Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Fire/The Judgment

Isaiah 66:
15  "For behold, the LORD will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16  For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many. 

Hebrews 9:
27  And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,                                  
28  so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Simply put, God’s fire is judgment. It is judgment for the unbeliever, and it is
judgment for the saints.
God be praised that both the purpose and the consequence of that judgment by fire
are as different as night and day regarding its’ implementation in the lives
of the unbeliever, as well as the saint.

The use of the word fire, in specific context, determines its’ meaning to God’s people.

The Saints

17  For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

Hebrews 12:
5  And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.
6  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."
7  It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
8  If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

John 15:
1  "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
2  Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
3  Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.
4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
:5  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
6  If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

1Cor 3:
11  For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12  Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw--
13  each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.
14  If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
15  If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Malachi 3:
2  But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap.
3  He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD.
4  Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.
5  "Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts.
6  "For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

What should be clear is that God’s discipline toward His disobedient children displays His great love for them. Those who are not His children, the illegitimate, i.e. the pretenders, are not judged by the Father’s loving disciplinary judgment. Peter proclaims the fact that judgment always begins in the house of God. He tells us further on in his letter that we are that house. 1 Peter 2:5
If judgment begins with us, then how will it be for those of us who are not obedient to the Gospel? That question applies to the church.
Jesus tells us that the father prunes the fruitful branches in Christ, the vine. And cuts off and burns the unfruitful branches in Christ. Both are branches in Christ, therefore John 15 is not speaking of eternal damnation, but rather the Lord uses the metaphor of burning unfruitful branches to speak of the discipline of judgment in a believer’s life.
(Let us not forget, Paul reveals in Romans 11:23 that God can graft any branch that has been cut off, back into Christ)

Paul in 1 Cor 3 writes of the judgment on the work of the saints concerning their use of proper building materials. Only the right material will withstand the fire which will reveal the quality of their work. Many, if not all, will suffer some loss in that day, but will be saved through the fire.
In this passage Paul is stating that the builders he is speaking of are building on the true foundation, that is Jesus Christ, so there is no question that this refers to believers.
In contrast we see Jesus referring to true and false foundations in Matthew 7:24-27, a different matter entirely. The materials used in both houses seem to be of quality, it is the foundation that they are built on that reveals their ability to weather the storms. Therefore many will come in his name, saying all the right words, doing all the right things, and will not be doing the will of the father, i.e. not building on the true foundation, Christ Jesus. (Matthew16:15-19)
Matthew 7:
21  "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22  On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'
23  And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'

The prophecy of Malachi is directed to the Levites, the temple priests. Thus in copy and shadow it speaks to God’s kingdom of priests who attend His living temple. He is the refiner’s fire which purifies and refines us, as silver and gold are refined. He is the fuller’s soap that cleanses. Then our offerings are acceptable to the Lord. Then our sacrifice is wrought in righteousness.  (Eph 5:25-27;Romans 12:1)
Then when He appears in judgment toward us, His fire consumes all that is not of Him, all that is evil and impure, but the sons of Jacob are not consumed, since they have already been through the fire. Malachi 4 prophesies of the Lord’s return. Only those who have already been through the refining fire of judgment will endure and stand in that day. More on that further on.

 Hebrews 10:
26  For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27  but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
 So for the saints, there is not the loss of salvation, but rather the loss of the impurities, and all that is not of God in our lives.

The Unbelievers/The Condemned  (John 3:18)

18  And "If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?"   
Matthew 3:
7  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8  Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.
:9  And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father,' for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.
10  Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11  "I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
12  His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

Malachi 4:
1  "For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.
Mal 4:2  But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.
Mal 4:3  And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts.

Rev 20:
7  And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison
8  and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.
9  And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them,
10  and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
11  Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.
12  And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.
13  And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.
14  Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
15  And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
There is judgment by fire for the unbeliever at the return of Christ. The intensity of the fire of the Lord’s coming will turn them into ash; ash which Malachi says we will tread upon. He is coming to judge in power. John the Baptist in Matthew 3 is speaking both of, and to,the saints and the unbelievers. Note that he says the axe is already laid at the root of trees. Christ's initial advent into creation brings judgment.

