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Genesis Framework Part 17


Genesis Framework Pt 17


Genesis Framework
GF 17 Genesis 1.28
October 18, 2015
Part 17

(Q) What specific or concrete duties were assigned to original man of Eden in the outworking of the kingdom of God?

Today we will begin taking a look at the principle of the cult and the cultural dimensions of the kingdom of God.

We all have noticed that the stipulations that are in the Mosaic Covenant are mostly negative in character; for example, “you shall not have any other gods before Me,” “you shall not bear false witness,” etc..

Why so negative?

Because these later stipulations are designed, not to prevent or stop man from sin, but to “curb” the behavior of fallen-state-condition mankind by informing his conscience, providing his awareness contact with a bumpy boundary as a reminder and alert when he has strayed from the road of righteousness.

In contrast, the specific obligations that were originally spelled out under the creational covenant were (with one familiar exception) positive in form. The first covenant stipulations were concerned with both the vertical and horizontal dimensions of covenant life in Eden.

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The vertical dimension dealt with man’s cultic role; that is, his duties in his direct vertical relationship to his Creator-Lord.

Cultic role?

cult- noun from the Latin, cultus; care, cultivation

Meaning a system which maintains, refines and improves religious worship or ritual

In negative denotation: a devoted and extravagant admiration for a person or principle.

to cultivate, to till- to prepare or use land and preparing the soil by breaking up surface soil around plants to destroy weeds, prevent crusting, preserve moisture and to generally improve by care. Although the act of cultivation is primarily applied to the
ground as in agriculture (Latin agri of a field + cultura cultivation) used in a literal sense as to prepare or use land and to prepare the earth by breaking up surface soil around plants to destroy weeds, prevent crusting, preserve moisture and to generally improve by care; cultivation is used figuratively in societal terminology as well

to culture- verb from the Latin, cultere; to cultivate, to till figurative meaning; to grow by making improvements and refinements in the quality of personal and social conditions by developing improved work habits, using cooperation, tools, concepts, instruments, manners, emotions, thought, taste, skills, etc., to advance growth

        A black horizontal double arrow
The horizontal dimension dealt with man’s cultural role; that is, his duties in his relationship to the world of his environment and to all his fellow creatures.

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Think of these two roles commissioned by God upon man as a dual priest-king office. There was a unity of the priestly-cultic and royal-cultural functions as alike a covenantal service rendered to the heavenly Suzerain, so that man’s life was not divided into religious and non-religious areas.

To the contrary, man’s total life and labor were all religious.Only a true theocracy can meet this kind of requirement.The formal sacred-profane distinction is only found later, within the context of the fractured post-fallen world. In that situation, man’s cultural functions are not holy, but profane.

Nevertheless, in the post-fall common grace situation, we recognize that even these profane functions are to be carried out under God’s mandate as service unto Him, for His glory, thus they become thoroughly religious in character. The marked difference in the creation-theocracy was that the cultural dimension was not only religious, it was holy
in itself.

Now let’s look again at the mode of revelation in the covenantal commissioning of man, in particular how special revelation was necessary in addition to natural revelation in order to communicate the specific cultural and cultic duties of the covenant.

First, we know that the imitation of God principle was operative as the internalized norm in man who was made in the image-son relationship of God’s own nature, and that from the beginning God, was also known to man through natural revelation; yet in addition, knowledge through the special revelation was also the normal order of the day in the original creation kingdom.

At the beginning, we see evidence of a special revelation of a unique character operating. The special revelation of the covenantal law was enhanced by the fact that the
Glory-Spirit was the particular point of reference in the creation of man as the image-son of God who imitated his Father-Archetype.

Let me explain...

We often think of the presence of the Glory-Spirit as a theophanic reality who was simply a visual revelation.

But, remember also that verbal communication was a normal accompaniment of this divine Presence. From the beginning we experience a special word revelation of God’s will for man.

Word revelation was the means needed to convey specific information about the Lord’s purposes and requirements, in addition to that which was revealed in non-verbal fashion.

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Man’s work objective in general, as priest-king, was to live out and carry forward the kingdom program.

By means of special word revelation from God, man was advised of the extent and limitations of his God-like authority with respect to other creatures heavenly and earthly, human and sub-human. Special verbal communication was also necessary to convey divine “prophecy” as well as divine law.

In the first section of Genesis (1.26) God addresses His word to the heavenly council, advising them of His purpose to create man with a royal glory like that of the Glory-council itself.

Genesis 1:26
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

Then in the fulfillment section of Genesis (1.28) God addresses the man and the woman He has created, and to them repeats His designs for them which was previously
announced in the heavenly assembly.

