The Spiritual Man #1 – In The Beginning
God, light Himself, created light, spoke breath into existence, and divided light from dark. He spoke the plants, and the animals, the sea and all that is in it, and it came into being. He divided, formed, and fashioned, and called it good. Very good.
From the beginning, He created it good.
There was nothing that was not good in all that He had made.
From the beginning, God placed man in Eden.
In a garden, with a mission, to subdue.
This was the call and the commission of the man. It was his beginning, his calling, his purpose, and his role. He was to be the subduer, he was to be the ruler, he was to be its sergeant.
Man was created to rule, and in that ruler-ship, he was created to Judge. It is only man that is able to sit in judgement, for, as the Lord had said, the Father has given Him the authority to judge, because He is the Son of Man.
It is the place of a man to judge the world, and even the heavens, for as it is written, do you not know that ye shall judge the angels? If we are to judge the angels, how is it that there are none who can judge in the smaller matters?
This was the responsibility of the man.
We can see man’s commission to rule and subdue clearer throughout history than maybe we can in the original Genesis account, but as with anything, with the unfolding of the mystery of creation, what begins as a seed, as it is watered, grows, and the greater plan of the Lord is unfolded increasingly. What has been revealed is for us, and our children, and our children’s children, but the hidden things belong to the Lord. This, too, is the mystery of creation, the mystery of the generations, that would be unfolded.
God created them male and female. He designed that they work together, the one completing the other. He did not create them both together, but created the one, and the other was taken from the first. For, woman did not come before the man, but the man before the woman, that she might be “wo-man”, in that she was taken from the man. She was to serve him, and to be his helper. Not was we understand it now, for the desire of the woman was not for the man as it was today, as it is under the curse.
Did Adam know the fullness of the planned course of the world in a single breath? Perhaps he did some, but it is clear he did not know everything. For certainly, if he had, he would have chosen differently. Although it is to be seen that while the woman was deceived (who until that point had not been named), the man sinned willfully, for he was there with her. But the command given at the beginning to the one was sufficiently binding on the whole. ”But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:17 KJV).
The first man, Adam, was a Son of God. He was not a begotten son, but was made. God’s only unmade, begotten Son made him, and placed him with a purpose, with a companion, in a place, and gave him one prohibition.
In the garden, the choice was obedience. It was devotion and faithfulness. It was about submission to fatherhood.
If we dare think of this as merely a metaphor, we have neglected our God in unbelief, who gave this Word as His Truth. If we ignore the intensely spiritual aspect of this Garden, we have become blind and hard of hearing that all things that God created point to Himself and to His Christ. All that God created was good, and perfect, and integrally connected with all that He had done.
But, without the fruit of this tree of knowledge, what understanding of good or evil was there? Before the partaking of the forbidden, what was good, and what was evil? What was this knowledge, and what was this wisdom? On the basis of this fruit is every other religion on the face of the Earth.
Yet, the other choice, the other fruit, beyond all the other fruits of the Earth, was life. There were two trees in the Garden.
One tree produced knowledge, and the other, life.
These two trees, trees that they are, are also different life’s. What a fascinating garden God created that those who partook of its simple fruit partook of the essence of the thing. Surely, this is a garden both on the Earth yet also in the Heavens, for that which passes into the stomach defiles no one, but rather only that which passes into the heart.
How far we then, must have fallen, to no longer even understand the garden of God. How blind and ignorant we must be, that we no longer see the trees as what they are. How broken this world is, now, that to eat of a tree today only nourishes the clay from which we came.
But, man dwelt with God, and walked with Him in the cool of the day. In the breezes, He called, and man answered. In the garden, he dwelt, and God came.
To be perfectly whole is something most of us never realize with our whole selves in this life. While it is true in our spirits for those of us who believe, and it will be made completely true one day, it is not yet apparent what we will be, nor what this life is that we will become. For, in Christ, all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily, and in Adam, was a purity and a life and a freedom, that though it is ours today by faith and more by the blood, few, few, few, ever find it.
The workings of man are diverse upon the Earth. God created man upright, but he has gone in search of many devices. God created man to love, and, in the pursuance of wealth above necessities of the heart, he has pierced himself with many sorrows, and made it harder now for himself to enter true life than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. There is no missed metaphor here. With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.
Man dwelt with the woman in the Garden. No one knows how long, although one extra biblical account equates it merely to a matter of hours. I prefer to think it was centuries, but what do I know? Perhaps, I look forward, and not back, in hope of a better time.
God visited man, and man was always found. Naked an unashamed, brilliant and perfect. In faith and trusting, with the powers of the universe under his command.
