By Jeff Ziegler
Published March 1, 1996
God’s Plan for Accruing Dominion
“But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 8:18).
Wealth; its creation and stewardship is a topic which stirs great emotion and generates much consternation and misunderstanding throughout the church. Prevalent attitudes among the saints regarding wealth tend to run in bi-polar extremes.
On one hand, monastic-mystical-pietistic-saints are predisposed to view wealth with suspicion and as a hinderance to their perfectionistic notions of “spirituality.” They view the material world as evil and that which is unseen as virtuous, thus eschewing biblical concepts of wealth creation. Their actions are more in line with the ancient heretical Gnostics even if formally denying the philosophical pinions thereof.
At the other extreme, are Christians whose view of the nature of God is so skewed and truncated that God’s very existence is reduced to something of a divine blessing dispenser. These saints have been deleteriously effected by the “church growth movement” and the “positive confession – positive thinking movements.” Invariably, these Christians exhibit a naive magical view of the Scriptures, mindlessly ripping verses out of context to “confess” their every desire into existence. Their paradigm is a fanciful notion that true spirituality will be marked by uninterrupted growth, success, health and triumph without the inconvenience of trial and tribulation. These saints are inherently antinomian (lawless) for they seek the blessings of the Scriptures while ignoring its negative sanctions for long term disobedience.
The biblical pattern of wealth creation is clearly articulated in our theme verse of Deuteronomy 8:18. While God is the creator of the earth and of all things visible and invisible, he is not the direct disburser of wealth. Rather it is God who gives his children the power or ability and gifting to produce wealth. It is this accrued wealth under the stewardship of the elect which has a specific divine purpose in God’s economy, chiefly, to establish his covenant in the earth. The power and abilities which God gives his children to “get wealth” are not “get rich quick schemes” but rather, diligent, purposeful work, investment in the Kingdom of God and the principle of covenantal inheritance. It is through these divinely chartered means that covenantal dominion is effected in the earth.
For the remainder of this article I will focus my attention on the biblical idea of inheritance leaving the concepts of work and investment for another time. For I believe our attitude toward inheritance is foundational in forming a right and biblical view of work and investment.
Nothing is more despised by American society at large than the concept of inheritance. Class envy has allowed statist, socialistic elitists in our bloated federal and state bureaucracies, to attack inheritance through tyrannical estate taxes, which in some cases are so oppressive, the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next is nearly impossible. Popular bumper stickers brandished by our senior citizens arrogantly proclaim “We’re spending our children’s inheritance.” Even neoconsevative radio talk show icon Rush Limbaugh feels compelled to apologize for the concept of inherited wealth often explaining that most wealthy conservatives have “earned their fortunes.” Pietistic, rapture crazed saints foolishly mortgage their children’s future inheritance by running up their charge cards to “leave the unpaid balance for the Antichrist.” But the most insidious and heinous attack upon the principle of inheritance is through the wholesale slaughter of innocent children through state sanctioned, state sponsored murder called abortion.
It is imperative that the church understand that any attack upon inheritance, is an attack upon the future. Specifically, the establishment and future dominance of Christ’s Crown and Covenant in the earth.
Covenantal Inheritance In Principle
Once the concept of covenantal inheritance is understood it becomes apparent why the statist left wants to undermine its power. As we will see, a godly, covenanted people are a direct threat to any pagan power structure. As an example of this covenantal dynamic we need look no further than the genesis and growth of the Hebrew Commonwealth.
In Genesis, 12:1-3; 13:16; 22:17-18 we have the main elements of the Abrahamic covenant. Blessing, honor, greatness and divine fruitfulness are to be given to Abraham and his offspring in order to bless all the peoples of the earth and to exercise dominion “possess the gates of his enemies” over them. See Genesis 22:17-18. It is important to note that the covenant is not exclusive to Abraham, but, has been made with Abraham and his seed or children.
In fact, God never makes a covenant with a man alone, but, with a man and his seed! As depicted in Genesis 24:35-36; all that Abraham had was transferred to his son Isaac. Thus Isaac begins his stewardship of the covenant in a far superior position than his father in that he possesses more wealth and ability to further the covenant. This transferral of wealth is of course repeated when Isaac deeds the covenant to Jacob and from Jacob to his twelve sons which are the very foundation of the twelve tribes of Israel. Each time the transfer takes place, the wealth is compounded. This entire covenantal dynamic takes on an added dimension during Israel’s exodus when God through his judgement, disinherited the Egyptians and the Israelites are bequeathed the spoils of Egypt!
“A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.” (Proverbs 13:22).
Now think well on this dramatic picture of growth and dominance! From Abraham the sojourner in the plains of Canaan, comes in time, a fully constituted nation which has divested the pagan power Egypt of its wealth. All of this through the compounding power of covenantal inheritance. But the illustration does not stop here. Leap forward in time to the New Testament, specifically Galatians 3:14-29 and we find through the finished work of Jesus Christ and his divine election, that all redeemed men are now part of this Abrahamic covenant and are thus heirs of the same blessings and world changing commission!
The Goal of Covenantal Inheritance
The goal of covenantal inheritance is to transform the world, every part of it, into a place of worship for Christ! Thus the accumulation of wealth must be oriented to establish the Covenant and Crown of the Messiah over all the nations of the earth. Psalm 2:8; 110:1-3.
It should be quite clear that the transferral of the inheritance is not based on familial factors alone, but faithfulness to the covenant. Esau as Isaac’s oldest son had clear forensic, judicial right to his fathers inheritance. However, because of his low and base view of the covenant, he forfeited his claim literally selling his birth right! Thus Jacob is given stewardship of the covenant. See Genesis 25:33-34; Romans 9:10-13.
Strata of Inheritance
It should be apparent that covenantal inheritance is not comprised of material wealth alone. The material aspect is simply a tool of the dominion enterprise. The real issue is the establishment of the covenant in the earth which means the plenipotentiary Lordship of Jesus Christ over every tribe and kindred. Thus fidelity to orthodoxy is paramount.
Therefore we must strive to leave a spiritual and material legacy for our children. As the “puritan storm” continues to build there are scores of Christians who are being exposed to the Reformed faith for the very first time. For these “first generation neopuritans” there is much “making up for lost time” in order to regain our glorious heritage. The depth of the application of our faith in the short term will temporarily reflect this tragic disconnection with our past. However, as we fight and gain ground, we will be able to transfer our faith to our children. Thus, as they stand upon our shoulders, they will enjoy greater exploits than their fathers.
We all have a divine imperative to be future oriented- covenant minded Christians, who will strive to leave a legacy both spiritual and material for our children and our children’s children. The compounding blessings of our covenant keeping God will establish his Crown overall. However, we must fight all encroachments and attacks upon covenantal inheritance whether such attacks be spiritual apostasy, irresponsible stewardship or indifference to civil tyranny.
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