In the beginning… (part 3): Taking Dominion, or Not…

#2.3 of Living with Christ as our Source

*** This article is part of a blog series about what it means to live with Christ as our source. You can check out the Introduction to the series by clicking here. ***

Over the last two weeks we have looked briefly at the events leading up to humanity choosing to live from a source other than God. We saw that in the beginning man did not know the difference between right and wrong, only the difference between what God had “said” and “not said.” It was a simple childlike lifestyle that flowed directly from God Himself. We also saw that man has been built not as a self-sustaining being, but rather as a “conduit”, built to live (not independently) but in dependence on an external source. Effectively, Man was designed to live by God’s divine life and so express His nature and character (bear His Image), while at the same time, represent His authority and rule (take dominion).

Now, to understand the significance of this, there is some additional information needed that is not completely plain in the Genesis text. And it has to do with Man’s purpose as expressed in Genesis 1. I will borrow the explanation of this from Milt Rodriguez, an extra-local worker (church planter) that I respect very much. He wrote a blog post called Some thoughts on the Purpose, in which he clearly emphasises a very important part of man’s purpose on the earth.

Dominion

The second part of the Purpose was for man to have dominion over the earth.  This has to do with God’s enemy, satan.  The reason we know this is that the scripture specifically mentions “the creeping things” at the end of verse 26.  And we see in chapter 3 that the enemy comes to Eve as a serpent.  So, man is to have authority (dominion) over all the earth and especially the creeping things.

So we can say that God created man for two reasons; to express and represent.  The image speaks of His expression.  The dominion speaks of His representation.  God wanted man to express His nature and character.  And He also wanted man to represent His authority on the earth, especially over the creeping things (God’s enemy).

In the light of this, can you see the significance of the Woman’s actions? At a time when she is supposed to be “taking authority” over the serpent (a creeping thing), she is having a conversation with it. And not just a conversation, but actually asking it questions and considering what it has to say. That does not seem like “taking Dominion” to me. [We see Jesus treating demons (creeping things) a lot differently. In fact, he never even gave them a chance to speak…(Luke 4:35)]

In this we come to a paradox. Why did the Woman act so unwisely and immaturely in a moment when she should have taken authority? Why did she not take dominion over the creeping thing, God’s enemy, the very thing she had been made to do?

Well, over the last while I have been doing some research on this topic. And I have found some awesome material explaining the whole situation.

  1. The one, is a spoken message by Frank Viola, an extra-local worker (church planter) I have come to love and respect very much over the last year (also a co-worker of Milt Rodriquez).  I will be making it available for download soon…
  2. And the other is a book called The Tree of Life, which is a collection of spoken messages given by a man called Witness Lee (a co-worker of Watchmen Nee). I will be doing an in-depth review on this book in the near future. So be sure to keep an eye out for it.

Taking dominion is something that God designed man to do. But not with his own human authority, but with God’s divine authority. To rule with God’s power over all the creatures of the earth and so represent God as Ruler, King, and Sovereign over everything.

We see this with ambassadors. A South African ambassador living in America carries with him the authority of the South African government and constitution. He has the authority to sign on South Africa’s behalf in all matters of state relating to her. He himself does not have that authority, but he has been chosen as a “vessel” to carry that authority. The authority itself resides in South Africa in the constitutional court and government office, not with him. He is just a “conduit” of that authority in another land.

And it is the same with divine authority, as can be seen in Genesis. Man has no natural authority of his own, hence the ease with which the serpent tricked the Woman. Man must get his “power” and “authority” from somewhere other than himself. And there are only two sources. God, expressed as the Tree of Life, and satan, expressed as the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

From the one comes divine authority that empowers man to take dominion and be an ambassador for God. From the other comes satanic authority that empowers man to “do his own thing” (sin), and be an ambassador for satan (doing ones own thing and yielding to ones own will – the very thing satan was the first to do).

It would be good for us to consider from where we source our authority to think, act, and live every day. Because that will ultimately determine whom we are being an ambassador for and if we are taking dominion, or not…

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You have just finished reading article number 2.3 Living with Christ as our SOURCEIn the beginning… (part 3): Taking Dominion, or Not…  If you wish to leave a comment, please click on the Comment link below. Also, if you have enjoyed it, please consider sharing it by clicking on the relevant links below the post on the blog. And if you missed last weeks post, click on the link just above the comment box below to check it out. Glad to have you aboard!

