(The dream of Man)
(The Dominion of God)
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Throughout time, most people of the world have had a variety of images and beliefs as to what the earth is or is not.
It was flat, it was round, it was on a shell of a turtle or inside a giant dome. The word “earth,” when heard today, conjures, in the mind of modern man, an image of a small, round, blue and white marble, floating in a sea of celestial black. That blue marble may represent a giant but fragile ecosystem or a convenient planet on which to build thriving metropolises. An individual raised in an agricultural society, existing only in our historical past, might have thought of the earth as the soil that gave his crops and domestic stock, and, therefore, himself, the necessities of life. A member of a more primitive society, living by hunting and gathering, might simply see the earth and all its natural wonders as a total environment supplying him and his family with all the necessities of life. Each viewpoint or vision of earth is designed to support each man’s ideals, hopes, and ambitions.
Heaven, on the other hand, may have an almost ethereal grasp on man’s inner desires and fundamental hopes for his image of reality. “Heaven, in religion, is the place where God, gods, or other spiritual beings dwell, and the place or condition of perfect supernatural happiness for the redeemed in the afterlife. In simple societies, the concept of life after death was substantially that of a shadowy continuation of life on earth. Even in that concept, however, the principle of the necessity for vindication of divine justice was manifested. The general belief of Christians is that,“Their bliss is eternal.” Societies, and the religions they create, have many names for their concepts of heaven. There was Elysium or The Islands of the Blessed of the Greeks and Romans, the seven spheres of the firmament of the later Jewish mystics and Islam, Valhalla of the Germans and Scandinavians, or the state of Nirvana of Buddhists. They all carry the common belief of eternal bliss, peace, and happiness.
The images of heaven portrayed by the early European Renaissance man were cloudy realms filled with harp-playing cherubim and white-robed souls idling away eternity, staring at a glorified God. These images, and their modern-day counterparts, even with an allowance for artistic license, seem to stray from a biblical perception of events in heaven and the deeds of those who live there. Has Heaven always been, and will it always be, a peaceful and bliss-filled retirement community?
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,” (Revelations 12:7)
If there are wars in heaven with soldiers, guards, and an angelic police force, what is the Law that they are enforcing, as they serve God in what might be called mandatory military service?
Order is Heaven’s first law.
If God made man in his own image, then it might be logical that God also made the earth in the image of heaven, and, therefore, the same principles that were applied to the Ten Commandments should also be applied to the Law in Heaven and its realms.
“ Thou shalt have no other gods before me… Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me; “(Ex 20:3,5)
If anyone were to set themselves up as a “ruler” (god) in the LORD’s dominion, where He is rightful Ruler (God), they would be putting themselves before God. That would be a crime against the sovereignty of the LORD. Lucifer set himself over those who would willingly bow down and prostrate themselves before him, thereby denying God as their god in heaven and on earth. Anyone who bows down or serves other gods (rulers) besides the LORD God would be putting other gods before God.
What did Lucifer or the king of Babylon do to get into trouble? Examine:
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken [prostrate] the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:12,14 )
This was the sin of Satan (the adversary) and the breaking of the first command of God, which led to war in the God’s Kingdom. God then brought his forces to do his will and cast out the usurpers.
“Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:15)
According to a common interpretation of this story, there was a war in Heaven, or at least in the Kingdom of God, and God’s servants did battle against a powerful foe, and those who would usurp the lawful authority of God were driven out by a justified force.
Has heaven always been a habitation of peace and tranquility? Has such force come out from God’s Heavenly Kingdom and spread its other-than-peaceful bliss to the inhabitants of earth?
“Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;” (Genesis 19:24)
“And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:” (Exodus 33:2)
“And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders [of Israel, who were] clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.” (1Ch 21:16)
“And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I [be] a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.” (2Ki 1:12)
“They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, [even] the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.” (Isaiah 13:5)
“Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they [were] all dead corpses.” (Isaiah 37:36)
“And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.” (Acts 12:23.)
