This teaching includes a free sermon outline to download for personal use, message preparation or Bible study discussion.
As you will see from the outline, the subject of this present study is the Adamic race. Let’s look again at the opening verses of Genesis 1:1:
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (KJV)
This is the original, initial creation. Let me say that there is a Hebrew word, it’s bara, which is normally translated “create” in English, which is generally, though not exclusively, reserved for what I would call “original creation”—that is, bringing something into being out of no preexistent material. Then there are other words that are used where the material is already preexistent. And in this first chapter of Genesis it is somewhat important to notice where the word “create” is used and where other words are used like “make” or “form.” But the first verse gives us the original creation of heaven and earth. The second verse says:
“And the earth was without form, and void.” (KJV)
In previous studies I have explained that I believe that this was not the condition of the earth in its original creation, but it was the result of a tremendous judgment of God that was brought upon the pre- Adamic earth as a result of Satan’s rebellion and also to judge the wickedness of the race (or races) then upon the earth to have been led by Satan in rebellion and in all forms of wickedness. And it would appear that the main instrument of judgment in this instance was water. And so in verse 2 the earth became formless, waste, desolate, and darkness was upon the face of the watery depth. And then it says:
“The spirit of God moved [hovered, brooded, almost like a bird] upon the face of the waters.” (KJV)
You see, the emphasis is on darkness and water. Now I believe myself that from verse 3 onward, and right on through Genesis 2:7 we have primarily not original creation but essentially restoration. In most instances, the material was already there—it had to be reformed, restored, reshaped. I am not saying there was no creation, but creation was not a main feature of it in the sense of original creation.
Now I think this is important for you and me because as Christians, we are a new creation. Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “If any man be in Christ, a new creation has taken place.” And yet in a certain sense this new creation is a work of restoration. When I come to Christ as a sinner, my whole personality and mind and body are not obliterated. God doesn’t bring something totally new into being, but He sets in operation forces which will restore and renew and ultimately bring forth out of me something completely new. So that the new creation in Christ is, in a certain sense, a work of restoration. I think that is obvious. And therefore, this work of restoration described in these chapters and these verses of Genesis 1 and 2 is extremely relevant and applicable to the new creation in Christ. That’s one reason why I believe Scripture records it in some detail.
For instance, if you would like to notice certain aspects that are parallel, in Genesis 1:2 the world (or the earth) was in a mess. And when you and I come to Jesus Christ as sinners, we may or may not know it, but we’re in a mess. Now we may not know it because we’re also in the dark. And when you’re in the dark you can’t see things the way they really are. So this is the condition of the earth and it is the condition of the individual sinner.
And let’s notice the two great agents of restoration are the two great agents in the new creation, Genesis 1:2, “the spirit of God moved” and Genesis 1:3, “God said”: His word went forth. And by the word and the Spirit of God united, creation and re-creation take place. What happens when a sinner comes? The Spirit of God begins to move on that sinner’s heart, he receives the preached Word of God, and by the Spirit and the Word the process of re-creation (or restoration) in Christ is set in being.
Notice also that the first thing that happened in the restoration in Genesis was light. God works in the light. He does not work in the dark. The first thing that happens when a sinner comes is light. He begins to see himself and things the way they really are for the first time. And then there’s a process of refinement and separation and distinction and multiplication. Many different things and areas are dealt with in a certain successive order. This is true in the restoration in Genesis, it’s true in the new creation in Christ. Just when you think: “Now I’m really finished; God has dealt with everything,” there’s a new area opened up in your life. Have you noticed that? And God begins to deal with that area. Praise the Lord, everything is just the way it ought to be, and He moves on into the next area. And you see, this is true in the restoration in Genesis. First the water, then the earth, then the fishes, then the birds, then the beasts and so on. Then the trees and the grass and so on.
And notice also another beautiful parallel: God did not rest in this restoration until He had brought forth His own likeness. And God will not rest in the new creation until He has brought forth in you and me His own likeness. That’s the aim towards which He is working. So that’s just a little illustration of the parallel between the re-creation in Genesis 1:3 and following, and the re-creation in Christ. All the basic principles are exactly parallel.
Now let us look at a couple of places in this first chapter of Genesis where the word create is used. And I am not laying too much emphasis upon this, and I will have to say that there are things that I do not fully understand. Nevertheless, I am persuaded in my own mind that, basically, the outline that I am giving you is correct. I have pondered over this and prayed over it for many, many years. And I am always reluctant to come to a conclusion but I am pretty well persuaded that, basically, this outline is in line with the truth, though there are many details that I would not know how to fill in.
