Key precept: Love conquers all, even death.
Satan can’t actually win the competition that he set in motion, but he doesn’t have to. As has been so well demonstrated in politics, he only has to destroy the opposition. And God placed the weapon in Satan’s hands when he placed forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden.
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying…of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen 2:16-17)
All Satan had to do to was convince two innocent human beings to eat the fruit. And for that, all he had to do was tell a lie.
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (Joh 8:44)
The fundamental lie, perpetrated by religion and science since time began, is that humans don’t need Almighty Creator and Sustainer God – godhood is intrinsic to the self. Humans only need to learn how to access their godhood to gain control of their lives and transcend human limitations.
“Now the serpent…said unto the woman…Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil [independent of the Father, able to judge what is beneficial or destructive to you.] And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat…” (Gen 3:1-6)
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh [tree was good for food], and the lust of the eyes [pleasant to the eyes], and the pride of life [desired to make one independent], is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (I Joh 2:15-17)
The belief that one can become a self-sufficient god by unraveling the details of a mystical process is called Gnosticism.
Certain movements, such as Tantrism, Kundalini and Gnosticism, recognize the role of the pineal gland in the spiritual process. The spiritual / instinctive force was seen as a snake, because of the physical structure extending from the genitals, through the spine in one all-seeing eye in the pineal gland. These spiritual systems had focused on the raising of this primordial serpent energy, located in the genitals and lying at the base of the reproductive process. Through certain yoga exercises, breathing techniques, energy and toning exercises this energy can be reversed. It then travels through the spinal cord to the third eye and causes possible “enlightenment.”
“…the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of the Chosen One / Messiah / Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (II Cor 4:4)
Graham Hancock is a researcher into ancient history. A gnostic himself, he presents a very informative lecture on gnosticism from the most ancient times. In this lecture he equates modern aliens with ancient gods, and is convinced that altered states of consciousness induced by physical means such as drug intoxication breaks the barrier between the physical and spiritual dimension. As I said, informative.
To fully understand the death that occurred “in the day” that the woman ate the fruit, we first need to understand what life is.
Living things tend to be complex and highly organized. They have the ability to take in energy from the environment and transform it for growth and reproduction. Organisms tend toward homeostasis: an equilibrium of parameters that define their internal environment. Living creatures respond, and their stimulation fosters a reaction-like motion, recoil, and in advanced forms, learning. Life is reproductive, as some kind of copying is needed for evolution to take hold through a population’s mutation and natural selection. [Here the desperate faith in a world sans Creator is apparent as the reference to evolution is contradicted by NASA’s own statement that living things are “complex, highly organized, homeostatic”, and by the utter lack of evidence for evolution. But I digress.] To grow and develop, living creatures need foremost to be consumers, since growth includes changing biomass, creating new individuals, and the shedding of waste.
We can generalize the definition of life as “connection”:
- physically to necessary resources of oxygen, water, food, etc.
- emotionally and intellectually in supportive relationships with others,
- spiritually to God, known to science as the energy that, with light, creates mass.
Interesting that NASA’s inclusion of “growth” and “shedding of waste’ as a function of physical life matches Yhvh’s Savior’s definition of spiritual life.
“unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of The Promised Deliverer / Christ...Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even The Promised Deliverer / Christ…If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Yhvh’s Savior / Jesus: That ye
- put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
- And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
- Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
- Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
- Neither give place to the devil.
- Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
- Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
- Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:” (Ephesians 4)
Death is the opposite of life. As life is not simply existence but interaction, so death is not annihilation but isolation – the inability to access necessary resources.
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” (Ephesians 4:17-19)
Throughout the ages magicians and scientists practicing traditions like alchemy have been trying to create, maintain, and restart life. So far, success has been claimed by transferring DNA into a living cell to create a designer cell, or using stem cells to create an organism. However, these methods don’t create life. The cell into which the foreign DNA was substituted for the original DNA was already alive. Science has been unable to spark life into a cell, let alone an organ or an entire organism, or to maintain life beyond a certain point, because the energizing force, AKA spirit, comes from God, and returns to God at death.
