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#280 Kingdom: Problems of Dominion

God’s people ARE His Kingdom. His rulership, sovereignty and dominion are over His people. If God can’t rule His own people whom can He rule”

Psalms 115:16 The heavens are the heavens of the LORD; But the earth He has given to the sons of men.

A king has dominion over a specified area. For example; the king of Assyria has dominion over that country from border to boarder. The king of Babylon has dominion over Babylon but not over Assyria. Satan has dominion over the kingdom of darkness but no dominion over the Kingdom of Light. The limit of a certain territory is the limits of the king’s authority and dominion. Within that dominion all the wealth and resources are at his disposal. The whole of everything within his territory is his to control. While Satan has dominion over the realms of darkness he has no authority or dominion over the Kingdom of Light. In fact the Kingdom of Light is designed to displace the kingdom of darkness by leading those who are in darkness to the Kingdom of Light.

Acts 26: 16] `But arise, and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; [17] delivering you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, [18] to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’

The earth’s experience with earthly kings like Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro shows the higher the character and integrity of the king the more prosperous the country. The more corrupt the king the more oppressed the people are under that dominion.

It is for that reason that the very best possible conditions that a person can live is under the Kingdom government of God. When He alone is King no one can improve upon the conditions of the people under His dominion.

Psalms 95: 3] For the LORD is a great God, And a great King above all gods, [4] In whose hand are the depths of the earth; The peaks of the mountains are His also. [5] The sea is His, for it was He who made it; And His hands formed the dry land.

The earth is the realm of man’s rulership and sovereignty. God rules over heaven, the universe and over all that He created. But God created the earth for man to practice on and learn how to rule in the same character as Jesus Christ. God never gave up His sovereignty over mankind. Man was never given dominion over himself or over other men, just over all the things that moved upon the earth, the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky and over all the earth. Every man is to be under the direct authority and dominion of God and not under the dominion of another man. Every man was to be under the direct rulership and sovereignty of God. God’s plan was for He, Himself, to rule over Israel but they insisted upon having a king like other nations. God said they had rejected Him as their (sovereign)- King. Man was created to be God’s representative government upon this earth but always under God’s sovereignty. In other words, Jesus is the King of all kings and has been given all authority over heaven and earth. If man is given any authority it must be under the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. The other picture we are given is “Jesus is the Head of His body.” The Head has sovereignty over the body!

Before man rejected the sovereignty of God in the Garden in Eden he had dominion under God’s authority and sovereignty. However, in Genesis 3 man was deceived into independence from God and set out to govern himself. Man lost his sovereignty over everything but not because God took it away. It was because man came out from under the sovereignty of God and lost the source of his own sovereignty. Man only had authority, dominion, sovereignty under God’s absolute sovereignty. Without God’s sovereignty, man had no sovereignty because man only had delegated authority and nothing of his own. Without God man could do nothing.

God is the absolute King over all of His creation but He has made man king over the earth. Man has the freedom to set up governments upon the earth but every government must be established by God and submit to His authority, power and dominion. The reason that human governments are so dangerous is because the head man begins to rule over people rather than lead people by his leadership- as their servant! Ministry then is bringing men and women under the Sovereignty of Christ. This, I assume, happens at the Consecration Offering.

The earth is under God’s government, He is the only King over mankind. Man is king or sovereign over the things and animals and the devil but he cannot be king over men. Men who are servants may lead other men but he cannot rule over them as their sovereign lord. This is called “lording it over the flock of God.” In the Kingdom ONLY servants who are leaders have authority within the church. Unfortunately, pastors haven’t understood the difference between leading the church as the servant of the church and (lording it over) ruling over the church. One is leadership and the other is dominion or domination.

