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The Subdue and Rule Mandate, Final Thoughts


HighBeamMinistry.com

“God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.’” (Genesis 1:28)


“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35)


It’s been quite the journey through our King’s Subdue and Rule Mandate, hasn’t it? It’s been almost 25 years of journeying for me as I’ve mulled and wrestled with the Mandate and the revelation that people were never meant to subdue and rule other people.


That revelation explains a lot!


It helped me understand more about my relationship with my Heavenly Father as the King of my life, even though I still struggle with the whole obedience thing. Through my research, I saw humanity’s creation, Fall, redemption, and future restoration through Jesus’s sacrificial work in a bright new light.


I became more aware of how Subdue and Rule and its evil twin, Conquer and Dominate, continue to influence human relationships and infuse every aspect of life immensely. I also came to deeply appreciate how every part of my life was driven to bring the world around me under control and maintain that control. I finally realized I wasn’t a crazy, obsessive-compulsive control freak.


And I was incredibly humbled because I saw in greater detail why you and I were created and our loving Heavenly Father’s grand plan for us. The great news is it’s not over. Eternity awaits!


Becoming aware of and understanding God’s Subdue and Rule Mandate – the drive to take charge of my personal world and to improve and maintain it – has brought me great joy as I went about my seemingly mundane daily activities. Everything I did had meaning and purpose.


Suddenly, doing the laundry, cleaning the house, painting a bedroom, hanging a picture, taking out the trash, repotting orchids, creating content for my teaching ministry, taking the car in for repairs, helping others in ministry activities, helping others in their work and projects, competing in sports and games, organizing, arranging, creating, shaping, deconstructing, purposing, and repurposing – all of it related in some way to my drive to subdue and rule everything around me.


I even realized exercise was part of subduing and ruling because I was caring for the body God created for me from the dust of the earth, the very stuff of creation over which I was commissioned to rule.


Understanding God’s Subdue and Rule Mandate helped me learn how to relate to others and improve. That understanding helps me interact with others and figures directly into husband-wife, parent-child, sibling-sibling, employer-employee, and church leadership-member relationships.


I now see that God’s goal for humanity is not for us to develop domineering hierarchies but to build shoulder-to-shoulder cooperation with each person doing their part. As for leadership, whether in a church, business, community, political, or family, leading was never supposed to be an exercise in lording over, but strong servant leadership that supports a group activity, expanding its influence and effect outwardly.


So, let me summarize. God designed us to act as His proxies in His newly-formed creation, the earth. He placed us in a home, Eden, from whence He told us to bring the untamed part of creation outside Eden’s boundaries under control and maintain it for Him. Our dominion mandate extended to creation only and was never meant to capture and control other people. Instead, our King tasked us to work side by side under His mandate and watchful eye, equipped with His authority and power, to fulfill our calling while working just like He would according to His nature and will.


However, we rebelled. But our rebellion didn’t nullify our God-given commission. Armed with the desire to exercise dominion, we expanded the scope of our control to include the rest of humanity. From Genesis 3 onward, humanity’s history is one of Conquering and Dominating everything, especially other people we now perceive as competitors or threats to our personal domains.


On one hand, this is usually limited to the tiny circle of our lives. On the other hand, some very gifted people have parlayed Conquer and Dominate into empires, using warfare to force as many people as possible into compliance or die – the ultimate Conquer and Dominate tactic.


But thankfully, even before He created everything, our King saw this all coming. He prepared a restoration plan that would strike at the core of the problem. Rather than remove our Subdue and Rule Mandate (which our King wouldn’t because it’s embedded in us and linked to our reproduction drive), He chose to remove our fallen, rebellious nature. Through Jesus’ work on the cross that removed the punishment for our sins, our Heavenly Father dispatched His Holy Spirit to 1) change our nature back to the way He created it, 2) give us the heart (the desire and motivation) to want to follow Him per His instructions, and 3) empower us to resist the temptation to Conquer and Dominate others while continuing with our world-shaping work. One day, our King will complete His work, and the world will be repaired and function at the “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21), just as designed initially.


But at present, we live in that “now and not yet” state.


For most of the world, it’s business as usual. You know, people wrestling for the advantage over others, insider trading, unfair competition, political maneuvering, education indoctrination, open warfare, and lying, cheating, and stealing to get ahead. You know the drill.