We find that the word create is used in Genesis 1:1, which is the original, initial creation. Then it does not occur again until we get to Genesis 1:21 where it says in the King James Version:
“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind ...” (KJV)
Now in my present King James Version, which has alternative readings in the margin, where it says whales, the alternative reading is “sea monster.” And where it says “moveth”—every living creature that moveth—my alternative version says “creepeth.” So it would appear that in the realm of sea monsters, something new was brought forth. And I think it is important to realize that undoubtedly in this restored earth, water and sea played a much larger part than in the original earth. In fact, I am not sure that there were any seas in the original earth. Because you find out when you go on to the culmination of God’s plan in Revelation 21, “there was no more sea.” So it seems that sea is not a permanent feature of the way that God wants things. But in the earth restored in Genesis 1, the sea plays a large part. And therefore it is at least reasonable to believe that God brought into being something new to occupy the sea.
And another interesting thing is that one of the most neglected objects of study in Scripture is Leviathan, which most people dismiss as a kind of laughing point. But you see, one entire chapter of the book of Job is devoted to Leviathan, which is a very large thing. And I am absolutely sure in my mind that there is a sort of mystery tied up in the sea and in the monsters that inhabit it which we haven’t yet plumbed. I just mention that for you to think about.
Then the other place where the word create is used is in Genesis 1:27:
“So God created man in his own image ...” (KJV)
Here is something new. Remember where it says “man,” the Hebrew is adam. It is a proper name. And it is most important to remember that. It is a specific person whom God created. And this is absolutely vital to Scripture. The Adamic race is a new race. There was nothing ever absolutely like it before. I believe myself there were probably—in fact, I believe there must have been other races, but they were not an Adamic race. Adam was the beginning of a completely new race. And he and his race are the central theme of all Scripture. The Bible is written about and for the sons of Adam. You cannot properly understand the Scriptures unless you realize that fact.
Now if we turn to the book of Job, chapter 38 for a moment, you will find there what apparently could be interpreted as a picture of this first judgment by water and darkness, and then the restoration described in Genesis 1:3 and following. Job has been complaining that God doesn’t understand, and apparently doesn’t know what to do, and is not dealing right with him, and then Job is confounded when the Lord appears and starts to ask him a lot of questions which Job has to admit he doesn’t know the answer to. We can begin with verse 4:
“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (KJV)
As I pointed out earlier, this proves that the sons of God, the angels, were already created and in being before the foundation of the earth was laid.
And then we get a picture I think, of this desolating judgment by sea and God’s reaction to it.
“Who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it…” (KJV)
I believe that this refers to this time when darkness was upon the face of the waters. The earth was shut in by tremendous dark atmospheric pressure and clouds, and all the heavenly bodies were excluded, the earth was in darkness, a watery waste. And then God goes on to say:
“And brake up for it [the sea] my decreed place, and set bars and doors, [and so on].” (KJV)
We will not read further. But you could profitably read it for yourself. But here I believe is a parallel passage in Job 38 to Genesis 1, 2 and 3.
Now coming to Adam himself, I want to point out to you certain unique features of Adam which apparently distinguish him from any other creature of God that we know of. And I have in your outline here five successive features. Let’s turn to Genesis 2:7 and notice first of all, the method of Adam’s creation. Genesis 2:7:
“And the LORD God ...” (KJV)
Now that is Jehovah God. In Genesis 1 we have only the word “God.” But in Genesis 2 we have the sacred name “Jehovah,” whatever way people like to pronounce it. Most scholars say Yahweh, Yahweh God. I believe this is significant because Genesis 1 is more or less general creation, Genesis 2, the emphasis is on the creation of Adam, a person. And I believe the introduction of the personal name of God, Jehovah, emphasizes that God, as a person, created Adam, as a person. It was, as they say on the phone, person to person. And this is one vital aspect of man. So it says:
“[Jehovah] God formed man out of the dust of the ground.” (KJV)
The word “form” is the word that is normally used of a potter molding a clay vessel. And that, I believe, is the picture. A perfect form of clay was molded. Absolutely perfect. The most perfect piece of sculpture that earth has ever seen. But all it was was a lifeless form of clay. And then it says Jehovah God:
“Breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (KJV)
For me, this is tremendously vivid, tremendously dramatic. I was reading this passage in Hebrew last night and I noticed that every word in the Hebrew, the sound of the word is part of the picture. For instance, where it says he “breathed into his nostrils,” the Hebrew word is ?vayepach?. And p is a “plosive,” as we call it, ?het?, the letter at the end, is a continuing breathing out. So there was a sharp expulsion of breath. It wasn’t just a little gentle, you know, sigh. It was a sharp, authoritative expulsion of divine breath into the nostrils and mouth of that clay. And it produced a living person. A human being, a soul. Think of the miracle even in the physical realm—that little balls of clay turn into eyes, that all the interior organs came into being. That the blood began to circulate, the heart began to beat. I mean, if ever there was a logical basis for divine healing, this is it. When your shoes wear out, you don’t take them to the watchmaker, do you? You take them to the shoemaker. And when your body is in need of restoration, the logical place to take it is to the one that made it in the first place. And that’s what the basis of divine healing is. And in the last short period I have seen God frequently do visible miracles. Even producing a nail on a finger when there wasn’t one. Almost instantly. And to say nothing of thousands of legs that grow out visibly. This is the creative power of God. He has never gone out of business.
