& "Mandatism" Philosophy
When prosecuting false kingdom philosophies such as the
and other forms of mandatism, it is easy to form reactive conclusions against our rightful place of influence and authority in the earth as believers that are just as false. Truth however is never found in reaction to error, but only on its own self-standing platform based squarely on the Word of God as delivered to us through the founding apostles. Seven Mountains
In this regard, we turn to look at the truth pertaining to our present and future relationship to actualized dominion over the earth. As we outline here the tenets of true dominion teaching, we will draw into focus and better frame some of the arguments already made against mandatism.
That man lost earth's dominion to satan does not mean that man will never get it back. And that
Edenis not regainable under the Genesis Mandate does not mean is not regainable a different way in a different form than originally created. Man is most certainly destined to regain dominion over the earth, and Eden is destined to be restored--two concepts on which mandatists are absolutely correct. But we must understand the true terms and conditions surrounding this restoration. Eden
What we want to know is, what can show us how earth is truly to be restored and returned to human dominion? What does scripture envision regarding this? Once we understand the true practical outworking of this as intended by the New Covenant writers, we can begin defining what constitutes our legitimate exercise of influence and authority in today's world culture. To do so, we will build an orderly hierarchy of "dominion concepts" that are spiritually true to the minds of the first apostles.
1. Dominion is Regainable
The scriptures are clear that, despite man's fall and resulting forfeiture of earth authority over to satan leading to the production of worldly kingdoms (cultures), man will regain his originally appointed place of authority in the earth. Both Paul and the Revelation of John promise restored dominion to God's people, not to mention many Old Testament prophecies. Here are just a few New Testament passages to this effect:
If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us. II Tim 2:12
And [you] have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth." Rev. 5:10 NKJV
Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection ; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. Rev. 20:6
On this score then dominionists are absolutely correct--that we will "take back" dominion over the earth. The question is, in what tense and under what conditions is this "taking" to occur?
Note that the apostles refer to manifest rule in the future tense framed by certain conditions. They do not refer to manifest dominion as a present tense recovery based in a past mandate given to mankind. Their ministries demonstrate no such objective.
This is extremely important. Asserting that what was in the apostles' minds as future tense has somehow since become present tense is of no small consequence. It is not a matter of mere opinion or interpretation, but one of foundational paradigm shift equal to that by which the first apostles wrote. It is an assertion of foundational apostolic class doctrine.
Dominionist "apostles" today cannot just "assert" that we "now" have authority for actualized dominion over the culture in fulfillment of the apostolic future tense of Paul. To supersede Paul's tense and shift it to the present, they must prove with superior apostolic authority that such a tense transition has occurred.
In order to contend that the original promise of manifest rule has been transferred from the future as presented in the closed canon of scripture, to the present tense, mandatists must apostolically demonstrate that a monumental "era shift" has occurred sometime since the founding apostles wrote. That is, the "who, what and when" intrinsic to the alleged shift must bear a proof of apostolic power and authority at least equal to that of Paul and John.
teachers can demonstrate no equivalent apostolic authority to back their contention of such a shift. The best that mandatists have to posit (and "posit" is all they can do) is that the localized destruction of Seven Mountains in 70 AD provides the fulfillment and evidence of that shift. Yet they cannot even prove that the futurist Book of Revelation was written before 70 AD, never mind demonstrate any equivalent apostolic authority to defend the assertion. Jerusalem
Absent certified apostolic authority minimally equivalent to Paul and John for contending that what was future tense to the first apostles has since become present tense to us, mandatists have no more than a private philosophical interpretation to back their claim to a mandate for present tense manifest dominion over the earth. It should be rejected out of hand.
2. Dominion is Only Regainable through Christ
In Romans 5 and following, the apostle Paul repeatedly contrasts how what was lost under Adam is regained only through Christ, the second Adam. This ultimately applies to the concept of dominion over the earth, not just salvation. And, as we allowed at the beginning, Christian prophetic mandatists can readily agree with this. They believe that the church has the right and duty by virtue of Christ's resurrected kingship to take dominion over the earth. (This contrasts with other secular, Jewish and quasi-Christian liberty advocates in the Sovereigntist Movement who preach that Genesis 1:28 is alone sufficient to demonstrate man's inherent right to individual sovereign authority in the earth, regardless of what God one worships.)
It's important in this light to underscore how that the concepts of salvation and true dominion may not be divorced. All dominion is predicated upon salvation. This is seen clearly in Paul's progressive discussion of salvation beginning with our salvation from sin in Romans 5 all the way to earth's liberation at the hands of the manifest sons of God in Romans 8 (to be discussed further below).