But for God’s people, and by that I’m referring specifically to born-again, transformed Spirit-inhabited believers, we’re in the “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2) process to retrain us so we can begin living right now for how we all will be living in God’s restored creation.


So, what should we do now that we know about our baseline wiring?


How do we Subdue and Rule cooperatively under our King?


Above all, we must recognize that a fundamental change has finally happened millennia after humanity’s Fall. In the beginning, there was only one God-ordained hierarchy. God was at the top, humanity under Him, and the rest of creation at the bottom. That’s it—a pretty simple pyramid.


Now that Jesus has completed His work as the God-man, the Father has elevated and placed Jesus between Himself and humanity. This divine insertion is profound because only Jesus qualifies for that specific position between God and humanity. As a man, Jesus submits Himself to His Father as the preeminent and supreme Viceregent over all of God’s creation. But as God, only Jesus has the right to subdue and rule human beings. From that position, Jesus will rule and reign over His Father’s world until all of His Father’s purposes and prophecies are fulfilled. Once that happens, Jesus will turn all dominion over to His Father to rule over forever.


As Paul reveals, “For Christ must reign [as King] until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be abolished and put to an end is death. For He (the Father) has put all things in subjection under His (Christ’s) feet. But when He says, ‘All things have been put in subjection [under Christ],’ it is clear that He (the Father) who put all things in subjection to Him (Christ) is excepted [since the Father is not in subjection to His own Son]. However, when all things are subjected to Him (Christ), then the Son Himself will also be subjected to the One (the Father) who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all [manifesting His glory without any opposition, the supreme indwelling and controlling factor of life].” (1 Corinthians 15:25-28, Amplified Bible)


Think about it. Jesus is the King believers serve now, and He’s their Elder Brother alongside whom they will rule the world (Revelation 5:10, 20:6, 22:5). Wow, mind blown! So, how do we get to that point?


Start a relationship with your Creator and King.


It all started in the beginning when God created us to be His children and His servants. Jesus made it possible to return to that family relationship that humanity threw off when we sold our souls to Satan.


Subdue and Rule yourself first.


Next, we need to realign ourselves to God’s nature and will. Remember, we were made from the dust of the earth. Therefore, the creation we need to Subdue and Rule first and foremost is ourselves. Our spirits may be made new, but our minds need to be whipped into shape to conform to Jesus’ example. We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit to get our stinkin’ thinkin’ lined up with God’s Word, which reveals our King’s will.


We must also cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He grows the fruit of the Spirit in us (Galatians 5:22-23), particularly self-control! Yes, it’s no accident that self-control is on the fruit of the Spirit character list because self-control is at the heart of the Subdue and Rule Mandate. In fact, all the fruit of the Spirit are God’s character traits needed to Subdue and Rule as Jesus modeled.


There you have it. Once we’re redeemed (restored to our King’s family), we Subdue and Rule ourselves under the Spirit’s teaching and power to act according to our King’s nature and will as we were designed to do.


Maintain your relationship with your Creator and King.


According to our Subdue and Rule Mandate, we’re not only supposed to bring things into submission (kavash, control), we’re to keep those things under control (radah, rule). So, not only will our King bring us into submission to Him, but He desires that we remain submitted to Him. Our part is to do the same for ourselves. After salvation, we’re to take control of our lives in concert with the Holy Spirit and maintain control. We’re to work on our minds and bodies, making them submit to God and keeping them in line. And yes, it’s a process. A very frustrating process at times. Learning how to Subdue and Rule ourselves is called discipleship, and no believer gets a pass.


When you swear allegiance to God through Jesus, congratulations, you’re automatically signed up for discipleship! That’s part of the deal. “Whoever does not bear his own cross (i.e., deny one’s self – subdue and rule) and come after me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27). To say you’re a Christian but refuse to follow Jesus makes you a disobedient disciple or an outright liar.


Discipleship is a life-long practice, hopefully with ongoing improvement. But isn’t that just like subduing and ruling the earth? It’s a process of improvement that will only be finished when Jesus returns. The same is true for every disciple, either at death or if we’re blessed when our King returns, and we don’t experience physical death (1 Corinthians 15:51-55).


