The Kingdom of God in the Adamic Covenant
The Kingdom of God Manifest in Dominion
The Kingdom of God was definitively revealed in the Adamic Covenant from the Genesis of man. The Covenants and their blessings teach us about the Kingdom (Gen. 1:26-31 [Ps. 8:1-9], Job 25:2, 38:33, Num. 24:19). The Kingdom cannot be understood without comprehending the Covenantal blessings of God. This can be clearly seen in Genesis 1:26-31.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and 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. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” - Genesis 1:26-31
The blessing of God indicated the establishment of the Kingdom of God among men – or, in this case, the empowerment of Adam to take “dominion” over the earth under God as an image-bearer of the Almighty (Gen. 1:26-31, 5:1-5; Ps. 8:1-9, 115:16). Of course, this dominion was never divinely intended to be merely physical as if godless men should take over the world (1 Cor. 15:50). The dominion of God will always be blessed, and the dominion of sinners will always be cursed. Even so, the dominion of “the Sons of God” will always be blessed, and the dominion of “the Children of Men” will always be cursed (Lk. 3:38, Gen. 6:4, 11:5; Jn. 1:12-13). Therefore, when Adam and Eve fell into sin, the LORD spoke to clarify to them how the Kingdom of God will be manifest among their children in the aftermath of the fall. Let the reader carefully observe this transition.
Originally, before the fall, the Majesty of God in creation magnified the love of God towards Man, namely because Elohim honored Mankind above all other creatures by making them in His image, and herein the more excellent glory of the Kingdom of God is manifest in that God gave Man dominion over all of creation to subdue and rule over it (Gen. 1:26-31, Psalm 8:1-9, 115:16).
“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. 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.” - Psalms 8:3-8
However, this blessed estate of beatific glory is enjoyed exclusively by Men who are walking with God, which means that they themselves through salvation are subdued before the LORD and ruled by God. Otherwise, the dominion that men would impose upon the earth would be contrary to the Kingdom of Heaven, when God originally intended that it would be an extension of Heaven on earth. The salvific reality of what God originally intended to exist within the realm of man’s dominion is further confirmed by the word of the LORD delivered after the fall.
“I will put enmity between thee [the serpent] and the woman, and between thy seed [the serpent’s seed] and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” - Genesis 3:15
In one judicial sentence, this divine pronouncement unveils the shocking reality of Fallen Mankind: a spiritual seed of the Sons of God – what the LORD called “her seed”, at “enmity” with or at war against the Sons of Satan, what the LORD called “thy seed” when speaking to the Serpent (Gen. 3:15). Adam and Eve would have understood the enormity of the prophetic word being delivered to them in Genesis 3:15 – a truly devastating word to any parent. In becoming spiritually dead to God and alive in sin (Rom. 5:12-14), and feeling it (Gen. 3:10), Adam and Eve would have understood how the whole race of humanity was plunged into sin at their fall.
However, it would be especially devastating to hear that your very own children whom you conceive, carry, deliver, and rear with love and affection will one day treacherously betray the LORD and join the Serpent in rebellion against God. Genesis 3:15 is a prophecy showing the future: two different lines of posterity coming from Eve’s womb – a godly seed (“her seed”) and an ungodly seed (“thy seed”), and the two will be at enmity with one another spiritually and physically (Rom. 8:7, James 4:4). Herein, Eve is punished to toil as a mother over a cursed seed even as Adam was punished to toil over a cursed ground (Gen. 3:16-19). In sorrow, they will labor and toil… but not without hope (Gen. 3:20-21; Mal. 2:15)! Their hope was to raise up a godly seed as the Children of God (Gen. 3:20), or the Sons of God (Lk. 3:38), knowing that a portion of their children would do as they please as the Devil’s Seed and join the Serpent’s rebellion against the LORD (1 Jn. 3:7-10).
Biblical Churches had order in doctrine and practice even in the early days of redemption. The Book of Job is proof (Ps. 90:1)! The saints must have unity in peace and righteousness. Therefore, in the early days of the Church, after the fall, we can observe a clear knowledge of sacrifices & offerings (Gen. 3:21-4:7, 8:20-21, Job 42:7-10 [respect or acceptance of the offering]), for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. Also, seeing that the knowledge of these things was divinely communicated to Adam’s family from the beginning, we can understand why God rejected Cain’s offering and received Abel’s. In this acceptance or rejection, the Face of God was perceivably for or against men, even as Cain lamented in Genesis 4:14 that he would be driven out from the Face of God – as one cursed by God and banished from the Kingdom in the very first excommunication of the Church (Hidden Face: Gen. 4:14, Job 13:24, 29:2-3, Deut. 32:30, Ps. 10:1, 13:1, 44:24, 77:6-9, 88:14, Isa. 8:14). The implications of this one event are horrifying to behold (Ps. 119:53, 92:5-7).
The Kingdom of God Manifest in Rule & Subjection
Before Cain fell away from the faith and became a reprobate, he was rightly understood to be the chosen one. Acknowledging this, Eve said, “I have gotten a man from the LORD” (Gen. 4:1). Through sin he forfeited the “rule” that God intended to give him (Gen. 4:7). Like Saul the son of Kish after him (1 Sam. 13:13-14), had Cain fulfilled his calling he would have been a Patriarchal authority of righteousness under Adam – insomuch that even Abel would have been subject to and ruled by Cain (“And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” – Gen. 4:7; compare with Gen. 3:15). This is made abundantly clear by the narrator of Genesis for the rest of the book. However, upon Cain’s reprobation, and subsequent departure from the Kingdom of God altogether, Cain became a Patriarch of wickedness.
Cain was allowed to live and populate the world (Gen. 4:16-24) because at the fall the LORD decided to establish the Kingdom of God in the midst of the rebellious and cursed Sons of the Serpent. The prophecy implied that there would be a struggle in the conflict between the two peoples. Remember? This was foretold in Genesis 3:15. However, through the blessings of God the righteous would victoriously exercise dominion over the wicked! Nevertheless, contrary to the promise, the godly line of Seth was eventually contaminated by sinners and generally overcome insomuch that only Noah and his family were left (Gen. 4:25-5:32). In other words, a great falling away happened among “the Sons of God” (Gen. 6:2, 4)! Since these people were a part of the spiritual lineage of Adam, who was called “the Son of God” (Lk. 3:38, Gen. 3:15), it is correct to call these people “the Sons of God” (Gen. 6:2, 4). Alas! This catastrophe then led to the End of the World by a flood. When the Almighty found a “perfect” man with whom He could restart the Family Tree of humanity, a divine plan of Adamic proportions was executed to purify the Church and restore hope for mankind (Gen. 6:8-22).