He was to subdue the Earth and all that was in it. He was to rule over the fish, the birds, and all that was upon the Earth. He was to multiply and fill it. Who is to say that, perhaps, that is why certain animals are more usable today than others. Perhaps, in his starting of the work, Adam began with the cow, the dog, the ox, and so forth, bring them into submission. Perhaps. Yet, it is only speculation.
Yet, man could eat from the tree of life. Man could live forever. Man could subdue the Earth. And, he didn’t need a bulldozer. He didn’t need a sword. He didn’t need even a shovel. Perhaps, as He learned from His Father, He could speak a thing, and have it be established.
Man lived with God, in harmony, until the fall.
So, a serpent whispered a false word to the woman. It had no truth in it, as the enemy never does, but the woman was deceived, and she took and ate. Man afterwards followed, and both their eyes were opened.
Before they ate, they could see God, they could see trees that imparted life and death. They could see the Earth and all that God had created. And then, their eyes were opened. Oh, to be blinded again to that spirit of death. Oh, to be blinded to what is by so much of the world called knowledge. For, this is what Paul instructed Timothy at the end of his first letter.
But, light became dark around them, and their world ended. In they day they ate of it, they did surely die, for this was the command of God.
Before any offspring were produced, before any other record of their lives, we record their fall, and it was complete.
The Lord’s reproved the man in this. ”Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;” This was the remuneration of the Lord, that man listened to the created, rather than the creator, to the lesser, rather than the greater. For God created them both and He was above all. The woman, created to be his helper, was never to come before the True, the Spoken Word.
There was not history in which to compare this to, as there was none prior. This, the Beginnings, was the first. Yet, the result was disastrous as it was permanent, short of the Savior. No natural disaster, no geological or meterological event could have ever had such a profound effect upon the natural order as one sin of a man. Man, created and delegated authority by the Creator of creation demonstrated that man was capable of upsetting the natural order under the hand of God. It was God, but it was in response to a man. One man’s mistake, every man’s mistake, for in Adam was all men. The whole of the creation curved, became bent, and obeyed the Lord according to the fall of man.
The Earth was caused to produce thorns, and man was promised that it was to be by the sweat of his brow that he would live. His labor would now be required to produce its fruit, and, at the end of his days, he would return to the dust. For from dust he came, and to dust he would now return. Adam’s eyes were opened, and as shame came, so did death, toil, and labor.
This was not the plan from the beginning, yet, for all man’s toil upon the Earth, from dust it once came, and to dust it would return. Dust to dust, and from nothing to nothing. For all of man’s efforts, even all the Earth’s, were frustrated. Until the see would come.
Man couldn’t be seen by God. He knew his reproach when his Lord came to seek him, calling to Adam, Where art thou? And, to replace what could not cover, God himself took the skins of animals to cover and clothe their nakedness. What animals He must have killed is not required, but as those fresh animal skins draped the two, and the first tailor ever was the One who never wanted it to be that way. One day, many years from then, another would play a similar role, being the covering of those who, in that of themselves, were desperately naked and covered with shame. A man who didn’t deserve it would give His skin as a covering for not just one man, but all, all who would receive it. One day, a Lamb would be slain, and mankind would no longer feel the shame of their nakedness before Him, who Is.
And, the greatest gift of all, the tree of life, was locked away. Where is anyone’s guess, but it is not here, as we might now consider here. Yet He is, the Tree of Life, the One Himself, who was, and is, and is to come. The Perfect One. The Shining One. The Radiant One. He still is here, in the hearts of men, and He who made the fig tree was He who would perfect His sons.
It was not necessary to know good and evil to complete their task, but One Thing was required, and that One Thing was now taken away, and sealed, Beyond the Cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every way. Beyond that burning ember, and those flashing guards, the Only Thing required to live remained, unapproachable, and Beyond the veil.
No one has ever seen God, but God, the only begotten, who is at the Father’s right hand, has made Him known.
They, East of Eden, and Beyond The Way, God had sealed the door.
This once perfect man, more perfect than the natural man can imagine today, besides one other, only knows that pain of separation from that Eternal intensity. Only God the only Begotten knows it differently, for He went to death willingly, not of His own account, but for ours, that we might live.
The woman, too, was put into subjection under the curse, and came to be ruled by the man, and be attached by her desiring.
The serpent was cursed to crawl upon in the dust, and that One who would come would one day come and destroy him, that serpent.
The man, created to rule, now multiplied and filled the Earth, flawed, yet according to command. Man, created to be like God, a little lower than Elohim, began to become unable to see the heavens, and to know the Lord. But, the offspring of the two brought gifts to the Lord. And, we see it was in faith that Abel offered a better sacrifice. For, even before the beginning, the foundations had been laid. Even at the start, the Lord knew what was best. Simple trust, simple belief, faith in Christ.