God has never given us “dominion over the church.” Jesus Christ is the sovereign Head of the church and there is NO other. No pastor has been assigned “headship” to lord his authority over the church. That is why ONLY servants can lead in the Kingdom church. If we are honest with ourselves we will recognize that there are not many Kingdom churches out there. The first priority for the “leaders” in this next “Kingdom restoration” is to resign as king and abdicate their throne. In God’s wisdom He never gave the priests the right to rule over men. God separated the priesthood from the position of king and never permitted priests to rule. This is the true separation of church and state. Religious rule soon becomes corrupt as we see in the dark ages with the Catholic Church. It is ONLY under the Kingdom dominion of Christ that the king / priesthood after the order of Melchizedek can be restored.

My opinion is that pastor’s that rule after the principle of fallen man will seek to take dominion over other men and to lord it over them. Those who have a “lording over” attitude seldom have authority over the devil or over things on the earth. That pastor’s rulership and sovereignty has been corrupted and mis-directed by the desire for personal power and headship.

Therefore, God must crush that fallen nature out of His saints that He is drawing into His Kingdom government. Man feels disenfranchised unless he has the opportunity to rule over something. If he is not ruling over the devil and things and animals he will start ruling over his wife and begin to abuse her with his misdirected authority. He may begin to “rule over people in the work place” out of frustration. If he is a pastor he will rule over the church. He can’t lead as a servant because his only understanding is about ruling and controlling. Of course that desire to rule was built into man at creation and every person has it, legitimately. The problem, is that this desire has been corrupted by the fall and influenced by Satan so the desire is now to rule over men instead of over the dominion that was assigned by God.

It is clear that this “theory” is not fantasy because we see this testimony in church after church In the natural we see the problems arise when human governments are set up by unredeemed, unregenerate, selfish and self-serving people rule. Regardless of how “idealistic” these governments begin, it soon turns into something far less and many times becomes corrupt.

The “idealism” of communism is where the government is by the people and everyone shares and shares alike and all work toward one goal. Unfortunately, we soon find that some are more equal than others and a system of human politics and government replaces the idealism and oppression results.

In the early church everyone held everything in common and no one claimed anything as their own. They willingly shared what they had. This is the basic idealism of the Kingdom manifest. This “idealism” only works as long as God is the only King and everything proceeds from Him and His Government. We don’t know what the spiritual condition of the “leaders” in the first church was or how they handled “being in charge” but we see an attitude developing.

Acts 6:1 Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. [2] And the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. [3] “But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.

Jesus warned that the greatest leaders would be those who humbled themselves to serve. Of course we have heard many sermons about delegating authority so the leaders may not neglect the word of God. In actual experience today we see that the “leaders” are also neglecting the word of God and are not serving tables either.

We may begin our understanding of the Kingdom as God’s ideal, which it certainly is, but it only works when men who are in charge on earth embody the character and attitudes of Christ. The discouragement comes when men who have many defects in their character begin to “lord it over the flock of God”and yet speak about the Kingdom. The outer defects may seem the most important but the inner attitudes, inner defects, the motives, ambitions and the hidden intentions of the heart are what God is looking for.

It is for that reason that all who aspire to achieve the Kingdom must go through rigorous training and discipleship and discipline in order to share in His Holiness. There must be a corporate group that achieve to that standard of Kingdom Life. This is because His Kingdom will be established over every square foot of the surface of the earth. It is my opinion that the physical world will be under the Government of God that will be administrated by a spiritual leadership who are perfected as “servants.”

This dispensation of the church is for our apprenticeship training for the government of the earth during the millennium. In addition to that “assignment” there is the eternal Kingdom. This IS the time that God has given us opportunity to be trained and changed and perfected for His eternal purpose. God may give us certain “assemblies” as training ground for “leaders” to be king / priests after the order of Melchizedek. If we can’t develop a Kingdom character and servant-hood during this time period we may become cast-a-ways or suffer eternal loss.

This is not about “salvation” in the popular thought but about the Kingdom of God and about fulfilling our commission given in Genesis 1 to rule over the earth and the things upon it. God’s Kingdom government will be over ALL the works of His hands. That includes the people on the New Earth. Therefore, the Kingdom Leaders will have been cleansed of all their fallen characteristics inherited from Adam. The natural man will never rule. If we save the old life we will certainly lose it but if we lose it now we will find the Zoe-Life eternal. Those who rule will do it out of His Zoe -Life.

