BY WADE E. TAYLOR
The Word tells us that Jesus was slain before the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8). Thus, the transgression and failure of Adam did not take God by surprise, as the Lord had a purpose in mind when He created man.
“In the beginning, God…” Before anything was created, God already existed. It is very 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. When I ask, the Lord always responds with the following understanding.
Because God is a social being, (we are created in His likeness), He has, from eternity, desired “fellowship” with a satisfaction gained from that communion. Thus, God created the universe, seeking, but never finding, that which He desired. He returned from searching the universe, to a small planet called “earth”, and created a man in His image and likeness, and placed him in a desirable environment. Then, He came to fellowship with this man.
“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden, in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”
“And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, where are you?” Gen 3:8-9
Adam hid from the presence of the Lord because he had transgressed the word of the Lord to him. 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.” Gen 1:26a
“Let us…” This speaks of the totality of God; Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus was involved in our creation. “Image” has to do with the fact that God has shape and form. He sits on a throne. He is Spirit, but He has shape and form. He fills heaven and earth, and yet He has a localized Presence.
“Jesus answered and said unto 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 with him.” John 14:23
“Likeness” has to do with our personality being like His. He, unlimited, but we limited. 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 God, but there is a further purpose – “Let them have dominion.“ (Gen 1:26b) This speaks of man being given an authority over his environment, the climate, the weather, and over all that was created. If this “dominion” were active today, there would be none of the tornadoes, hurricanes, or the devastating storms that we experience today. 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 him in his creation, and we bear the consequences of Adam’s failure and the judgment that came on him.
Many years ago, I was ministering on the streets of Philadelphia. At that time, there had been a fire in Chicago in which a children’s home burned and about forty children lost their lives. A lady I was witnessing to said, “If there was a God, He never would have permitted that to happen.” I did not know what to say. I went home, and asked the Lord. The answer I received was that “we bear the consequences of man’s rebellion.”
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 have a home in Florida, and some time ago 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” which must be acted on. There is a present working of the “dominion” which we gained in our redemption. It is very possible that we can turn 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 a person who is walking close to the Lord had 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 eternity, which is much emphasized. But there is a present restoration of all that Adam lost, which is much neglected.
God created the earth and placed man on it with a purpose. He came “in the cool of the evening” during which there was a special atmosphere, in order to walk and fellowship with man. He found pleasure in doing this. A desirable atmosphere is very important, especially in a church service. Some time ago, I spoke in a meeting, and the person that introduced me told several jokes which made everyone laugh, and then turned it over to me. I struggled, and had a hard time speaking. Several months later, I spoke again in the same place. This time the person who introduced me acknowledged and built up the presence of the Lord. This time the word of the Lord easily flowed out from me. But there is something more.
“And the Lord took the man, and put him in the Garden of Eden to dress it and keep it.” Gen 2:15
That which the Lord had created was perfect in every way. But Adam was to change or improve what God had created, and during the day, he did this very thing. Then in the evening, in “the cool of the day,” God came to see what Adam had accomplished or changed in the garden during the day. He moved, sheared, and gave it shape; he improved what God had created. Then in the evening, the Lord came 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.” And God 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.
But an enemy came and marred it by destroying the place of dependence and intimate relationship that Adam had with his creator. Now, by sweat amongst thorns, he would function, and life has become very difficult for all of us. This is the result of sin. But 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.
“Dominion” has to do with authority. In past times, the Lord has given a measure of authority to those He called into places of responsibility. At times this authority was misused in the building of human kingdoms. The government, the place of authority, is to rest on His shoulders.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
We are the body of Christ. 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.
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” Rev 3:21
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 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’s 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 our lives, and walk as the Lord directs.
Some time ago I received a very specific dealing from the Lord about my being in Washington, DC. Later, I was in San Diego with a friend and we visited the animal farm which has animals from all over the world living in a simulation of their environment. It was outstanding, but all the time I was there, the Lord was reminding 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. 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 so we can function in the spiritual authority that He gained for us on the cross. This will enable us to greatly affect the environment and circumstances in which we live.
And then, the Lord will come “in the cool of the evening,” so we can share with Him the victories we have gained.
FULL SALVATION [Wade E. Taylor] 1