The angels, who inhabit the realms of God’s Heavenly Kingdom, do seem to be a violent lot from time to time, judging by the quotes above. Are they all standing guard or doing battle or can we find a clue that might show their true nature and purpose and motivation?
“And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite.” (2Sa 24:16)
“And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.” (1Ch 21:27)
It is not violence and war that interests the inhabitants of the Kingdom of God, but loyalty and fidelity to His will. But something more is also evident through a biblical observation of these activities:
“And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.” (Genesis 28:12)
“And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.” (Mt. 28:2)
From Genesis to Revelation, the angels of the LORD are a busy sort. Whether they are slaying or destroying, guarding or guiding, carrying messages, sealing or unsealing, binding or unbinding, the angels of the LORD are serving their master with diligence, industry, and praise.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God...” (Lk 2:13)
The angels of the LORD also interfered with the activities of men:
“And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.” (Numbers 22:23)
The angels battled with their former comrades in heaven and drove them out because they defied the dominion of god:
“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” (Jude 1:6)
“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to hell, and delivered [them] into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” (2 Peter 2:4 )
On earth, the angels, both loyal and fallen, don’t always resort to force. Men have been seduced by Satan, as they are by other men, just as the angels that followed him in heaven were also seduced. So often, the angels only encourage men to choose the way of the LORD and guard against the usurpation’s of Satan and those who serve him and his dark dominion.
“And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.” (Zec 3:1)
Satan, meaning the “adversary,” seems to be the opposing force competing against the Kingdom of Heaven in heaven and on earth. Has the Adversary been trying to establish its own dominion ever since? Has he come to earth to make it his kingdom? Has he found willing allies among men?
“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 fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Ge 1:26)
God,as the creator of heaven and earth, has a natural right to rule heaven and earth. If we continue to accept the Bible as a standard from which to reason, then it should be concluded that man obtained, at least, a legal right to hold dominion over the earth and its creatures from God. As its keeper and steward, the earth was entrusted to man.
“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)
God gave to man a lawful title to the earth and told him to dress it and to keep it. But has he kept it for the service of the LORD? Is man being seduced into giving dominion on earth to the adversaries of God?
The Adversary has been spending thousands of years trying to seduce man into giving him the title to those gifts, given man by God. Satan wants man’s granted dominion and authority over the earth, over man’s labor, his children, and over man’s right to govern himself under the benevolent authority of God.
“Heaven lent you a soul ;earth will lend you a Grave.”
Men have also played this same roll of supplantor, superseding God from His rightful dominion, by placing themselves over other men. “Are men the property of the state? Or are they free souls under God? This same battle continues throughout the world.” Abraham left the authority of the civil State seeking the kingdom of Heaven, refusing accept benefits from such states and bought only land to be buried in.
“Execrable [Accursed] son! so to aspire Above his brethren,
to himself assuming Authority usurp’d, from God not given.
He gave us only over beast, fish and fowl, Dominion absolute;
that right we hold By his donation; but man over men He made not Lord;
such title to himself Reserving, human left from human free.”
In today’s democracies, does not man, in the form of the self-serving mob, have dominion over his brother? By joining a democracy, does man subject himself to the authority of other men? The modern civil churches, embracing government and its benefits, encourage men to bind themselves in the service of governments, with the mob as the new Caesar. Aren’t we to remain subject to the authority of God and His Kingdom? When we give our service by oath to men, are we giving them what should be God’s alone?
“But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.” (2Peter 2:10)
In the above Scripture, the word kuriotes, which is translated as “government,” is more often translated into 'dominion' and comes from kurios, meaning “lord”, and is referring to those who despise, at least, the Lord’s dominion, or all dominion but their own and whatever system of government that will allow them to “follow their pernicious ways.”
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.... The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:” (2Peter 2:1,3..9)
It was said, Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s but our service should be God’s. Is it not a damnable heresy to teach people to covet the benefits of civil society? Should we subject ourselves and our lives to the dominion of man’s government rather than God’s?
“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state.
They forget that the State lives at the expense of everyone.”