When Jesus met the man born blind, He healed him in a very remarkable way. Have you ever noticed this? He spat on the ground—that wouldn’t be accepted in most churches—made clay of the spittle and anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay and sent him on and said, “Go and wash in the pool of Siloam.” Now Jesus could have healed that man, I understand, in any number of different ways. But He chose to do it that way. Why? Well, the man was born blind; his eyes had never had sight. I imagine maybe they were shriveled and wasted away. And it wasn’t just healing of a disease, it was really a creative act. And Jesus served notice on His generation: “I am still the same one that made the clay in the garden and breathed into it. When I mold clay and the breath of the Holy Spirit comes into it, then creation takes place.”
That’s, I believe, part of the lesson from that story. And so here we have the body of clay molded and then Almighty God, the second person of the Godhead, the Eternal Son, the Living Word, the only begotten of the Father (as referred to in John 1: “By him were all things made, and without him was not anything made that was made”), stooped down and put His nostrils against those nostrils of clay, His lips against the lips of clay, expelled His breath and man came into being. He became a living soul.
The Hebrew word for soul is nefesh. And I don’t know whether I can express this to you but, you see, there’s two forms of life: the spirit and soul. Incidentally, in this opening chapter of Genesis, there are certain words that are in the plural. I pointed this out, but let’s point it out again. Elohim, God, is in the plural. And that im is the plural ending. Shamaim, heavens, in the plural. ?Acheim?, life, is in the plural. And ?mahim?, water, is in the plural. You see, all these are revelations. God is plural, heavens are plural, life is plural, there are different forms of life. Water is plural, there are different forms of water. There is living water and non-living water. There is water above and water below.
So God breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives—life in all its forms. And man became a living soul. Now as I said, the word for soul is nefesh. Soul life is dependent. Spirit life is eternal. The word for spirit is ruach. And that ends with that long, soft, outflowing breath. Ruach. The Spirit of God gives but receives from no one. It’s a continuing giving forth. But the soul receives before it gives forth. And so the word for soul is nefesh.
Now if I can do this for you without appearing too comical, I’m going to do it. I don’t know whether you have ever—you must have been near to somebody that was in a deep sleep and breathing very heavily. (Deep breathing sounds.) That’s nefesh, you see? (Deep breathing sounds.) First breathe in, then breathe out. And soul had to receive before it could breathe out. Spirit was the continuing, outgoing, eternal life of Almighty God. So man became a living nefesh, his life dependent on the Spirit that had been breathed into him. Spirit: eternal, uncreated, independent. Soul: created, dependent. I believe this is true every time a baby is born into the world; somebody has to start the baby breathing. That’s just a little repeat of the original performance in the garden.
So, man was created in a unique way. I’m not talking now about the forming of his body of clay, but the fact that creation involved Almighty God and man coming face to face. Direct personal confrontation. And that man received something direct from Almighty God. Something from within God entered into man and I believe the lesson of this is that man, out of all creatures in the universe, has a unique capacity for fellowship with God, for direct confrontation with God, and that there is something in man that corresponds to something in God. And if I were to choose one word, I would say the key word is fellowship. The supreme purpose for which God brought man into being was to have fellowship with God. And the supreme purpose of the gospel is to bring man back into fellowship with God. And if you look at the last chapter of Revelation, there’s tremendous correspondence between the last chapter of Revelation and the first chapters of Genesis. The last statement about the redeemed is “His servant shall serve Him and they shall see His face and His name shall be on their foreheads.” Man is back into that direct personal confrontation with Almighty God for which he was created. And the purposes of God that were frustrated temporarily by Satan are ultimately perfectly fulfilled through Jesus Christ and His redemptive work. This, then, is the first fact that I want to bring out about man that’s unique and decisive. He has a capacity for fellowship with God which not even I believe the angels have. And in eternity the redeemed in Christ are going to be closer to God than the angels.
