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Genesis 1:26 says,
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in Our image [tselem], according to Our likeness [demuth]; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the ground.”
This is the origin of the Dominion Mandate. Note that man was given dominion over “all the earth” but not over other men. Sin changed this temporarily, because authority over people is necessary only because of sin. When everyone is in God’s image and likeness, doing His perfect will at all times, what need is there for someone in authority to tell him/her what to do? The purpose of the New Covenant is to write the law of God in every heart, so that “all will know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them” (Jeremiah 31:34).
I believe that in that day there will still be those who have more honor than others, but authority itself will serve no real purpose. Paul speaks of such honor in terms of the stars of heaven having varying degrees of brightness, “for star differs from star in glory” (1 Corinthians 15:41). Hence, it is best to be an overcomer, second best to be a believer, and lastly, to be part of God’s creation.
Dominion is also predicated on being in the image and likeness of the Creator. One cannot exercise proper dominion apart from this. Indeed, we have seen countless examples of misused authority, which inevitably oppresses people. After sin entered the world, the purpose of authority has been to influence and encourage people to return to God by faith in Christ, so that they—like Him—may attain to the image and likeness of God, thereby setting them free from the bondage of sin and death.
In other words, the purpose of authority is to have the power to declare and implement the Jubilee to overcome the effects of Adam’s sin and to set men free. Romans 8:21 says,
21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
The overcomers in particular are given the greatest authority to rule with Christ (Revelation 20:6), not so that they can retire on a cloud, but so that they can subject all of creation under the feet of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:27, 28). The work will not be finished until death itself is abolished (1 Corinthians 15:26) at Creation’s Jubilee.
See my book, The Restoration of All Things.
Most of us are more familiar with the concept of the image of God, seeing as how it is explained in Hebrews 1:3,
3 And He [Christ] is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation [image] of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power…
Again, we too are included in this glory, for we read in 2 Corinthians 3:18,
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
This glory was seen in the face of Moses (Exodus 34:29) after beholding God in the Mount, and again in the face of Jesus (Matthew 17:2) on Mount Hermon, or Sion (Deuteronomy 4:48). We who gather around Him at the New Covenant Mount will experience the same glory of transfiguration in due time (Hebrews 12:2 KJV).
God created Adam to be in His image and likeness. What is the difference? The Hebrew word translated “likeness” is demuth, whose root word is damah, “blood.” In Scripture, “blood” can also refer to blood-guilt, or blood relationship (kinship). Demuth narrows it down to a matter of kinship, or, as we say, “like father, like son.” There is also the expression, “he is my blood,” referring to one’s son who is caught imitating his father. In other words, there is a resemblance that proves the kinship itself.
This is, no doubt, the origin of the Hebrew concept of true sonship, which is proven by whether or not one does the works of his father. So Jesus told the Pharisees in John 8:39, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham.” Yet because they sought to kill Him, Jesus told them, “you are of your father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father” (John 8:44).
On a more positive note, Paul says in Galatians 3:7,
7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.
Abraham was the father of faith and so only the faithful can claim Abraham as their father. For this reason, Paul says in Galatians 3:29,
29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.
This is how God defines the children of Abraham. He is not impressed with anyone’s genealogy, but their faith can move heaven and earth. Faith is the basis of sonship, and the faithful rally around the transfigured Christ at Mount Sion (Hermon). Those who claim sonship by physical genealogy gather at Mount Zion (the earthly Jerusalem) in the vain attempt to regain the image and likeness of God through the allegorical “Hagar” (Galatians 4:25).
We, however, having New Covenant faith in the promise of God, are children of Abraham through the allegorical “Sarah,” the freewoman. Our claim to be “blood” descendants of Abraham is not based on physical genealogy but upon demuth, “likeness.” We share a common faith, doing the works of our father, and we “put no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3).
Our faith and our works are similar to Abraham, his life and his calling. More than that, our works should resemble the works of Christ Himself, because the children of Abraham are also the children of God. So Paul tells us in Galatians 3:28,
28 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.