Genesis 1:27-28
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

So God sent them into the world on their mission as His anointed servants with a royal mandate to exercise dominion over the earth in His name.

To do this required that they were to fill the earth with their royal kind as a human race by procreation, and to bring the earth under their rule.

Apparently man originally learned a great deal of how to perform his cultural role by performing the duties given to him in tending God’s garden and by domesticating and
tending God’s animal flocks.

Unlike the angels who are created as a host, not a race, man is created as one pair, male and female, who by multiplying themselves become a host that is also a race.

The procreation mandate was accompanied by the command to work to nourish himself out of the earth to support stores of food for his multiplying race.

Genesis 1:29
And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.

Notice: the context extends well beyond the garden.

While in Genesis 1 the procreation mandate is expressed in simple functional terms to be fruitful and multiply, Genesis 2 adds the institutional aspect by assigning procreation to its proper context in the matrimonial relationship.

Genesis 2:24
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

be joined Hebrew for to be joineddah-baq' verb

to cling to, to stick to, stay close to, to cleave to, to join together

So we can say with certainty that the marriage ordinance (to cleave to) was operative from man’s origin.

Man also was to subdue the earth and rule its creatures.

Genesis 1:28
Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

subdue it Hebrew for to subdue' kah-bash' verb imperative

to subdue it, to bring it into bondage

Even if the verb “subdue” (kah-bash' ) does not exactly mean “to conquer,” it at least has the meaning here of bringing the earth into subjection. This implies that man was to overcome whatever resistance he might encounter in the process. Nevertheless, we are not to twist man’s role into that of appropriating the earth’s resources as a process of
destructive exploitation. God did not intend for man to ravage and poison the world, otherwise the world would truly have become an unmanageable one.

Genesis 2.15 indicates a balance in man’s subduing of the earth and bringing it into his service.

NKJ Genesis 2:15
Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

to tend (Hebrew for to tend ah-vad) to work, to serve, to till the ground

to keep (Hebrew for to guardsha-mar) to keep, to watch, to guard, to preserve the garden

The rest of the world is simply considered to be an extension of the garden.

From this we can see that God’s original intent was for man to appropriate the earth’s riches through the cultivation of it, for the cultivation of mankind, and that in cultus, or service to the glory of God.

The whole task of it was to begin as man functions as a gardener in Eden, and to extend this local life support system into a global mastery.

Man was originally given the cultural mandate to put all the capacity of human brain and brawn to work to develop the original paradise home into a universal city, the kingdom city, thus the institutional and governmental dimension enters into the picture.

(Q) So, what did the first form of government take in the beginning?

(A) The family.

Man was virtually created a family since the first pair was created not just male and female, but husband and wife.

Notice that Adams acknowledgement of the woman is expressed in terminology which is later used to describe family kinship:

NKJ Genesis 29:14
And Laban said to him (Jacob), "Surely you are my bone and my flesh." And he stayed with him for a month.

NKJ Judges 9:2
"Please speak in the hearing of all the men of Shechem: 'Which is better for you, that all seventy of the sons of Jerubbaal reign over you, or that one reign over you?'
Remember that I (Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal ) am your own flesh and bone."

Many will be surprised on the Day of Judgment when they discover that it was just as the Word of God says; only the righteousness of Christ is able to save you.All men are sinners and no one can save himself. God is just, so He must punish sin; but He is also merciful, moreover gracious, and offers His Son as the perfect sacrifice in order to purchase a place for you in heaven, which He offers to you as the free gift of eternal life. As we continue to examine man’s earliest duties with regard to the covenant of works, although they can be categorically divided into two distinct types of classes; one in relationship with God, and the other in relationship with fellow man, all covenant stipulations are expressions of the will of the Lord. The law of the covenant is the law of man’s image-sonship.

Jesus is God Incarnate

In order to pay the debt of our sins, He came from Heaven, having been sent by the Father, where He lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father even unto the shameful death upon the cross in order to pay the debt of your sins.This gift must be received by faith, believing that Jesus’ perfect life and Cross Work was His complete and necessary Atonement for your sins, in your behalf.Faith is a gift that comes by the Power of God the Holy Spirit working in a person’s innermost being. The Holy Spirit has the authority and power to quicken your dead spirit, to make it come to life. If you have not done so before this moment, ask Jesus to forgive you your sins, tell Him you’ve stop trying to be your own savior, and ask Him to come into your life right now, and to give you eternal life. Then, in faith believing, thank Him for the gift that He is giving you, the one He paid for in full in your place, in Jesus’ name,AMEN


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Copyright October, 2015
Rev. Jim Craig
All Rights Reserved

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