The Mandate, Model and Mantle

by Morris Ruddick on April 16, 2012


© Morris E. Ruddick


“You will be called repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in.”
Isaiah 58:12b

From the ghettoes over the centuries, the Jewish people have strategically influenced kings, merchants and power brokers; with their influence laying the foundations for the economic, moral, legal and governmental systems we now call Western civilization. Despite being only .25 of a percent of the world’s population, the Jewish people have been awarded 23 percent of all Noble Prizes; and 27 percent since the holocaust. Their impact has exceeded the best the world has had to offer.

Yet, notwithstanding the most valiant efforts of both the humanitarians and the Church, in 2007 Haiti had ten times the amount of aid as it did investment. Likewise, despite Nigeria’s claim to being the most evangelized nation on the continent of Africa, at this writing, it remains one of the most lawless and impoverished.

More than two-thirds of the world has little or no middle class.  Some estimates are as high as three-fourths of the globe’s population who live on less than $2 a day in conditions described by the Psalmist as oppression, affliction and sorrow. As God’s people, we have the truth, but there is a need for its unfettered application to bring meaningful change.

The issue is transformation; the need for change that endures with the ripples of God’s blessings that demonstrate the reality of God, that draws people to Himself. The gap between the societal impact of the Jewish people and the role of the Church suggests there being something more.

In early 1999, I was in Ethiopia to make an evaluation of business opportunity for a community of impoverished, persecuted believers. The obvious solution was cottage industries, but with more than 30 years experience as a business consultant at the time, I knew enduring change would require more than a contrived, Western model.

I began crying out to the Lord for answers. The answer that began unfolding from that heart-cry has developed into a program we have extended to the persecuted and oppressed around the world, with results that have exceeded our expectations. It is a program that takes God’s most unlikely and makes them the head rather than the tail, in the most adverse of circumstances.

It is a program that had its start in peeling back the trappings of Western, twentieth century models and gleaning the wisdom that has endured since the time of Abraham.

God’s Catalyst for Change
Throughout the Bible are stories of ones who have brought change to society under great adversity. We call them the heroes of faith.

The solution involves breaking the bondage of corruption and releasing that “something more” that brings lasting change. That something more operated under Joseph the Patriarch. He demonstrated it under some of the most adverse and improbable of circumstances. Daniel exercised it when immersed in a culture of sorcery. David, as a most unlikely candidate, prevailed with it and ushered his people into a time of great unity and peace.

God’s catalyst for change builds and brings increase. It wields influence and creates opportunity. It releases blessing to those within the sphere of its operation.

Over the ages, God’s footprint has been marked by ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It is the simple things that confound the wise. It all pivots on hearing the voice of the Lord and obeying. Like Joseph during his tenure as an Egyptian slave, the results will defy the odds for those willing to pay the cost.

The Mandate and the Model
The mandate and the model are the foundation. The world is searching for a people who will demonstrate the reality of God operating in their midst. Establishing God’s Kingdom authority goes beyond ethics, obeying His Word and being nice people. It goes beyond interim stratagems fueled by pop-Christian culture. It typically runs in the face of what is embraced as the status quo.
“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too!”
Acts 17:6

The original mandate was described at creation: “Let us make man in our image and let them have dominion [over all the earth].” God made man to rule over the work of His hands. It is the mandate of His people for dominion.

The model was established by Abraham. Abraham operated a God-centered, entrepreneurial community. Moses outlined the primary principles of the model in the book of Deuteronomy.

The Mantle of Abraham
The previous examples of the heroes of faith conform to a dimension that has operated historically in the Jewish people.

Their impact on society over the ages reflects “something more” that cannot be explained by natural abilities. Even within this generation, a disproportionate ratio of technology solutions has come from Israel’s Jewish community since the nineties. From cell phone technologies, to PC operating systems, to voice mail, to ingestible micro-video cameras, to computerized administration of medications, Israel’s global impact defies any normal expectation of results.

This dynamic began when the Lord spoke to Abram and said: “Get out of your country, from your father’s house to a land I will show you. I will make you a great nation and I will bless you. I will make your name great and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you; and through you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Gen 12:2-3

The something more is the mantle of Abraham “to be blessed to be a blessing.”

