The Word tells us that Jesus was slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). Thus, the transgression of Adam did not take God by surprise, as the Lord had a purpose in mind when He created man.
“In the beginning, God…” (Genesis 1:1). Before anything was created, God already existed. It is difficult for us to comprehend that God is without a beginning. Also, the vastness of the universe is incomprehensible. I have wondered why such a vast universe was brought into being and have sought understanding concerning this.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
When I ask, the Lord always responds with the following understanding. Because God is a social being (we are created in His likeness), He desires fellowship and communion, in which there is satisfaction and fulfillment. God is love, which requires two, the one who loves and one who responds to the expression of love. This is fulfilled in the Godhead, through the relationship between the Father and His Son, Jesus. He now desires this fulfillment and satisfaction for His Son, Jesus, through a Bride that He will provide for Him.
Because it is not within the ability of all the host of angels to provide this fulfillment, God began to search, creating more and more galaxies, seeking, but never finding that which He desired. Finally, He returned from searching the universe to a small planet called earth and created a man (Adam) in His image and likeness and placed him in a desirable environment. Then, He came to fellowship with this man.
Because of this high calling, to fellowship with God, man must be tested.
“And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden, in the cool of the day… and the Lord God called to Adam, and said to him, where are you?” Genesis 3:8-9
Adam was hiding from the presence of the Lord because he failed this test. The Lord asked this question, not because He did not know where Adam was hiding, but rather, to expose the condition of his heart in order to restore fellowship with him. Any counselor knows that to be successful, he must come to the root of the problem. Here, man is hiding, but the Lord is seeking restored fellowship. We should be encouraged in knowing that our Lord takes the initiative in seeking fellowship with us.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness….” Genesis 1:26
“Image” has to do with shape and form. God is Spirit, but He has shape and form, as He sits on a throne. He fills heaven and earth (omnipresence), and yet He has a localized Presence.
“Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode (localized presence) with him.” John 14:23
“Likeness” has to do with our personality being like His. His is unlimited, but ours is limited. Just as we desire to be loved and have fellowship with others, so also, God has these desires. Likeness also has to do with our moral character, meaning we have the ability to think, to choose, and to act.
Man was formed to have fellowship with the Lord, but there is a further purpose – “…Let them have dominion…” (Genesis 1:26). This speaks of man being given an authority over his environment, the atmosphere in which he lives, and over all that was created. If this dominion were active today, as originally given and intended, there would be none of the tornadoes, hurricanes, or the devastating storms that we experience. We would have the authority to speak to, and calm these storms, just as Jesus did.
It was never the Lord’s intention that these storms exist as they presently do. Many say, “If there is a God, why does He permit these destructive storms?” The answer is that man chose the “tree of knowledge,” to go his own way and rule himself apart from God. He forfeited the “dominion” that had been given to him in his creation, and we all bear the consequences of Adam’s failure, and the judgment that came on him.
But there is more. In redemption, we become a new creation and all that Adam lost is restored to us. This is a progressive restoration, and we must learn to act on all that we have received. I had a home in Florida and while there, was told that a tornado was headed directly toward this property. I earnestly prayed that this storm would turn northward in the Atlantic Ocean and never touch land. This unexpectedly happened, and I thanked our Lord for this experience in dominion.
God created man in “His image and likeness.” This speaks of a potential that must be acted on. There is a gradually increasing, present working of the dominion that we gained in our redemption. It is very possible that we can stop, or turn away a hurricane, a tornado, or a bad storm, if we will believe and speak forth the authority that we received in our redemption. At least twice recently, I have heard of areas where there had been no rain for a prolonged time, and one who is walking close to the Lord prayed, and soon it rained.
Satan deceived Adam and Eve, and robbed them of the authority they had been given. But when they hid from the presence of the Lord, it was the Lord who sought to restore that which had been lost. Our “salvation” is the beginning point of this restoration and has two purposes. The first is to prepare us for the coming millennial kingdom and for eternity in heaven. But there is a present restoration of all that Adam lost, which is much neglected.