“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; because man goeth to his long home [coffin, grave], and the mourners go about the streets: Or ever the silver cord be loosed [electrical current running down the spine activating the central nervous system for the body?] , or the golden bowl be broken [electrical activity of the brain?], or the pitcher be broken at the fountain [the body, much of it water?], or the wheel broken at the cistern [cycle of breathing?]. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (Ecc 12:1-7)
Science has determined that physical death is encoded in our genes. When the woman ate the fruit, some substance in the fruit must have triggered a mutation in the DNA or an epigenetic process where existing genes are turned on or off. At the cellular level the body was no longer able to indefinitely maintain itself for respiration and metabolism of necessary substances. and the woman’s biological clock began ticking down to death.
Imagine Adam’s horror when he saw his wife after she was affected by her substance use. Like God, he had the ability to see that she was naked, i.e. exposed – her changed nature was observable. This image of before and after methamphetamine use gives an idea of what Adam might have seen, what God certainly sees, and what ministers in God’s kingdom can ask God to open their eyes to see – the nature of everyone who is spiritually the “walking dead”, mindlessly straining to lay hold on an illusory source of life.
Then Adam eats the fruit, in full knowledge that he is losing his splendor, his immortality, and laying down his life, despite the fact that “…Adam was not deceived…” (I Timothy 2:14)
Why would he do that? When God asks him for an explanation, Adam is often accused of blame-shifting to his wife, but that interpretation is undoubtedly a result of our habitual use of projection, the defense mechanism in which we attribute our thoughts and attitudes to others. It’s a reflection of our own sin nature. There is another explanation.
While The Lord of the Rings falls short of being a completely accurate Christian allegory, it does bring to life a host of biblical concepts, including this one in which an immortal being chooses mortality, out of love.
Consider a straightforward biblical interpretation of Adam’s response, one in which Adam acts on his God-given responsibility for the woman.
- “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me” – The woman you entrusted to my care, for whom I am responsible
- “she gave me of the tree” – she already had it and was doomed
- “and I did eat” – I couldn’t leave her alone, we are one flesh. (Gen 3:12)
In other words, he simply obeys God’s word to leave his father and his mother – which in his case is God – and cleave to his wife.
“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man [nor the wo-man cloned from the first man] should be alone…And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Gen 2:18-24)
“The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? [On a side note – they were trying to eliminate a segment of his popular constituency, either the Pharisaical Conservatives or the Platonic Liberals. Jesus’ thoughts and ways can’t be aligned with either party because they are Perfect Godliness.] And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them [identically both] male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh [taking on each other’s characteristics]? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Mat 19:3-6)
Adam did not leave her nor forsake her. He was faithful to his promise to care for her. This man did not “put asunder”, even though it cost him his life.
“Marriage is honourable in all…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me…Yeshua Messiah / Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Heb 13:4-8)
If that isn’t love… In Adam’s courageous willingness to die for his wife, he demonstrated the supreme attribute that mankind alone shares with God.
“Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends [intimate acquaintances].” (Joh 15:13)
“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, The Promised One / Christ died for us.” (Ro 5:7-8)
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (I Joh 4:7-8)
The first rule of war is “know your enemy.” Satan miscalculated both Adam’s and God’s responses. They both acted out of love and mercy, and used their power for the benefit of others. Satan couldn’t anticipate Adam’s love for his wife and God’s love for his children because he doesn’t know love.
“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil…he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (I John 3:10-11)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ [and Adam] , which according to his abundant mercy hath
- begotten us again unto a lively hope [anticipation of reconnection / renewal of life in the future] by the resurrection of Yahweh’s Promised Savior / Jesus Christ from the dead…
- Who are kept [guarded] by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time…
- Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you…when it testified beforehand the sufferings of The Promised One / Christ, and the glory that should follow...