Rev 11:
15  Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever."
16  And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God,
17  saying, "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.
18  The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth."

To put it bluntly, the fire of judgment for the unregenerate never ends (the lake of fire). This is so since they have never suffered through the judgment leading to salvation in this life. For them, the fire is never ending, as their impurities are never ending, and their salvation never comes.

Job 22:
4  Is it for your fear of him that he reproves you and enters into judgment with you?
5  Is not your evil abundant? There is no end to your iniquities.

Rev 21:8  But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

So let us thank God for His judgment and discipline in our lives. He not only makes us fit to be co-workers with Him in his kingdom now (Php4:3), not only makes us a fit temple for Him to dwell in (Eph 2:19-22), but makes us fit to dwell with Him in eternity. (Rev 21:3)

Hebrews 12:
28  Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,
29  for our God is a consuming fire.  

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Jude 1: 3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

The faith we received is complete. It has been delivered to the saints once for all, and for all time. It is the gift of God and comes by hearing the word of God, through the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Eph 2:8-9; Romans 10:17;John 16:13-15

John 19:
30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Hebrews 10:
8 When he said above, "You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law),
9 then he added, "Behold, I have come to do your will." He does away with the first in order to establish the second.
10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.
14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

Christ drank the bitter cup of God’s wrath on our behalf, so that we might drink the sweet wine of the new covenant. That wine, which represents His shed blood, is the last sacrifice. This means that the ceremonial laws of the old covenant find their end in Christ, as the offering of bulls, goats and lambs all find their fulfillment in Christ’s atoning death. Since without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin, and the gentiles were always a part of this covenant, then Christ’s death also fulfills the requirements of the Mosaic system for the salvation of the gentiles. This system was given, (for a time), to the Hebrews (Jews) to be kept as a copy and shadow, i.e. a testimony to the world, for all the elect, Jew or gentile. All is fulfilled in Christ. Truly it is finished.

Luke 22:20; Romans 3:1-2 and 29; Genesis 12:1-3; Romans 4:9-14; Romans 9:22-24; Eph 2:11-22; Hebrews 9:22; Hebrews 10:1-7

Php 2:
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Hebrews 10: 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

Because it is finished, and “the faith” has been delivered once for all to the saints through Christ’s atonement and imputed righteousness, we may now work out ‘from us’ the completeness of what God works ‘into us’. We can never be more saved today than we were yesterday, or will be tomorrow. The saints (sanctified ones) are forever perfected in Christ right now, and ever will be. Therefore our sanctification is not the process of being perfected, (else Christ’s sacrifice is insufficient), it is the evidence (working out), of our perfection in Him.

Gal 5:
1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.
3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law.
4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.
5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
7 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you.
9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is.
11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.
12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

The neo-legalists and judaizers of today preach a process of sanctification by works. Jesus plus a deliverance ceremony; Jesus plus acts of penance (not to be confused with true repentance),Jesus plus holiness teachings; Jesus plus the Mosaic laws. If one enters this religious system of the neo-circumcision, then one is bound by its rules, and falls into working out their own salvation and sanctification. The same goes with men trying to enforce the Law of God on the earth. His predestined wrath is for the lawbreaker. His predestined mercy is for all who are in Christ from before the foundation of the world. Please do not accuse me of preaching antinomian heresy, although that would place me in the same place as Paul, (not a bad place to be).

The leaven which leavens the whole lump is legalism. Beware the leaven of the Pharisees, i.e. all those who search the scriptures and never see Christ and the freedom he has given us. If The Word of God, i.e. the scriptures abide in us, then we know the testimony of the Father re: the Son is true and we come to Him, seeking life.

Those led by the Spirit no longer live under the Law, and most especially under a man made religious system.