The only way man can retrieve any kind of dominion in the world is through Jesus Christ and His salvation. This means that dominion can only be "taken back" according to the principles of eternal life purchased at Calvary, a dominion the earth has never seen before--one founded on a knowledge base the earth has not witnessed since before the fall. Once again, we want to reference Paul's words in Colossians 1:
Notice how that in verse:13 where Paul puts the kingdom of God in opposition to the domain of darkness, He directly links the kingdom of God in verse 14 to the salvation concept of redemption through the blood of Christ. For Paul and the Apostles, the kingdom and salvation are inseparable. They are both of one gospel. There is no "kingdom gospel" compartmentalized from a "salvation gospel." The gospel of salvation from sin unto eternal life is at the very heart of the
. It defines it! kingdomof God
Ironically however, and as noted before, this one and only way for regaining true dominion over the earth by the gospel is discounted and discredited, minimized, redefined and disregarded by those who teach the Genesis Mandate version of dominion. Mandatists have a "kingdom theology" in Christ that is separate from their "gospel theology" in Christ. Mountain teachers consistently compartmentalize the concepts of salvation and kingdom. Such compartmentalization is what falsifies mandatist kingdom theology. The Gospel of salvation is the only way to realizable dominion though Christ.
3. Dominion is Only Regainable from the Inside-Out
The intrinsic necessity of the gospel to the dominion message as highlighted by Paul leads us to understand that true realizable dominion over the earth is a spiritual process that must transpire from the inside out. It is here that mandatist philosophy openly begins its departure from true dominion teaching.
In his prophecy regarding the end time meaning of the fifth plague of Egypt, Leland Earls eloquently reveals the essence of true dominion that must precede any kind of external authority in the earth [emphasis is mine]:
The macrocosm or man's outer world can abound in goodness and peace only as the microcosm or inner world of man's thoughts, emotions and drives are completely subdued and channeled unto the glory of his God. Thus the problem is spiritual, and not economic, political or social. Only as men are regenerated within can they gain dominion over the 'birds of the air, the fish of the sea and the beasts of the earth' within their own microcosm. This is man's first and primary task, set before him at the very beginning (Gen. 1:26-28). Think not that the Lord your God was concerned with man's gaining dominion over the outer world; this was but an allegory to portray the inner world of man's being and the necessity of gaining dominion over every thought, emotion, desire, ability, propensity and drive until all resources and forces within reflect the beauty and glory of God above. The gaining of dominion over the outer world is secondary and is contingent on the gaining of dominion over the inner. Those who have gained a commendable measure of dominion over their inner being through the grace and power of their God will be given an inheritance and authority over the outer world of the earth and all of its inhabitants, being commissioned to rule and reign with Christ. But they cannot rule with Christ over that which is outer until they have gained dominion over the inner realm of their own mind and heart.
Nor could it be otherwise. For as we originally saw, the Genesis mandate was lost due to sin, to which man became a slave. Sin is internal. Man's slavery to sin is on his inside. Before he can possibly re-demonstrate outward dominion and sovereignty over the earth, man must first be freed from captivity to the internal power of sin, demonstrating dominion and sovereignty over his own inner being! No internal slave possesses or can exercise external dominion and sovereignty.
By contrast, mandatism recognizes no intrinsic relationship between internal identity-holiness development in the people of God and their right and readiness to exercise external dominion in the earth.
In the reformed and evangelical branches of mandatism such as Reconstructionism, it is believed that Christians simply need to exert carnal "muscle" (political and otherwise) in the power of their "God given" fleshly talents to influence and take over the culture wherever they see the need and have the opportunity.
In the "Spirit-filled" branches of mandatism articulated by Kingdom Now and
teachers, it is believed, as discussed before, that the anointing is what provides the necessary power for Christians to take dominion. But the anointing neither produces nor can replace the foundational internal dominion through sanctification necessary to the exercise of true dominion in Christ. As Paul says, "If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him." Seven Mountains
In all cases, mandatists neglect or even reject the necessity of the development of the inner life through the sanctification crisis and sin-deliverance process (let alone glorification) as requisite to exercising actualized dominion in the earth. They consider such truth to be little more than closet mystic ignorance of earthly irrelevance.
4. Actualized Dominion over the Earth Occurs Only in the Context of Glorification in Conjunction with the Return of Christ
Dominion teaching based on the Genesis Mandate is apostolic in class. It is one of those all-embracing philosophical teachings that purports to speak to the destiny of all mankind, thus giving it foundational apostolic status. But if this teaching of present cultural take over were true, in lieu of any apostolic evidence demonstrating an era shift since the first apostles, would not Paul and John and the others have already articulated it? How is it that the founding apostles could at best remain silent or at worse "miss" something so fundamental as our present call to take dominion over the world's institutions?