The most amazing thing to me at the present time in the Scriptures is how much God bothers about man. I cannot help but saying, like the psalmist, “Lord, what is man that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man that thou visitest him?” Why do you spend so much trouble on us? And yet, as I understand Scripture objectively, we’re the center of all His attention. The universe really revolves around us.
Now I can give you Scripture for that. As far as our position in Christ is concerned, all things are for your sake. That’s breathtaking, isn’t it? Everything, in heaven and on earth, is for our sake. Nothing grieves me more than to see Christians going around talking and acting as if they were unimportant. And it sounds humble, but it is actually unbelief. That’s all it is. We are the most important people in the universe. Not because of what we are ourselves, but because of our unique capacity for a special relationship with Almighty God (which capacity is restored in Jesus Christ).
Now let’s look at the next main feature of Adam as he was created, his nature. And again, a special relationship to God. The second point in your outline, Genesis 1:26:
“And God said, let us make man in our own image, after our likeness ...” (KJV)
We do not need to read more than that for the time being. Notice again that God is in the plural, “Let us make man in our image.” And some people say that’s just the regal form where the king speaks in the plural, but this is ruled out by the fact that when man fell, if you want to look at this, in Genesis 3:22:
“And the Lord God said, behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil ...” (KJV)
You cannot escape from the plurality of God by the evasion that the “we” is just a regal form. It does not stand the test of Scripture. God is plural. He is also one. But the word “one” that is used of God is the Hebrew word for a unity with component elements. It’s not the word for absolute unity. There is a word for absolute unity; it’s not the word that is used. If you want further example of this, in Genesis 2:24, and we’ll come to this a little later, it says:
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they [two] shall be one flesh.” (KJV)
The same Hebrew word for “one” is used. It’s a oneness that is made up of two distinct persons united. And this is the oneness of God. Not an absolute oneness, but a oneness in which plurality is united. And this mystery is contained right in the opening chapters of Genesis. To me it creates no problem. Some people find problems with the Trinity; I don’t find any. I believe in God the Father, I believe in God the Son, I believe in God the Holy Spirit. And what’s more, not only do I believe in them, but I know them, individually. I know what it is to have a relationship with the Father. I know what it is to have a relationship with the Son, and I know what it is to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit. There is no problem for me. I just don’t find it. Some people stumble over it and I cannot even put myself in the position of people that find a problem because I don’t find one. Praise the Lord for that and if I don’t find one, I’m not going to look for one. I just believe the Bible the way it is written. It makes sense. You don’t have to edit it, expiate it or improve it.
Now notice two features about man. He was made after God’s image and in God’s likeness. Take the word “likeness” first, it’s the more general. I personally believe it refers primarily to the inner nature of man. In his spiritual, moral and intellectual capacity, he was like God. He is a spiritual being. Concerning the believer in Jesus Christ it says, “He that is joined to the LORD is one spirit.” Spirit to spirit. The spirit of man united to God, who is a spirit. He is also a moral being. He knows the difference between right and wrong, between good and evil. You can train a dog to do certain things and not do certain other things. And if a dog does one of the things it shouldn’t do and you discover it, it’ll put its tail between his legs, it’ll cower, it’ll look guilty. But that is not right and wrong. That is just conditioning in certain situations. But man is created to realize certain things are right, certain things are wrong. And you’ll notice that Satan is always busy to blur the distinction between right and wrong. We have, at the present time, something called “the new morality,” which is as old as the Garden of Eden. But one way or another, Satan is always seeking to blur this distinction between right and wrong. And having been a philosopher, I am aware that many forms of philosophy ultimately end in that. Philosophers probably don’t desire it, but the devil impels them to it. He uses them to blur man’s moral sense. But the fact remains that man has a moral sense. He cannot get away from it. He can drink himself drunk, he can take drugs, whatever he does, he cannot escape the fact that he knows there’s right and he knows there’s wrong. Now, the lower animals do not have that problem.
Again, man has an intellectual likeness to God. He can plan and assemble and execute. He wants to cross the sea, he can construct a ship. He can see what things are needed, he can see how to assemble them together, there’s a purpose. He has a certain creative ability which the lower animals do not have. A rabbit can build a burrow, a bird can build a nest, but they can never change. They can never develop. There’s no progression. This is confined to man and I suppose the levels above him. So in all these respects; spiritual, moral and intellectual, man is in the likeness of God.