Matthew 16:11-12;John 5:37-40; John 6:44-45, 63, and 68-69: Romans 7;Romans 8:1-10;Colossians 2:6-23; Romans 6:1-2

Walk in obedience to the Word of God. The Spirit’s walk is never a journey of legalism. 1 Sam 15:22

Gal 5:
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

John 8:
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,
32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Amen and Amen!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dominion: Part 2

Before we go any further on the subject of dominion, a review of some facts discussed in Part 1 of this study is in order:

1. Dominion was given by God to men, as man and woman. (Genesis 1:26-30)
2. This dominion did not include dominion over one another. This later came about as the result of Adam's fall in Eden and specifically speaks to the relationship of the man and woman; "he shall rule over you" (Gen 3:16)
3. The temptation and fall of man is predicated upon man's desire to be AS God, and not submit as creature to creator, in obedience to God's original decree of dominion given to them.
4. Satan, the serpent, was neither given dominion, nor did he take it from men.
5. Though man still has dominion, it is corrupted, as man must labor to sustain life, and will die anyway to return to earth. The creation is subjected to futility waiting for the appearance of the sons of God in order to be released. Sin and death have entered into creation. Both man, formed from the earth, and the earth itself are cursed, as they are essentially one and the same
6. Christ comes as the last Adam, once and for all, putting to death the sinful, corrupted flesh of man (the sin nature, the first Adam) at the cross, and granting forgiveness of sins for all the elect, i.e. all who will believe in Him and His finished work. He was seen to be the last Adam, i.e. the life giving Spirit, the first fruits of the new creation, upon resurrecting from the dead, proving that He is the son of God. ( 1 Cor 15; Romans 1:1-4)
7. Christ will literally return to rule and reign on the earth, and the saints will rule and reign with Him. (Rev 5:9-14)
8. All in Christ, though looking forward to His return, must walk in obedience, here and now, to the original mandate, to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. (Matthew 28:18-20)
This is NOT accomplished by the enforcement of Mosaic law through the kingdoms of fallen man, which are Babylon, but by the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, through which comes salvation given by grace through faith, to all who are foreknown by Him, from before the foundation of the world.

Revelation 11:15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever."
(Note that kingdom is singular both times it is used here.)

True Godly dominion is restored in Christ alone.

Galatians 3:
26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

Abraham was called out of Babylon as the "model" of all who are elect. He heard the word, believed what he heard, and that belief was accounted to him as righteousness. This was the beginning of God's plan to establish a "new creation".
Abraham was called out of the dispersion/confusion which came about due to man's actions at Babel, where once again humankind desired to rule as God.
Paul puts Abraham, the covenant given to him, his offspring, and the saints existence in Christ, in harmony. In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. The unity found in Christ brings us back to the original dominion given at creation.
All who participate in this unity are children of Abraham. They come out of the corrupt dominion of men and into the Kingdom of God. Abraham was not looking for an earthly domain. He was looking for a city built by God (the New Jerusalem) and not by men (Babel). The Lord will bring that city, His bride, to the new earth, the place He has prepared for her. (Rev 21:1-4)
Paul is adamant throughout Galatians; the new creation does not come by the Law, nor through religious practice, but through God's call.

Galatians 6:15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.

It is necessary to look at Christ and His life, death and resurrection to discern the restoration of God's mandate to man.
First and foremost, the fallen Adamic nature had to be dealt with:

John 12:
31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

John 14:
30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,
31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

John 16:
8 And when he (the Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:
9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;
10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;
11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

Just prior to His crucifixion, Jesus reveals the divine plan.
The question is; who is the ruler of this world?
Going back to the fact that dominion was given to Adam, and was never rescinded; the ruler of THIS world is fallen man, those who are in the first Adam. The ruler of the new creation is Christ, i.e. the last Adam, and all who are in Christ shall rule and reign with Him.
In all three of these passages, the Lord is speaking about His impending crucifixion and death.
He came in the likeness of sinful flesh, (flesh meaning man).
None of the above scripture is speaking of Satan as ruler or prince of this world.
The ruler of this world is judged and cast out, that is put to death. How? When He is lifted up, He will draw all people to Himself. This speaks of the judgment of all of mankind, Christ crucified. (1 Cor 2:2)
Only those who look upon Him and believe will be saved. (John 3:14-21; Numbers 21:8-9)
The ruler of this world is coming, and Jesus goes straight into the “ambush”, for the old creation has nothing on the new. (Acts4:24-28)
The Holy Spirit convicts the world (post-crucifixion) of judgment, because the ruler of this world (man) has been judged.

