THE UPWARD CALL
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
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
September 17, 2009
Issue #02-09143, September 3, 2009, The Birthright: Two Mandates , dealt with the dominion and
fruitfulness mandates. The first Adam was given the dominion mandate, to rule and subdue the earth.
The second Adam will fully restore this mandate as originally intended by the Father. But until then, the
question arises: Are we given some indication of what the dominion mandate looks like? In other
words, does Scripture give us some indication of what rulership in the kingdom of God, that is,
dominion leadership is supposed to look like? In reading the record up to the time of Moses, there is
little guidance as to how one is to rule or the qualities necessary to be a true kingdom leader.
The first indication of what this looks like is given in the first of the Ten Commandments.
“You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3 NASB)
Down through history, many rulers of the kingdoms of men have made themselves gods over people;
some have even proclaimed themselves to be God. At other times, the people themselves have so
idolized leaders that they have made them into their own gods. However, all rulers are to place their
command under God and acknowledge His sovereignty over the kingdom of men. It is God’s creation,
and all who rule do so only by the authority of God. If it were not so, then God no longer would be the
Sovereign of His creation; something that is only possible if He were to abdicate His power and give it
entirely to His created. But the Lord declares: “The land is Mine!” (Leviticus 25:23).
Nebuchadnezzar had to be disciplined by the Lord until he recognized that the Most High is ruler
over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes and that Heaven rules
(Daniel 4:25, 26).
Unfortunately, world rulers often forget, ignore, or deny this truth, and they begin to think of
themselves as indispensable; only they know what is best for the people. Of course, this assumes that
they even care what is best for the people; tyrants generally do not care. In essence, they refuse to
submit to the rule of God over their domain and to care for the people as God does and demands of
those in authority.
The second indication of what dominion leadership looks like also comes through Moses. It is based on
the law of impartiality .
(16) “Then I charged your judges at that time, saying, ‘Hear the cases between your fellow
countrymen, and judge righteously between a man and his fellow countryman, or the
alien who is with him. (17) You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the
small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that
is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’” (Deuteronomy 1:16-17 NASB)
There is no partiality with God (Deuteronomy 10:17; Ephesians 6:9), and He commands the same from
all rulers. In fact, James calls partiality a sin.
But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as
transgressors. (James 2:9 NASB)
According to John, everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is
lawlessness (1 John 3:4 NASB).
Thus, all rulers who show partiality in judging (i.e., ruling) are lawbreakers, breakers of God’s divine
law, even though they might be upholding the law of their domain.
The third indication comes directly from our Lord Jesus. In fact, His very life defines leadership in His
(24) And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to
be greatest. (25) And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and
those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ (26) But it is not this way
with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and
the leader like the servant . (27) For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or
the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the
one who serves. (Luke 22:24-27 NASB)
(8) “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. (9) Do
not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. (10) Do
not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. (11) But the greatest among
you shall be your servant. (12) Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever
humbles himself shall be exalted .” (Matthew 23:8-12 NASB)
Leadership in the world is often seen as a place of honor and privilege. The leader or ruler can make
demands on others and expect them to do as he says. Leadership also can become an aristocratic class
of high rank in the social order. It can become a special upper class of wealth and social position, an
aristocracy , which has come to mean a “government by a privileged minority or upper class, usually of
inherited wealth and social position” and “a privileged ruling class; nobility.” This form of government
is called an oligarchy . Interestingly, originally the word aristocracy meant government by the best
citizens. How far have we wandered off the path of good government? How far has the US government
wandered off this path? Our Founding Fathers very clearly stood against creating an oligarchy and
feared that, over time, one might come about. Are their fears about to be fully materialized?
All nations need to heed the word of the One who came as the one true leader and the representative of
the only type of government that sets people free― the King and the Kingdom of God .
Jesus came as the perfect example of a leader of the kingdom of God. In fact, He is the Leader! The Son
of God was born as King, but He came as a servant. As the Son of Man, He did not have a place to lay
His head (Luke 9:58).
Some might think that a leader as one who serves will change in the coming Kingdom Age; but it will
not, for God has revealed His type of leadership in and through His Son. To God, true leaders are not
ones recognized by their title or name, whether it is rabbi, teacher, leader, or even president and
senator; godly leadership is a matter of the heart, and true leaders are servants of the people who seek
for the good of all, are impartial in all their dealings, and are not driven by special interests.
This is not a form of socialism, as some might think. It is the kingdom of love that considers the
interests of others as more important than one’s own interests and seeks for the liberty of all. This
kingdom ensures true liberty and is the only government that truly sets people free to excel in life. It
does not seek to place anyone under its bondage or to make anyone dependent on the state. This
kingdom is not a welfare state, for all are expected to carry their own weight (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
Leaders in the kingdom of God understand these things, for they are filled with the love of God and His
wisdom, righteousness, and justice that demand impartiality. This is true dominion leadership; the
standard as set forth by God through His Son; the standard that all who desire to rule and reign with
Christ in His coming kingdom must learn and apply in this day.
Leaders in our day, whether within government or the church, need to heed God’s law of impartiality
and servanthood, or, like Nebuchadnezzar, they too might find themselves under the discipline of God.
Some might think that this could only happen to pagan leaders, but let us not forget that judgment
begins with the household of God (1 Peter 4:17). God’s true leaders are not defined by title or
organization; they are defined by humility. Blessed are the meek [gentle, humble, mild] , for they
shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). See issue #03-09116, April 24, 2009, The Meek Inherit the
Earth . Those who inherit the earth are the ones who will have been counted worthy to be placed as sons
of God to rule over and teach the nations.
The Upward Call: #03-09162
by: Stuart H. Pouliot