- which things the angels desire to look into.” (I Peter 1:3-12)
In the classic passage defining love, notice that every aspect is defined as a behavior. Love is not a quality that can be bestowed or inherited, like royalty. We become loving only through our chosen responses in action. Contrast Satan’s behavior with Adam’s. To make this passage flow in our modern ears and to be crystal clear to what the writer meant, I am translating the King James’ archaic charity into love, although charity as we understand it as giving is indeed what is meant here.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, [Paul must be thinking of Lucifer’s supreme qualities] and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge [think Lucifer’s goal]; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, [height of hyperdimensional spirituality over three dimensional matter] and have not love I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, [the ultimate sacrifice] and have not love, it profiteth me nothing.
- Love suffereth long
- and is kind;
- love envieth not;
- love vaunteth not itself,
- is not puffed up,
- Doth not behave itself unseemly,
- seeketh not her own,
- is not easily provoked,
- thinketh no evil;
- Rejoiceth not in iniquity,
- but rejoiceth in the truth;
- Beareth all things,
- believeth all things,
- hopeth all things,
- endureth all things.
- Love never faileth:
- but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail;
- whether there be tongues, they shall cease;
- whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away…
And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13)
Go back to the origins of mankind and note the distinction between image and likeness.
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…So God created man in his own image…” (Genesis 1:26-27).
Different words are used to express different meanings.
- To create an image is to give form for something to be. This totally makes sense in String Theory which gives form to energy, and puts the translation of this same word into “cut down” or “cut out” into context. God sculpted a statue.
- To make a likeness is to give function for something to do. Think of Frankenstein’s monster. This may seem irreverent, but it is a significant comparison.
God gave functions to all his creatures, things to do like give light, be productive, multiply, etc. but only to mankind did he give the function of having dominion. In order to do this, mankind has to take action, take initiative. Mankind is not a robot with intelligence and predetermined responses.
With this background, we can understand that Adam’s ultimate likeness to God in love came into existence when Adam made the choice to act out of consideration for his wife’s welfare instead of his own.
In this light, God was not stupid or cruel when he placed the fateful tree in the garden of Eden. He was giving his son the opportunity to become like him, by choosing to exercise his freedom of choice by copying his behavior. Lucifer had the same opportunity to increase his likeness to God. He only had to gracefully agree to put humanity’s welfare above his own. But he didn’t.
God’s choice of humble humanity was vindicated by Adam’s decision to eat the fruit and die.
“…Adam…is the figure of him that was to come [the Savior].” (Ro 5:14)
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Yahweh’s Chosen Savior / Messiah Yeshua / Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phili 2:5-8)
“Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” (Colossians 3:19)
“Husbands, love your wives, even as The Promised One / Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Messiah/Christ and the church.” (Eph 5:25-32)
Let’s rephrase that, putting Adam in the action.
Husbands, love your wives, even as the first Adam also loved his wife, and gave himself for her, that he might take away the corruption caused by her action, wiped clean of decay by the power of the word that gave life in the first place, that he might present her to himself a glorious wife restored to perfection. For this cause Adam separated himself from his heavenly Father, and joined himself to his wife by eating the fruit and experiencing death with her, so they could continue to be united, have the same flesh. This is a great mystery, that is revealed as the story progresses.
Sounds heretical? According to the Bible, that is exactly what happened as the story progressed. Again, put Adam in the action.
- “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: [Adam stayed one with his wife – by sharing her dead condition],
- for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren [family], [Adam could have repudiated his wife and declared himself too good to identify with her],
- Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren / family, in the midst of the congregation of believers / church will I sing praise unto thee. [Can you not imagine Adam reassuring his wife that “Our Father will fix this, I don’t know how but I know he will]
- And again, I will put my trust in him. And again,
- Behold I and the children [of God, family] which God hath given me.
