††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Dr. Meredith Kline, Prologue, Lecture 18
††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††© 2012, Dr. Meredith Kline and Ted Hildebrandt
††††††††††† Now, in terms of covering ground, letís see if I can do a little more about keeping my promises here than has been done so far tonight. Ö There you are! Weíll stay until midnight! †All right.
Genesis 3: Imitation of God as Covenantal duty
††††††††††† Chapter three, chapter one and two established Godís claims on the covenant devotion of man. Now chapter three tells us what God required under the covenant, were the covenant stipulations that are a major section to remember in ancient treaties, the stipulations.† Now the subject is going to be divided here primarily in terms of the functions that man was given to perform as a king, and the functions he was given to perform as a priest, and his cultural task and also his cultic task, we have suggested some of these things already. By way of introduction, I want to make a couple of points which we can hit very fast. Just the general principles of covenantal behavior, man was made, weíve seen, as the image of God. †Image and son are very much the same idea. So heís an image and a son. Both of these things imply a likeness. The image is the likeness of the original, the son is the likeness of the father. If youíre the likeness of the original, then you should be imitating God. So the imitation of God, the ways of God especially, as God revealed his ways in creation, and his providential control of things, this pattern must be imitated by man. So the principle of the imitation of God is a general principle that describes covenantal duty.
Man as servant rendering service of love and obedience
††††††††††† Then secondly, these two features of image and son both describe things which are secondary and subordinate, the image is subordinate to the archetype and the son to the authority of the father. So a second general principle of man as the image-bearer and the son is that he has this under authority, in subordinate position. Heís in the position of a servant, and he should be rendering the service of love to his God and Father. This comes to expression in general, things like ďthou shalt worship the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou serveĒ or ďThou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and soul and mind and with all thy strength.Ē †These are formations of some general principles, the imitation of God and the service of love, and emphasizing then especially the idea of love. This general principle is of love is not one then that you substitute for specific commandments, thatís not the biblical idea of the love of God. But love for God comes to expression precisely in your obeying the several, indeed the many specific commandments that are spelled out. ďIf you love me, you will keep my commandments,Ē Jesus said. Likewise, Moses, who expresses the idea that they should love the Lord spells out the way they show that love in terms of submission through the many specific covenant requirements that exist. So those are a couple of general comments.
Theocratic Kingdom Commission
††††††††††† Weíll be picking up on the idea of the imitation of God principle and showing how that works itself out in some detail when we come to a look at the cultural task and so on. Page 42 now and following we go on from the general principles to analyze the, I call it here, the theocratic kingdom commission. Man was placed in a theocracy and a kind of holy kingdom with a task to perform with a commission. Part of that will be the very specific task having to do with his probationary role which will be the way in which he earns the right ultimately to glorification in heaven. Other requirements anticipate what his historical role will be beyond probation and before glorification and so on. So there are a variety of things involved here--the theocratic kingdom commission.
Cult and Culture: everything is religious
††††††††††† We will be dealing as I said then with three tasks, with royal tasks and with the cult. †I keep using the word ďcult,Ē and I guess by now you see the way Iím using it, not in terms of little insolated groups that have strange ideas and most of them live in southern California.† Weíre talking simply about that aspect of our life which is our vertical relationship to God where we express worship and love and devotion directly to God. Thatís what Iím talking about as cult. Then culture is the way in which at the horizontal level we relate to the rest of creation, subhuman as well as our own peers as human beings. The point I make here, and by way of introduction, is that both cult and cultural activities are all religious. Everything you do is religious. Now a moment ago we were saying that within a theocracy, cult and culture, everything is holy. †So obviously they would be religious, everything is holy there.
