Understanding the dominion mandate

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If you read the story of creation from the beginning, you will realize that before the creation of man, God had been busy for five days commanding things to existence. The Bible records that He created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. He began to command things to existence. First, it was light. He looked and saw that the light was good and He divided it from darkness. He called the light day, and the darkness He called night. This was the first day. Next, He commanded a firmament in the midst of waters to divide the waters from the waters, and the sky was created, the second day. He continued to command things to existence as He wanted them to be and as He commanded, they were. The third day, God created the earth and seas. Then He commanded the earth to produce all kinds of plants, those that bear fruits and those that bear grains and it was so. On the fourth day, He created the sun, the moon and the stars. On the fifth day, all living creatures were created including birds of the air, great sea monsters and all kinds of creatures that live in the water. God blessed them and commanded them to reproduce, to be fruitful and to increase in number. He also commanded the earth to produce all kinds of animal life: domestic, and wild, large and small, and it was done.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” That is according to the book of Genesis chapter 1 verse 26-28.

From this scripture, we can see that God was about to create man, but He was not going to command him to existence like the rest of the creation. First of all we can see that He involved the Son and the Holy Spirit. This should tell us that man was not going to be like any other creature. He was creating man in His own image and likeness which means that he was not going to be in the class of plants or animals. He was going to be in the “god class” foreseeing everything else that God had made. He was going to be in charge. It also means that man was going to possess or rather, to have the spiritual nature and characteristics of God. Not only that, he was going to be a reflection of God’s spiritual qualities.

Man was designed to be like, act like, and function like the Creator. In essence, God created man from his own substance and released him from His own Spirit, and therefore, as far as species go, man is in the “god class” in the sense that he is considered God’s “son” or “offspring.” That’s why the book of Psalm chapter 82 verse 6 says; I said, “You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High.” This means that Adam was created “similar” or “comparable” to God. He was very much like God. He resembled God. He had the nature of God. He carried the DNA of God. He came from God, and therefore, His source was and is God.

But why did God create man this way? His reason was for the man to have dominion as recorded in the scripture we have read in Genesis 1:26-28. Dominion is translated from the Hebrew word “radah” which means “to rule; to tread down; to manage or reign from a position of sovereignty.” It also means: “to govern, to rule or control by superior authority and power; to exert an overwhelming guiding influence over something or someone.” To “rule” is to exercise control or authority over something or someone.” The word “subdue” is translated from the Hebrew word “Kabas” which means; “to bring into subjection; to dominate” suggesting that whatever is being subdued is not willing to submit. This implies that the creation was unwilling to submit to man’s leading and therefore man would have to bring creation into order by exerting his strength. He would have to use his God given authority to govern it and bring it under his control.

Look at what the Psalmist says in Psalm chapter 8 verse 4-8; What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen— Even the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas

What the Psalmist is telling us here is that man was made just a little lower than God, and he was crowned with the glory of God.

In the beginning, man was covered and clothed with the glory of God. That is why nakedness was not an issue to man before he fell. Man was the carrier of the glory of God here on earth. He was in charge and he represented God on earth with full authority. One major reason why he was derived out of God’s own nature, created in His own image and likeness was so that the creation would see God when it saw him. This was one of the ways he could accurately represent God. They were so in sync, or in other words of one mind, that when God brought the animals and birds to see what Adam would name them, he named them accurately.

Their names were in the mind of God. The only thing that Adam did was to download them and name the birds and the animals. The primary purpose for the creation of man therefore was dominion. He was created to rule the earth; to be God’s manager on earth. He was God’s steward, mediator or go-between. He was the representative of God on earth. The plan of God for humanity was to share in His dominion. God dominates heaven while man dominates the earth. God has already set standards for all His creation, including you, and anything that falls below those standards is not pleasing to Him. He created man to maintain those standards here on earth. This is your greatest responsibility. You are created to maintain God’s rulership standards on earth and to ensure that the earth looks just like heaven. Whatever God intended for the first man applies to all human beings.

The idea of dominion is like that of colonization which is a process by which a central system of power dominates the surrounding land and its components. To “colonize” is to ‘send people to live in and govern another country’. It is also to send settlers to a place and establish political control over it. Based on these definitions, we can be justified to say that man was created for a purpose of ‘colonizing’ the earth, which is also “governing and establishing control over it”. Those who are sent for a purpose of colonizing a place leave their land and form a new land settlement subject to, or connected with their parent nation.

It means that they bring in their culture. Culture is defined as “the beliefs, values, behavior and material objects that constitute a people’s way of life.” This means that they teach those they colonize their beliefs, values and behavior and most importantly, culture. In simple terms they influence them to be and act like them. The purpose of colonization is to transform the area being colonized to be just like the central government. God’s desire is to impact the earth with the kingdom heaven. Since He could not use plants, animals or fish to accomplish this plan, He created man. And so as we have already seen, the intention of God was for the man to rule the earth with the kingdom of heaven or in other words, to colonize the earth with the kingdom of heaven. The purpose of colonization is to extend culture. Culture is the manifestation of a country and it is with the citizens of that particular country.

Man is a citizen of heaven according to the book of Philippians chapter 3 verse 19 and 20;

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

A Citizen is a legal person; it is a description given to a person who belongs to a state. A citizen is a property of a state, country or kingdom. You, as a person, must understand that you are not your own, you belong to the place where you are from. Our citizenship is not on earth even though we live and operate on earth. We have been deployed from heaven to earth for a specific assignment. As a citizen of heaven therefore, man is a carrier of the culture of heaven. The purpose of his creation was to seek the interests of heaven and influence the territory, which is the earth, for heaven or on God’s behalf.

The foundation for appreciating God’s creative motivation is to understand that His intention was to actually share His governing authority with His children by extending His invisible heavenly kingdom to a visible earthly realm for the purpose of colonizing that domain to be like heaven. Your reason for creation is to be an instrument of God in accomplishing this plan.

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