For, in an upright, and righteous heart, faith is pleasant, yet for the one who will not walk uprightly, sin doth creep at the door.
What sin had brought into the house, through shame, now gave way to ungodly desiring. For having not and wanting, we give way to murder, according to James.
From the fear, from the shame, embarrassment, and the rejection, the human heart turned angry, and very wroth.
Why are you angry Cain? And, why has your countenance fallen? (Genesis 4:6, paraphrase)
Why are you angry? Why has your heart and your face slipped? If you does well, you will be accepted, even then, and you will not need to feel that way. Sin itself lay crouched at his door. The angry heart, and the fallen face, lay as a snare to the man. It brought near to him sin, to want to have him. Sin was not an act or a motivation, but it was a predator. Sin was not merely a wrong choice, but it was a beast, a hideous fiend, a demon of destruction. And, it wanted into man.
Where did it come from? Why was it there? We do not have the answer, any more than to say, it was given to us to master. In the midst of shame and the fallen heart, rejected because of it’s own inability to see what was right, anger and despair was offered a remedy called murder by something unclean. Rather than following the man who is honored, this man chose to destroy
And, Cain slew Abel, failing to see.
His righteous blood called out. The Lord heard.
The curse upon this man was greater than that on the first, for even the produce of the ground was removed from him.
With the first, one man’s sin bent the world. With the second, death came with his touch. For one, he was bound to the Earth. For the other, he was cut off from it.
Surely, his punishment was greater than he could bear. Yet, even in this, God was a mericful Father, promising a sevenfold vengeance upon anyone that would kill him. And, a mark was set upon him, a mark to remind the world not to kill him.
Yet murder and sin did not stop with them. Generations multiplied, and sins spread throughout the Earth, with nothing to restrain the flesh.
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
God saw that as they multiplied, that their wickedness spread. The Earth was filled with violence and was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the Earth (Genesis 6:11-12).
And, so God chose Noah, and called him out of His generation, perfect. Out of all those on the Earth, only one man and his family totaling eight were saved. Of all of humanity, God chose only him.
This man, this preacher of righteousness, was alone in his generation, and He walked with God.
While the world descended down a slope from which no human by himself can ever fully recover, God picked the one man He saw as faithful in the Earth. This man saw, and he heard the Word, and believed, and in his faith, he condemned the world in his righteousness.
Though he may not have understood it, something within this one man caught the eye of heaven as worthy of salvation, and the faith that heard and obeyed built the ark that saved him.
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
Genesis 7:1 KJV
And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him (Genesis 7:5). Once the door was shut, before a single drop of rain fell, the fate of the world was sealed. And, in the seven days foretold by the Lord, the floods came. And every living thing upon the Earth that was not in the ark was destroyed.
And the rains came, and washed the Earth. And the floods came, and swept away the wickedness. Until the death stopped, the screams of wickedness ceased, and one family alone was left in the world.
When, finally, the rains ceased. The fountains stopped again, and the receded from the Earth.
And, the Lord promised,
As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.
In all that God had done, He had not deserted man.
In all that God had provided, His Word had never failed.
The Lord had never wanted to destroy men, yet, every sin must be atoned for, and every wrong receive its just due.
He never gave more than what was apportioned, and He never stopped His warning and His Ways.
Yet, only one in a generation heard Him, and only one turned his ways to come near.
Only one man was saved among thousands.
And only one was granted ability to stand.
In this, a covenant was established, that an accounting must be provided for. For the blood, for the animals, and for each man unto his neighbor. And, that which was entered into the ark, into the protective shelter of the Lord, though built by a man, every animal and person which into the ark had passed, God designated a covenant, and bound them over to it, within the wood of that ark. Through the wood of that vessel they were covenanted, that one day, again, many years from then, a new vessel of wood might bear a better covenant, with a blood that speaks a better Word than that which had fallen unjustly upon the Earth before.
And, God blessed Noah, and he prospered, multiplied, and filled the Earth again.
In the Earth, God had desired righteousness, yet wickedness flourished. God had desired true judgement, but only vengeance and violence prevailed. God had called forth Truth and Life, and death and abominations filled the Earth to its pollution. And, so, the waters of cleansing and purification had to come, and Noah and his family were baptized into the flood, covenanted within the wood, and rescued on the other side on their mountain top.
Yet, in all of this, the promise to the woman of her seed remained, as did the other seed.
God, seeing all this, spoke life and multiplication to the only men left, the four, and they prospered.
God, the God who withheld judgement upon the Amorites for the descendants of Jacob until the sin of their reached its full measure, only ever did what was just. And “one man in a thousand”, as it were, responded to His voice, and heard the call.
The same descendants of the son of God, Adam, had spread and been destroyed by the one who had created all things.