††††††††††† Itís when you get outside of the theocracy situation after the fall when youíre in this common grace situation where, of course, cultic activity is engaged in by Godís holy people in what we would think of as religious. But now, what about that non-holy cultural activity that you engage in in common grace? My point here is that too is religious. Itís not holy, but it is religious. Itís religious because it is the Lord who tells us to engage in these cultural vocations and these non-holy vocations. Theyíre not evil, theyíre just non-holy. Itís the Lord who tells us to engage in those things just as he is the one who tells us to engage in worship. It is ďunto the LordĒ that we perform those cultural functions, those secular, non-holy cultural things.†
††††††††††† Everything we do we do as unto the Lord. †So we never get away from that connection. We always have that relationship. We live before the eyes of God and unto his glory no matter what we do. So everything is religious. We donít divide our life into our religious and our non-religious areas where part of it is where Godís involved and part where Godís not involved. We have to deal with God in every part so thatís the simple point to make. †Iím misunderstood I think sometimes when I talk about culture being non-holy leaving the suggestion that itís not religious. Thatís not my position, everything is religious.
Pre-redemptive Special Revelation
††††††††††† Then the second introductory thing is just reminding us about when we talk about special revelation and natural revelation. Do we sometimes think that you have special revelation only after thereís a need for redemption. That, of course, is not the case. Thereís a need for special revelation even from the beginning. So pre-redemptive special revelation is something that we should be aware of. So along with natural revelation of the power and the wisdom and the divinity of God that you have in creation out there, and then in conscious and so on, a sense of deity along with the natural revelation that was there right from the beginning, there was special revelation. †The thing weíve been talking about is the presence of God on the holy mountain. It was a special revelation in theophanic form right there. †
††††††††††† But in addition to that we said that the garden of Eden was the place of oracular words coming, Godís special revelation. There was a particular need for that because although man would know who God is, and therefore basically what he himself must be like, as he must imitate this God, nevertheless, there were certain things that he would not just know by having the law written on his heart, there were certain institutions that God would have to tell him about. Marriage, how are men and women to relate to one another, God sets up this institution of marriage and defines that, that took special revelation. How is man to observe time? Here are the ordinances, the institution of family, the ordinance of the Sabbath, the Sabbath weekly structuring of time. These are things that required special revelation that wouldnít have been written just on manís heart from the beginning.
††††††††††† It is the whole cultural task precisely that weíre talking about. How does man know what his historical role is?† Whatís he supposed to do in this big wide world? Well, he has to be told what is to be done there. Whatís to come of it all? Whatís the goal of it all? Prophecy, right? What are the ultimate sanctions? Thatís the next chapter weíll be coming to. Whatís the reward for obedience? The punishment for disobedience? The sanctions of the covenant would have taken special revelation. †††
††††††††††† Most especially I guess that probationary prohibition: hereís a tree, donít eat of it. You wouldnít have known anything about that from the law written on his heart. This seemed to contradict everything, in fact, written on his heart, or even spoken of God beforehand.† God had said ďall these plants you can eat.Ē Now comes this special one, this one you canít. So thereís a whole variety of things that required special revelation even before redemption or confessions. †When they are speaking about anything like this it seems to demonstrate the necessity for Scripture and why scriptural revelation was needed. Of course, thatís only talking about redemptive period afterwards, but this other subject of the necessity for special revelation in general, not just inscripturated, but orally spoken. The need for that before the fall is not recognized or even the fact of such revelation is not always recognized but we should be aware of these things.
Manís duties as king: the cultural mandate
††††††††††† All right, so there is this special revelation then, and it communicates to man his various duties. The first one, and this is his duty as a king, and letís see if we can just hit the high spots on this one. I call it his cultural mandate. We all hear about that as a term trying to describe how even today Christians should be concerned, not just with things that are ecclesiastical, but with a broader world and life view. So far weíve talked about the cultural mandate. Well, thereís certainly was here at the beginning a cultural mandate, a commission.
††††††††††† What was the task? ††I suggest here that the task was one of building the city of God. So that they were established right from the beginning in this holy sanctuary, this theocracy, which was to use another figure then. It was Godís city, it was his house, it was his kingdom. It was his. It was the city of God and this city then was to be expanded. It was to be built up, and it would be built up in terms of several cultural functions, filling the earth and subduing it. †Filling it is this function of procreation. Subduing it is the whole area of human labor and so on. So the construction of the holy kingdom city, and I remind you it was a holy kingdom city. After the fall you still have the city, but itís now part of the common grace line. Itís not the holy city anymore.