“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me;” ( Ex. 20:5)
What else have the religious teachers of today taught from their pulpits concerning the Kingdom of God? Are we fed truth or misled with fables?
Is Heaven our eternal reward for the successful passage of the test and trials of this life on this earth? Is this earthly realm only a divisionary testing field between heaven and hell?
“ And God called the dry [land] Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that [it was] good.” (Genesis 1:10)
Why didn’t he establish His Kingdom on earth? Or did He? Have we been deceived?
“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” (Ge. 3:8)
Adam lived in the presence of the LORD God. God’s Kingdom was in heaven and on earth, but Satan defied and man denied God’s will. Adam followed after the counsel of the wicked and was banished from God’s Kingdom on earth, but still lived on earth.
“Heaven means to be one with God.”
Was God ever going to reestablish his Kingdom on earth? Didn’t He say He would? Has God done His part? Have we done our part? Jesus said that the kingdom would be taken from those who error and given to others who would obey.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His Kingdom, his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6,7)
More than seven-hundred years before Jesus began to set up his Father’s Kingdom on earth, this prophecy foretold His coming. And like the Kingdom of God in Heaven, the Kingdom of God on earth would have its violent and contemptuous foes.
“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:1,2)
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
And was the promise of His Kingdom fulfilled?
“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Matthew 11:12)
Now, two thousand years later, we are told that we are still waiting for the arrival of His Kingdom or that we will only be allowed into the Kingdom upon our death. Jesus proclaimed that God’s Kingdom was at hand. Was he just fooling the people to get their hopes up prematurely?
“Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven… Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Mt. 5:3… Mt 5:10)
He said that the kingdom “is” at hand, not “will be”. He said that He was the God of the living, not the dead. But where is the Kingdom of Heaven? How do we get there? Does it come here? What does it look like?
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in Heaven.” (Matthew. 6:9,10)
Would we recognize the Kingdom of God on earth if we saw it?
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven.” (Matthew. 7:21)
Who has the dominion over the earth and the land and all the gifts God gave man when he placed him upon this earth? Do the governments of the world do as God wants?
“And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” (1 Chronicles 21:1)
“And the devil, taking him 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; and to whomsoever I will I give it.” (Luke 4: 5,6)
Jesus did not take the easy way to gain dominion over the kingdoms of the earth offered to Him by the gods of the kingdoms of world.
“All human joys are swift of wing,
For heaven doth so allot it;
That when you get an easy thing,
You find you haven’t got it.”
We are led and taught to believe that God’s Kingdom is a perpetual welfare state of bliss and apathy-filled with souls who do nothing but soak up eternal pleasures provided by a god of self-indulgence, apathy, and sloth. That is an image painted more appropriately by Satan and the foes of God. God’s Kingdom is one of possession, courage, loyalty, and industry. He created Heaven and earth working six days and resting for one. Did He not create man in his own image?
“And Pilate wrote a title, and put [it] on the cross. And the writing was,
JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” (John 19:19)
If God’s Kingdom is here now, who is the king? Is each man the king of himself or are other men here to exercise authority over us? Is it not established upon the perfect law of liberty?
Jesus is unlike most political leaders and their world governments: the Gentiles, the other Nations. Christ Jesus is not elected to his position of authority nor will he die. He has authority, but he comes as a servant. He lives forever in us on earth. To the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end. His Kingdom is always growing because it includes the realms of both Heaven and earth.
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Matthew. 28:18)
“Liberty is one of the most precious gifts which heaven has bestowed on man; with it we cannot compare the treasures which the earth contains or the sea conceals; for liberty, as honor, we can and ought to risk our lives; and, on the other hand, captivity is the greatest evil that can befall man.”
What do we do to enter His Kingdom on earth? What is the sin that bars us?
“Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous [sins]; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” (Ps 19:13)
Could the great transgression be when we let another have dominion over us and give service in exchange for the ease of granted benefits at our neighbor's expense? Is it not a sin to make another man or institution a ruler over us instead of God? What should we not do so that we may enter the Kingdom of God?