- Forasmuch then as the [human] children [of God] are partakers of flesh and blood, he [Adam / Jesus Christ] also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
- And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Heb 2:11-15)
That should send chills down your spine. This fragile, childishly innocent human countered the most powerful, evil monster in the universe in his first move, simply by choosing to act according to the word of God, even to apparent failure, to death! – instead of leaning on his own understand or acting on his own self interests.
Did he know how his action would send shock waves through the universe? Undoubtedly, no. The opposite of “knowledge is power” is “faith is power,” where faith is simply trusting that what God said is true and acting on that instead of a calculated likelihood of achieving desired results.
Adam knew only that God had given him a companion who he was committed to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance. The love of God is what overcomes the power of evil. It’s that simple.
- “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose…
- to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
- Moreover…them he also...justified: and…glorified.
- What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?…
- Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?
- …Who is he that condemneth?…
- Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
- For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers…nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Yahweh’s Chosen Savior / Messiah Yeshua / Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ro 8:28-39)
No doubt we have all experienced the torment of losing a battle because we did the right thing. Whatever Adam’s honorable intentions and motivation, because he ate the fruit his nature became corrupted just like his wife’s. He was also subject to the law of sin and death, and Satan did edge his way into leadership of the kingdom of heaven and earth.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Ro 6:16)
“And the devil, taking him [Yeshua] up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me [yes, by the human rulers of this world’s kingdoms who submit to him exactly as the devil is tempting Yeshua to do]; and to whomsoever I will I give it [so much for the deal when you sell your soul to the devil.]” (Lu 4:5-6)
But one battle does not a war win. Every human being has the opportunity to choose to believe in the love of God, or the lies of the devil. Every human being has the opportunity, by faith in God’s promises, to be transformed into the image and likeness of God. Every human being has the opportunity to choose to become a son of God and expand God’s righteous kingdom into his / her territory by trusting in God’s word as the basis for making decisions and taking action.
It is only by transforming into the image and likeness of God that we can fulfill our destiny to take dominion. The fundamental principles of dominion are given in the very first chapter of the Bible.
1) Be fruitful, i.e. be productive. Be a good worker. Make good things happen, in both the earthly and the heavenly/spiritual domains. Interestingly, God gave this same instruction to animals.
“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful..
Life on planet earth is interconnected in what is called the biosphere. We all depend on every species being fruitful in good works in their particular niche such as trees producing oxygen and flowers, and bees pollinating flowers and making honey, and bears breathing oxygen and eating honey, and microorganisms aiding digestion in intestinal tracts and… (It does make you wonder how evolution could happen in such an interdependent system…) In any case, we all suffer when any single element of the ecosystem is harmed.
Most representations of the man and woman in the Garden of Eden picture them wandering around aimlessly. That’s not what the Bible says. Anyone who has ever been put in charge of anything can tell you that it is hard work. Being fruitful, or working hard, is just as much a New Testament command as it was an Old Testament command. And in my experience as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, personal accomplishments are essential to good mental health.
“…walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Col 1:10)
“For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord, Yahweh’s Appointed Savior / Yeshua Messiah / Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” (II Thess 3:7-15)
“…study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing. (I Thess 4:11-12)
2) Multiply, i.e. procreate to continue God’s creation of mankind. Again, God gave the same instructions to animals. It is entirely possible that God only made prototypes of the animals, just as he only made prototypes of humans, or that so many were destroyed during every evening’s blitz that they had to be bred back from the edge of extinction.
“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying…multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare…” (Gen 4:1)
We also multiply spiritually.
“I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in The Chosen One / Messiah / Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Yahweh’s Appointed Savior / Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.” (I Cor 4:14-16)
3) Replenish the earth, i.e. engage in activities to fill up the earth. Based on these instructions, which are identical to those given to Noah after the flood wiped out the rest of humanity and animals, it seems that, indeed, a massive catastrophe killed off most of them.