††††††††††† So there is a cultural mandate after the fall under common grace. There is a cultural mandate, but hereís where I object to the common use of speaking of the cultural mandate as if thereís the same one today as it was before the fall. Thatís simply not the case. What we are doing today in terms of our cultural functioning as we work together with unbelievers in this world is not building the holy city of God. But the original cultural mandate was to build the city of God, the holy city. So this is done through the procreation function and that as we move along is the one that is placed within the context of marriage as the proper place for that to happen. Then along with that there is the function of the labor throughout the historical genealogical process, human life would continue to be of the earth. †
††††††††††††††††††††††††††Filling the earth
††††††††††† I jumped ahead a little too fast here, when we talk about the filling of the earth as a cultural task. †Iíd like to just emphasize that one point that is the main cultural product in this whole cultural task. What is the main cultural product? We tend to think in terms of things external to man, but actually man himself, the family of Adam, they are to be produced as part of this cultural procreation, marriage-family function. Man himself is the chief product of this whole cultural history. He is the chief end or product of human cultural genealogy.† Genealogy is the primary genre of human history, historiography. We looked at genealogies in the Bible, as a sort of grumble, not all that interesting sections here, here and there. Actually the central story of the whole thing is the production of this mankind because it is this mankind who is going to be the holy temple, the holy city of God.
Subduing the earth
††††††††††† All right, and along with procreation there is the fact that the earth has to be, hereís the problem with what language to use because thereís so much debate over just whatís going on here, whether the biblical view is the problem of all kinds of bad exploitation of the world and the poisoning of the springs and all this kind of thing. But there is then the way in which humans are king over the world. The resources of the world are put at his disposal so that working with them he can enhance his kingship, he can enhance his kingly dignity and enjoyment of the world and so on. You know, heís not yet glorified, his dominion over the world isnít at that stage where it will be when he is glorified, when he wonít need external cultural instruments anymore but just in the integrity of his own glorified human body he will have this kind of dominion.
††††††††††† Meanwhile, we are of the earth. We have to get for ourselves the life support system from the earth. Although there would be the blessing of God on all this effort, it still requires work. So man is set to work within the world that is lying there, ready to be exploited, if thatís not too strong a term. To be utilized in order to bring forth things for manís benefit, as we said, everything is being consecrated ultimately to man.
††††††††††† So besides the availing himself of the earthís hospitality, man would have to protect himself from earthís inhospitable elements and moments. We argue that there were threatening things out there. Southern California has not only weird cults but it also has beautiful weather. But the whole planet earth didnít necessarily have southern California weather from the outset. It might have had north and south poles with all kinds of ice caps and so on, which when man ventured into he better have a fur coat on. So he would have to protect himself from the otherwise inhospitable threatening features of the world, but always under the blessing of God, and things would have gone fine. He wouldnít have gotten frostbite. What was necessary would have been provided for him.
††††††††††† Now, when the Bible is describing that, one word that he uses, as I suggested here, is the word Kavash, which we often translate as ďto subdueĒ or to mean ďto take possession ofĒ or ďto occupy.Ē †So hereís a term that God uses. You are to exercise dominion over the world and to subdue it. Thatís the particular word that is seized upon by critics of the biblical world view in saying: ďLook! Here is this biblical Christian view of this things. †Itís because we are going about trying to subdue the world that we are cutting down all of the rain forests and doing everything else that poisons the atmosphere and so on. Itís the fault of the biblical concept of subduing the world.Ē
††††††††††† Well, of course, when these poisoning of the springs, the atmosphere and all this is not following the biblical mandate. Whatís going on here? Whatís the basic idea? What is the cultural mandate all about? Itís for the enhancement of manís dignity and enjoyment as a king over all the world. When you destroy your very environment around you, that is not enhancing your enjoyment of the world, quite to the contrary.
