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Dominion

The dominion mandate is found right at the beginning of the Bible, in the first chapter:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:  and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him;  male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:  and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Gen. 1:26-28)

It was given to Adam and Eve, our original parents. They were to be God’s overseers charged with the care of the earth. Later, after they forsook their responsibility, the mandate was given to Christ, the second Adam, and to His Bride, the new Eve, all Christians:

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.   Amen.  (Matt. 28:18-20)

Here we see Christ, after acknowledging His possession of all power and authority on earth, giving His instructions to His Bride. It is a repeat of the original mandate given to Adam but with a difference. A new element has been added. There are commandments, a law to be taught and obeyed. This wasn’t needed before sin was introduced but is necessary now. The nations need to be taught to obey the rules of life, the rules they relinquished when Adam sinned. They became like children that need to learn to stop harming themselves by doing wrong and foolish things. They rejected God and His law that gives life and have been hurting themselves for thousands of years.

This is the new Dominion Mandate that Christ, the second Adam has given to His Bride, the born-again people. As our text tells us, dominion is a teaching task; it must come from a loving heart, one that is concerned with the plight of his unbelieving neighbors and wants to provide as much help as he can to a lost and needy generation. The tools to be employed are reasoning and persuasion and not force or trickery. The unbelieving world must come willingly and whole-heartedly into the kingdom of God. There is no other means of entry.

The citizens of the kingdom bear the responsibility of building the kingdom of God, the kingdom Christ announced when He came (Matt. 4:17, 23). They see the Great Commission as their commission, the central aspect of the work they do for Christ. They understand that God has given them this task and that He expects them to take it seriously. It is the focus of their life’s work, their primary purpose in life (Matt. 6:33).

As they grow in the knowledge of God’s purposes and of who they are and begin to see the awesome responsibility God has placed on them, His people adjust their priorities accordingly. What may have seemed important to them before, dwindles in significance and pales before God’s requirements in their lives. As their numbers increase, their influence grows out of all proportion to their relative fraction of the population.

Each individual acts as the Spirit leads; one may feel a particular concern for the public schools and spend much effort to shed light on their godless teaching. Another may feel the need to speak and act to expose the horror of abortion or of the immorality of the media. There are many ways of service open to each believer and the Spirit leads each one to the work He chose for that individual. All, however, work to overcome their natural trepidation and develop a propensity to vigorously oppose godlessness wherever it appears.

The sum total of all this is dominion; not dominion by some elite individuals but dominion by God through His law-word. It is a dominion that is exercised from within the individual, one which affords the greatest freedom possible for mankind. It is a society in which the highest authority on earth is the family and each responsible adult person is free from external coercion. Only the irresponsible and the criminal element feel the weight of law as a restricting factor. This law is not one that has been imposed on the nations; it rather is a law that has been instituted through democratic processes by a willing population. It is a law that recognizes God as the Supreme Being. It works toward but does not require that faith of every citizen.