Dominion in the Kingdom: Part 1
Jan 23, 2007
In the beginning, God established Adam's Birthright, consisting of two "mandates," the Dominion Mandate and the Fruitfulness Mandate (Gen. 1:26-28). In essence, the earth became Adam's inheritance. This is reflected in Jesus' statement in Matthew 5:5 that the meek ("gentle," NASB) would inherit the earth.
In man's fallen condition, it is normally the strong and powerful who inherit the earth. The Philosopher, Nietzche, with his usual irony, wrote a century ago, "the meek will inherit the earth," by which he meant that the meek would soon be buried six feet underground. He was the King of Carnal Reality and ultimately died in a mental institution.
God gave Adam rulership over the earth, but not ownership. God owns all things by right of creation. He remains sovereign over His creation and has given man mere authority--not sovereignty. The earth is not ours to do with as we please. We are managing God's estate, and our Dominion Mandate gives us only the authority to treat His estate according to His will, which is His law. Therefore, we will be held accountable to Him for how well we manage that estate according to our level of authority.
To take ownership of God's estate is the spirit of antichrist, for then rulership is done as if the estate is our own and can be ruled according to our own will and our own laws.
The Gospel of the Kingdom is based upon these foundational truths. A Kingdom is a King with a Domain. It is a King-dom. When man fell in the Garden of Eden, God did not lose His Domain. What He lost were ambassadors of His Government, and He has been working since then to train His ambassadors, so they can be entrusted with the Gospel of the Kingdom. Their message is summarized in 2 Cor. 5:18-20.
One of the more important details to recognize is that God gave Adam dominion over the earth but did not say He was to rule people. Gen. 1:28 says, "and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves [ramas, "creeps"] upon the earth."
After the fall, God gave His Birthright people the nations for their inheritance (Psalm 2:8). Dominion over other men came later, even as a man's dominion over his wife came after the fall (Gen. 3:16). But it was not so from the beginning, nor was it in God's perfect order to have one person ruling over another.
In my book, Old and New Covenant Marriage, I explained the difference between these two kinds of marriage. Old Covenant marriage is where a man has dominion over his wife, essentially as his inheritance. A New Covenant marriage goes back to the original order, where authority over a spouse is trumped by agreement. Where there is agreement, authority becomes irrelevant. Husband and wife inherit each other under God. Both husband and wife hear God, and they can therefore provide each other with a double witness to know the will of God for their lives.
We may now extend that essential New Covenant principle to God's government over groups of people and whole nations. When all nations, represented by the four "beasts" around the throne, are able to say AMEN to the divine will and plan (Rev. 5:14), then government and dominion ceases to exist as we know it today. There will be no further need for one to teach his neighbor, because "all will know Me from the least to the greatest" (Heb. 8:11).
Thus, the purpose of government is to have the authority to teach and train others until such time that they attain full agreement with the mind of God. This is the underlying implication in 1 Cor. 15:25, where Paul says that Christ "must reign UNTIL He has put all His enemies under His feet." Once all enemies have been reconciled to Him, and the New Covenant fully implemented, Christ will no longer have subjects, but Sons. That is the divine purpose and plan for you.
Expressed in terms of bondage and freedom, Scripture says that our relationship will change from Master-Servant to Father-Son.
Expressed in terms of knowing the divine plan, Jesus said in John 15:15, "No longer do I call you slaves. . .but I have called you friends."
Expressed in terms of marriage and love, the Church is to be subject to Christ (Eph. 5:22-25). But when it comes to the relationship between believers, Paul says in verse 21, "submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." This may seem to contradict the idea of Church government, but actually it does not. Both Church and Civil governments are necessary for the same reason--people are still not in agreement with God, and so there must be some recourse for people who have been wronged by others.
Yet we must recognize that government itself is a function of the Old Covenant. It is necessary in this present order, but it is not the goal of the Kingdom of God. Jesus had an Old Covenant Bride in the Old Testament when He married the nation of Israel. That marriage, of course, ended in divorce (Jer. 3:8), and He does not intend to marry again under an Old Covenant arrangement.
The Israel nation that He married under the Old Covenant failed and brought Israel under divine judgment. But the New Covenant marriage will not fail. It will not fail, simply because He does not intend to marry non-believers--not even if they are descended from the ancient Israelites. Nor, in fact, does He intend to marry the Church (under Pentecost), for there are many believers who are not in agreement with Him. Israel was "the Church in the wilderness" (Acts 7:38). They were all justified by faith and baptized in the Red Sea (1 Cor. 10:2). But yet, they were disqualified and died in the wilderness, not having received the promise.
Jesus Christ has many subjects. All believers are His subjects, or servants. Their relationship with Him is therefore based upon the Old Covenant, whether they know it or not. But Jesus is looking for people who are actually in agreement with Him. These are the overcomers, who are in training to qualify for a New Covenant marriage with Him.
He will marry no one except those who enter a New Covenant relationship with Him--not even believers. The good news is that He will eventually bring all believers into a New Covenant relationship with Him at the Great White Throne. They will marry Christ--but NOT UNTIL they qualify. They can be "saved" or "justified" or "filled with the Spirit," but these are mere steps on the journey to the Promised Land, where they may inherit the Kingdom.
The overcomers come into this marriage first at the time of the First Resurrection. This is the "barley harvest." The rest of the Church will be married to Him later at the general resurrection at the Great White Throne. This is the "wheat harvest." The rest of creation, the unbelievers, will be trained in that final Age in the "lake of fire," which is His "fiery law" (Deut. 33:2), the manifestation of His character (Deut. 4:24) by which He judges all mankind and consumes all dross in their character.
The key is AGREEMENT, being an "Amen" people, even as Jesus did only what He saw His Father do. Even as Christ is the Amen of God (Rev. 3:14), so also are the overcomers the Amen People, His Body. These are the true Israel of God today, whom Christ will marry corporately at the time of the First Resurrection. Without the character of Christ, no one will marry Christ in a New Covenant marriage.
Yet let me say also that perfection is not required during our training. What is required is to be like David, "a man after God's own heart," in contrast to King Saul, the Pentecostal type. One must be a Caleb or Joshua, in contrast to the rest of the Israelites.
This is the first part of a series titled "Dominion in the Kingdom." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones