June 21, 1992Documentation is at the end of this article.
Gen 1:27, 28
As you noticed, we gave out a book based upon Dominion. Sad to say, the word Dominion has become a curse word among many Christians. They believe that it is alright to give the devil and his crowd dominion, but for a Christian to speak of Dominion is anathema. It seems to hurt the Christian's ears.
I would suppose that we could call the title of this message, DOMINION MAN.
Dominion... The word means -- Primarily, sovereign or supreme authority; the power of governing. Scripturally this definition belongs only to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The second definition, according to the 1828 Webster is power to direct, control, use and dispose of at pleasure; right of possession and use without being accountable; as the private dominion of individuals.
It should go without saying that God alone has total Dominion or sovereign authority whether man wants to admit it or not. Sinful man will not change God's place of sovereign authority and dominion in the universe one iota. There can only be one Sovereign in the universe at a time, and that is not the state nor is it the individual; the only Sovereign is the Lord God Almighty. But this is not our message today.
So this morning we want to look at the second definition, man's Dominion, or power to control. When we speak of man and dominion, we are speaking specifically of men, not women.
Gen 1:26-28 This is called the CREATION or DOMINION MANDATE. There are four basic points here which we will develop.
First, God created man with an image and likeness: God's, v. 26. This fact cannot be avoided or ignored. Man is in the image of God as the image in the mirror is our image; man is God's image bearer upon this earth. (This image is primarly in the spirit of man, Pro 20:27.) This means that man has certain basic characteristic of God made into him which cannot be avoided.
Second, God created man with a purpose, v. 26. God's purpose could not be stated more clear. The purpose of man's creation was/is to take dominion or control of all God's creation upon this earth and surrounding air.
Third, God created man with a command, v. 28. After man was created, he was commanded to subdue and to take dominion over all things under heaven, including the earth itself. (Notice that he was not commanded to take dominion over the heavens.)
Fourth, God created man and bound him with restrictions, 2:15-17. In other words, man was not given a blank check; rather, he was instructed to take his dominion and subdue the earth within the restrictions of God's word.
A) Man was to operate under God's authority, in God's stead, over all of God's creation. B) This restriction by God upon man in man's dominion, means that man is always accountable to God. The Creator is always the final authority. C) As man obeys God's word in his dominion, all of God's creation is then used for God's glory and pleasure. D) Civil authority was not given until after the flood and then civil authority was only given because of man's wickedness. After the flood, man was placed under a certain amount of civil authority, but that is not our study at this time.
Now let us look at these points:
1) God's image. God is sovereign and has absolute and total Dominion over all things. This means that the desire to dominate is part of the image in which man was made.
2) God's purpose. This means that the desire to dominate is part of man's created purpose. Therefore, we see that one of the most basic inborn characteristic of man is his urge to take dominion, or to dominate God's creation. He has a God-given desire to direct or control; a desire to use God's creation. This is the purpose for which he was created and it cannot be ignored or avoided. This desire to dominate is as much a part of man as is his ability to plan and carry out his plan.
Man was created as God's representative on earth; Man is the one who is to take care of the earth in God's stead. God told man how to take control of His creation or how to do his dominion
3) In order for man to be obedient to God, he must dominate, he must take control of God's creation.
4) God's restriction. This is where the current problem comes in.
This brings us to Gen 3:1-5. The tempter comes to the first man, Adam, through his wife, with a proposal. Satan offered the prospect that man could be sovereign, he did not need any restrictions; man did not need God to tell him how to act and work; man could decide for himself what was right and what was wrong. Satan's temptation had nothing to do with the first three points, his attack was on the fourth.
Satan attacked neither the doctrine of creation nor the dominion mandate. He did not say, "You don't need to dominate creation." Such a statement would be to blatant against the word of God. Rather he said, "You can dominate creation apart from God's word. You can be as God, able to decide for yourself the best way to take dominion over all creation. God does not actually love you, or he would not have placed these restrictions upon you." Satan attacked the fourth point, not the first three.
In other words, when sin interned into the world, its entrance did not change: the way man was created, in the image of God; the purpose of man's creation, to take dominion; nor the command given to man to take dominion. Man still had and still has the desire and command to dominate and take control of all of God's creation.
The problem is that this inborn desire and command is now corrupted by sin because the sinner believes that he dose not need the restrictions which are placed upon him by God's word. Furthermore, this corrupted desire to take control of all of God's creation refuses to be accountable to God.
The result of sin is that, instead of desiring to subdue and take charge of all creation for God's good pleasure according to His word, fallen man desires to take dominion according to his own personal pleasure without being accountable to God in any way shape or form. Man now desires to be a sovereign individual.
The results of this corrupt desire to dominate everything is seen all around us. Bush's New World Order is a prime example as man seeks to dominate all things according to what he feels is best. The looming financial crises, education crises, family crises, political crises, race crises, ecological crises, world wide famine and poverty, crime, drugs and society in general, all of these areas of chaos are only the result of man thinking that he can take dominion without the restrictions of, instructions of and accountability to God's word. These are all the result of the belief that man can be his own god, and that he does not need God and His word to tell him how to take control of creation.
The corruption of the last point, dominion according to the command-word of God, has corrupted the preceding three.
The corruption of the fourth area did not void the first 3; rather, it corrupted them also.
1) The image of God is now corrupted. Fallen man desires to corrupt the image of God in which he was made. Even though unknown to most of those habitually involved in Sodomy, immorality, drugs, drunkenness and many other things which we could loosely define as 'victimless crimes,' the scriptures are clear: these are things which destroy one's own body and that are done in open rebellion against God. Though maybe unknown to the sinner, they are intentional attacks against the image of God in ones own body.
2) The purpose for God's creation is now corrupted. God's purpose was for man to take dominion in God's name and stead and rule all areas according to God's word. Now fallen man desires to be sovereign and take dominion for his own purpose according to his own pleasure. Fallen man works hard to fulfill his own pleasures and desires, not God's.
3) The command to dominion is corrupted. Fallen man desires to avoid the command, ignore the command, claim that the command is no longer valid, or pass it off to someone else.
Sad to say, in our present day we have seen this command corrupted by the church as it says that the earth is the devil's realm and man's only responsibility is to proclaim the gospel of grace. But we must define this gospel of grace as salvation from hell only, and totally separated from any command to dominate all of creation for God's glory.
When a man decides that he is not going to obey the dominion mandate & take dominion, this does not change the fact of dominion.
When he refuses to take his godly responsibility to dominate his family under God, his wife and/or children will take that responsibility. They will tell him where to go to church; they will tell him where and how to work; they will tell him where to live; they will tell him where they are going on vacation; they will control every aspect of his life. Or worse yet, the state will take it over.
When he refuses to take his godly responsibility in his occupation, the union or his employer will take it over.
When he refuses to take his godly responsibility in the civil government, the ungodly will take it over and rule according to their ungodliness.
When he refused to take his godly responsibility in the arts and sciences, the ungodly will take them over.
In other words, someone will take dominion. Someone will take charge, and all activity will be done for someone's pleasure; either the godly will do it according to the world of God and for God's good pleasure, or the ungodly will do it for man's good pleasure.
The fall did not change man's creation in the image of God, his inborn desire to dominate or take control of the things around him, nor did it change the command by God; rather, the fall corrupted these three things. Man now desires to do everything according to his own word and according to his pleasure and for his own benefit.
Salvation includes man's restoration back into the image of God because Christ is to be formed in us by the Spirit of God. Salvation makes us a new man in Christ Jesus; Salvation gives new desires to do things according to the word of God and, thus, for His glory and good pleasure; Salvation also gives to man the power to do things the way that God says they are to be done.
The only thing the fall changed was man's urge and ability to follow his created purpose, God's command, and his desire to fulfill that command. Furthermore, the only thing that Christ changed was the urge and ability to follow this command. Salvation did not change its three aspects; it changed the ability to fulfill the creation mandate.
Let me touch just a little on four concluding points here of Godly Dominion.
1) I will not deal much with this first one because it is soon to come up in Matthew.. that is Mat 5:5.
Dominion is not only inborn and commanded, but it is promised to the meek. Meekness is not mousiness; rather, meekness refers primarily to a spiritual state in relationship to God. Meekness is disciplined strength in and under God's command-word. In other words, Godly meekness in the fourth point restored as it was meant to be in Adam. Meekness is not the surrender of the dominion mandate; rather, meekness is all of the mandate disciplined to the fourth: the word of God. Meekness confines and restricts all things within the restrictions of God's word.
Mat 11:29, Christ described Himself a meek and lowly in heart.., but He sure was now a mouse. Christ was firm and resolute in His following of the Father's will.
Man has the God given desire and command to dominate all of creation. The purpose of regeneration is to re-establish the creation-mandate for man to subdue and take dominion over all of His creation, according to the command given by God. Obedience to God involves dominion over all of creation.
Furthermore, meekness is apposite of pride. Pride says that man is not bound by the commands and restrictions of God's word.
Let me give you some simple examples that are easy to identify with and which will apply to every thing.
I) A man may be able to borrow or use something as though it were his own, but he still has the urge to own it. II) The urge to dominate is the reason a man cannot let something alone until he makes it work. God has created in man the urge to dominate whatever task which is set before him.
III) We all know that Jerry Miller enjoys working a garden. Better yet, we get to enjoy the fruit of his labor at harvest time. Now, Jerry has a desire to dominate that garden. He desires to get the very best from it that he possibly can; therefore, every year he tries something different to make it do better. He reads gardening magazines and tries to keep up on the latest ideas of gardening.
When he does it according to the guidelines established by God, he does it for God's glory. First he will realize that his desire to garden comes from God. That means that he will work it according to the guidelines established by God: he will let the land rest every 7 years; he will plant natural seeds; he will not work it on Sunday, &c. Furthermore, he will work hard at it so that he will have produce to share with others. And there are many other things also, but you get the point.
IV) Aalatha & Jessica enjoy music. Meekness will realize that their talent is from God and will self-discipline to use it only in a manner which glorifies Him.
V) Debbie Miller has an ability to write and draw. Meekness will see those abilities as God given and will self- discipline to use those abilities in a manner which conforms to the guidelines of God's word.
VI) Steve and his dad have abilities with construction. Meekness will see that ability as a gift of God and will self-discipline to use those abilities only in the manner which conforms to the guidelines of God's word.
VII) As I try to learn computers, I can not rest until I can make a particular program do what I want it to do. It must be submissive to my will. When I was in construction as a heavy equipment operator, there was nothing more satisfying than to be able to dominate whatever I was trying to operate. When we got the printing press, I could not rest until I figured out how to make it work.
Every man in here understands exactly what I am talking about, and probably every woman in here wanders why men can be so determined to make something work which really isn't that important, but it is that inborn desire to dominate whatever comes our way. We men cannot help it; we must make that task submissive to our will and pleasure. This desire to dominate an occupation is what causes someone to be a worker.
A woman may also have a desire to dominate, but she must keep it subdued to the authority over her: her husband or her dad if she is not married.
When our pleasure is to please God with all we do, then it is godly dominion. When our pleasure is to please man, then it is ungodly dominion. It is just that simple.
2) The second point about Godly Dominion. When the church fails to preach and urge Godly dominion over all creation, the church will become corrupted. The urge to dominate and control cannot be suppressed; therefore, if the church teaches that it is wrong to exercise Godly dominion outside of the church, then the urge will manifest itself inside the church in power struggles.
(I know of a church right now that is facing this very thing. They have taught against godly dominion in the world, now there is an ungodly struggle for dominion going on within the church.)
If a man cannot exercise Godly dominion in his home, on his job, or in society in general, he will exercise ungodly dominion in the church because the church has been wrongly defined as the only place that he can have dominion.
I remember that at Merrywoods Baptist, the men who created the most problems in the church, were the men who's wives dominated the family. Also, many times on the job, the man who is the oppressive boss is the man who does not have the proper dominion in his home.
3) The third point about Godly Dominion. Private property is basic to godly dominion. The logical conclusion of the failure of the church to teach Godly dominion is Socialism and the lose of private property. (This is the conclusion of the teaching that religion and politics don't mix.)
4) God's purpose for the earth is not that sin should dominate the earth, but rather that the redeemed, obedient, godly man would dominate it according to the word of God.
According to Romans 8:19-21, the earth itself waits and longs for the day that the sons of God have dominion over it.
The chaos we see today all around us in every area is a direct result of men not exercising Godly dominion. The creation mandate has been corrupted by the enemy and now fallen men misuse the urge to dominate all of creation.
As godly men here today, we have a tremendous responsibility in every area. The enemy has worked hard to convince men, husbands and fathers, that Godly dominion is no longer valid, or that it is someone else's responsibility, or that the earth is the devil's realm, or any of many lies which relieve men of responsibility in their eyes.
We must find out from God's word how godly dominion is exercised in our homes, on our jobs, in society in general, if we expect to be prospered by the Lord and our nation reclaimed for God.
The reason this nation is being destroyed is because Godly men are not exercising godly dominion in obedience to the word of God.
This documentation goes with the message from 6/21/92, Father's Day, and Dominion Man. This is the documentation showing that the dominion mandated was given to the male, not to the male and female. She is only included with her husband.
"Genesis 1:27-30 makes clear that God created man to subdue the earth and to exercise dominion over it under God. Although originally only Adam was created (Gen 2:7), the creation mandate is plainly spoken to man in the married estate, and with the creation of woman in mind. Thus, essential to the function of the family under God, and to the role of man as the head of the household, is the call to subdue the earth and exercise dominion over it. This gives to the family a possessive function: to subdue the earth and exercise dominion over it clearly involves in the Biblical perspective private property." Institutes, vol 1, pg 163
"The statist school, moreover, basically trains women to be men; it is not surprising that so many are unhappy at being women. Nor are men any the happier, in that dominion in modern education is transferred from man to the state, and man is progressively emasculated. The major causality of modern education is the male student. Since dominion is by God's creative purpose a basic aspect of man, any education which diminishes man's calling to exercise dominion also diminishes man to the same degree." Ibid, pg 184
"Isaiah [4:1ff] clearly saw the absence of the man's authority as productive of social chaos, The man as the head of the family is the necessary principle of order, and also the principal in order. Dominion is God's principle for man over nature (Gen 1:28), and for the male in the person of the husband and father in the family (I Cor 11:1-15). Dominion as the male's nature and prerogative is to be found throughout the animal world as a part of God's creation ordinance... This male instinct for dominion reveals itself in animals in three ways: first, in territoriality, i.e., in property instinct and drive, and, second, in status, a drive to establish dominion in terms of rank in a rigidly hierarchical order, andthird, survival, and order as a means of survival... "These characteristics are true of human life also. The woman becomes absorbed with problems of law and order in a personal way, i.e., when her family and her family's safety is endangered by its decay. The man will be concerned with problems of society apart from a condition of crisis; the woman becomes concerned when social decay has personal implications, and her concern then is a major one." Ibid, 201
"Man can be understood only in terms of God and His sovereign purpose in man's creation. According to Genesis 1:26-28, man was created to exercise dominion over the earth and to subdue it, and the command to 'be fruitful, and multiply' was an aspect of the call to exercise dominion over the earth. Man therefore is to be understood in terms of God's kingdom and man's calling therein to manifest God's law-order in a developed and subdued earth. Man is thus primarily and essentially a religious creature who is truly understood only by reference to his Creator and his ordained destiny under God. Man's destiny, to bring all things under the dominion of God's law-word, confronted man from the beginning of his creation. To subdue the earth and exercise dominion over it, as the task was assigned to Adam in Eden, had two aspects. First, the practical aspect: man was required to take care of the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:15). Urban man tends to forget that fruit trees, vegetables, and plants require work and care, even in the perfect world of Eden. Adam was given the responsibility of dressing or tilling the garden and keeping or taking charge of it. Second, the cognitive aspect: man was required to name the creatures. Names in the OT are descriptions and classifications, so that to name anything meant to understand and classify it. By work and knowledge man was called to subdue the earth, develop its potentialities, increase and multiply in order to extend his dominion geographically as well as in knowledge. This then was man's holy calling under God, work and knowledge toward the purpose of subduing the earth and exercising dominion over it. Thus,any vocation whereby man extends his dominion, under God, to god's purpose, and without abuse of or contempt for the earth God had ordained to be man's domain under Him, is a holy calling... Thus, man was created, not as a child, so that he cannot be understood which reference either to a primitive past or to his childhood, but in terms of mature responsibility and work. Man realizes himself in terms of work under God, and hence the radical destructiveness to man of meaningless or frustrating work, or of a social order which penalizes the working man in the realization of the fruits of his labours... "Man was required to know himself first of all in terms of his calling before he was given a help-meet, Eve... She [Eve] is a helper to man in the subduing of the earth and in exercising dominion over it in whatever terms necessary to make her husband's life and work more successful.. Fourth, since man is called to exercise dominion, and marriage and his government of the family is a central aspect of that dominion, the exercise of dominion in work and knowledge precedes the exercise of dominion as husband and father. The covenant family is central to the Kingdom of God and hence marriage was at its inception hedged about with safeguards in order to establish the precedent of responsibility... Seventh, while the family and dominion therein are a part of man's calling and a very important part thereof, it is far from being the totality of his calling. Whereas the woman's calling is in terms of her husband and family, the man's calling is in terms of the vocation he assumes under God." Ibid, pp 341-344.