“When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what [is] before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou [be] a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they [are] deceitful meat.” (Pr. 23:1, 3)
Should we not apply for and keep the gifts, gratuities, and benefits of God?
“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)
Not all the captivity of the Roman Empire was by force. Benefits, gratuities, and privileges were granted by contractual submission to Roman authority. If one consented to subjection and tribute, then privileges were granted and bestowed. Even citizenship could be obtained for a price. Where do we find rest from the oppression of this world?
“And to you who are troubled [contracted] rest [tolerable captivity] with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed [ made visible] from heaven with his mighty angels,” (2 Thessalonian 1:7)
If His kingly dominion is here now what is the key that unlocks the door? Will His Kingdom grow as we accept His authority?
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.” (Mt.16:17,19)
The first king was God, the Father of Adam, and all just government authority is based upon the law of Patronus (father) and continued consent. Jesus said: “And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in Heaven.” (Mt. 23:9)
Are we adopted by governments? How do we get adopted as the children of God?
“For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Matthew 12:50 Mr. 3:35)
“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew. 18:3,4)
“Humility, that low, sweet roo, from which all heavenly virtues shoot.”
“...The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. “(Matthew 13:24,25)
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” ( Matthew 13:45,46)
“Courage leads to heaven; fear, to death.”
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt 13:47, 50)
God’s Kingdom is now. In heaven and on earth, He has His servants who he adopts as his children. God entrusted the earth to man and, when he sent His servants, the prophets, they were persecuted and killed. When God sent His Son, they persecuted and killed Him also. But Jesus lives. He is a King now. He is the King of kings. Is He your king or has the “voice of the people” chosen another? Do you want to live under His dominion, accepting His authority and receiving His benefits? Would you rather accept the benefits of others and live under their dominion or God's? Who do you wish to serve God or mammon, Christ or Caesar?
God has given mankind flesh and blood and then entrusted the earth to us and we are to “dress it and keep it” in His service. He gave us wives and husbands to cherish and love, also our children to teach, nourish, and raise in His ways. Men have given the responsibility and authority over God's gifts to other men who know not God. Men have accepted the privileges and protection of those men and their created institutions, selling their birthright in the Kingdom of Heaven for the blessings of the kingdoms of men.
“Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” ( Ps 119:133)
“And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” (Luke 20:25)
“And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” (1 Chronicles 21:1)
“For [the kingdom of heaven is] as a man traveling into a far country, [who] called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey… His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant:.. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed… His lord answered and said unto him, [Thou] wicked and slothful servant, Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and [then] at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.” (Mt 25:14..27)
Men have always had the freewill of choice to follow the ways of the Creator or to establish kingdoms for themselves, such as Cain’s city-state (Enoch), Babylon, Egypt, or Rome’s Empire. Jesus was not talking about just any old kingdom of men, but the good news of the kingdom of heaven, which is translated from ouranos.
Ouranos can have several senses and meanings, “…indeed we have no suitable word to express what the Greeks at first called an ouranos. It will be convenient to use the term “world” for it; …
Ouranos, comes from a root that means “to cover, encompass.” The meaning of ouranos includes the “vaulted expanse of the sky”, from the outer edge of the atmosphere to the center of the earth. The phrase “kingdom of heaven” means the “kingdom of the world”, the “dominion of earth” granted to man from generation to generation.
“He owns the land from the heavens and to the center of the earth.”
The Roman Law, along with many other cultures, believed that, if a man owned the land, he owned it from the sky all the way to its center. Even in American courts, when someone actually owns the land, having more than a mere “legal title”, “the maxim that a man’s land extends to the center of the earth below the surface, and to the skies above, and are absolute in the owner of the land.”
Land owned with a true and actual title by an individual was his realm, his kingdom. In the Aramaic texts, the word malkuthach is translated into “kingdom of heaven”. It actually means “a realm on the earth.”
The bliss of the heavenly kingdom of God is the liberty to do God’s will on earth as it is in Heaven.
“And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”