Part 3 in a series….
By: Tom Casey
We are looking at Biblical stewardship in light of the Kingdom of God and how understanding the Kingdom of God must begin with understanding the nature of the Kingdom and how it relates to the world and to Christians in this present age.
When God delegated His Kingdom authority to Adam to rule over the creatures of the earth, in Genesis 1, God was present with Adam in the Garden of Eden, face to face (1:28-30; 2:15-17). God met with Adam to fellowship (3:8-10) and to mentor Adam in ruling the earth’s creatures and to co-labor with Him (2:19-20). Mankind was created to be part of the Kingdom of God, to rule over part of that Kingdom as God’s representative or regent, and the dynamic reign of God was present and welcomed within Adam’s own heart. This dynamic rule of God was manifest on the earth through the physical presence of God Himself alongside His designated regents, mankind.
When Adam and Eve submitted to the temptation of Satan (in the serpent), they willingly transferred the sovereignty and allegiance of their hearts from the dynamic reign of God to the reign of the domain of darkness. As a result, Satan and his domain now ruled the hearts of men, while the dynamic rule of God in the hearts of men and the manifest presence of God on the earth ceased. Yet, God had a plan that would, one day, give mankind the opportunity to legally and willingly pledge their allegiance to Him and His dynamic reign in their hearts, once again. In addition, this plan would also, once again, restore the dynamic rule and manifest presence of His Kingdom on the earth. In the meantime, any interaction of God and His Kingdom with the hearts and lives of men on the earth would have to take place prophetically, instead of face to face, until His redemptive and restorative plan was accomplished.
In order to understand the nature and relevance of the activities of God and His Kingdom, as they relate to the hearts and lives of men following Adam’s sin, we must understand what is meant by the term prophetic. For our purposes, the term prophetic means; the spiritual nature of the activity by which God and His Kingdom reveal and exhibit themselves; dynamically encountering and interacting with men within our earthly, natural existence. It is the spiritual manner in which God in heaven expresses and reveals Himself and His activities to natural men on earth, including His will, knowledge and wisdom. In other words, since God and His Kingdom no longer ruled in the hearts and affairs of men on earth, following Adam’s sin, the presence of God and the rule of His Kingdom on earth were no longer physically present. God’s grace, which provided for mankind’s continued physical life and sustenance, continued because He is mankind’s creator. Yet, any dynamic interaction and activities between God in heaven and mankind on earth, from Adam’s fall, would be of a prophetic nature.
Understanding the prophetic nature of the relationship between the Kingdom of God and mankind, after Adam’s sin, is important as we continue to better understand Biblical stewardship in my next post.