God’s Will for Man
Lord Jesus restored the original glory of man of being in likeness and image of God and empowered him with the indwelling Holy Spirit to overcome darkness all around and lead others therein.

God’s Will for Man

       God did not create man in His image and likeness to only reveal His glory to creation but to help him in his actual role on earth. Through breathing into that pile of dust God also installed His power in man and then defined his assigned task as man. God establish a permanent relationship with man and empowered him to manage his relationships with others in creation on the earth.     

      Purpose of creation – The purpose of God is revealed in Genesis 1:1-5, to move toward order from disorder, to form out of formlessness, something out of nothing. The Spirit of God moves to bring light out of darkness and this is the first step God took to create light for without light there cannot be life. This light source is God and it is a symbol of God and it is pronounced as ‘good’ for goodness relates to God. Light is not God but its characteristics are also true of God and light is supposed to reflect truth for it provides visible clarity.

      Truth is found at various levels but true at each level, like a chocolate cake with three layers. First is bottom or the physical layer; second is a middle layer concerning the soul dealing with our mental and emotional reactions and the top layer is the spiritual one. Light can be viewed from these three levels, the physical light fills the room and we can see each other. The second layer guides us, ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet’ (Psalm 119:105), showing me the right way to live. It pertains to the emotional or mental level which is moral knowledge. The third or the spiritual light deals with the nature and character of God. Apostle John experienced the love of God and how he was changed into a new person by His Word to say, “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all’ (1 John 1:5). He experienced this light in Lord Jesus for ‘In Him was life and the life was the light of men’ (John 1:4). The same statement is made by Lord Jesus about Himself, ‘I am the light of the world. If any man follows Me he shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life’ (John 8:21). Light is equally true at all three levels and the Book of Genesis must be understood in all the three aspects and not physical alone as is generally done. Apostle Paul uses the soul and spirit aspect to say, ‘For it is God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ’ (2 Corinthians 4:6).

       The second step that God took on the ‘first day’ after creating light was to separate light from the darkness. What does this mean? At the physical level probably God started the process of rotation, rotating of the earth on its axis to create day and night for everything in creation rotates or revolves and it is called angular motion. At the soul level it implies the beginning of the cycle of the ages each having a moral light and darkness. First is about waking up from sleep and then ‘the night is far gone, the day is at hand’ (Romans 13:11-12) depicting the approaching nearness of a new age when eternal day starts and there will be no more night. At the spiritual level is recognition of presence of both good and evil where light is called good for it comes from God and darkness which is opposite of what He has given. This play of light and darkness goes on in the Scripture all over but it does not mean duality of gods. The devil is subject to God but there is opposition between these two forces.

      And then God created man from the dust of the earth and separated darkness from him by breathing ‘ruach’ the breath into him. The light of the glory of God was then placed inside man by dispelling darkness away to reflect God’s image and likeness to others. Man was then aware of what is good or very good and there was no judgment involved in this. God forbade eating of the tree of ‘knowledge of good and evil’ for this knowledge would then create an internal strife within man. Like darkness God separated this knowledge also for the evil of darkness would then become difficult to handle for man for man was created to handle external fight with darkness and not the internal conflict. With man’s sin of disobedience on the one hand the fight for control of man’s knowledge base started and on another man’s indulgence with sin.

       God assigned role of man – The process of creation reveals God’s continuous evaluation of His own work after the end of each day and man was created on the final day when all was declared ‘very good’. The creation process is relational to each other and also with God when He permitted Adam to name everything for he was to be the end user and made responsible for their care and custody. After creating man God blessed him and commanded, ‘be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it’. This task has multiple parts, starting a family and have children; fill the earth for at that time they were in the Garden of Eden in the east; and finally subdue the earth. The assigned tasks reveal relations within family structure and with the surroundings.

       Hebrew word ‘kabash’  is translated as ‘subdue it’ but it also means ‘bring into subjection or bondage, force into bondage, tread under foot’. This has an element of fighting or violence involved in it. This subduing was through the use of God’s glory and power given to mankind but this was curtailed after expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Man was also told to ‘rule over’ the fish, the birds in the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth. The Hebrew word used here is ‘radah’ which means to prevail over and dominate but in this physical control is achieved by use of intellectual dominance and then use these as a resource for his task.

      After completion of the creation process God saw everything in the Garden of Eden and found it ‘very good’. Then what is it on the earth that God expected man to fight with and bring into subjection? Man inside the Garden of Eden was under God’s hand and protected and the task given to him was to expand the territory of this ‘kingdom of God’ from within the garden to beyond the then established territory. This was an external fight, for man was at peace within, with the God given knowledge of goodness and was capable of facing the forces of darkness or evil outside his boundaries. With disobedience man acquired the knowledge of evil also and the fight within started against the temptation of evil. The first recorded victim of this was Cain who felt slighted by God for not accepting his offering. God warned Cain of this danger, ‘if you do not do well, sin lies at the door and its desire is for you, but you must rule over it’ (Genesis 4:7). God expected man to defeat sin at that time under his own ability.