Ruling over people or leading people as servants is just part of our testing to see what sort of life is within us. God already knows but He gives us the opportunity to discover some of the defects and surrender them to God for removal. If these defects in our inner life are manifested as “lording it over the flock” we must repent or we are in danger of being “castaway as far as the Kingdom is concerned..”

The common viewpoint of the government of the church has been seen from the viewpoint of the church that has been developed from the viewpoint of man. If we look at “government” from the viewpoint of the church it looks very much different than if we look at government from the viewpoint of the Kingdom. From the viewpoint of the church the one who has the most zeal begins the church and assumes authority and establishes the government. He may appoint “elders” who must function under His authority and direction. That system has served the church for many generations.

However, from the viewpoint of the Kingdom these “leaders” may be rejected by God because they “lord it over the flock.” They may not even have been assigned that position by God and may not have been dealt with by God to develop the character of a pastor. This is also true of all the five ministries. From the viewpoint of the church these are anointed men of God who have gifts on every finger.

Mat 7: 21] “Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. [22] “Many will say to Me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ [23] “And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

From the viewpoint of the Kingdom these men may be rejected by the Lord as “lawless.” The point is this; Everything looks different from the viewpoint of the Kingdom. Ministry is only valid when it is under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and under the sovereignty of God. We have accepted so much in the church that God would certainly reject from the Kingdom. Fruit from the viewpoint of the Kingdom is much different than fruit from the viewpoint of the church. If a person is faithful in his attendance, doesn’t cause trouble and pays his tithes he is said to be a fruitful member. He is bearing fruit for the church! Elders and Deacons must measure up to certain standards to be accepted by the church. However, these same ones may be rejected from the Kingdom because they don’t measure up to the Kingdom standards.

1Tim 3:1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. [2] An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, [3] not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money. [4] He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity [5] (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?); [6] and not a new convert, lest he become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. [7] And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. [8] Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, [9] but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. [10] And let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. [11] Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. [12] Let deacons be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. [13] For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

These seems to be adequate standards and of a character sufficient for the church. However, we must remember these “offices” are still just a training ground for the Kingdom. These are good qualities but may not be acceptable in the Kingdom simply because they don’t measure to the standards required by the Kingdom. Still, these are presented as a “beginning place” and not as the final perfection required by the Kingdom.

1Cor 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. [25] And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. [26] Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; [27] but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.

Now we need to ask; Disqualified from what? From the ministry? From the church? From heaven? Maybe from the Kingdom? If Paul could be disqualified what could be our destiny? This points out the seriousness of the race set before us. This casual attitude in the church must be arrested before we can lead people into the Kingdom demands. Paul obviously had some revelation about the final requirements at the end of the race.

Jesus is the King of kings within the church but from the viewpoint of the Kingdom we are not just called to be “kings” but “a Kingdom of priests.” Therefore, this is not just about “ruling as kings” but is about standing before God as “priests.” If we understood this from 2 Chronicles 29:11 it would be more complete. [11] “My sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you (1) to stand before Him, (2) to minister to Him, and (4) to be His ministers and (3) burn incense.” If this IS the picture for us then standing before the Lord, ministering to the Lord and burning Incense is preparation for being His ministers. Then ruling follows our ministry to the Lord which keeps “ruling” within the Kingdom of God and His character. In other words “beholding Him we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory.”

Rev 2: 26] `And he who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO him I will give authority over the NATIONS; [27] AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father;

In certain cases it will be necessary to “rule with an iron rod” but that “ministry” can only be given to those who have themselves been broken to small pieces by the hand of God. This cannot be a tyrannical rulership but an authority out of the character and Life of Christ. This indicates that the Kingdom government will not be sentimental but out of absolute authority of the great King. He must rule until every enemy is put under His feet. Then He will turn this Kingdom over to the Father

1 Cor 15:22] For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. [23] But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, [24] then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. [25] For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. .

1 Cor 15: 28] And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that He might be all in all.