The Lord created the earth and placed man on it with a purpose. He came “in the cool of the evening,” during the time before Adams’ transgression in which there was a special atmosphere, in order to fellowship with Adam as they walked together. He found pleasure in doing this.
A desirable atmosphere is very important, especially in a church service. This does not just happen. It must be created and the Lord’s presence respected. Some time ago, I spoke in a meeting and the person who introduced me told several jokes which made everyone laugh, and then turned it over to me. I struggled, and had a difficult time speaking. Several months later, I spoke again in the same place. This time the person who introduced me acknowledged and made room for the presence of the Lord, and the word of the Lord easily flowed out to those present.
“And the Lord took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it.” Genesis 2:15
That which the Lord had created was perfect in every way. But Adam was to “dress,” or improve what God had created. During each day, he did this. He pruned and rearranged what God had created. Then in the evening, during the “cool of the day,” the Lord came to see what Adam had accomplished in the garden during that day, and said, “Adam, I would like to go for a walk with you, to see what you did in the garden today.”
And Adam said, “Lord, I trimmed this, and then I moved it to a different place.” The Lord found pleasure in the fact that He had created a man with a freedom of will and ability. Although the Lord had created innumerable Angels, he never found this level of pleasure and satisfaction in them. Also, Adam was told to “keep” the Garden. That is, he was to exercise dominion in the safety and protection of the garden.
An enemy came and marred it by destroying the dependence and intimate relationship that Adam had with his creator. Now, by sweat amongst thorns, he would function and as a result, life has become very difficult for all of us. Nevertheless, the Lord’s intention is to bring a restoration of the dominion that Adam forfeited. All that was lost is to be restored before there is any return of our Lord.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder….” Isaiah 9:6
Dominion has to do with authority. Down through the ages, the Lord has given a measure of authority to those He called into places of responsibility. At times, this authority has been misused in the building of human kingdoms.
We are the body of Christ, He is the head. The government, that which comes from the Head, is to rest on the shoulders. Therefore, the outworking of this government is dependent on the body functioning under the head in total obedience. This obedience must be tested and established. Only then will we become the overcomer that the Lord desires for the outworking of His purposes in the earth.
“For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” Hebrews 12:6
Adam was placed in the garden, in a perfect environment, but there was a point of testing. He was to remain dependent on the “tree of life.” But the tree of (self) knowledge was very attractive and in time, Adam and Eve partook, and failed. The tree of life is the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our “Head,” and to whom we are to be totally submitted. Our mind and ways must be committed to the cross.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil appears to be very attractive, but it represents our choosing apart from God, and becoming independent of His government and provision. Because of this choice, mankind came out from under the place of divine provision and protection, and became subject to all the forces of nature, apart from God. We are still paying the price for Adam choosing to go his own way.
For us to come back into the original intention of the Lord, the first step is for us to give up the right to our self-life, and submit the totality of our being to His dominion and authority. We are to become subject to His government, and submissive to His will. We do this by establishing the preeminence of the Lord over every aspect of all that we are and have, and then walk as the Lord directs.
Sometime ago, I received a very specific dealing from the Lord about my being in Washington, DC. Later, I was away, visiting a friend and forgot about my placement in Washington DC. The Lord quietly reminded me that I belonged in Washington DC. I was being dealt with because I had submitted my life to the will of the Lord, and, I did not have a “word” from the Lord that I was to be where I was. I quickly repented and returned to the center of the Lord’s will for my life and ministry. This is not bondage, but rather, a tremendous freedom, as it is very reassuring to know that I am in the Lord’s will and that His favor is resting on my life and circumstances.
May each of us come to the place where we are fully submitted to the headship of our Lord Jesus Christ. Only then will we be able to function in the spiritual authority that He gained for us through His death on the cross. Our lives, and all that pertains to us, will be brought into divine order and purpose, and we will be able to affect the environment in which we live.
Then, the Lord will come to us “in the cool of the evening” to commune with us, so we can share with Him the victories we have gained.
And, the purpose for which we were created will find its full outworking, as we fellowship with our creator.