††††††††††† So the mandates that are given to subdue the earth have to be understood compatibly with the purpose of it all which is for the ultimate, benefit of man. This balance of things is suggestive somewhat of that along with cavash, to subdue. †You get the other Hebrew term, avad, which means ďto serve.Ē Now, the earth is serving man and yes, man must serve the earth, he must make use of it in such a way that he is cultivating the earth at the same time that he is serving his own interests. It is in the balance of those two things that we have the biblical view of it.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††City of God
††††††††††† So fulfillment of manís cultural stewardship would thus begin with man functioning as a princely gardener in Eden. But the goal, although he begins there with this thing, but the goal of his kingdom commission was not some minimal local life support system. The goal was rather a maximal global mastery. The cultural mandate put all the capacity of human brain and brawn to work in a challenging and rewarding world to develop the original paradise home into a universal city. Now thatís the goal of this original, whatever the size of Eden was, the limited area they were to expand that into the global city of God, the kingdom city. †Such is the picture that emerges when the design of all that was envisioned in the various assignments of procreation and royal labor are pieced together.
††††††††††† So what are the elements of a city? This is oversimplifying, no doubt, you have citizens, you have some sort of fashioning of the materials of the earth into some sort of architectural form that provides a roof and a shelter and other things. Then the third ingredient would be that you have some form of government. Now the citizens of the city are provided by the procreation--fill the earth. The architectural aspect of the city of man, so far as thatís material cultural form of it, is an expression of the laboring to subdue the world and to make it manageable and to protect your possession from inhospitable moments and so on. ††
††††††††††† Then the third ingredient will be then the one dealt within the next paragraph which is that from the beginning there was a form of government, the city form of government, which was the family structure because there was no difference, the holy family were the citizens of the city. There was no distinction between them. So itís as the one holy covenant community grew, and then the city grew, and then the family authority structure would be just carried over and developed into the quality of the city.
††††††††††† So right
from the outset, you do have the family institution. On page 45 Iím pointing
out that, Adam and Eve are created, not just man and women, they are husband
and wife right from the outset. The names that they are given after creation
names relate them in terms of marriage or relations.† So there is this legal
covenantal bond, oneness thatís between them, which is this institutional
family bond that God ordains.† I discuss a little bit of the evidence for the
covenantal nature of marriage.
††††††††††† It was within this marital relationship of legal trust, of the procreation function of the cultural commission was to be fulfilled. The cultural commission then was a family mandate. It was a family mandate, not alone in the sense that it was to be performed by mankind acting as a family. This was not about some lone rangers off on their own doing their thing, this cultural kingdom. But it was a family, as a family, expanding and fulfilling their cultural mandate. But also it was a family mandate in the sense that the goal of the whole thing was the production of the kingdom family.
††††††††††† So we may now refine what we said before as the goal. It was the city of the royal human family, not just the royal human race, but the royal human family, filling and ruling the earth. †Thatís the goal of the cultural commission. That family identification of the covenant community remains with us throughout the rest of the Scripture. The original covenant family was not without its divinely appointed government. So there is an authority structure here within in the family, and that authority comes to expression in the parent-child relationship.† So at this point the later requirement for children to honor their parents would have had a proper place right from the beginning. There was an authority structure there in paradise.
The husband-wife relationship: authority structure
††††††††††† Then also in the middle of page 46, we launch into the thorny, and today especially thorny, subject of the authority structure in the husband-wife relationship, and you can read that. †I take the traditional position that there to, the care of the wife as a sign to the husband in a marriage relationship was attended by the appropriate marital authority. †I give then the biblical evidence why that is so. So right within the family authority structure, within the family community you do have such an authority structure and that would have structured and that would have characterized the whole city of God as it moved out.
††††††††††† So each family unit then of the branching covenant family would exhibit the marital and the parental authority pattern. The covenant institution as a whole would be the complex of these individual family authority structures. †This is a principle of polity that is proven to be a constant in the determination of form of the covenant. Total covenant forms is made up of individual family units, thatís what Iím saying, okay?† Iím also taking the Presbyterian view over the Baptist way here, that always within the covenantal organization the covenant is made up of family units. That has been the case right from the beginning. Throughout the Old and New Testament ages, the parental authority established in the covenant of creation has continued to be honored, so that those who own the covenant have the privilege and duty of exercising their parental authority to bring their children with them under the institutional role of their Lord in his covenant.