He is also in the image of God. Now that word image, without the faintest shadow of a doubt, means external form. It’s the normal Hebrew word for shadow, and it’s translated “shade” or “shadow” many times in the Old Testament. And interestingly enough, in a verbal form it’s the modern Hebrew word for “to have your photograph taken.” So that through about 3,500 years of the Hebrew language it’s always retained the specific reference to outward, visible form. Not merely did man resemble God inwardly, he resembled Him outwardly. He looked like God. You see, some people have such an idea of God as a kind of vague, blurred mist. They can’t think of anything looking like Him. But the Bible reveals that God has a right hand, a left hand, He has ears, He has eyes, He has feet, He sits, He walks, He stands, He has a back, He has a front, He has hair. Just, if I may say it, like you and me. Only of course, I got it wrong,
it’s not that God is like you and me, it’s that you and I are like God. That’s the truth of the matter, and in the human race, it’s the male rather than the female that resembles God. This is another very important point. You might like to check with this statement. Keep your finger in Genesis where we are. Talking about the covering of the head by a woman and refraining from the covering of the head by men, which I am not going to go into now, don’t be alarmed. It says in 1 Corinthians 11:7:
“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man.” (KJV)
In a certain sense, the woman stands in the same relationship with a man as the man stands to God.
And you’ll find a little higher up it says in verse 3 of 1 Corinthians 11:
“That the head of every man [male] is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man [male]; and the head of Christ is God.” (KJV)
There’s a descending chain. God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of the male and the male [or husband] is the head of the woman [or wife]. There is an eternal order. And it’s based on the very nature of man when he was created. Man, the male, was created in the image of God. The woman was created for the man. The woman was brought forth out of the man just as in a certain sense the man was brought forth out of God. And these are eternal facts. That’s why even in the New Testament, and even today in the church, we cannot afford to ignore these basic principles. Because they are principles of our eternal being. We cannot change them, we can depart from them, but we do so to our own loss.
If you should have any trouble still about the fact that man physically presents the likeness of God, let me just put it to you this way. We believe that God was incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ. God came into man, was manifested in flesh and a body. Now I believe it was appropriate that He be manifested in the body of a male human being. How would you feel if He had been manifested as a beetle or an ox? You’d cry out against that, wouldn’t you? In other words, there is something about the male human being that is specifically designed to manifest God. This is what the Scripture says, and I believe it. And it’s a tremendous fact because again it places man in a unique category. Even the angels don’t have this particular function to show forth the visible likeness of God. It’s reserved for you and me. Now, of course, this is another reason why the devil hates us. And it’s another reason why the devil will do everything he can to destroy and defile man.
I once knew a young lady, I don’t think she was very ladylike, but this is a true story. She was engaged to a young man and carried his photograph around in her purse. One day she got a letter from the young man saying he found another young lady and he wasn’t going to marry her. Now I say it wasn’t very ladylike but you know what she did? She took his photograph out, tore it in pieces and stepped on it. She couldn’t touch him, but she could touch his image. And that’s like the devil. He normally can’t touch God so what does he do? He takes the image of God, tears it up and stamps on it. Who is that? You and me. You see, every time a drunken man lurches down the street, staggering in the gutter and vomiting, that’s the devil stamping on the image of God, saying, “There you are, God. See what Your image is looking like now?”
That’s what I feel about you, I can’t touch you. There was one time when he could touch God, when was that? When Jesus came in human form and submitted himself to Pilot’s judgment. Then he was able to do what he really wanted, even to God in the person of Jesus. But normally he has to content himself with doing the worst he can to the particular person made to show forth the likeness of God.
