God’s Plan For Cohabitation

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Cohabitation: A Testimony of God and Man

When God said that it was not good for man to be alone, and purposed to make a helpmeet for him, He revealed to us His probable thoughts and emotions that led to the creation of man. God Himself, we speculate, was in a similar situation to Adam’s. He dwelt in this magnificent place, surrounded by beauty and perfection. But He was not satisfied by just that. He was lonely. There was an emptiness inside of Him that only someone of His own kind could fill. And so He created someone like Himself-man in His own image.

The Comparison and the Contrast

But a problem existed. Man, while being like God in some ways, was different in one major and important way. He did not come out of God. He came out of the ground. He was creature, not creator. God could no more have intercoursed with man as he existed before the Fall, than Adam could have with the animals of the Garden. And so God devised a way in which He would solve this problem before He ever created the heavens and earth and man upon it. Mankind, in order to be intimate with God, had to be the same in kind and to come out of God, as Eve was to Adam and from Adam. Yet there had to be separateness and distinction so that man could be with God, and intercourse with God, as Eve with Adam. Prior to the creation of man, there was no one like God-and in His image. God could not intercourse with Himself and find camaraderie and reproduce and bring birth into His family, just as Adam could not. So when God created mankind, He created someone who would be to God what woman was to man. This is made clear in the fifth chapter of St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. God was not satisfied with someone who was not bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh, just as Adam was not.

The Incredible Difficulty and Genius of God’s Plan

God could not take Adam out of Himself and separate Adam from Himself because Adam did not exist in God all along as Eve had in Adam. But there was someone who was in God, with God, of God, bone of His bones, who had existed forever as God. It was the only Begotten of the Father, Who was in the bosom of the Father. It was Jesus Christ, the eternal Son (JOHN 1:18). This is not a theology course on Soteriology and so will not even exhaust such limited knowledge as we have on that subject. But I do wish to make an observation about it: the plan of redemption–the way in which God would redeem all of humanity–was only possible by God’s being born into Adam’s race, from the lineage of Adam, Abraham, and David. For man to be born to God, to come out of God, to be like God, and to be one with God, there had to be intercourse between two people who were the same in kind. This birth into the family of God is not through the first Adam, who was creature (or creation), and made by the hands of God. It was by and through the Last Adam, or race of man as it is stated in I Corinthians 15: 45. The Second Man, Progenitor of the new race of men, was Jesus Christ–JEHOVAH our Saviour; God With Us–Who was born into the human race, but Who was sired by God, not Adam and Who came out of the inner being of God, as Eve did from Adam. In Christ a Man existed, like Eve to Adam, who was of God, was out of God, was God’s own kind in every spiritual as well and physical sense, and was God. With this person, God could intercourse as Adam could with Eve and from that intercourse, life could be brought into the eternal family of God. Christ, being The Man, made it possible for men to exist eternally in the presence of God and Christ. The God, made it possible for man to be like God, of God, with God, and sons of God, like Jesus Christ. Romans 8:29 says, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

I Peter 1:23 tells us that we have been born all over again, this time not by the corruptible sperm of Adam but from the incorruptible sperm of Jesus Christ which lives and abides forever.

John 1:11-13 says: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

Orthodox theology is clear on the point. The genius of the Gospel is that God has reproduced us in His own eternal image by siring us as children. We are born to Him. We have come out of Him. We are His very own kind as Eve was Adam’s very own kind.

The Only Begotten Son

In such discussions as these, we want to keep in mind that this is not all that Christ was, and there are some things that He was, and is, that we will never be. But among these other things, He was the first Man to be the Son of God and we, through God’s plan and work, also become sons of God like Him and through Him.

Supralapsarianism and Infralapsarianism

Does this mean that we were in God until taken out of Him through the new birth and given distinction from Him, as Eve was in Adam? This is a very sacred and sobering discussion. I want to be careful what I say and I want you, if you are interested in knowing the truth of the matter, to be careful how you listen. I wish also to call upon you not to attribute to my words any meanings that I do not give them. This is a dangerous enough area of exposition as it is, without having people attribute to one things that he did not say and does not mean. I will stand behind what I say, but not behind things I do not say, but that others might say that I said. If you wish to use my views as stepping stones for original and independent thought of your own, I can not stop you and would not if I could. But if you venture into mystic, Gnostic, and dualistic thought (and there is a better than even chance that someone will) please do not say that I said it. I do not intend to say any more at this time than I am saying, and I mean nothing more than I am saying. The Bible supports what I am saying as I will point out. But any efforts to rationally reconcile, or to apply reason to what I have said here can only result in heresy. We are dealing with subjects that are too great for us. We must confine our thoughts and words to revealed truth.