The truth is, the apostles are not silent on our dominion over the earth. They simply tell a story different from that of mandatism. In contrast to mandatism's invented backward look to Genesis 1, Paul gives us true apostolic teaching that speaks to the earth's real destiny under the dominion of the redeemed. It is found in Romans 8. If we want to understand what is supposed to happen to earth's systems under what conditions, this is where we must go for it!
If there is any apostolic passage able to hint of a Genesis-style dominion mandate, it is Romans 8. Romans 8 is the true "Liberation Mandate:"
16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
It is here to Romans 8, not Genesis 1:28 that we should be looking for our mandate for restored dominion over the earth: As the culmination of Paul's exposition of kingdom salvation beginning in Romans 5, what we must see in this chapter is that, not only does true dominion come only through salvation in Christ, and not only does it come from the inside out, but the Liberation Mandate for restored dominion only happens in the context of glorified life!
What does this mean? It means that if we truly want to see our dominion restored, we ought to have an active hope toward becoming glorified and for the Lord's return. John says,
I Jn. 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
We are glorified when we see the Lord at His appearing, and our hope for this brings us toward it. Hoping for the Lord's return then is not a "distraction" or evidence of an "escapist mentality" from dominion, as mandatists would tell it. Hoping for glorification is vital to true dominion, because this is the only context in which it will occur. Yet how strange it is that in the name of exercising dominion now, mandatists teach an eschatological cessationism that decries as "dereliction of duty" any active hope for the Lord's return and our translation into His likeness thereby.
[Note: for further advanced discussion of the relationship of our eventual restored dominion over the earth relative to our glorification as well as the late developments in church history leading to it, see the chapter The Millennium: A Prepared Earth for a Glorified People from the book The Transformation and the Anointing. See as well Brother Earls' article titled The Millennium.]
5. Dominion Requires the Replacement of Sinful Culture, not its Perfection
It's vital once again to underscore this: worldly kingdoms and cultures as we know them are the products of human sin. They are all built on and in essence are the works of the flesh. As such, they are not the targets of Christ's redemption. They are only targets for vanquishment and replacement.
The fruit of sin is never redeemed. Rather, the tree of sin that produces the fruit of sin is cut down and a new tree bearing the true fruit of the kingdom is established. The laying of the ax to the root of the tree described by John the Baptist and the demolishing of the statue of Nebuchadnezzar at its feet described by Daniel are one and the same. Related to these are the parable of the fruitless tree to be cut down, the promise to give the kingdom to a people bearing the fruit thereof, and the tree of Abrahamic faith and the vine of Christ capable of losing false branches.
When Christ returns to establish His manifest rule, He will be replacing the diseased trees of the kingdoms of this world--which are the fruit of the original tree of the knowledge of good and evil--with His own governmental tree of life. When the saints who reign with Him then execute their governmental functions, they will not be engaged in "rehabilitating" what is left of the demolished kingdoms and cultures as we know them today. They will be making surgical replacement after replacement of the ways of men based in the realities of glorified eternal life. With these same powers they will be recreating the earth's very landscape. By the powers of glorified life it is even possible that new living species of plants and other life will be introduced never seen before.
The coming restored manifest dominion of man through Christ is to be exercised in the power of the knowledge of God, not in that of good and evil. It will thus "restore" the earth according to powers of revelation never before seen according to the forward developmental plan of God. This means the coming restoration will be cleaning up and removing the remnants of present sinful culture.
Restored dominion of the earth by glorified man under Christ is going to be one great "extreme makeover" from the ground up. Again, the concept of superior replacement of the old with the previously unheard of ("kainos") is the spiritual meaning of restoration. Replacement, not renewal or reformation, fulfils the divine meaning of restored dominion.
Present era influence and authority is dominion "in principal" only. It is under development, testing and proving. It is laboratorical. The inability of mandatists to even agree on the application of principles and applications of present "dominion," never mind to effect such under the present cloud cover of the world system with its principalities and powers proves this. We must understand therefore that whatever influence we exert today on the kingdoms of this world for their strategic temporal good is but mere training in advance of our future roles as earth restorers through the replacement of these present kingdoms.
How we handle our laboratorical training in rulership now will determine our placement as rulers in the glorified age at hand. As John has made clear, the world, which includes all its kingdoms, will pass away. On which side of that "passage" do we really want to be found? If we squander our temporal training on false notions of permanent "betterment" of worldly culture under a false meaning of the kingdom, we will lose our true inherited place of rulership in the permanent kingdom. In the name of "taking dominion now" over the fruit of fallen culture, mandatists in droves are losing their inheritance and right to rule in the true kingdom at hand.
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created May 26, 2012