“And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” (Gen 9:1)
“And he [Jacob] said unto him [Laban], Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me. For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude...if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock.” (Gen 30:29-31)
The New Testament writings command God’s people to fill the earth with people who have heard, therefore have the opportunity to believe and receive eternal life.
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15-16)
4) Subdue the earth. To subdue is to bring under control.
“For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.” (Psa 18:39)
To subdue the earth is to bring nature under control. The fundamental way we do this is by farming. Civilization depends on a stable food supply through agriculture, and this requires clearing undesirable plants out of fields, channeling essential water resources with dams and irrigation systems, and protecting the crops from predators.
“And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father..And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water…And they digged another well…and digged another well…and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” (Gen 26:18-22)
“And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it. And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.” (Judges 6:3-6)
Everyone is not a farmer, but everyone has a piece of territory to subdue – our own bodies. Biochemical cravings for sex, drugs, food, even the desire to just laze around instead of getting to work, have to be battled by everyone.
“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (I Cor 9:27)
It is not until we accomplish all of the above steps that we can in reality have dominion in any arena, as small as our body and as large as the universe.
- Work hard and be productive
- Multiply – expand the workforce so more can be accomplished
- Replenish or fill the territory with new life
- Subdue the resistance, the obstacles to having dominion
In God’s kingdom, to have dominion means to lovingly care for those entrusted to us. Too often we equate “dominion” with “dominate.” Too many leaders are psychopaths whose idea of power is to transform free men and women into slaves and sycophants by instilling fear through oppression, abuse, death and destruction. It’s easy to hate and destroy. It takes real power to love and create new life. It’s easy to isolate from people and exploit them as subjects. It takes real power to engage in relationship and and to transform fearful oppressed peoples into free and successful men and women through forgiveness, kindness, and support of their personal growth and development.
It’s easy for religions to demand women to submit to male authority, and many women do tolerate abuse to maintain access to the basic necessities of life. That’s not what the Bible teaches. It’s rare to find men who will sacrifice their prerogatives and advantages to meet the needs of their companions like Adam and Jesus Christ did.
“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as The Chosen One / Messiah / Christ is the head of the congregation of believers / church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the congregation of believers / church is subject unto Messiah / Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as The Chosen One/Messiah/Christ also loved the congregation of believers / church, and gave himself for it…So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church / congregation of believers.” (Eph 5:21-29)
The great patriarchs of the Old Testament got their training in leadership by caring for helpless and frustratingly stupid sheep – Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David. The greatest leader of all, Yeshua Messiah / Jesus Christ, calls himself the Good Shepherd.
“Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.” (Ex 3:3)
“And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear.” (I Sam 17:34-36)
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (Joh 10:11)
The methods for having dominion – self control and influence over others – can be understood in terms of man’s three dimensions – body, soul, and spirit.
The body is controlled through technology that can sustain or destroy the body, like beneficial or harmful drugs, and power sources for peacetime energy or weapons.
“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isa 2:3-4)
The soul – emotions and intellect – is controlled through meeting its needs in healthy or dysfunctional relationships with others through education, politics, philosophical arguments, psychological techniques, entertaining distractions, and peer pressure.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psa 1:1-3)
The spirit is controlled through involvement in religious, paranormal, extraterrestrial, and openly or covertly demonic domains.
“And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa 8:19-20)
People who seek mastery at any level recognize the need to access power that transcends their own human limitations. The only way to get power and authority is to get it from the one who has it. This is reflected in religion, of course, but also in other areas of life such as:
- The spiritual side of martial arts.
- Alcoholic’s Anonymous first three of twelve steps acknowledging the individual’s need for a higher power,
- All versions of mysticism promoting everything from self-improvement to world domination by discovering and tapping into the god within.
- Ancient rulers’ claims of descent from and apotheosis to a god, like Augustus Caesar.
