Of dominion mandates, gates and the battles of life
By Paul Okunlola
THE quest for the restoration of God's original purpose for man is an enterprise that has engaged humanity ever since, according to scripture, an act of disobedience in the Garden of Eden brought about a dislocation in the natural order appointed for all creation by the creator.
It may not have been a very remarkable incident on the face of it: a casual conversation; a simple act of persuasion; an innocuous act of disobedience; and, the sharing of a mid-day fruit snack. Unfortunately however, that single event has since become for man, the basis of a lifetime of tribulations and the begining of an eternal pursuit after that which had been initially given, but was inadvertently surrendered.
In the book "Enforcing Your Dominion Mandate: The Battle Of The Gates," Olajide Oluwajobi, a Pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), offers to the reader a compass of sorts, an easy-to-use guide that charts the path back to the complete life - that status ordained for every man by God as rendered in biblical accounts of his relationship with his maker in the period before the fall at Eden.
If, according to the author, the depiction of the Christian life today is reflected in the chaos that is manifestly evident in the world around - afflictions, disease, failure and a powerlessness over forces that determine one's fate - the situation really need not be so, but is a direct consequence of an abdication of status.
The question then is, what precisely is the original status of man, and is there a viable path to restoration?
Without a doubt, the book establishes from the onset that God's primary attribute for man is that of a life that exercises dominion. Retracing the Bible's accounts of the final stages of the creation sequence, it was clear that in creating man "In His image and after His likeness," God had placed him over every other thing He had made and was handing over to him the required authority to take charge in His stead.
What occurred as man succumbed to the guiles of the serpent, or the devil, in that single incident therefore, was much more than a simple act of disobedience to the clear instructions given by God, but was in effect, an abdication of roles.
Writing in his introduction to the 165-page publication, Dr. Olubola Christian Adamson, Principal, Christ the Redeemers School of Deliverance states that: "The authority which God conferred on man was sold cheaply into the hands of the devil. Subsequent to this power that changed hands, the devil became the god of this world.
"Following this transaction, the devil thus 'gained' the legal right to rule and to lord it over man, hence, he continually seeks to torment and afflict man, especially Christians."
Issues relating to this surrendered Mandate, and of the battlefields at which recovery can be obtained, therefore form the central themes of this book, which has been described by Pastor Peter Amenkhienan, Special Assistant on Youth Affairs to the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, as "A remarkable manual, a cutting edge book, full of timeless principles that will help shape your destiny and take you to a new inspiring level of great accomplishment."
Besides the sovereignty behind the dominion mandate given to man, the book addresses the discussion through the concept of 'gates,' a principle that has existed since the time of creation and operates according to the nature of authority exercised over them.
According to the author, "A gate is meant to stand for entrance, entry, door, gateway and opening. As we progressively exercise the dominion mandate, we need to move from one stage or sphere of existence to the other.
"However, a gate can also debar one from exiting as well as entering. By cunning craftiness, satan has turned many gates of life into an albatross that prevents people from getting out of the undesirable and entering into the desired level of life. Each of these gates of life is efficiently policed with the help of his host of fallen angels."
The main task of the book therefore, according to Oluwajobi, is to "point out some of the gates which we must possess in order to move ahead in life, and the consequences of failing at those gates. It is also intended to inspire or instigate action and prayers that will ensure that the spiritual offspring of Abraham not only possess their possession, but also possess the gates of the one who hates them."
Laced extensively with targeted prayer points as a round-up to each sub-topic of discussion, the reader is led through a comprehensive expose on the variety of concepts that shape the fortunes of a man, the biblical explanations behind them and the steps to be taken, along with prayers, to exit the limitations of a gate or access the blessings of a fulfilled life.
In addition to revealing the purpose, significance and battles that are fought at the gates of life's various challenges, Oluwajobi identifies the variation between gates, strongholds and towers.
His words: "A gate is usually erected for defence of whoever or whatever is behind the gate. But gates are ambivalent, they are on the fence; they can be surprisingly non-committal The gate you erected can work for you or against you. It all depends on whether or not the control of it is in your hands. When you allow enemy gates to be erected against you or you allow the enemy to take over any gate of your life, those gates then become the strongholds of the enemy."
The good news however, is that the name of Jesus has been given to man as "the strong tower," "the strong hold of strong holds." By Him, the author states, God is able to exercise His power of removal, redeployment or distraction, thereby empowering His children to recover gates hitherto conceded to the enemy.
For instance, the story is told in the Book of Judges, of how a single determined woman secured the city gates against a rampaging King Abimelech, simply by lobbing a rock onto him from the top of the threatened city gate, because she was determined to defend her stronghold. Because gates "do not get in the way until you are on your way, at that point you must have a solution to the gate, otherwise you are going nowhere."
The comprehensive description of the various manifestations of the enemy at the gate is graphically illustrated with testimonies, enabling the reader to identify precisely where there is need for intervention at their gates.
However, because the Lord has given an assurance and a hope that he has already commanded the opening of all gates shut against His children, Christians, the author says, should live their lives persuaded and in good cheer that He has overcome the world. Indeed, because the victory at the gates is already won, the dominion mandate is for the Christian not simply a privilege, but also a responsibility.
Written in readily comprehensible sections and supported with scriptural anecdotes, the intense prayer guide uniquely offers the reader an opportunity to take the lead in approaching God for their personal deliverance through prayer.
As a first attempt and apparently without the facilities of a publisher, there are formatting issues that need to be cleared up before any further reprints are made, while page numbering is disrupted by blank pages showing up at the end of chapters.
Nevertheless, according to Pastor J. A. Adeyokunnu, the RCCG's Director of Finance, the book will "inspire and instigate action and prayers that will ensure that the spiritual seed of Abraham not only possess their possessions, but also possess the gates of their enemies - attacking their attackers, arresting their arresters and commanding those commanding them in the spirit realm."
Indeed, adds Peter Amenhienan "Enforcing your Mandate is long overdue. The content will help safeguard the gates of life for anyone desiring effective living. Olajide Oluwajobi has really captured the essence of a life of dominion; the essence of giving your life a meaning."