All right. The third fact about the Adamic race is the purpose for which they’re created. Now this is breathtaking and a majority of people that read the Bible have never begun to grasp this fact. Man was created to be a ruler. Speaking in the second half or second part of Genesis 1:26 it says:
“Let them [notice it’s not let Adam, but it’s let ‘them,’ the human race] have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (KJV)
Man was created to rule the entire globe, the sea, the earth, the air and their creatures. And since he had dominion over the fowl of the air, his dominion extended at least as high upwards as the highest flying bird can fly, which I believe is the eagle. And over that entire globe he had authority. You can therefore put it this way: he was God’s visible, personal representative exercising God’s given authority over all the earth. When any other creature on earth encountered Adam they saw in him the likeness of the Creator and they received from him the dominion and direction of authority from the Creator. That was what he was created for. Notice that this is brought out very clearly in Psalm 8. The eighth psalm. And we will not read the whole psalm, although it’s worth reading, but just begin at verse 4 of Psalm 8:
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? [The son of man in Hebrew is ben adam, the son of Adam. Remember, it’s dealing with the Adamic race] For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands. Thou hast put all things under his feet: all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.” (KJV)
All have been put under the dominion of the Adamic race. Now I am aware that this is quoted in Hebrews and applied to Jesus. But I want to point out to you it’s applied to Jesus as the representative of the Adamic race. In Jesus the Adamic race found the fulfillment of its purpose. Prior to that, the purpose existed, but was not fulfilled. This is why God placed Adam on the earth. To have dominion over all the earth. He was created to be a ruler. And you see, there’s something in fallen man that still knows he’s created to rule. But he isn’t fit to rule because of the work of sin. It’s not a surprise that man has gone to the moon. It’s an expression of something in him. He was made to explore, made to dominate, made to control. But he’s not fit to do it until he is in subjection to God.
Then notice another feature which is what I call “intelligent partnership with God.” That’s the fourth of these features of Adam. And I would point out it in Genesis 2:19–20. Genesis 2:19–20:
“And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; [and later, we have to understand that] brought them to Adam to see what he [Adam] would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.” (KJV)
Now in the Hebrew, the giving of names is never an accident. A name is always the expression of a nature. So God brought the entire animal creation before Adam and said, “What about naming them for Me? I’ll give you that job.” Adam gave names, and whatsoever Adam called them, that they were. So that the naming of the animals indicated that Adam understood their relationship, their orders, their species and so on. In other words, he had scientific knowledge. Very important. Not by experiment, but by revelation because of his relationship with God. As a matter of fact, man is still struggling to get back to where Adam was and classify the animal kingdom the right way.
I happen to have been a student of the philosopher Plato, and one of the things that Plato dealt with most was the process of definition. In fact, I wrote my dissertation on this. And Plato discovered, which anybody can do if they’ll go through it, you cannot define things by moving up from below. You cannot take a mass of different things and try to pick out all the similar features and eventually arrive at a picture. Many, many people have tried, but you can break any definition that operates that way. It is never adequate. So Plato discovered, and he is really the father of definition, by genus and species as we use it in modern science, that you have to begin from above and work down by first of all establishing your genus and then getting your differences, the things that distinguish. And how do you get the first? It’s by intuition. It’s not by observation. Here is an area where man has got to go above mere sense knowledge. And Adam in his initial relationship with God had it perfectly. He could see intuitively every classification and expressed it in the name. So that’s important to understand. Man today is getting scientific knowledge the hard way.
I happen to be friendly with a couple whose son is a brilliant medical specialist and has discovered something about some disease. But to get this particular thing, he had to get the livers of literally thousands of sheep. I mean it was a process that extended over years. And ultimately he separated out of these livers some tiny little portion of some substance which gave him knowledge of some medical process. Well, that I call the hard way. That’s man without God. But when man was in touch with God, he got it by revelation. And when we get back in the place where we were, we won’t need the test tube or the laboratory. We will have knowledge as Adam had it. And it is important to see he had it. He was on a level of intelligent partnership with God.
The fifth unique feature of Adam was the provision of a mate. Reading on in Genesis 2:20–24:
“And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for ‘Adam there was not found an help meet for him [a helper to stand in front of him, it more or less means. When he had been through all the animals, there was nothing to which he could relate in that personal way.] And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman [which in Hebrew is ishshah] because she was taken out of man [which in Hebrew is ish. There’s a play on words.] Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.’” (KJV)
In spite of all the beauty and the order and the perfection that Adam enjoyed, and seeing all the animals and naming them, somehow there was something missing. There wasn’t any person with whom Adam could relate on his own level and share it all. And you know, one of the most frustrating things about extreme beauty is you can’t enjoy it alone. Have you ever discovered that? You go up some mountain peak and you look up—oh, I wish my wife was here, I’d like to tell her what it was like. There’s something about real grandeur and beauty that you just can’t bear it alone. I had a friend who used to go walking with me in the mountains of Greece in the days when I did that kind of thing, which is a long while ago. And sometimes he would go off on his own. He particularly liked the mountains of northwest Greece, Epyras. And he enjoyed beauty and he would just walk out with a sleeping bag and lie down in the mountains and wake up in the morning and so on. But he would come back and say, “You know, it was so grand,” he said, “it was so beautiful I just couldn’t absorb it without somebody to share it with.” And I do believe we’re all familiar with this. There comes a point where you say, “I must have somebody to explain it to, to share it with.” And after all this pageantry had passed before Adam, there still wasn’t anybody to share it with. Now God did that deliberately, see? Because God was showing Adam that God wanted something and He showed it by making Adam want something, which was what? Fellowship.