Observe: 1) Adam was first created and given the dominion mandate with the view that he would require a help-meet to aid him in carrying out his mandate. 2) As Adam worked hard in obedience to that mandate, he saw that he was incomplete. "Man in Eden had the full command of all creatures, and they came before him to receive their names as an act of homage to him as the vicegerent of God to them." Spurgeon, T of D on Ps 8:6, pg. 32. 3) Eve was created to help Adam fulfill his calling under God. Thus, Eve is included in the mandate, but as a helper to her husband. "In 1 Cor. xi. 7, the Apostle says that the man is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man. This he gives as the reason why the man should do nothing which implied the denial of his right to rule." Charles Hodges, Systematic Theology, pt II, p 103.
Furthermore, Charles Hodges says in his commentary on 1 Cor, pp 209, 210 (11:7): "The only sense in which the man, in distinction from the woman, is the image of God, is that he represents the authority of God. He is invested with dominion. When, in Genesis 1, 26. 27, it is said God created man in his own image, the reference is as much to woman as to man; for it is immediately added, "male and female created he them," So far, therefore, as the image of God consists in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, Eve as truly, and as much as Adam, bore the likeness of her Maker. But in the dominion with which man was invested over the earth, Adam was the representative of God. He is the glory of God, because in him the divine majesty is specially manifested. But the woman is the glory of the man. That is, the woman is in this respect subordinate to the man. She is not designed to reflect the glory of God as a ruler. She is the glory of the man. She receives and reveals what there is of majesty in him. She always assumes his station; becomes a queen if he is a king, and manifests to others the wealth and honour which may belong to her husband."
Continuing with vs. 8, 9. "The subordination of the woman to the husband is here proved from two facts recorded in the history of their creation. First, the woman was formed out of the man, and derived her origin from him. He, and not she, was created first. Secondly, she was created on his account, and not he on hers.." 4) Paul, in writing to both Timothy and Titus, clearly reestablishes and expands upon the OT law of Godly dominion (Ex 18:21; Num 11:16; De 1:15). Any man who was placed in any area of leadership in the NT church had to already be actively involved in Godly dominion within his family (1 Tim 3 & Titus 1). Thus, godly dominion involves marriage and the family. The wife is included in godly dominion as a help-meet for her husband, but the husband has the mandate; marriage places the woman into the mandate as a help-meet for her husband. Adam was actively involved in fulfilling his command when he saw that he was incomplete and unable to fulfill it properly without a "mate."
Conclusion: The dominion mandate was given to Adam before Eve was created. Adam was busy in obedience to the command to subdue all the earth when he saw that he was incomplete to fulfill the dominion command. God then provided a wife for him and then included his wife in the command to take dominion over all creation. But she was included as her husband's help-meet, not as co-equal with him. According to the Apostle Paul, the man is the glory of God; the woman is the glory of the man.
(Note the implications of help-meet and co-equal. Help-meet indicates that only one sets the direction and the other helps him obtain that goal. Co-equal indicates that both establish the direction and both then work in that direction.)
Furthermore, sin corrupted both Adam and Eve. Fallen Adam sought to exercise his dominion mandate apart from the commands of God (he becomes oppressive in his dominion desire); fallen Eve sought to exercise her role, not to dominate creation as a help-meet for her husband, but to dominate apart from her husband (and dominate her husband also). The work of Christ, the second man Adam, restores both the man and the woman back into proper relationship to the dominion mandate.