The mandate and model combine to demonstrate the reality of God through which the mantle of Abraham, to be blessed to be a blessing, has served as a light to the nations. The issue for results is the supernatural, the outgrowth of working in oneness with God. More than just faith in God, it’s cooperation with God for His purposes of repairing the breach and restoring the paths to dwell in.

The Dynamic
The distinctive is our identity in God and the stewardship of the mantle of the “something more” the world lacks.
“Creation itself longs for the revealing of the sons of God; that it might be delivered from the bondage of corruption, as it gains entrance into this glorious freedom.”
Romans 8:21

The Lord gives gifts to men to bring increase and blessing. The gifts combine to interact with the mix of the economic, community and spiritual dimensions of His Word to reset the status quo.

George Washington Carver was a man born into slavery in the early 1860s in the US. When the slaves were freed, George Washington Carver went on to develop a gift he had in botany. Then, during his early 30s, as a committed believer, he prayed the most audacious prayer. He asked the Lord to show him the secrets of the universe! The Lord answered George Washington Carver and said, “Little man, the secrets of the universe would destroy you; but I’ll show you the secrets of the peanut.”

During the next ten years, George Washington Carver developed 325 inventions involving the peanut. He created an industry that wasn’t there before and in the process, this man who had been born into slavery changed the course of his nation.

The gifts combine to break the mold and operate against the odds when we adhere to the voice of the Lord and obey.

The Process
Scripture tells us there are a variety of gifts designed for the common good.

Our economic community development program that operates against the odds of persecution and adversity gives focus to a mix of gifts that begin in individual believers. The natural gifts are based on each person being able to do something better than most other people, when developed. The spiritual gifts begin with the Romans 12 motivational gifts, which describe how individual believers flow most naturally in the Spirit. The entrepreneurial gift is a reflection of God’s nature to create, innovate, build and multiply. When these basic gifts in an individual are in right alignment, they release a gift of the exponential, which is a multiplied factor that goes beyond normal standards of increase.

The gifts are stirred and released through the anointing and become the foundation for what we call one’s destiny or calling. The sowing of the gifts yields enlargement. The impact of the gifts multiplies when applied with the community dynamic of tz’dakah or “righteous charity.”

Beginning with the model and the mandate, our program employs a sequence of modules to activate the mantle of Abraham through purposeful development of entrepreneurial community. The primary modules include: Defining and Releasing the Gifts; Hearing God on Business Decisions; The Pathway of Holy Spirit-Directed Planning; God’s Economy, Entrepreneurship and Success; Stewardship and Dominion; Community-Building; Opportunity in Adversity; and Building Community Builders.

Defining and Releasing the Gifts. The “gifts” bear on one’s calling. They begin at the individual level as the mix of natural, spiritual and entrepreneurial gifts mature and begin releasing the exponential. Change begins taking root when the diversity of individual contributions melds and begins operating at the community level.

Hearing God on Business Decisions. Hearing God on specific decisions begins with an interactive partnership with Him at the individual level. Within community, the effectiveness of employing the model is facilitated through servant-leadership that advances agendas toward the common good.

The Pathway of Holy Spirit Directed Planning. Planning is a pathway of purpose employing the combined gifts that is guided by the Spirit. Community-wise it is the building process with the Lord as the cornerstone and those anointed as leaders paving the way by which each one plays their part, based on their individual gifts.

God’s Economy, Entrepreneurship and Success. Free enterprise in its purist sense is outlined in Deuteronomy, and further developed in Psalms, Proverbs, the Prophets, the parables of Jesus and teachings of Paul. God’s economy is key to the model and mandate. Spotting opportunity and purposefully knowing what to do is the basis of Kingdom entrepreneurship. True success is based on the type of increase that assumes the responsibility and pays the cost to build community.


Dominion and Stewardship. Over half the scriptures on righteousness are in the context of stewardship. Making God your Senior Partner, in practice, will bring increase and dominion. When the mandate is aligned with the model and applied in the right way, it will serve to overcome the bondage of corruption.