In the meantime, we must not only work on/cultivate ourselves as Adam worked/cultivated the Garden of Eden, but we must also watch/guard against corruption ourselves, which Adam didn’t do in Eden (Genesis 3:1). When the serpent started enticing Eve, Adam should have moved between the two and stepped on the serpent’s head, destroying it. Thankfully, Jesus did that just as His Father promised (Genesis 3:15; Colossians 2:15; Revelation 20:10) (thegospelcoalition.org).


How, then, should we live in a Conquer and Dominate world?


Relative to the unsaved world, we’re in a challenging position. The world system knows only Conquer and Dominate. It’s the world’s default setting. How does the world function? People sinfully and selfishly work to control everything they can and keep it locked down. To one degree or another, everybody wants to rule the world. (Now you’re thinking of the Tears For Fears song, Everybody Wants To Rule The World [Youtube.com/watch?v=aGCdLKXNF3w], aren’t you? You’re welcome.)


In case you’re wondering what the song means, “The song, in a nutshell, is about how political leaders around the world all want more and more power… ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ is about how both superpowers – the capitalist West and communist Eastern Bloc – have got it wrong. In their struggle for power, to outdo the other side and win the ‘world,’ they have created a nightmare dystopian world of industrial (or post-industrial) misery and decay… We are, the title suggests, all complicit. It’s not just about the political leaders, but about individuals who want more and more… In the last analysis, its anthemic melody, strident electric guitars, and ‘big’ 80s sound tell only part of the story. These are all there to support the even bigger theme of the song, which is the desire or urge within all of us to be winning, to be ‘on top,’ regardless of what that might mean for those who are on the bottom” (interestingliterature.com).


As Christians, we should resist falling into Conquer and Dominate mode not only because that’s what Jesus expects but because the world will see Jesus when we model His character and teachings by subduing and ruling with His love and grace in submission to our King and Creator.


We should also resist anyone who tries to get between us and our Lord. Our attitude should be, “You will not turn me from my King nor get between Him and me.” Biblically, the other person should stand beside us as we stand before God. But alas, the world doesn’t understand that.


Therefore, beware of anyone trying to infringe God’s limits on your life, encroach on His right to sovereign rule over you, or usurp His place in your life. Infringe means “To transgress or exceed the limits of; violate.” Encroach means “To take another’s possessions or rights gradually or stealthily.” Usurp means “To seize another’s place, authority, or possession wrongfully.”


In other words, a group of people or a person may use various maneuvers to Conquer and Dominate you that will exceed God’s righteous limits, take anything that rightfully belongs to you, or take God’s rightful place, authority, or ownership over your life. If so, lovingly, graciously, and firmly resist. While there are proper lines of authority to keep societies working smoothly and cooperatively, domination-oriented people often look for opportunities to cross the line to establish as much control as they can grab.


As for us Christians, we need God’s word, especially Jesus’ teachings, to know the limits of our God-given authority and power concerning other people.


Generally speaking, we should never try to come between God and one of His children unless it’s for righteous reasons such as personal safety.


We should never take the attitude that we somehow own another person or have the right to take God’s place in their lives, except when it comes to carrying out the proper stewardship of children as we raise them. Only the Creator “owns” people, based on the principle “we own that which we create,” and what we create is an extension of ourselves. Mull that one over concerning God as our Creator and Father.


So, we should never assume the right to rule anyone’s life. Guide, give advice, or counsel? Yes. But never take control unless it’s a case where the person has no control or is out of control.


Please understand that I’m speaking in general terms here. God’s word and wisdom are best for specific cases.


What about Subdue and Rule within the Body of Christ, i.e., God’s Kingdom on earth within His people?


Speaking of God’s word and wisdom, here are some thoughts regarding how we, as the Body of Christ, should exercise our Subdue and Rule Mandate together per the Lord’s will and example. These godly characteristics and actions are potent antidotes to the Conquer and Dominate poison.


Love. We can’t Conquer and Dominate other people and claim that we love them, for love does no harm. Conquer and Dominate inherently violate another person’s world and inevitably result in harm. Subdue and Rule takes another’s personhood into account as an expression of love so they aren’t harmed as we carry out our tasks. The original command, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” came from Leviticus 19:18 and is set amongst the other commands against harming another person. Therefore, the question, “Is what I’m doing harming that other person?” should be first and foremost in our minds.


