinless" life, and is willing to ponder if Noah or Daniel or Job did so. Christendom, on the other hand, asserts that "all people are sinful". Again these beliefs are not actually opposing. The Jewish view is about sin. People could live without violating any commandments. They might get angry, but they would not murder. The Christian view is about iniquity.  No one could live without ever getting angry. [14]

However the whole idea that men would only pay for their actual wrong doings and get away with iniquity or evil in their minds or hearts was turned on it’s head by Jesus, who said.

    "You have heard that it was said, ‘You Shall Not Commit Adultery'; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Under the new covenant it is not only the action (sin) that condemns, but the evil inclinations behind the action (iniquity). Significantly, in Greek, there is but one single word hamartia which means both sin and iniquity, and can only be differentiated by the context in which it is used.

Note that the Messiah suffered and died for both our sins and our iniquities.. [Emphasis Added]

    But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. [Isaiah 53:5-6]

In the new covenant that Jeremiah foretold, both sins and iniquities are forgiven and forgotten. [Emphasis Added]

    "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the Lord, "I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the Lord, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." [Jeremiah 31:33-34]

[See Sin]

3) Stopping The Cycle
In the quote above, Wagner goes on to state that

    “the cycle can be stopped by corporate repentance. Quite obviously, the only ones who can confess the sin and put it under the blood of Jesus are those who are alive today. Even though they did not commit the sin themselves, they can choose to identify with it, thus the term 'identificational repentance.'

Wagner’s hypothesis that there is a cycle of iniquity which passes from generation to generation is based on his idea that iniquity is the long lasting result of sin. However as shown above, iniquity is the evil intention behind the sin and not the effect of sin.

Bottom line.. If you were not there and not involved in any wrongdoings, you may feel tremendous sympathy for the victims, you may even feel inclined to apologize for what they may have endured. You may even go as far as taking active steps to help make up for what they may have lost or suffered. All of which is called being human. However you can not remit sins that someone else has committed. If the sinner has gone to their grave with unconfessed sins then they will have to answer for them to God. Nothing you do can change that.

For a non-participant to confess someone else's sin is a charade that reminds me of the mindless superstition in Mormon ‘churches’ where living members are baptized for the dead. [See Section on Mormonism]

4) Satan’s Strongholds

Finally Wagner bring up the old, stale and very inaccurate argument about Satan’s so called strongholds.

    When we remit the corporate sins of a nation by the blood of Jesus Christ through identificational repentance, we effectively remove a foothold that Satan has used to attempt to hold populations in spiritual darkness and in social misery. It happens because we are recognizing that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, as Paul says, but 'mighty in God for pulling down strongholds' (2 Corinthians 10:4). [3]

This has been dealt with in the section on Strategic-Level Spiritual Warfare?  See Out of Context Texts
2 Corinthians 10:3-4.

Reconciliation Walk for the Crusades
A “Reconciliation Walk” for the Crusades was led by Lynn Green, YWAM's European & Middle East Director. It kicked off in 1996 and lasted approximately three years, culminating in Jerusalem on July 15th ’99. The purpose of the walk was to promote better understanding between Christians, Muslims, and Jews and to "purge the corporate sin of Christians during the Crusades". Of this walk John Dawson says…

    At the writing of this book, there are over 60 major initiatives gaining momentum. One of the most significant is the "Reconciliation Walk," coinciding with the 900th anniversary of the Crusades. European intercessors have walked the routes of the Crusades from west to east, carrying proclamations of repentance to Muslim and Jewish communities for the slaughter done in Christ's name.

    The response has been mind boggling. Identificational repentance is proving to be the key to opening doors that have been closed for centuries. I don't know why we waited 900 years to repent for the Crusades, but I'm glad the breakthrough among Islamic peoples is coming in our lifetime! [11]

AD2000, a prayer training conference sponsored by Christian Information Network and the World Prayer Center, took place at New Life Church in Colorado Springs during the week of February 12-15, 1997. AD2000's Director of Publications, was at the conference, and posted a daily report, one of which said…

    Jim Orred, the YWAM Director of Reconciliation Walks, invited us to come and prayerwalk the route of the Crusades, from five days to two months. The walks are now tracing the routes leading to Istanbul, then after April 24th, will be going from Istanbul to Israel. Public events will commemorate the falls of Antioch and Jerusalem. He reported a warm response from Muslims, who have been maintaining the cultural image of bloodthirsty Christians slaughtering innocent Muslims for the past 900 years. [15]

While there is no doubt that the Crusaders largely proved themselves a bloodthirsty bunch, exhibiting little compunction in the whole sale slaughter of both Muslims and Jews, why are we looking back and seeing only the carnage that the Crusaders wrought? The belief that the Crusaders were invaders of a peaceful region respectful of different religions is so much manure.  While it is very difficult to assess all the reasons the First Crusade occurred, there is little doubt that aggressive Muslim territorial expansion and persecution of Christians had a great part to play.