Community Building. Building community requires the convergence of fundamental mind-sets: Kingdom, Hebraic, entrepreneurial and tz-dakah/charity. God gave community itself as a gift and means of protection, to nurture opportunity and to wield the power and influence in standing against darkness.

Opportunity in Adversity. Leadership employing the model and mandate within both top-down and bottom-up community enterprises, will manifest in opportunity that provides solutions in the face of overwhelming odds of adversity.

Building Community Builders. Enabling opportunity is a process of mentoring new entrepreneurial stewards whose mind-sets and mix of gifts are directed toward building community.

Each of these dimension combine to provide the framework for the way the Kingdom is designed to operate. Jesus’ earthly ministry laid out the strategy for actuating the Kingdom dynamic on the earth. Planning with the Holy Spirit unlocks opportunity that serves to create, innovate, build and bring increase and blessing. Jesus said that we are to be a community set on a hill that cannot be hidden (Matt 5:14).

The Pathway
For far too many in the Church, the Kingdom is limited to the hereafter and the millennium. Jesus came to reconnect God’s chosen to Himself and restore the foundations as it was in the beginning, with the model operated by Abraham. He outlined a pathway He described as narrow and difficult, but one that imparts Life.

With that Jesus laid an axe to the root of blindness created by the unholy alliances between the religious elite and the power brokers of the world. He outlined the foundations for true leadership that would destroy the works of the devil and the bondage of corruption; and release God’s Kingdom rule.

Entering God’s Kingdom and bearing fruit is what differentiates believers from followers; the called and the chosen (Matt 20:16).

Jesus’ parables unfold the dynamics of the Kingdom of God; the priorities, the issues, how it works and the mantle of Abraham. “The first shall be last and the last first” parable and the parable of the two sons working within the vineyard of the Kingdom address position and faithfulness. The parable of the talents deals with the issue of stewardship; then the sheep and the goats bears on those who truly assume the mantle as the King says: “Come you blessed of my Father, enter….”

The Kingdom keys seem as contradictions to the way the world operates and views success: We advance by yielding. Honor comes through humility. Wisdom is found in simplicity. Making your assets multiply will bring promotion.  Growth comes by giving to others. We extend love to our enemies. Our purpose in life comes through giving it up. We receive when giving. Perfect love eliminates fear.  In our weakness we are made strong. Ownership increases by sharing. We bless those who curse us. We lead by serving.

In short, we are not called to be or operate like everyone else. We are called to be in the world, but not of the world. We’re called to make a difference that transforms.

The Domain for Change
God-centered entrepreneurial community is both the model and the catalyst. Community was designed as a safe place with God at the center and His people sharing a common purpose as they apply the combined diversity of their gifts. It is the group-setting through which God’s Kingdom rule operates. It is a light shining in the darkness, because God is there.

God-centered entrepreneurial community is God’s people operating beyond that place of human effort turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. It is an entrepreneurial assembly of God’s own operating in supernatural increase to make a difference by enabling others. With it comes the multiplied impact of the combined potential from within the group, as it flows in oneness with Him.

Dominion comes from a process of stewarding the gifts to establish God’s Kingdom rule and authority in a given sphere. Dominion involves daily cooperation with God, by applying His Truth and heeding His voice. Coming together in community, on the Kingdom pathway, wields the power to reverse the curse.

The original “dominion” mandate and Jesus’ Matthew 28 mandate conform to where the gospel of salvation and the social gospel collide with the gospel of the Kingdom. The Gospel of the Kingdom is the gospel people run to because they see the reality and demonstration of God operating in their midst as described in Acts 5: “Great fear came upon all the Church and upon ALL who heard of these things.”

It bears on when the exponential gift is actuated within community, as it fulfills the mandate given to Abraham, to be blessed to be a blessing. The impact is prophesied in Isaiah 58 as a people who, against all odds, have been equipped to fix anything; “to repair the breach and restore the paths;” whose complete mantle is described by Paul in Romans 11 as bringing life from the dead.

In challenging times, knowing what to do takes something more than the best the world has to offer. The original mandate and the model, together with the strategy of the Kingdom, operating with the mantle of Abraham; provide the seedbed from which the Kingdom grows, repairs the breach and restores the paths to dwell in.
“In all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.”
Daniel 1:20

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