Dominion - RR263B4

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Government
Course: Course - Law and Dominion
Subject: Subject:Law
Lesson#: 3
Length: 0:28:34
TapeCode: RR263B3
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Law and Dominion.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.


Our subject this hour will be dominion. The dominion mandate to man is in Geneses 1:26-28. Man was told by God to exercise dominion and subdue the earth. This was a command that was renewed subsequently after the flood. It was given to Joshua in Joshua 1:2-9 the commission. And then we have the great commission which summarizes the commission to Joshua with a change. Instead of now being the promised land it is the whole earth. "Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations." Paul reminded the Christians that they were to judge that is to govern the world and that here and now in dealing with their own matters; their own problems, they were to learn the exercise of that government.

The early Church took that mandate very seriously. It was a mandate to exercise dominion which meant that every area of life and of thought had to be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. One of the most dramatic instances of that occurred early in the second century in the martyrdom of Poly Carp (sp???). Poly Carp was a Christian leader who was arrested. He was given the alternative of saying Caesar is Lord or dying. The fundamental thesis of the Roman empire as of every state then and unhappily today was that the State is sovereign.

Rome was ready to grant religious freedom in quotes to any religion that would first o all confess the sovereignty of the Emperor. Poly Carp refused. Because he was a person of prominence of an important family he was given opportunity after opportunity to recant. And on the way to the execution a Roman official stopped him again and pleaded with him and said you're an old man, you come from a distinguished background; why throw your life away foolishly when all you have to do is to say Caesar is Lord and go back and you are free to do as you please. We won't bother you. Poly Carp said first of all that his Lord had been faithful to him for many years and now he was an old man it was no time at all to desert one who had been faithful to him for a generation and then he uttered as he went to be burned at the steak by the Romans a battle cry; "away with the pagans. Away with the Atheists." He was not thinking of himself as a victim but as a victor. And they were going to do away with the Atheists with the pagans because his confession was Jesus Christ is Lord. Now that is believing in Domion. [00:04:29]

Polycarp believed in dominion as he went to his death...[edit]

Polycarp believed in dominion as he went to his death. He knew who would triumph. And we who are not faced with the threat of death as yet at least how dare we deny the dominion mandate and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The most common term in the old testament for God is Lord; Adona (sp?). The most common term in the New Testament for Jesus Christ is again Lord in the Greek Curios (sp??); Lord.

What does it mean? It means sovereign. It means absolute owner so that if we have a Lord we are His property. To confess Jesus Christ as Lord is to declare that we belong to Him in all that we are and in all that we have. We give ourselves, we give our children, we give our property, we give our income, everything, it belongs to the Lord and we are stewards of that which we are and that which we posses under Him. God is the Lord. Jesus Christ is the lord. This is the basic confession of all of scripture. The basic term; let me repeat applied to God the Father and to God the son in all of scripture is Lord.

The term is used so much so that it probably outnumbers all other terms used for God. Lordship. It means sovereignty. Dominion means the exercise of authority under a sovereign. This issue was faced in the middle ages by John Wycliffe. And Wycliffe said that the Christ9ian alone has dominion and the Christian man has domion over all things on the earth. They have power, kings and relics, but they do not have rightful dominion. Domion only belongs to the Christian man who is faithful and obedient to the every word of God. [00:07:33]

We must therefore recognize that as we face the world...[edit]

We must therefore recognize that as we face the world we face it under the Lordship of Jesus Christ who alone is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And we exercise dominion under him by delegation. And we are to disposes the ungodly who have claimed dominion and power but do not under God posses dominion. When we go to language itself we find some very interesting witnesses to our faith. The Greek word tyrant; the word tyrant tyrannous; is in the Greek simply a word for Lord; Lord. Strange term is it not? Tyrant Lord? But the term tyrannous came to be applied to everyone who ruled without God.

In other words someone who said he was Lord apart from the Lord so even the Greek language witnesses to our faith. A tyrant was not necessarily one who was unpopular. He might be very much loved by the people. But if he rules apart from God and His word the word Tyrant applies to him. And we would have to say of men in the state house and of Washington today that they are tyrants because they exercise Lordship in defiance of God and in terms of Hagel who said the state is God walking on earth.

Now a sovereign, a Lord, is always the source of law. Law making is the pejorative of the Lord or sovereign of a God. In every religious faith, in every religion, in every culture, the God of that system provides the laws. They are of his making. And if you allow any other law to come in you are acknowledging another God. This is why in Europe when the doctrine of the Divine right of kings arose there was a militant hostility on the part of the keys for any aspect of Biblical law. And the war against Biblical law began under the kings of Europe as monarchies began to rise in the late middle ages. [00:11:06]

In New England there was a constant struggle as for...[edit]

In New England there was a constant struggle as for example the colonies sought to make God's law binding upon the colonies and the crown expressed its hostility and insisted upon royal law because the kings of England were gods, they had divine rights. They believed in their power to heal. Charles the second for example like those before him exercised the royal touch. The sick were to present themselves before him and a particular time and he was to touch them and supposedly they were to be healed.