    Islamic expansion began 3 years after Muhammad’s death and emerged from the Arabian peninsula as an aggressively expanding religion, which aimed to conquer all the lands of the region. They swept across North Africa into Spain, conquered the Middle East and Near East/Asia Minor. Pagans were dealt with ruthlessly and not tolerated. The “people of the book”, Christians and Jews were tolerated for their common Biblical inheritance, but forced to pay high taxes. Any advancement in Muslim society was given only to those who converted and between this and the prohibitive taxes many Jews and Christians converted. This continuous war or "jihad" began just three years after Muhammad's death and continued for the next thousand years.

    Of all the churches mentioned in the New Testament, Jerusalem, Antioch, Constantinople and Alexandria, only a single one, Rome, escaped Muslim domination. [16]

In fact the event which actually triggered the First Crusade was a request for assistance from Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos. Alexios was worried about the advances of the Seljuks, who had reached as far west as Nicaea, not far from Constantinople. [17]

And then there was al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah

    For much of his reign, Hakim was hostile to religious minorities. He disliked the influence of the Christian Church in Jerusalem. He ordered random arrests, executions, and the destruction of churches as early as 1001. His attitude towards Christians grew hostile by 1003 when he ordered a recently built church destroyed and replaced by a mosque and went on to turn two other churches into mosques. In 1004 he decreed that the Christians could no longer celebrate Epiphany or Easter.

    On 18 October 1009, al- Hakim ordered the destruction of the Holy Sepulchre and its associated buildings, apparently outraged by what he regarded as the fraud practiced by the monks in the "miraculous" Descent of the Holy Fire, celebrated annually at the church during the Easter Vigil. The chronicler Yahia noted that "only those things that were too difficult to demolish were spared."

While it is more than likely that the Crusaders eventually used religious motives to disguise imperialist ambitions and economic interests, what we do not need to do is paint skewed and lopsided versions of history. I haven’t heard of too many Muslims apologizing for their part in the carnage of the early Islamic empire and I do not need them to. They are not responsible for the sins of their ancestors.

As said before, not only is the church not a nation with an ancestral line to wayward forefathers, but we do not even have a ‘spiritual’ connection to the Crusaders who were not even real Christians. See The Real Murderers.. Atheism Or Christianity?

A Final Thought

Prayer Walks and trips to the Himalayas take time to plan and much money to implement. Resources are being wasted on complicated man made strategies that seem to focus on everything but a clear presentation of the Gospel.

In fact, and I find this mind-boggling, people on prayer journeys actually avoid confrontation, therefore the Gospel doesn’t really get preached. I suppose they think they are doing their part by praying. But what happens next? Do they expect God to take a trip down to earth and whisper the Gospel in people’s ears. For some strange reason I have the impression that God gave us that job.

Thousands of Christian have been suckered into the Reconciliation Movement and/or Identificational Repentance because they not only make them feel like they are actually accomplishing something, but have been led to believe that it is Biblically the right thing to do.

People spend untold hours conducting surveys of real or imagined powers and principalities (spiritual mapping) areas of the world, then according to their research sally forth to cast out these supposed territorial spirits. If they had spent that much time preaching the Gospel to the unsaved, they might have actually got somewhere, since it is the word of God that

    “… is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. [Hebrews 4:12]

And the Gospel is

    “…the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. [Romans 1:16-17]  

Besides which the Bible is clear that each and every person has to repent for their own sins. [Emphasis Added]

    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." [Acts 2:38]

At the very top of his piece entitled The Power to Heal the Past, C. Peter Wagner makes yet one more unbelievable statement. He says [3]

“The Kingdom of God has been steadily advancing
for almost 2000 years and the rate of advance
has never been greater than it is now”.

Hmmm! Guess Jesus was wrong when He said that few will find the way. 