So after that in a very unusual way, and I believe it, maybe you don’t, but I believe it, God removed a rib and it says he built out of that rib a woman, put her in front of Adam, and she was in front of him. Now she was the helpmeet, the helper in front of him. He said, “This is the one I have been waiting for. This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” Now of course, this is a very clear picture in type of Jesus and the church. While Jesus slept in the tomb, God took out from His death and resurrection that out of which He is building a bride for Jesus. So the church is going to be to Jesus what Eve was to Adam. The fulfillment of His longing for fellowship.
So we come back again to this tremendous truth that the supreme aim and purpose of God is fellowship with man. Let’s just summarize briefly these five main unique features of Adam. Because without understanding them we don’t understand ourselves. You know that? We don’t know what makes us tick until we begin to find out these facts about ourselves. Because they are true of every one of us here, and they relate to many of the deepest needs and problems in our lives. We will not find satisfaction until we find satisfaction the way God has designed us to have it.
Let’s look then at these unique features. First of all, the method of creation. A body molded of clay but the directly-inbreathed Spirit of Almighty God bringing man directly face to face with his Creator and giving him a capacity for fellowship that no other creature has.
Secondly, the special nature of man. He’s created in the likeness of God inward; spiritual, moral and intellectual, and in the outward, external image of God to show forth the likeness of the Creator even in his physical form.
Thirdly, the purpose of his creation: to exercise God-given authority over all the earth.
Fourthly, his position as an intelligent partner with God. God stepped down and said Adam, “What do you think we ought to call these animals?” Adam said, “Well, I think…,” and there they were. You could almost say in American English, which is a little unfamiliar to me, they were like buddies really. I mean, I hope this doesn’t sound irreverent but there they were, wandering around, and, “What do you think we ought to call this?” I mean, that’s the picture I get. It’s intimate, personal fellowship.
And then lastly, the provision of a mate. Which, first of all, provoked the longing for personal fellowship and then satisfied it. And there’s a type of the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church.
Sum it up. Adam was the ruler of the world. That is, “the world” means the social order in which he was placed. “The world” does not mean the universe. It never means the universe when that particular word is used anywhere in Scripture. It’s a misunderstanding. It means the particular social order in being at that time.
Now, one more thing I want to point out and it is very, very important. Probably be the last point that we can establish in this study. God gave Adam free will. Therefore, logically, he had to give him the opportunity to exercise his free will. Free will is a mockery if there is no choice. And God did not remain around like a policeman on duty, following Adam up and saying, “Now do this, and don’t do that!” He left Adam and Eve for long periods on their own. Because it says in the 3rd chapter, “the Lord came into the garden in the cool of the evening.” It’s obvious that He hadn’t been in the garden all day and furthermore, the suggestion is that He used to drop in for a visit and fellowship maybe every evening. It was about the time that it was getting a little cool and the breeze was beginning to blow, which is what the Hebrew word means, the cool of the evening. But God left with Adam one permanent representative of God. One thing that always represented God. One thing that never departed from him. And do you know what that was? His word. God left with Adam a word.
Now why I emphasize this is because again we have a direct parallel between this situation and the new creation in Christ. When we are created anew in Christ, God does not follow us around like a policeman saying, “Do this, and don’t do that.” He doesn’t wave a big stick at us all the time. But He’s left with us one permanent representative of Himself and it is His word. If you want confirmation of that, let’s look in John 14 for a moment. And then I want to come back to the situation with Adam. In John 14, and the 23rd verse will do, though the background is important, but we’ll not go into it. John 14:23:
“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 unto him, and make our abode with him.” (KJV)
In other words, how does God reveal Himself to us? How does He come to us? How does He make His abode in us? Through His word. The place of God’s word is the place that God has in our lives. The same honor and respect that we give to the word of God we give to God. We do not love God more than we love His word. We do not honor God more than we honor His word. We do not obey God more than we obey His word. The test of our relationship to God is our relationship to His word.