Furthermore, in Hebraic thinking, love is more of a verb than a noun. To love another is to be loving to them. Love means little to nothing if it isn’t an action. In my opinion, static love is just an emotion known only to the individual and doesn’t affect them unless that feeling of love motivates them to do something loving. This is why Paul emphasized love when he wrote his first letter to the Corinthians. Much of what the congregation was wrestling with was easily solved if they were a bunch of disciples loving each other instead of a congregation wracked by Conquer and Dominate infighting.


When we Christians are being loving to one another, we shine the Gospel light brightest and reveal Jesus clearest because “God is love,” and those who don’t love don’t know God (1 John 4:8). That’s why Jesus taught us “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). Being loving proves we know the God-man Jesus. Therefore, everything we do must be immersed and soaked with love. Otherwise, what good is it? So, when we find ourselves working alongside others in Jesus’ community, being loving should be our hallmark.


Humility. Per gotquestions.org, the Greek word for humility means “lowliness of mind” and is an inward attitude rather than an outward display (gotquestions.org). We can try to Subdue and Rule our personal worlds, but if it’s only with the outward display of humility and not a part of our inward relationship with Jesus, we can easily fall into Conquer and Dominate. We will inevitably reveal our real attitude because “each tree is known by its own fruit” (Luke 6:44), and the fruit is our outward actions springing forth from inward attitudes.


A crucial part of discipleship is cultivating genuine humility within. When we walk in humility, it serves as a Conquer and Dominate antidote. Paul told the Philippians, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). Humility is the source from which another antidote to Conquer and Dominate flows – mutual submission.


Mutual submission. Submission means “to place or arrange under; to subordinate” (Mounce Greek Dictionary), and “It is actually a military term, and in the military there is a strong sense of submitting to someone of higher rank” (bibletools.org). In other words, submission requires humility to willingly place ourselves alongside or under another person in deference to them as an expression of love (being loving).


Humility starts with our relationship with God. When He lovingly reveals our need for forgiveness and salvation, we respond to our Heavenly Father’s call and submit to Him out of love and humility. Once done, we start learning how to live in mutual submission to other believers. Subdue and Rule only succeeds with mutual submission because individual worlds will collide as we do our daily business. When that collision happens, we must be ready to humbly surrender our agendas, timing, plans, and comfortable ways of doing things to accommodate the other person if needed.


Paul told the Ephesian disciples to “(submit) to one another in the fear of Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). In other words, we’re to regard others as equal or superior rank to have the proper attitude, and the motivation for that is out of fear (reverential respect) for the One who not only lovingly humbled and submitted Himself on our behalf but commanded us to do the same with one another.


Paul encouraged the Philippian disciples, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3-4, italics author). Submitting to others often involves reordering our Subdue and Rule agenda or interests as secondary to another person’s.


One of the truths I’ve learned the hard way over the last forty years of active ministry is that Biblical Subdue and Rule submission prevents Conquer and Dominate “lording over.” Conquer and Dominate requires us to position ourselves over others. Subdue and Rule requires we place ourselves alongside or under others to accomplish tasks. A Subdue and Rule disciple has no problem taking on a support role if needed.


Cooperation. Mutual submission naturally leads to cooperation. Cooperation means “to operate (work) together.” The primary reason Eve was created from and for Adam was to be his perfect counterpart, Adam’s ezer kenegdoezer [to be strong, strength] and kenegdo [opposite or corresponding as to him] (ezerkenegdo.org). Concerning similarities, Eve was Adam’s perfect compliment. Concerning differences, Eve was Adam’s necessary contrast. But regardless of similarities or differences, both were needed for Adam and Eve to cooperate in the King’s work.


So, humanity was designed to work side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder, under God. But when sin and rebellion entered humanity, cooperation broke down into competition, and Conquer and Dominate erupted. However, Jesus’s salvation work solves the sin issue, and now we’re in the transformation process to learn how to function as we were intended, “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9).


Servanthood. Servanthood is crucial when exercising our Subdue and Rule Mandate, especially regarding leadership. Jesus set the benchmark for His followers when He revealed, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28, italics author). There’s a classic rabbinic argument to be made here. If Jesus, the Lord of all creation, came to serve others, how much more should His disciples follow His example?