I believe the same is applied to Paul and his letter to Corinth:

2Cor4: 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Who is the "god of this world" but the one who desires to be God... man himself. Men are blind to the truth that Christ is both God, and the new man, and salvation comes no other way.
Nowhere in scripture can we find Satan attempting to usurp the throne. That has always been man's desire since Eve ate the fruit. Satan is subject to God’s will also. (Job 1: 6-12)
I believe that Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 are among the most abused passages in scripture. They speak of men not the devil. The statue spoken of in Daniel 2 represents the kingdom of man, with the King of Babylon (Babel) always to be the head. The feet of iron and clay show the weak footing that this kingdom stands upon. It is the “heavenly rock: which destroys the statue by striking the feet first, and becomes a great mountain filling the earth with God's glory.
Satan is not a god at all. The “satanic church” began essentially as a strawman, constructed by the Roman Catholic church of the dark ages and medieval times, in an attempt to justify its' dogmas and practices, indeed its’ very existence.
Satan was created to be Satan, the father of all lies, and the accuser of the brothers.
Christ did not come in the likeness of fallen angels. Their judgment was already assured. (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6)

Christ As Last Adam; The New Creation
God has always possessed the knowledge of good and evil, yet He was, is, and always will be, perfect in all His ways.
The One incapable of sin had to take on flesh in order restore the proper order.

Romans 5:19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

The knowledge of good and evil brings death to all, but the Lord who already has that knowledge.

2Corithians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

God's holiness is that separation of Himself from all that is evil and sinful, and nowhere is that difference more apparent than when He hung as the cursed one upon the cross, yet still without blemish in any way. Glory to God, that though He became accursed, He did not return to dust as the first Adam did. (Genesis 3:17; Acts2:22-32 and 13: 32-39)

Psalm 104:24 O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

Through the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil a type of wisdom was gained. The fruit looked good, was good to taste, and provided a wisdom that spelled death for mankind. Such knowledge is meant for God alone.

The tree of life also produced wisdom as fruit.

Proverbs 3:
13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding,
14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.
19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by
20 by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew.

The fruit of the forbidden tree brings death to those who will not acknowledge God, but worship man.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,

The wisdom that brings life begins with acknowledging in worship who the creator is.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

The reverential fear of the Lord is simply acknowledging God as creator and the one who holds all dominion. In granting dominion, He proves all dominion is His. All authority is given to Christ in order that we may establish his kingdom in the earth. It is a kingdom which does not originate in this world, nor does it function as the world does.
Dominion is given not taken. The “promised land” was given to the Hebrews who were to go in and occupy not "take it for God". All is His. All who wish to “seize” dominion prove that they are not of Christ. That is man’s way, not God’s.

Joshua 18:3 So Joshua said to the people of Israel, "How long will you put off going in to take possession of the land, which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you?

Dominion is established only through the gospel of grace, all else is man's works; that is…. hubris.

Jude 1:
24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,
25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dominion: Part 1

Genesis 1:

26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." 29 And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so.

When God created man, male and female, that is after He had made woman out of man, He gave them dominion. Man was made in His image and likeness. Man is not God, but he was given a dominion which displays the glory of God.

In this first passage from Genesis we see that man was given dominion only after the circumstances described in Genesis 2:21-25 occurred. (this directly corresponds to Gen 1:27). God has a will and a purpose, and He intentionally planned the chronology of the events.

Man was given dominion only over the animals, be they birds, fish, reptiles, over every living thing. However, man was not given dominion over man, i.e. in this narrative, woman. The reason being that man was made in God’s image and likeness and in order to accurately portray God’s perfection, man who does not rule over God, must not rule over what is made in God’s image.

Only God holds dominion over men. Indeed He holds dominion over all He created, which is proven by the His giving limited dominion to the first man and woman, made in “His image and likeness” .

They were not God. They are part of creation, the creature not the creator. We can never create ad God does, that is calling something into being where nothing has previously existed. We procreate. We work with what we have been given, be it the sexual union to fill the earth, or the work of our minds and hands to subdue it. Because of all these things, subsequent events would have a catastrophic effect on the entirety of creation.