- Rulers’ claim of divine right, like Louis XIV, the Sun King.
A key concept to understand is that having dominion over the earth, wielding that much awesome power, is inextricably linked with having the image (appearance) and likeness (attributes) of God. This abstract concept is expressed in the costumes that must be put on by Superman and others like him before acting on their superpowers.
Partial or temporary dominion can be exercised by a servant who has been granted some authority.
“And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And...thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac…And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.” (Gen 24:2-4,53)
Full dominion, in extent and permanence, is granted to children as an inheritance.
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” (Col 1:11-12)
Dominion is often designated to heirs long before possession is actually taken of the estate (physical possessions as well as power and authority), waiting for the maturity of the heir.
“Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.” (Gal 4:1-2)
“And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father….Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee…The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” (Gen 49:1, 8-10)
“God…hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things…unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom…But now we see not yet all things put under him.” (Heb 1:1-38; 2:8)
Notice that dominion isn’t granted to all children. Only the ones who mature into the likeness of the father, expressed as unity with the Father by acting as they know their father would act, are empowered to take dominion over others. This applies to both good and evil rulers.
“Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch. [You can hear the rising outrage in his voice and see the intense glare in his eyes as he switches to the first person in denouncing the offender.] Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.” (Gen 49:3-7)
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit [ruling positions in] the kingdom of God.” (Gal 5:16-20)
“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)” (I Tim 3:2-5)
“And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king’s sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God save king Adonijah…Then king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying…as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house / dynasty, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day. And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died.“ (I Ki 2:24-25, I Ki 2:23-25)
Brutal of Solomon and his LORD to kill off the opposition! you say. Bear in mind that this was not the politics as we know it with elections, this was winner take all and death to the defeated.
Wait, we do still do this. Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi. Isn’t it patently biased to cheer the political leaders who kill the enemies of our nation but deny the right of the LORD God to protect his people? Make no mistake, King Solomon, like his father King David, would not have survived the coup d’etat. What we fail to understand is that each of us also has to join forces with Father God to eliminate the spiritual enemies that seek to destroy us – and those we love.
Mickey Mouse amusingly demonstrates the reality that power gets out of control when wielded by an unqualified individual. We qualify to rule when we develop God’s likeness, or attributes, of right-eousness, doing the right thing. Like Mickey Mouse, when things aren’t done right, chaos and destruction result. We’ve experienced this through bad cooking, driving accidents, relationship breakdowns, and major disasters regardless of the intention to do good or bad. Just extrapolate what kind of damage can be caused universe-wide by someone who doesn’t function in the full knowledge and understanding of the truth.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men…as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (Joh 1:1-12)
We’ll never understand ourselves or become all we can be without growing into the image and likeness of God.
“And he gave some, apostles; some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” (Eph 4:11-13)
In the next post, we’ll learn more about what it means to be a power-wielding son of God.
And so we’ve reached the first cliff-hanger. When will humanity reclaim fully what is rightfully ours, and how?
- In the beginning God created the universe and gave dominion to mankind.
- Spirit beings, commonly called angels, who function in “hyperspace”, i.e. more dimensions of space-time than the four dimensions to which humans are limited, were created to help humans rule.
- One of these angels, Lucifer, revolted against God’s delegation of dominion to humans, demanding it for himself on the basis of his personal qualifications, becoming anti-God, or Satan, and setting in motion the battle for the universe.
- In the first battle for control, Satan lied to the woman and she chose to believe him instead of God, because she wanted to be able to separate herself from God’s authority. The fruit contained a substance that triggered genetic changes, resulting in death to whomever ate it.
- But instead of wrecking God’s plan, Satan actually became the agent for realizing God’s plan. When Adam responded to his wife’s crisis selflessly, choosing freely to act out of love for his wife at the expense of his own welfare, he loved her. Only by freely making a choice to act out of love to the death of self can humans be transformed into the greatest likeness of God.