Our designation as God’s servants means we should operate in servant mode not just for God but for everyone, saved or not. “What, Dr. Jay? Surely you don’t mean I should be a servant to lost people, do you?” Let me ask, “Was anyone in a state of salvation when Jesus served as God’s sacrifice on the cross on their behalf?” No. So, yes, we should have a servant’s heart toward the lost as a testimony to Jesus. And if we’re to serve the lost as Jesus did, how much more should we serve the saved, our fellow servants in Christ?


As for leadership, Jesus set a low bar. A very low bar. In fact, that leadership bar is so “low,” it demands great humility to achieve. Jesus didn’t sugarcoat it when He taught, “If anyone wants to be first (Greek, “in order or importance”), he must be last and servant of all” (Mark 9:35). As before, leaders are to serve up, not rule down. An attitude of servanthood is a significant antidote to Conquer and Dominate and helps keep our drive for control in check.


Unity. Unity is essential to Subdue and Rule. When Jesus prayed His “goodbye” prayer in John 17, He could have asked His Father for anything for His disciples. But Jesus prayed that they would be unified. Notice Jesus didn’t pray for uniformity. He prayed for unity. A Conquer and Dominate person pushes their target into uniformity with their goals. For example, Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum spelled out his goal for all human beings, “You vill own nossing, und you vill be happy!” That’s uniformity to the extreme: pure Conquer and Dominate on parade.


God’s kingdom recognizes and encourages our individual gifts, talents, and strengths. We’re also encouraged not to be ashamed of our weaknesses because they keep us close to Jesus and each other for support. As Paul pointed out, “Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So, I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).


Regarding our necessary interdependence, Paul writes to the Corinthians, a congregation fractured by disunity, “But as it is, God has arranged each one of the parts in the body just as he wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that are weaker are indispensable” (1 Corinthians 12:18-22, italics author).


Not only does Subdue and Rule magnify our efforts when we work together in unity, but our Father commands His blessing upon us when we do. “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). We’re to treasure unity above all else. As Paul writes, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). Again, does this mean uniformity? Absolutely not! An orchestra would be pretty sad if all the instruments played the same note. We need the vast array of natural and spiritual gifts operating to bring God’s world under His control and maintain it. Unity and diversity are not mutually exclusive. You can have diversity as long as it doesn’t violate the clear teachings of the Bible. But that does bring up an important question - What if two people disagree on a doctrinal point? That will be addressed below.


Peace. As Paul mentioned, unity and peace are indispensable for God’s people to live and carry out His task to subdue and rule the earth. One of the primary identifiers of Subdue and Rule or Conquer and Dominate is whether the Spirit’s fruit of peace is being enjoyed. Conquer and Dominate is really good at stirring up strife as people fight for control. But Jesus’ followers should strive for peace, not control. “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).


I love driving my car when all the parts are working correctly in unity. I quickly lose my peace (and my temper) when one part gets out of line and interferes with the other parts. No me gusta! Therefore, when we’re doing our primary job on earth – Subdue and Rule in its various forms – we must work lovingly, humbly, submissively, and cooperatively as servants of God and with one another in unity.


Disagree without being disagreeable and converse without confrontation. Okay, to answer the above question, what if two or more Christians disagree over a doctrinal point, a way to accomplish a task, or how disciples should live? First, realize that Conquer and Dominate grows from the selfish idea that “I’m the standard for what’s right or wrong, and if you’re not doing it my way, you’re wrong. I’ll even fight you to get you to comply.” Second, we must learn that Subdue and Rule means working alongside other people that will not agree with you about everything. Take a chill pill, Bill!


Disagreements shouldn’t devolve into disunity or disagreeableness. (How’s that for a fine piece of alliteration?) Spiritual maturity involves learning to disagree without being disagreeable and conversing without being confrontational. Remember, self-control is a critical part of growing up spiritually and otherwise. Conquer and Dominate throws self-control out the window in favor of controlling others. Subdue and Rule starts with self-control.


The book of Proverbs is a delicious buffet of wisdom with tidbits about interacting verbally with others and is worth deep study and reflection. Here are a few. “A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath” (Proverbs 15:1). “There is one who speaks rashly, like a piercing sword; but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18). This one is about the prudent wife from Proverbs 31, but it applies to us guys as well, “Her mouth speaks wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue” (Proverbs 31:26).