In the beginning… (part 2): Curiosity killed humanity!

#2.2 of Living with Christ as our Source

*** This article is part of a blog series about what it means to live with Christ as our source. You can check out the Introduction to the series by clicking here. ***

Last week, we saw that in the beginning, Adam and his Wife only knew to live from what God taught and instructed. They were like children depending wholeheartedly on their Father. They did not claim to know “right” from “wrong”, but only knew what God had “said” versus what God had “not said.” In this we see a glimpse of what it means to live from Christ as our Source. It is a shift from trying to live from a place of human understanding to a place where we live by the Word of God. Something that both Adam and his wife were doing quite successfully, until the Woman got into a conversation with the serpent.

As naive as children are, so also was the Woman. Her first mistake was to converse with the serpent. We see this many times in stories of children being upducted. The predators begin “talking” to them and in so doing, lure them away with all kinds of lies. Hence the very famous instruction to all children: “Don’t talk to strangers!” The Woman unfortunately had not gotten this memo, and ended up getting into a seemingly “harmless” converstaion that would ultimately doom the world forever.

Her first mistake and essentially the one that lead to her sin and their fall was “listening” to a different source. Conversing and discussing the ways of life and rules for living with someone other than her creator. She knew what the Lord had said, we see that in the passage in Genesis 3, but she chose to “entertain” the musings and thoughts of someone else other than God. In that moment, she let go of her union with God to “discover” what this serpent might know.

We see this in stories of adultery. Initially, it does not start out as adultery, or even desire, but simply as “curiosity“. The man for example refrains from holding onto the union in His heart with His wife, and kind of, “lets go” of the side railing to put his toes into the water to see what it feels like. To “test” it. He says to himself, “I just want to see what it feels like. It can’t hurt. I’m not doing anything wrong. Besides, I can handle it. I’m not going to stray too far from the edge.” And then we all know what happens. Curiosity turns into a game, and the game turns into desire, and desire turns into… , well you know the story. And soon the man is fully submerged in the waters of adultery, that are flowing harder and stronger down river to his doom.

And it was exactly the same for the Woman. She was “curious.” And her curiosity lead her down a path that we have never fully recovered from.

Now there is nothing wrong with curiosity, in its right place. Just like a child comes running to her dad with something weird in her hand saying “daddy, daddy what is this?”, so too the Woman could have done the same. She could have firstly involved her husband, and then they could have both gone to God and told him what the serpent had said asking “Lord, Lord, what is this that the serpent has said? Is it true?”

But she didn’t. And after she had eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, so did Adam. Without question. He just naively listened to the same nonsense the serpent had told his wife. In that moment, He let go of God as His source, and chose to receive information for life from the serpent via his wife. He too was “curious” of this power that He could have by eating of this tree. And it ended up in tragedy for us all.

And in this my dear brothers and sisters we see a fundamental lesson of living with Christ as our Source. We need to be completely united to Him and Him ALONE. There is no place to be connected to Him and to something else. That something else, will ultimately pull us down and away from God.  We must not even entertain looking at or engaging with anything else other than Christ. Even if that something resembles Christ in some way. If it is not Christ, it is satan. Simple. Just like there were only two sources back then, there are still only two sources today. Christ, accessed by dying to self, and satan, accessed by building up the self.

Lord Jesus Christ. I ask that you will show us what it means to be connected to you completely. What it means to live with you as our only source. Show us the counterfeits in our lives and give us the courage to disconnect from them so that we can be fully reconnected to you and you alone. We want to live out our purpose in spirit and in complete truth.

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You have just finished reading article number 2.2 of Living with Christ as our SOURCEIn the beginning… (part 2): Curiosity killed humanity!  If you wish to leave a comment, please click on the Comment link below. Also, if you have enjoyed it, please consider sharing it by clicking on the relevant links below the post on the blog. And if you missed last weeks post, click on the link just above the comment box to check it out. Glad to have you aboard!