When John Elliot the missionary to the Indians in New England organized a number of villages and communities of praying Indians he took God's law applied it verbatim to the life of the Indians. Created a remarkable culture during the Common Wealth Cromwell era. He wrote a book on God's common wealth in which he describes how God's law is to be applied and what kind of a society it is to create and how it will create an order that will change the world and make the kingdoms of this world the kingdoms of our Lord and Christ. And one of the first things That Charles the second did when he returned to the throne was to order that John Eliot's book was to be burned by the public hangman. Copies of it are very rare.

We are going to reprint John Eliot's book sometime in the next year or two with a long introduction about Eliot and its significance. I'm very happy to say by the way that we have three of the direct descendents of John Eliot on our Chalcedon mailing list; very dedicated and faithful Christians. Let me just parenthetically add a word about John Eliot that great missionary. His last words when he was dying were "welcome joy." He was a dominion man. Triumphant in life and Triumphant in death with the words "welcome joy." [00:13:54]

The sovereign is always the source of life...[edit]

The sovereign is always the source of life. God's law must prevail for us and our lives and our culture or He is not our God. Do you remember the agony of David when he was banned from the kingdom by Saul? He was going to have to go to one of the pagan lands round about. And he cried out with grief that what you are telling me is to go and serve other Gods because he would be under a different kind of law and it would not be God's law. And when he went out what did he do? He feigned madness rather than serve under the law of another God. And he dribbled and acted like a madman and he was taken before this pagan king and he said, "yes, he's mad don't bother with him."

But, he was not going to server another law and another god. And today we are serving other Gods. When we follow a law apart from this that God gave us and David found it better to play at being a madman then to be deprived of the faithful service which he felt was more then life to him.

The sovereign provides total government and this is why God in his word governs every area of life and thought. He governs the way we are to live, how we are to think, to cast our every care upon Him because He careth for us. I will both lay me down in peace and sleep for thou oh Lord only maketh me to dwell in safety. He governs our diet. He governs us and our marriage, our children, our life as workmen, whatever we do. Laws of sanitation, laws with regard to our use of the land, all things because "I am the Lord." The earth is the Lord and the fullness thereof. Therefore God as the Lord says, " The only way of dominion is in submission to me. And all who are in me are Lords and exercise dominion over the earth as my vice regents." They are priests called to dedicate everything that they are, that they posses and do to the service of almighty God. We are called to be profits, to speak for God to every sphere that is under us. Our vocation and our families, our fellowships, everything. As prophets we apply the word of God to what we are and wherever we are and as kings to rule over every area in Christ; prophets, priests and kings. [00:17:39]

But the modern state claims sovereignty...[edit]

But the modern state claims sovereignty. Another word for Moloch; I've spoken often on Moloch worship across the country to introduce people how many of you have heard my tapes on Moloch worship? Good you know therefore Moloch means king. Baal means Lord; master. Baal worship was having a Lord other then the true God. Moloch worship was making the State god. And of course this was what Rome sought to do when it required the commission Jesus Christ not as Lord but, Caesar is Lord and Jesus Christ under Caesar.

There were two great confessions that the early Church required. Both of which were designed to assert the dominion of the Christian man and the sovereignty of God over all things. The first great confession we meet of course in Philippians 2:9-11 that Jesus Christ is Lord and that every tongue shall confess and that every knee bow before Christ as Lord. That kings and rulers that men great and small must acknowledge the Lordship of Christ. Every Christian was required to stand before the congregation and make that confession. Because when he confessed that he confessed that Caesar is not Lord. Jesus Christ is Lord over Caesar, over me, over all things. So he was confessing the personal Lordship of Jesus Christ and the total Lordship of Jesus Christ over all things without exclusion. No area outside of His Lordship.

The other great confession we have in John in its first epistle. What was the problem? Why there were spiritual preachers going around who professed to be spirit field but were really dositics [sp????] and naustics who were trying to spiritualize Christianity away from the practical aspects of the world. And they thought that God was not concerned with the realities of the world but, with things spiritual and therefore God spoke to the world to take men out of this world and Christ and Jesus were never one and the same. That God could not have dirtied himself by becoming incarnate in matter; he used Jesus of Nazareth as a mask. So they separated Jesus and the Christ. They denied the reality of the incarnation. They reduced the whole thing to a mass of facade and John said try the spirits. These who claim to be so spiritual. Anyone who says that Christ has not come in the flesh is not of God but is of an anti-Christ. [00:21:41]

What was happening? Why there were movements in the...[edit]

What was happening? Why there were movements in the church that were trying to take the church away from the very practical concerns with every area of life and thought. The kind of concern I shall deal with in the next hour. The kind of concern that shocked and appalled all of Rome; horrified it because these Christians were exercising government; government, they were taking over the world. That's Lesser Rolough's [sp???} offence. He's exercising government. That's the offence of the Christian schools; they are exercising government. That's the offence of every Christian who moves out and applies the word of God to anything; he's exercising government.