The Fall

Genesis 3:

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?"

2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden,

3 but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'"

4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die.

5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

The enticement offered by the serpent was half lie, half truth.

The lie being that they would not know death after consuming the fruit. The truth being that they would be like God, in knowing good and evil. (Gen 2:16-17; 3:22-23)

Genesis 3:

14 The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.

15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."

16 To the woman he said, "I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."

17 And to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;

18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.

19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

What is evident here is that man never lost the dominion and mandate that God had given prior to the Fall. The serpent never took dominion from man. In fact, the prophetic judgment of God is that enmity would exist between the woman’s offspring and the serpent’s, and that her offspring would crush the serpent’s head, but at a cost.

This of course points to God in man, the incarnate Christ entering creation to live, die, and rise, for all the saints.

The serpent is told that he will crawl on his belly, eat dust, and that a man will rule over him, crush his head. That is hardly taking or being given dominion.

The woman is told that she and her descendants would produce the Messiah, but that the very act of reproduction would come at the cost of pain and travail. Another consequence of her being seduced by the serpent is that her husband would now “rule over her”. Because of the rebellion of Adam and Eve, wives would submit to their husbands. Remember that dominion over each other was not a part of the original mandate.

Later the apostle Paul would write:

1Timothy 2:

11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness.

12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve;

14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

Adam was given rule over his wife, as he had listened to her and ate the fruit. (she had assumed rule over him)

Adam and had been told to subdue the earth, however the earth was now cursed because of his sin, and from that point on would not be co-operative with his efforts. He would be required to sweat to provide for his family, only to return to the cursed ground after death. Adam being made from the earth is cursed as the earth is.

Romans 8:

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

19 For the creation waits with eager longing 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 will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Truly creation longs for the “sons of God” to be have Godly dominion once again. This only comes through Christ, the last Adam. He alone accomplishes the work of restoring the original dominion given to man.

His followers will fill the earth, subdue it and reign upon it with Him, after he returns as King, Lord, and Adam, the new creation.

I am not preaching “theonomics” or dominion theology here. This has nothing to do with restoring the Mosaic Law, or taking over the current governments to rule under that Law. Recall that in the original creation man did not have dominion over man. Also recall that the only command given by God was to NOT EAT from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

There was no law, nor system of government until after the fall and predominantly after the dispersion at Babel. It has always been an issue of life vs death. Even Moses knew that the Law will only take us as far as the Jordan Joshua (Yeshua) must take us into the land. Deut 30:9-20; Deut 18:15


Matthew 20:

25 But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.

26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,

27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,

28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Unregenerate man is forever cursed to be a god unto himself. The consequences of eating the forbidden fruit is that like God, he knows good and evil, but unlike God, he is part of creation, and is not the creator. Man had attempted to take dominion that was never given to him. So we see the world’s history filled with man’s attempts to rule through, military power, economic enslavement, even through the enforcement of racial. cultural, and religious superiority. Man seeks to ascend to the throne of God. This is Babylon, the kingdom of men. Genesis 11:1-9; Ezekiel 28:2; Isaiah 14:13-14

Again Paul would write:

Romans 1:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,

23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Man worships images of himself, and all the creatures over which he was told to have dominion, i.e. birds animals, and creeping things etc. Man is now bondage to the very things over which he was to rule. There is no difference between dictators or environmental terrorists. Neither care about humanity that was once created in God’s image and likeness, nor those who are now re-created in Christ as God’s image and likeness.

Colossians 1:

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him.

17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,

20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,

22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,

23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Christ is not only the last Adam, He is God in the flesh. He not only reigns with a ”rod of iron” (Rev 12:5; Rev 19:15) ; He will also give the saints, that is, His body, authority and dominion to rule and reign.

Revelation 2:

26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations,

27 and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.

28 And I will give him the morning star.

Revelation 5:

9 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,

10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth."

This will not be seen in its’ fullness until He first returns. The restoration of man is

accomplished only through Him.

In my next post I would like to look at how this dominion is restored in Christ at the cross, and the role of Satan in all of this.

Soli Deo Gloria