††††††††††† So here are the polity features that have direct relevance for other questions that weíre concerned about, we are talking about circumcision, baptism, and their proper recipients later on. The question is who then belongs to the covenant. Right from square one it has always been in terms of families. As I think weíve pointed out, thatís the way the history of the covenant from Adam to Noah in Genesis 5 is developed, and the history of the covenant from Noah to Abraham in Genesis 11. Thatís why these histories of the covenant are cast in the form of genealogies, because they are family histories, because the covenantal community is organized in this genealogical form. That salvation is not guaranteed within these things, but the outward organization of the covenant community is in terms that God honors the family authority structure when he comes to structuring the redemptive community. †
Adamís federal headship position
††††††††††† Then, of course, along with these other things thereís this peculiar feature in the original covenant of Adamís representative headship position. †So here is a feature of that original theocratic city and covenant community where you have the one who is in his probationary activity representative of the many and of the king.
The Authority Structure
††††††††††† So under the covenant of creation, summing up the top of page 47, the covenant family with the universal cultural authority structure are the royal family with proprietorship and dominion over the whole world environment. This governmental order was headed up in the patriarchal authority of Adam as we noted above in chapter two. Such governmental structure at the human level was consistent with the theocratic nature of the covenant kingdom, that is to say, itís consistent with the ultimate rule of God himself. Itís consistent with that because the human government was a vassal authority that acknowledged the supreme authority of God as its absolute head. Manís kingly proprietorship of the earth was a stewardship then, for which he was accountable to the Lord God. This was ultimately a theocracy, man has the dignity of a king under God, and so on, but it is under God. So this authority structure here is one which is recognizing the rule of the Lord God was in truth the ruler and the protector of the family kingdom of mankind. †He was their ultimate father. They bore his surname, for he had created them in his image as his son.
††††††††††† By the way, in the ancient treaty diplomacy, where they would use the language of the great king and the vassal king, that political model which makes a valid point as an analogy to Godís relationship to his people that he is king and they are the servant. But even in Near-East treaties the suzerain was called a father, and so the family model as well as the political model informed the covenantal model even in ancient marriage and diplomacy. Of course, it certainly does that within the Bible. So thereís no conflict or tension between God as king and God as father there. They both belong to the covenantal concept. †
Imitation of God and the cultural task
††††††††††† Now we come to take the general principle that we started out with, the principle, the imitation of God, and to glance at how that principle applies in working out what we were just talking about, this cultural task of subduing the earth, building it, and subduing it, and building the holy city of God. So page 47 and following is a whole series of areas I think are helpful to us in developing sort of a Christian philosophy of culture, whatís going on, how should we think of it.† Weíre all involved in it even if we have ecclesiastical callings. So weíre very much involved with that holy redemptive line. Weíre all still involved even after the fall, with this common cultural line and how to think about it.† Here weíre suggesting we should think about it as work, work as having dignity because it is part of the imitation of God.† This is part of our God likeness that we are engaged in work and moreover in the particular kinds of work that we have to do. It is all imitation of God. Letís see. ManĎs offices and functions in relation to the structure of the kingdom city, were designed to be a human reflection of the authority and the activity of the Lord God as creator and governor of the world.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Imitation of God as Worker
††††††††††† Now one
expression of the imitation of God principle is found in very fact that man was
called upon to be a worker, like the Worker, capital W, of the six creation
days. †God is revealed in the very account of creation as the one who works at
building the cosmic temple. He is the great architect, artisan, builder,
worker, who takes delight in his work and so on. So Godís a worker. We are made
in his image to imitate him. Therefore we are working. Thereís the dignity of work.
Now that is the message that is needed to teach many menial, seemingly
meaningless tasks that people are called upon to perform, but they can still
see that somehow all of this is part of the imitation of God that will add some
meaning and zest to their work hopefully. So man was commissioned to enter into
and carry forward the work of God, furthering Godís ultimate purpose of
glorifying himself, by developing the kingdom city as a reflector of the divine
glory. †Invited to be a fellow laborer with God, thatís was what itís all about.
We are invited to be a fellow laborer with God, thatís the dignity of man the
††††††††††† Jesus, the second Adam, affirmed his own adherence to the imitation of God principle in this particular respect when he said: ďMy Father works until now, and I work.Ē †See, thatís part of Jesus imitating the Father.
