Whether We Will Pursue Fulfillment of the Dominion Mandate and Great Commission

Whether We Will Pursue Fulfillment of the Dominion Mandate and Great Commission The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

Besides telling them not to eat the fruit of that one certain tree in the garden, we only know of one thing the good Lord told Adam and Eve to do.

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.” 

(Genesis 1:28)

Within the first generation out of Eden, however, one of their sons had murdered the other over, of all things, whose sacrifice had been pleasing to God, and whose hadn’t.

Nevertheless, skipping forward, mankind must have filled the earth at least partially by Noah’s day. Otherwise we presumably wouldn’t read that “the earth was filled with violence,” and that “Yahweh regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.”

These two go together. And insofar as man had filled the earth with violence, he had filled the earth with himself. And insofar as man’s heart was filled with wickedness, he filled the earth with violence accordingly.

Clearly, this was not what God had called His image-bearers to. We have something of a clue of this when we skip forward again, pausing briefly on our way to Abram to note in passing that the Great Deluge and Noah’s Ark are proofs enough that it is not just filling the earth with any manner of people, doing any manner of thing, which God desires.

The Promised Land

So Genesis tells us of God’s covenant established with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Thereafter, we know from Exodus that four centuries of oppression and hard bondage for Jacob’s offspring in Egypt terminated in the Lord’s deliverance through His servant Moses. Then, as the people of Israel are being prepped and trained in the wilderness to take possession of Canaan, we read that they are sternly warned along the following lines.

Take care, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you go, lest it become a snare in your midst. You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods.”

(Exodus 34:12–16)

In what follows, we see that Canaan is a microcosm of what had happened before. It’s a repeat of what had happened throughout the whole earth, prior to that global flood which God saved Noah and his family from.

This land is filled up with people, sure enough. But they worship false gods, and make human sacrifices to them, including the offering up of their own children. And this is precisely why God is dispossessing them of Canaan, and giving the land to His people Israel. That is, this land is filled with violence.

History Rhymes

In our day too, we see peoples whoring after false gods, in lands which are said to have been filled up. And what else but violence do we also see these lands filled up with, when there is no fear of God before their eyes?

Indeed, using sterile euphemisms for mass murder, or else nice-sounding substitutes for sterilization of the masses, suggestions are peddled by outlets like the British periodical ‘New Scientist,’ calling for drastic reductions of perhaps a quarter of the world’s people in the name of ‘equity.’

But sociopaths and serial killers know how to sanitize their crime scenes. And the really clever ones think ahead before doing their evil deeds, on how best to rationalize and justify the cruelty they do to their fellow man.

Every shedder of man’s blood who plans to murder, no matter the scale, must similarly find a way to think of his would-be victims as something other than human, or else fill his heart with hatred for those he would dispose of, like so many unwanted animals, or inanimate objects of wrath.

Thus we find that the father of lies himself fills the heart of murderers, and would-be murderers, with lies.

So also, and of a piece with that, the worship of false gods always invariably leads back to filling the earth with violence, as it was in the days of Noah. For this very reason God forbade His people Israel from intermarriage and making other pacts with the tribes of Canaan, since they were liars, and their hearts were filled with dishonesty, even more than they were filled with violence, as a means to the end of doing violence to their fellow image-bearers.

Verum Liberator

This is how we begin to appreciate why lying lips speak from hearts which are deceitful, and how they are always accompanied by coveting and jealousy and envy, and aspiring to take what rightfully belongs to another, up to and including lives.

Yet we also understand what the conquering of sin and death by Christ Jesus actually was, and what good news it is, for those who believe and are saved by grace through faith. To know such truth is to be set free by it, from what is otherwise a downward spiral into madness and mayhem, where the conclusion must always ultimately be mutual destruction, naked and bloody, in the belly of a fiery Icelandic volcano, like the end of The Northman.

Thus we come to appreciate what we know of as the Great Commission from Christ Jesus as fulfillment in relation to the Dominion Mandate.

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, 

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

(Matthew 28:16-20)

Fulfillment of the Great Commission, then, is how God is also guaranteeing the ultimate fulfillment of His command to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.”

The enemy of our souls is hostile to both ends, and their means, for the same reason, and so always seeks to fill the earth with violence instead.

In Conclusion

Obedience to these commands is ultimately impossible, and our best efforts at accomplishing them unavoidably self-defeating, apart from worship of God Most High, in spirit and in truth.

Only consequently do we offer up our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to Him, which in Christ finds its expression obeying and teaching the nations to obey all that Christ has commanded us.

Will we do this thing? By God’s grace, yes. And God Himself will safeguard the success of these endeavors, and bless them, no matter what the nations in our midst, who follow after other gods, might scheme or aspire to the contrary.

Yet even as we do, we must be wise as serpents, realizing there are others who work at cross purposes to us. Some of these are human agents, both impressive and imposing, well-dressed and soft-spoken, yet hard and cruel as iron beneath a velvet exterior. Animating their imaginations, however, are others, those same false gods of the nations who God drove out of Canaan, and the gods of more nations besides.

This is why Peter tells us to be sober and vigilant.

Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

(1 Peter 5:8)

This is also why Paul explained to the Christians in Ephesus the need for putting on the whole armor of God.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

(Ephesians 6:12)

That is to say, we do not despair, nor mourn as those who have no hope, nor live in fear of men. Rather, we adopt a ready stance, dressed for battle, intent on obeying God.

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