Believe it or not, fellow Christians can speak graciously with the Holy Spirit’s help when we’re committed to keeping “the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” There’s no need to get ugly when disagreeing and debating a scripture or theological point. We can be pleasant and Jesus-like even when passionately making a point. But if Conquer and Dominate rears its ugly head and pushes us to win the argument, we may win but still lose, especially if it’s about a matter that doesn’t affect our or anyone else’s salvation. That leads us to the next point.


Major in the majors and minor in the minors. I’m convinced we need a basic discipleship or Sunday School class that teaches every Christian to minor in the minors (the grey areas open to debate) and major in the majors (the black and white areas such as baseline Christian beliefs found in the Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds, and God’s clear negative and positive commands).


Proper Subdue and Rule among the believers expects Christians and churches to work side by side despite their minor differences. Unanswerable questions about a “Pre-, mid-, or post-Tribulation Rapture” or whether Adam and Eve had belly buttons can be discussed over a post-church service lunch or a bad cuppa church coffee, okay? As a former pastor often told me, these issues don’t affect our salvation.


However, we must also learn the primary doctrinal differences that God would have us separate, such as the Bible being the inspired word of God or Jesus’ deity. I get it. The discussion of Calvin’s and Arminius’ view of salvation is critical and should be examined and debated, allowing people to settle on their best understanding possible. But what’s Calvin’s and Arminius’ bottom line? That people respond to the Gospel when God works on them. Don’t fret. We’ll understand it perfectly when we stand in Jesus’ presence. That is, if His presence doesn’t totally blow us away. Then, all of our supposed separation lines will dissolve away “in the light of His glory and grace,” as the old hymn Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus says.


But even as I write this, I reflect on pastors and teachers I’ve known who fell into Conquer and Dominate mode when it came to these more challenging Bible teachings and insisted that everyone in their congregation toe their theological line.


One such pastor was so consumed with indoctrinating his congregation about Five Point Calvinism (the famous T.U.L.I.P. summary) that he taught on every verse that affirmed Calvinism at every service (three times a week!) for a year and a half. However, despite his drive to control the theological debate in the congregation, he failed to control his personal life. He committed adultery with a staff member’s wife, brought shame to Jesus’ name, and left the ministry. Was his quest for doctrinal purity worth it? Ask the heartbroken husband and the devastated congregation that looked up to him as their example. Thankfully, this was almost 30 years ago, and the congregation has healed wonderfully and shines for Jesus today.


So, let’s learn our lesson about the majors and minors and how vehemently we want to press our convictions. Are we defending our point or our pride?


This brings us back to the center – love. If we love the Lord, we’ll Subdue and Rule according to His example and word. If we love people, we’ll learn to work with our neighbor – saved and unsaved – in a way that accomplishes our Lord’s work. Even if the unsaved world or a wayward believer tries to Conquer and Dominate us, we can side-step their machinations because we recognize the control tactics. Refuse, resist, or run away if you can.


But even if we can’t and find ourselves trapped under someone else’s control, our Lord is still sovereign. Our world of fallen people is filled with control freaks who have succumbed to the drive for dominion because everybody wants to rule the world. That’s just the way we’re built. But that temptation to control everything wrongly will change eventually. Our Father has already promised it will. And even if no one else on earth serves the King correctly right now, we can strive to do so until we see Jesus face to face and hear the words,


“Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.” (Matthew 25:21)


Sources:

How Jesus Disarmed the Devil, thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-jesus-disarmed-devil

The Meaning of ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ by Tears for Fears, interestingliterature.com/2023/04/everybody-wants-to-rule-the-world-meaning

What does the Bible say about humility?, gotquestions.org/Bible-humility.html

What the Bible says about Hupotasso, bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/3956/Hupotasso.htm

Ezer Kenegdo, ezerkenegdo.org/ezer-kenegdo


If you have any questions about the material presented is this series, please don’t hesitate to contact the author. Dr. Jay Christianson can be reached via highbeamministry@gmail.com for questions, suggestions, and feedback.


Shining the Light of God’s Truth on the Road Ahead


Pastor Jay Christianson

The Truth Barista, Frothy Thoughts

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