For the purpose of instruction, were these things written down, not in complete detail, but as the truth that points us towards something greater.
For in the heart of a man was the image of God, and, fallen as he is, he still recognizes for what he was made when he sees it. Only, the heart grows calloused, fat, and unfeeling. As the one who created them appeared to Israel, they did not receive nor recognize Him (1 John 1:10-11). Yet, to those who did receive Him, they were given authority to become.
Yet, in the beginning, God did create man upright. In the beginning, He did set him in a garden, not to toil by the sweat of his brow, but to live by something different. From the beginning, it was in faith in His Word that true righteousness would come, and the way to the Tree of Life, the Messiah, would be kept open.
The carnal man cannot even conceive of what it must have been like to actually be alive, and not dead. Even the Christian soul sometimes grapples with the feelings and the grippings of this life.
Yet, to each in each age, the choice has always been the same, to hear his voice, and believe, or to go and hold our own counsel.
For all Eternity, this is the Lord’s greatest command, that we love Him more than life.
Adam heeded the voice of his wife, and so he became the father of the dead, for through Adam all died.
Cain yielded to the sin that was present, and demons entered his soul. For the price of that, he was cut off from the Earth, so that it would no longer heed his labor, nor respond to his efforts. And, for the overspreading of abominations, it became desolate, so that the Lord was grieved that He had made man, repented, and sought to destroy it. It’s end would come by flood, and until the end, desolations were determined.
Man could not do what he was promised, so God had to find another way. Man could not redeem so another would have to take his place.
The first Adam, in his perfection now made imperfect could not satisfy the command of the creator, so the Last came to take his place.
Adam, the only created man, would indeed have to die, so that the last, Christ, would rule over the Earth.
Although it cannot be said that it was God’s plan for sin to enter, God, in His providence, set forth Jesus, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
And, so, perfection wraps itself in obscurity–it is God’s glory to hide a matter.
And, as light gives way to light in Him (Psalm 36:9), the only life there is is in the face of this man, this Last Adam.
As the unfolding of the mystery of godliness is revealed to the heart, it begins with yet a seed, a beginning little Word, just as in the garden, and the plan of God is fulfilled, for, even from the beginning, although it was not revealed as the written Word until centuries and devastation later, no Word of the Lord will return void.
Man, created to rule and to judge, will indeed have dominion over the Earth and subdue it. Although it may tarry, we wait for it, for, Christ must sit in heaven until everything is brought under his feet, and the last of these enemies is death as we read, we will see it.
His rule and His dominion is an everlasting dominion and His Kingdom will never be taken away and given to another. And, of His government and His peace, there will be no end.
What begins as a piece, simply a glimpse, becomes that Garden. And, what wrongly started with eyes being opened, beings anew with eyes being closed.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:2 KJV
The old has gone, and the new has come, in Christ Jesus.
And, as man took a downward journey, from the heights of love and paradise, so one man, many years later, walked back up that hill, and put things back, not as they were, but with a bright new hope. What man could not do, God did in sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to become sin for us.
As man took nothing with him from that garden, wearing only the skin provided, so, as we return, we find again that nothing from where we were banished may return with us, except, again, the new skin, the skin of the Lord Jesus may return into that presence.
For that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. And, that which must rule over the clay must not have come from it. As no piece came with them, so no piece may return.
As we grow in the Spirit, coming to eat of that Tree of Life, even Christ, we see Him to be our source.
The true and righteous law was only added because of the transgressions, but if we live by the Spirit, we are not under it. If we live by the Spirit, we will not gratify the desires of the flesh, but will reap His Life.
A man was healed by Jesus one day. They begged Him to heal the man, so Jesus led them outside of the city, and afterwards commanded the man not to return. This is the only time recorded that Jesus ever prayed twice, for, in the first time that He prayed, the man said he saw men walking around as though they were trees. While it is possible the first prayer healed part of the eye and the second prayer healed his clarity, also plausible is that the man simply began to see, instead of the natural, but the spirit. It is possible, that he was merely seeing the heavens, and the garden, and the trees.
Scripture does not record, but this is of note. It was only after Jesus had led the man outside of the city. Cities have a way of taking on a group mentality. And, so far as that mindset is unbelief, religion, and anti-christ, even Jesus found it harder to do His greater works. But, in the wake of the removal from an atmosphere apparently unconducive to the miracle, the man began to see something, what it was is not recorded.
Yet, whatever it was, it remains, that the Tree of Life, the only One, was the Lord, and that all who eat of Him do live.
What does it mean that a man is a tree? Seek heaven, and you’ll see.
Until then, content yourselves with the scriptures, not conjecture.
There is an answer, ask for it, and you will receive. Seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened.
Until you see, enter, and are satisfied with His likeness.
In Jesus’ Name.