       But man was found to be unable to fight the devil and succumbed to his forces of darkness to such an extent that ‘the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in the heart’. And God decided to destroy everything from the earth but it was Noah and his family ‘who found grace in the eyes of the LORD’ (Genesis 6:6-8). With this God shifted His focus from individual to a family. After the flood God ‘blessed Noah and his sons, and said, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth’. The command to take authority over the birds, the animals and beasts, the fish and over every living thing given to Adam was changed. God gave all this into Noah and his sons’ hand after putting ‘fear and dread’ on them and the partnership equation was altered where in the fallen nature the creatures could rebel out of fear.

      The eating habits of mankind were also revised by God. Before this every herb that yields seed, every tree whose fruit yields seed was for food for Adam and the birds, animals and beasts were given ‘every green herb for food’ (Genesis 1:29-30).  However, after the flood this was changed and Noah and his sons were told by God that, ‘Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood’ (Genesis 9:3-4).

      The command to subdue the earth was abolished, for God was aware that man was unable to overcome the temptations of this world for within him the kingdom of this world was working which is opposite to God’s kingdom.

      The task of revealing God’s glory to others to keep darkness at bay was then shifted by God from a family to a group of people exclusively chosen by God. Abram was chosen by God with the promise, ‘I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed’ (Genesis 12:1-3). The Israelites were chosen by God to reveal his glory to other communities of the world but they too allowed the forces of darkness to prevail and lead them into unbelief and apostasy. All creation, thereafter, waited for the ‘seed of woman who will crush’ the devil’s head and be bruised in the heel and release mankind from the clutches of evil and again separate spiritual light from darkness.

     Change in role after coming of the Messiah – For man to be able to resist the forces of darkness, their control over him has to be broken and set him free from the bondage of death. This was achieved through redemption of the cross of Calvary and we believers have passed into light which ‘shines ever brighter unto the perfect day’, the day of the Savior’s second coming (Proverbs 4:18). This was seen in Lord Jesus’ work on the cross with complete darkness from midday till three in the afternoon in fulfillment of the prophesy of Amos 8:9 (Mark 15:33). This darkness passed very shortly thereafter into the glorious morning of the resurrection when the Savior stepped into the glory of a new day and new life. If we do not go through darkness with Him there cannot be a new morning for us and we shall be like ‘wandering stars for whom darkness has been reserved forever’ (Jude 1:13).

        Lord Jesus’ prayer to the Father is, ‘I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one’ (John 17:15). It is the same as He taught us to pray (Matthew 6:13). Thereafter the role of believers was restated by the Lord, ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations’ while ‘teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you’ (Matthew 28:19-20). Lord Jesus then gives resources to do this – first, ‘I am with you to the end of this age;  ‘the glory which You gave Me I have given them’ restoring the image and likeness with authority (John 17:22); and then the authority  ‘he who believes in Me, the works I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do’ (John 14:12); and then He gives the reason for the task,  ‘by this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit’ (John 15:8); the believers’ were then given power by the Lord, ‘I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the powers of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you’ (Luke 10:19). This was after the 70 returned rejoicing for their power over the demonic forces in Lord Jesus name.

        To enforce the authority given Lord Jesus thenassures that ‘And I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever’ and ‘He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you’ (John 14:16 & 26). About the Helper, Apostle Paul says that  ‘God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and self control’ and this is done through regeneration of my soul and spirit through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1:7).

      The original task to dominate and subdue the earth is given to all believers through making disciples and this entails internal and external fight. The Holy Spirit’s task of conviction of sin at thought, planning and execution level is to stop and post occurrence, to seek forgiveness, helps in internal fights. The authority over serpents and scorpions and over all powers of the enemy is exercised in the power of the same Holy Spirit. Apostle Paul assures believers that ‘But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give you life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you’ (Romans 8:11).

      The Holy Spirit helps in internal and external fights both to overcome sin and the forces of darkness both within and without to do ‘greater works’. The task of making disciples is snatching others from darkness into the light of life, our Savior Lord.  The greatest hindrance as per the Scripture is fear for cowardice has been listed with other ‘abominable sins’ and denied entry into New Jerusalem and God’s presence and light of His glory (Revelation 21:8). God equips a man, who becomes part of His Divine family through faith in His Son, to make demons tremble and to shake the gates of hell. God’s Almighty Spirit dwells in him to give His grace, His promises and the power for every effort for God’s kingdom and like the disciples, to ‘turn the world upside’ (Acts 17:6). But one who remains lukewarm in His approach gets told by the demons, ‘Jesus we know, Paul we recognize, but who are you?’ (Acts 19:15). Letters to the seven churches list our great rewards for those who ‘overcome’ and this is about winning the internal and the external fight to the glory of God through ‘subduing of the earth’ by making disciples of all nations. The role of mankind remains today the same as it was in the Garden of Eden.   

  The indwelling Holy Spirit that the Savior Lord Jesus promised and blessed all believers with is not only about ‘teaching all things’ about life but to equip, train and lead us in the spiritual battle with the forces of darkness. We are thus made ready to win these daily battles to emerge victorious to be partakers of great rewards to His soldiers by the ‘Great Commander of the Heavenly Host. Part of this battle preparedness is transformation into His glorious ‘image and likeness’ to ultimately be in His presence eternally in the Father’s house.   

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