The Present Truth, vol. 6


January 16, 1890

“The First Dominion” The Present Truth 6, 2.


E. J. Waggoner

That this earth belongs to the Lord, no one will for a moment call in question. It is his, because he is the Creator. Says the Psalmist: “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.” Psalm 24:1, 2. When the prophet Daniel interpreted to King Nebuchadnezzar the dream which foretold his abasement, he told the king that he should be driven out from his kingdom, “till thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will.” Daniel 4:25. And in Psalm 115:16; we read: “The heaven, even the heavens are the Lord’s; but the earth hath He given to the children of men.” This means simply that the Heaven is God’s dwelling-place (Psalm 11:4), and that over it he has sole control, but that He has made man the tenant of the earth. PTUK January 16, 1890, page 25.1

When and how the dominion of the earth was given to man, are told in the following verses:-“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God 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 fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26-28. PTUK January 16, 1890, page 25.2

A dominion is a kingdom; to have dominion is to have kingly authority. Therefore since the earth was given to man for a dominion, the earth was designed for man’s kingdom. To this intent David speaks in the eighth psalm, where he says of man: “For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet; all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.” Psalm 8:5-8. The apostle quotes this (Hebrews 2:7, 8), and makes the additional statement that “now we see not yet all things put under him.” This being the case, it must be because man has lost the dominion, for it was certainly given to him. In the words of the apostle, therefore, we have at once a statement of the loss of the dominion first given to man, and a promise of its restoration. PTUK January 16, 1890, page 26.1

The details of the loss of the dominion which at the first was given to man, are given in the third chapter of Genesis. In the first part of the chapter we learn that the serpent beguiled Eve, and persuaded her to eat of the forbidden fruit, and that she in turn induced Adam to eat. Then God said to Adam, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Genesis 3:17-19. And afterwards when Cain had killed his brother, the Lord said: “When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength.” Genesis 4:12. From this we learn that it is because of man’s disobedience that we do not now see all things put under him. PTUK January 16, 1890, page 26.2

But when man lost the dominion of the earth, who gained it? Evidently the one to whom he yielded obedience. Peter says that, “of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” 2 Peter 2:19. And Jesus said: “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace; but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” Luke 11:21, 22. Our first parents were overcome by the serpent, “which is the devil, and Satan” (Revelation 20:2), and therefore it was to Satan that they yielded up the dominion which had been committed to them. PTUK January 16, 1890, page 26.3

That Satan is now the ruler of this earth, instead of man, is shown by the Scriptures. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Satan is spoken of as “the god of this world.” Christ said that the wicked are children of Satan (John 8:44); and in Ephesians 2:2, “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience,” is called “the prince of the power of the air.” Satan is “the accuser of the brethren,” the one whom the followers of Christ are to “resist steadfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8, 9), and Paul says that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.” Ephesians 6:12. And none can doubt that it was to Satan that Christ referred, when he said, “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.” John 14:30. E. J. W. PTUK January 16, 1890, page 26.4