And this the Romans would not tolerate nor will the modern state. It is a significant fact that we barely think about. IN fact it is so much neglected that I startled state attorneys and one or two judges when I've called attention to this fact as a witness. The United States Constitution never uses the word sovereign or sovereignty. The word is alien to it. Very early Washington made i clear that he wanted no discussion of the term. Sovereignty in there thinking, the thinking of the founding Fathers, belonged only to Jesus Christ. When the term began to creep into American law first as a part of the doctrine of state rights and state sovereignty, John Quincy Adams the most prominent liberal of the day on the fiftieth anniversary of the constitution expressed his shock at the usage. And he said if the founding fathers were here they would witness to the fact that sovereignty is not in us it belongs only to the Lord God of hosts.

Dominion thus must be exercised under God. We as Christians have a mandate. We have not been called to retire from the world when we are saved but to go out and conquer. During the noon lunch I was talking with the men at the table and I mentioned the fact that the Austrian political economist, Count Eric Cunnel Ludine [sp???].has called attention to the fact that modern evangelical churches are the real local in the modern world of medievalism. That they are like convents of married nuns and monks who get saved and withdraw from the world and wait for heaven and do nothing from the time of their conversion to the time of going to heaven except to stay within the walls of the convent. It's a sad fact but it is true. It is medievalism. It is a kind of married covenantal life and it's a flight from the dominion mandate. We've been called to dominion; to dominion. [00:26:04]

Christ called an army up to go forth and conquer in...[edit]

Christ called an army up to go forth and conquer in his name. In the book of Acts we are told of the Christians that these people are turning the world upside down. It would be wonderful if that were said of us again. One of the few happy aspects of the last election when we had choices between Twiddle Dee Dee and Twiddle Dee Dumb and Twiddle Dee Nothing that at least the Christians were active and the humanists were very much upset to see the Christian Community coming to life again.

I hope they run for the hills before the decade is over because Christians are called to exercise dominion. To bring all things into captivity of Jesus Christ. The threat of the Christians in the early days of Rome and subsequently was enormous; they were a bare handful and they were shaking up the entire Roman empire, to the point that Rome was concerned for about three centuries with this problem of the Christians. How in the world were they to deal with these people? Because they were threatening to take over the empire simply by their governmental ways. They were creating a higher obedience. Just as the apostles had said at the beginning "we must obey God rather than men" so again and again men in one area of Roman life after another were exercising dominion. Asserting the priority of their Allegiance to God.

At one point Turtutian [sp???] a lawyer and a theologian wrote an appeal to the empire calling attention to some facts and saying, "why do you persecute us? We are the best citizens you have. The most honest tax payers. The most faithful soldiers. The most honest if not the only honest government officials you have. Take one area after another and your Empire needs us; depends on us. Why are you killing us? " But the answer was an obvious one. If Rome did not kill them Rome would cease to be Rome. It would no longer be sovereign because these people even in their obedience were obedient for conscious sake. That is because they were obedient to the Lord. Their obedience was primarily to God the Lord, Christ the King, not to Caesar. [00:29:42]

And this is the same issue today...[edit]

And this is the same issue today. In one trial in Michigan a state trooper had been kicked off the state highway patrol because he refused to go out on patrol with a new recruit a woman. He felt that was un-scriptural. That it was an unequal yoking. That it imposed a number of burdens that he felt was contrary to scripture. He was immediately fired from the force. In the hearing that was held attorney John Whitehead was able to get the superior officers to admit on the stand that the officer was one of the finest officers they had. Regresely honest. That it was a problem for them because they had many officers whose ethics were questionable. But why were they firing him? They admitted it. Because he places an authority above us. Because he says he is going to obey God rather than us. And they made it clear that they would rather have an unprincipled and a dishonest trooper under them then an honest one who said there is a higher authority.

Now we have to give those men credit for knowing what Lordship means. Is it the state or is it God? And they were asserting the Lordship of the State and themselves as officers of State. No laws beyond themselves. The trooper one by the way. But, this is the issues that keeps coming up in trial after trial; Lordship or sovereignty.

The schools the Christian schools are better but, they will not recognize the sovereignty of the state department of education. These parents who are educating their own children are doing a better job and they are better parents; more concerned then others. But they will not recognize the sovereign right of the state to say what is good even though it turns out to be bad. That's the issue; Sovereignty. [00:32:36]

And our responsibility is to exercise dominion which...[edit]

And our responsibility is to exercise dominion which means to declare where sovereignty resides and to declare God's sovereign world; the word of dominion, to every area of life and thought. And we are promised that when we go forth in terms of that word the commission tells us, the commission to Joshua, which our Lord summarizes then later, that if we go in the power of this word and faithfulness to it wherever the soul of your feet shall tread that shall be your ground. Let's plant our feet on the face of all the earth and claim it for Jesus Christ.