Much of Dominionism teaches or implies that the perfection, immortality and glorification of the elect can be attained here on earth, before Jesus comes again, that the kingdom can, and will be, set up by this imaginary elect before Jesus comes. That the kingdom is advancing at an unprecedented rate. Yet, all of this flatly contradicts the Bible which states that very few will be prepared when Jesus comes… epitomized by the rhetorical question asked by Jesus in Luke 18:8

    “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"

Unfortunately for C Peter Wagner Jesus’ words, not his, are proving true.

The rate of advance that Wagner has conjured up in his mind is far from the truth. In fact Christianity is at an all time low, pretty much scraping the bottom of the barrel. Most have already turned away from the faith, which was once for all delivered to the saints. When it should have been a bulwark against evil the church has, with apostate leaders and a Biblically illiterate population, latched on to the coat tails of the world, come up with ‘Christianized’ versions of venturing into areas strictly forbidden in Scripture and/or invented  strategies that do little or nothing to redeem the unsaved.

It is an Evil and Adulterous Generation and the Dominionists are a huge part of it.

Section IX: Portals to Heaven

Another teaching that seems to be gaining ground is that there are geographic locations on Earth, or Portals that possess super-spiritual access to the heavenlies and that intercessors can open up these portals or doorways by cleansing geographic areas of demonic spirits, including ancestral or territorial powers and principalities. In other words they can align the gates of Heaven and Earth.




Footnote I

    And he (Abijam son of Maacah and grandson of Abishalom) walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him; and his heart was not perfect with Jehovah his God, as the heart of David his father. [1 Kings 15:3]

    Now Nadab the son of Jeroboam became king over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. 26 And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father and in his sin which he made Israel sin.[I Kings 15:25-26]  

    In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha the son of Ahijah became king over all Israel at Tirzah, and reigned twenty-four years. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel sin. [I Kings 15:33-34]  

    Now the word of the Lord came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, 2 “Inasmuch as I exalted you from the dust and made you leader over My people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made My people Israel sin, provoking Me to anger with their sins[I Kings 16:1-2]  

    Then Omri and all Israel with him went up from Gibbethon, and they besieged Tirzah. 18 And it came about, when Zimri saw that the city was taken, that he went into the citadel of the king’s house and burned the king’s house over him with fire, and died, because of his sins which he sinned, doing evil in the sight of the Lord, walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he did, making Israel sin. [I Kings 16:17-19]  

    And Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, and acted more wickedly than all who were before him. For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat and in his sins which he made Israel sin, provoking the Lord God of Israel with their idols. [I Kings 16:25-26]  

    And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him. And it came about, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, [I Kings 16:30-31]  

    Ahaziah the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin. So he served Baal and worshiped him and provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger according to all that his father had done. [I Kings 22:51-53]



End Notes
All URL’s Accessed December 2009

[01] The World Christian Movement.

[02] Our Vision. http://www.reconcile.org/

[03] C. Peter Wagner. The Power to Heal the Past.

[04] http://www.windwalkersinternational.org/aboutmary.htm

[4b] C. Peter Wagner. The Power to Heal the Past. http://www.pastornet.net.au/renewal/journal8/8d-wagnr.html

[05] Christian Reader. What is a Covenant? From The Bible—How to Understand and Teach It by D.P.   Brooks. (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1969), 36-39. http://christianreader.com/?p=377

[06] http://www.lausanne.org/all-documents/territorial-spirits.html#N_16_

[07] What is a Prayer Journey? http://cms.cityharvest.org.au/content/view/102/115/

[08] C. Peter Wagner. The Ad2000 United Prayer Track. http://www.ad2000.org/re00623.htm     

[8b]Youth With A Mission. Ecumenical (Catholic/Charismatic) Evangelism. http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/ywam.htm

[09] Sandy Simpson and Mike Oppenheimer. Idolatry In Their Hearts (pg. 287).
 As quoted in http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/08/identificational-repentance.html

[10] http://reconciliationandpeace.org/about/

[11] John Dawson. What Christians Should Know About...Reconciliation.

[12] C. Peter Wagner. Confronting the Powers. Gospel Light Publications (August 1997). Pg. 79.

[13] http://www.reconcile.org/wounds.htm

[14] The Congregation Shema Yisrael. Chatta'ah (sin) & 'Avon (iniquity).

[15] http://www.ad2000.org/pwpday0.htm

[16] St. Dunstan's Church. http://www.stdunstananglican.org/Bible%20Study/Part%203%20-%20First%20Crusade%201095.pdf

[17] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Crusade


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