Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
The Birthright: Two Mandates
September 3, 2009
It is important to understand that Adam, by right of his creation in the image of Elohim , was given two
mandates, one pertaining to ruling and the other to procreating (begetting sons and daughters). [For a
discussion of the word Elohim , please see The Upward Call , issue #02-0709, October 12, 2007, Made
Lower Than Elohim .]
The first one is called the dominion mandate , and the second one is called the fruitfulness
mandate . Together, they form the birthright given to Adam, the red-ruddy man formed from the
soil of the earth who became earth’s first king under God. It is the right to have dominion in the
kingdom of God on earth as a son of God. When Adam died, this birthright was passed down to his
descendants from generation to generation.
The first Adam was a type (Romans 5:14) of the last Adam, and ultimately, both mandates are fulfilled
for mankind in Jesus, the Second Man.
And God [Hebrew: Elohim ] said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let
them have dominion over [rule over] the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens,
and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth
upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26 ASV)
And God [Hebrew: Elohim ] blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and
multiply , and replenish 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 moveth upon the
earth. (Genesis 1:28 ASV)
The two mandates were meant to go hand-in-hand; man was commanded to have dominion, that is, to
rule over God’s creation under God, and to procreate (beget) sons and daughters in the image of
Elohim. The kingdom of God was intended to be and, ultimately, will be administered by sons of God,
not the sons of men.
When Adam was formed from the soil of the earth and the spirit of life was breathed into him, he
became a living soul in the image of His Creator (Genesis 2:7), the Son of God who took on human form
(Colossians 1:15-16) and called creation into being by changing light into matter. Since Adam came into
being by a direct act of God, he too is called the son of God (Luke 3:38) and, as such, was given
command to rule over the earth as its first king under the Kingship of God and to fill the kingdom of
God with offspring.
Adam and his descendants were not to rule according to their own way but according to the way of God.
Living in the glory of God and without sin, Adam and his progeny would have had no need for laws or
rules by which to govern, for it would have been in their very nature to know how to live righteously and
in love and peace. We see the antitype of this in the new covenant with believers as the Lord puts His
laws into their minds and writes them on their hearts (Hebrews 8:10), and pours out the love of God
within their hearts through the Holy Spirit who is given to them (Romans 5:5).
For the first 33½ years of his life, Adam exercised the dominion mandate over the earth and all that
was in it. All of God’s creatures that were created to reside on earth were at peace with Adam as
evidenced by God parading them before Adam so that he could name them (Genesis 2:19-20). However,
during this time, Adam had not exercised the fruitfulness mandate, since he had no children prior to his
If Adam and Eve had had children prior to the fall, then they would have brought forth other sons and
daughters of God in the image of Elohim, and the kingdom of God on earth would have prevailed. Life
begets life, and ones brought forth prior to the fall would have been in the image and likeness of God,
born of the Spirit and in glory.
However, Adam’s one transgression changed all this as sin and death entered into the equation, so to
speak. Glory was lost and the leaven of sin entered into the very concept of God-given dominion.
Consequently, all mankind born of Adam were born of the flesh and not of the Spirit of God, and the
flesh of man had dominion over man. We could say that from that point on, the fruit that came forth
tended to rot because the human body was corruptible and destined to die.
After his fall, Adam began to fulfill the mandate to be fruitful and multiply, but he could only produce
children of the flesh, not of the spirit (i.e., carnally-minded offspring); as evidenced by his first son,
Cain. This does not mean that all his offspring and descendants were unrighteous and ignorant of God’s
ways, for there were some who walked with God, such as Abel, Enoch, Methuselah, and Noah.
The Bible does not tell us anything about the rule on earth after Adam sinned, but we do know that over
the next 1,656 years, the conditions on earth turned from peace to violence until God declared that all
flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth, and the earth was filled with violence (Genesis
6:11-13). Most likely, the earth was filled with tyranny and anarchy, two opposing extremes that are
quite contrary to God’s dominion mandate.
For 120 years, Methuselah and Noah preached to the sons of men to turn to God and forsake their evil
ways, but they would not listen. Consequently, in the year that Methuselah died, there was only one
man left on earth that stood righteous before God, Noah. In that year, the flood came to destroy the
wicked sons of men. After the flood, there was no more peace between man and all of God’s creatures
on earth (Genesis 9:2).
The dominion mandate was to continue on earth through Noah and his son Shem, of whom Noah said:
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem” (Genesis 9:26). Shem was also known as Melchizedek or
Adonizedek, the king of Salem, who built Jerusalem [city of peace] (Genesis 14:18; [Jasher 16:11]).
Shem was a type of Christ, a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews
7:17), which pointed to the Son of God coming to earth to die for the sin of the world and to establish a
new covenant based on His blood.
Due to sin and death, the seed of the carnal mind was not removed from Noah’s family that came
through the flood. Ham sinned by looking upon his father’s nakedness, which brought a curse upon his
son Canaan (Genesis 9:25). Through Ham’s line came Nimrod, a tyrannical ruler, a mighty one on the
earth who founded the kingdom of Babylon (Genesis 10:8-10) and who was worshipped by his subjects.
Right from the start, Babylon has stood for the kingdom of men that stands in opposition to the
kingdom of God. It stands for a lawless kingdom, for it refuses to obey and rule according to the divine
law of God. The same lawless kingdom of men is with us today at the end of our present wicked age; it is
called Mystery Babylon (Revelation 18). The heart of the kingdom of Babylon has persisted down
through the history of mankind since the flood. Today, it is a mystery because most people do not
recognize it, nor do they realize that the kingdom of men that rules the nations today is lawless, that is,
without the law of God. Figuratively speaking, we could say that the rulers of Mystery Babylon are
descendants of Nimrod.
Thank God; the pure birthright of the first Adam has been recovered in the last Adam, our Lord Jesus.
The dominion mandate was fulfilled at His first coming when He came as the lion from the tribe of
Judah (Revelation 5:5) and took the scepter that shall not depart from Judah (Genesis 49:10). Judah
speaks of rulership.
The fruitfulness mandate will be fulfilled at His second coming when He comes as the fruitful bough
[son] of Joseph (Genesis 49:22) and brings forth many sons unto glory (Romans 8:18-25; Hebrews
2:10). Joseph speaks of sonship . In Christ, Judah and Joseph (Israel) are reunited.
The Upward Call: #03-09143
by: Stuart H. Pouliot