Now this was way back, the same for Adam. The test of Adam’s relationship to God was Adam’s relationship to the word of God. Now God didn’t give Adam, as far as we know, an entire Bible. He gave him one verse. But that was enough. Maybe two verses. You will find it there in Genesis 2:16–17. Genesis 2:16–17:
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. 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.” (KJV)
Now that was the word of God. And many times you will find that the Scripture speaks about Satan and his lie. And in various places, Brother Mumford pointed out the other Sunday evening, the word is not a lie, but “the lie.” The specific lie. And the specific lie is the denial of this specific truth: Thou shalt surely die. Because what did Satan say, as we’ll see in the next study? He said, “Thou shall not surely die.” That’s the lie. In other words, you can sin and get away with it. That’s the lie. And here is the truth: In the day that you do it, you will die.
Notice therefore, the construction of God’s word. There are three aspects to it. In verses 16 and 17 of Genesis 2. First of all, permission. God beings with the positive. “Thou mayest eat of every tree that is in the garden.” “Except one”: prohibition: “Thou mayest not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” And finally, the third phase, warning. “In the day that you eat thereof, you are going to die.”
Now, what I want to point out to you is that so long as Adam obeyed— let me say, believed and obeyed God’s word—he was inviolable, nothing could touch him. Nothing could take away his peace, his life, his blessing. But the moment that he rejected God’s word, even though God was not personally present in the garden at that time, he had rejected God.
See, here is one of the great basic lessons of all Scripture. Your attitude to God’s word is your attitude to God. You say, “I haven’t shaken my fist in God’s face and said, ‘God, I don’t want you.’” No. But you refused His word. And refusing His word is exactly equivalent to shaking your fist in His face and saying, “God, I don’t intend to have You in my life.” Your attitude to the word is your attitude to God.
Now let’s notice again the correspondence between the creation spoken of in Genesis and the new creation in Christ. When God created Adam, as I understand it, He did not then look around and say, “Now, where are We going to put him? What’s he going to eat?” Everything he needed was already perfectly provided by the foreknowledge of God. He placed Adam in a creation which was perfect, with the exception of the provision of a wife, which we have already dealt with. He needed nothing that wasn’t there. And the condition for remaining there was one thing: Believe and obey God’s word.
Now as I understand the gospel, exactly the same is true of every person created anew in Christ. When God creates us anew in Christ He does not have to look around and say, “What am I going to do about him? How shall I keep him? What will he live on? How will he find the answers to his problems?” Everything we will ever need is already provided in Christ. We are placed into as complete and perfect a provision as Adam was when God put him in the garden. Now I want to show you this in 2 Peter 1, just two or three verses. 2 Peter 1:2–4:
“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power [that’s God’s power] hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (KJV)
Notice in the 3rd verse God’s divine power has given, not will give, but has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness. God hasn’t got to give us anything more. It is all given. It all comes through the knowledge of Christ and it is all contained in the “exceeding great and precious promises” of His word. In other words, there’s an exact analogy between the new creation in Christ and the first creation of Adam. Adam was created and put into a place of perfect provision. There was not one thing lacking. And the only condition of remaining there was believing and obeying God’s word. And you and I, re-created in Christ, are put into a complete and perfect provision. Everything we shall ever need for time and eternity is already provided. The only conditions for remaining there is believing and obeying the word of God. It’s exactly analogous. Adam’s real error was that he did not appreciate the authority of God’s Word. And that’s the great basic error of Christians. Why are we sick? Why are we in lack? Why do we have problems to which there is no answer? Because we are not living in the provision of God. Why are we not living in the provision of God? Because there are areas in which we are not believing and obeying the word of God.
Notice one other thing about Adam and we’ll close this study. This too, is very important when we come to the study of the fall, which we will take in our next study. I want you to see, turning back to Genesis 2:16–17 just for a closing moment or two, that it says: “The Lord God commanded the man,” that is, Adam. The woman was not there. God’s word was given to Adam. And you’ll notice it’s all in the singular. “In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” You see, even in the garden there was authority. And when Eve came in, she didn’t get this direct from God, she got it from her husband. And there’s a whole volume of truth in that fact. She had to accept Adam as the representative to her of God’s word. And when she failed to submit herself to Adam’s authority, she had rejected God’s authority and the whole disaster began. The more you go into this original creation of man and the original situation and relationship, both of man to God, and of Adam to Eve, you will find all the great basic truths that you and I need for successful living are contained here. And every time we go against these truths, we run into disasters.
I recommend that you take time to meditate on these facts. For this reason you have the outline. Go over it. I’ve only just touched on these things. If you will take time and seek God, meditate on them, God will open these things up for you in a very real and wonderful way.
Now I think we’ll close there for today, but, the Lord helping us, in our next study we will go on with the topic that’s there, The Fall of Adam.