††††††††††† Now you break it down, whatís the nature of that work? Godís work was creative and beyond that, the God of province was sustaining and governing. You can take each of those and see how there is something corresponding to them in this cultural task that was a sign to man that God is creative and weíre called upon to be creative. Genesis 5:1, brings this out quite specifically in terms of the procreation function, the bringing forth of children, when it immediately compares the fact that God created a man-son in his own image and then Adam fathers a son in his own image. So this procreation activity of man is immediately described as analogous to reflective of Godís creative work. Then thereís the inventive genius of the inventor, and thereís the artistic creativity of the artists. There are different aspects of God, and the wisdom and the beauty that he brings forth are all, part of what weíre up to. I know if you were thinking of again as I say of a Christian philosophy of art or anything else like that, here is a foundational thing to keep in mind. It is basically part of the imitation of God who is creative.
††††††††††† In manís cultivation of the earth, in his nourishing and nurturing of his own young, his caring for and using, taming and domesticating the animals, and all the variety of cultural laboring to subdue the earth, man was imitating what God did in his providential preserving and governing of the world and so on.
††††††††††† All right? Then again, along with the biological and technological aspects, thereís the social dimension. Here thereís the love of God, which he shows them. The fact that God is a covenant-making, and especially God as a covenant-keeping God. These are things for us to imitate in our cultural life in relating to all kinds of people showing love to them and all our social relationships and so forth in being covenant-keepers, and so on.
Manís interpretative vocationónaming things
††††††††††† Then there is the whole area of the cultural enterprise. Itís not just a matter of brawn, but itís a lot more increasingly as time goes on itís a matter of brain and information, manipulation and so on. Thereís the whole interpretive process and that becomes part of the cultural advance. Here too, we are imitating God, naming things, interpreting them. †God is the original namer. He said ďLet there be...Ē and he gives it a name. ďAdam, come along, do this thing hereĒ name the animals. Be God-like here, assign names to them and so on, involve yourself in the interpretive naming process. So then thereís much to be said along that line.
Wisdom as part of our kingship
††††††††††† Stated in terms of our cultural office is manís interpretive vocation. †Here he is, heís a wise man, thatís what we are called upon to be, the wise one. Manís interpretive vocation was a call to the post of the wise man philosopher scientist. †This was not so much an office in itself, as it was an adjunct of manís kingship as he exercises kingship not just as a matter of power, but we said itís a matter of having wisdom and knowledge of how to do things. The wisdom and the wise man is the wise man in the court of the king. So when I think of offices of Adam from the beginning or mankind from the beginning, heís a king, heís a priest. A wise man is not a third option, wise man is an aspect of the kingship.† I think a reflection of this is found right within the biblical cannon itself, because you look at the wisdom literature itself.† Itís so much of it is under the aegis, and offices if not the authorship of kings like king Solomon and so on. So wisdom is an aspect, you see, of our kingship.†
††††††††††† Now summing up the top of page 49, youíd draw me then, the cultural commission was a program to actualize that dominion which was central to manís image-likeness to the glory spirit. Manís culture was to provide a human replica of the divine kingship manifested in the glory archetype. Man was invested with a God-like authority and majesty, and he was charged in imitation of God to perfect the consecration of the world to his own royal use and honor. Of course, in doing so he would be building the holy city of God which was to be to the honor of the Lord.
Sabbath form of culture
††††††††††† Now we come to one other aspect of it, which weíll deal with at a little more length here, because it is, once again, a topic that is much discussed and all kinds of different opinions. It is debated and a thorny subject and, perhaps along with the creation days, this subject of the Sabbath form of culture that weíre going to be talking about is maybe the second-most debated topic. So letís look at it here, and itís point four page 49.† Here are various ways weíve suggested in which manís cultural life imitates God, but now the most conspicuous thing in the whole picture is the way in which the temporal structuring of our cultural life is said to be an imitation of God. Here the whole thing is very explicit. Maybe some of these other points youíve made you see are there, but not as explicit. But here, itís absolutely explicit, Godís cultural activity, if you will, is his kingdom-creating activity, all unfolded as he describes it in Genesis 1 and a sabbatical pattern of six days work and crowned by the seventh day of rest, that day of consummation and consecration to the Lord. †God now takes his way and he imposes it as an ordinance on human beings. ďBuild the earth, subdue it, itís going to take a long time, generations are going to go by before all of this is accomplished before the earth is filled, before you come to the day of glorification. As you make your journey from here to there, your life, your time is to be structured sabbatically.† So here is an ordinance that will bring that out, that will be an expression of the imitation of God. So thatís the point weíre making now.
The imitation of God: Eschatological direction
††††††††††† The imitation of God principle was to find embodiment, first of all, in the overall pattern of history of manís kingdom labor. Now here Iím not just talking about the weekly ordinance yet, but Iím taking about the total structure of human history as a envisioned from the beginning, fall or no fall. The way it was to be from the beginning that mankind was not created in some state that was to be static and unchanged, but eschatology is there right from the word go. God created the world as an eschatological situation in eschatological movement to consummation. His own creation activity also already had that eschatological direction.† It was moving towards the Sabbath, and man is made in the imitation of God. Therefore human history will be like creation history. It will be an eschatological movement. It isnít that you have a certain situation created first, then later on you get some eschatology tacked on. No. No. Right from the outset it has this eschatological direction to it. It has the glorification goal there, which has to be won, therefore there has to be a probation, a works covenant that will be fulfilled, and earn heaven at last.
††††††††††† So the overall history of mankind from the beginning with his being the image of God was one that would be sabbatical in the sense that it was on its way toward a Sabbath goal from the beginning, the consummation of paradise and so on. So mankindís cultural endeavors were to move forward to an issue in a sabbatical rest. In fact, man was to come by way of his works at last into Godís own royal rest as we studied in Hebrews 4.
††††††††††† Now as human history has turned out, it is through Jesus, the second Adam, that Godís people actually find their way into the realm of this Sabbath rest. It is he who leads them into the true and eternal Canaan, the new Eden. But this redemptive accomplishment of the second Adam illumines the design of the program originally assigned to the first Adam. Like redemptive history, the history of the covenant of creation was to be characterized by an eschatological thrust in it and direction. It was supposed to have a sabbatical structure. This eschatological sabbatical nature, which the history of man had from the beginning, was a consequence of the very fact that man was created in the image of a Sabbatarian creator. Entering into the kingdom program as Godís servant-son, man was to reflect the divine glory, advancing through his six days of work as it were, to the seventh day of completion. He was to advance from kingdom development to a Sabbath of joyous shalom, peace.
Pattern of human history: Sabbath ordinance
††††††††††† Now, hereís the overall pattern of human history. †Itís going to be in the general sense, one of work, completing the cultural task, build the earth and subdue it, work issuing in the Sabbath rest. Now, what God does is he takes this whole big pattern and he stamps it across the days of manís earthly existence in the form of the Sabbath ordinance, so that the overall pattern is repeated and symbolically prophetically set before manís eyes, so that he may make his journey through his long history, and the trail is blazed all along the way by the Sabbath sign. Every seventh day, pointing to the ultimate Sabbath rest, so there is now the ordinance of the Sabbath. It is appointed by the Lord from the beginning, and manís cultural life is structured temporally by this pattern. So we now have to do then with the Sabbath ordinance. What is its origin? Who are the proper observers of it? How was it to be observed? On some of these positions, my own position is the traditional one, on other points it is not so traditional, and so here is the place where you all become Bereans and search the scriptures whether these things be so or not. If they are you follow them, and if you donít find them there, you donít follow them. But hereís how the professor of this occasion sees these issues.
††††††††††† On the first point, as to the origin of the Sabbath, I follow the traditional view that it is a creation ordinance. It is not some ordinance that comes along later, letís say when Godís dealing with Israel for the first time he appoints the Sabbath there. What we find Genesis 1 is really looking ahead to that. No, no. I think the biblical evidence is indeed that the Sabbath ordinance was one that God appointed to Adam right there at the beginning and I try to make something of a case for it.
by Ashley Hayden
††††††††††††††† Rough edited by Ted Hildebrandt