Chosen in Him Before

In the supralapsarian plan of God this is obviously what it has to mean. Nothing could come out of God that was not in God since obviously nothing is, ever has been, or ever will be added to God. A man’s children are not added to him somewhere along the line. They are in him from the day of his birth. Thus, we were in God in the sense of spiritual sperm to be born spiritually at the point at which intercourse between Christ the Man and God (and/or Christ and His Bride the Church) became a reality. In the supralapsarian plan, God ordained the Fall, just as He ordained the loneliness of Adam, as a necessary step in bringing about His plan.

Supralapsarianism means: supraabove, out side of, or before–the lapse which means the Fall. This refers to God’s program for the world in Christ before the world was. In Supralapsarianism the Fall was planned and Christ was slain in the councils of God before the world was (Rev. 13:8). This is established by the following Scriptures: John 17:24: Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. Eph. 1:4: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. 2 Tim. 1:9: Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. Titus 1:2: In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. 1 Pet. 1:20: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. Rev. 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

But To As Many As Received Him

In the infralapsarian program of God, man was not in God. He was creature, formed from the dust of the ground. The enormous demand on God’s plan was to bring to pass a means of getting man out of the family of Adam and into the family of God without losing man to undoing.

Infralapsarianism means: infra–beneath, after or inside of–the lapse, or the Fall. This identifies the Orthodox doctrine that God reacts to time and history and adjusts His plan accordingly. In this doctrine, the Fall was the result of man’s disobedience. God did not want man to hurt himself and was truly sorry when he did. It was only after man had proven that he could not live by his conscience that God put the sword in society to intimidate man. God brought on the Flood as the result of man’s inability and unwillingness to know God and His ways and the incredible build up of evil. The New Testament was the result of man’s failure, and only planned after it was clear that man would fail. The Kingdom was taken (reluctantly by Christ who would dearly have liked to have been accepted by the Jews) away from the nation only as a result of their rejection of Him. This doctrine is taught in the Scriptures by the following Scriptures:

Gen. 2:17: 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.

Gen. 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.

Gen. 6:5,6: And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Heb. 8:7: For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

Heb. 8:8,9: For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

Luke 13:34, 35: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Matt. 21:43: Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

Rom. 8:3: For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.

1 Cor. 1:21: For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God.

The Impudence of the Enlightenment Religionist

In the enlightenment theology of the modern Church, this is not satisfactory. Enlightenment theologians are teaching that reason, not revelation, is the test of truth; and that the validity of the Bible can be tested by reason. Truth is a truth of philosophy, science, religion, experience, and reason. It makes no difference if the dialectic involved is a Calvinist, an Arminian, or an Apologist. To each of them, a man must choose. If sovereignty is right, then free moral agency is wrong. If free moral agency is right, then sovereignty is wrong. No place is this stronger than in the United States where we have bought into the heresy that Democracy (autonomy) is freedom and Democracy is necessary for the preservation of truth. This is the Garden-of-Eden-lie all over again now at the end of the age.

The Humility of the Orthodox Theologian

St. Augustine expressed the Historic Orthodox Christian position when he said, in his arguments with Cicero about fatalism, “Against the sacrilegious and impious darings of reason, we believe both…” that God is sovereign and that man has a free will and we believe it precisely because the Bible teaches it.

The Fall Was Endemic to the Plan for an Eternity in God’s House

Without the human race none of this could have been possible because without man, there would have been no Bride for God to intercourse with. There would have been no Son of Man who was the Son of God and so we could never have been born into God’s family. Remember that the Holy Ghost came upon the Blessed Virgin Mary as a man comes upon a woman and as a result she became with child. There really was a baby in her womb that had a father who was the same in kind as man (“In our image and after our likeness”). This Child was the Son of Man born of woman, though He was also the Son of God, sired by God.

The Certainty of Sovereignty–The Reality of Time and History

We will not go further on the subject of the Seed of the Woman just now because it comes up a little later. But as we move along, keep in mind that this was a very real, physical, historical event. And do not try-in a false sense of honor, praise, and reverence-to make Mary something other than a member of Adam’s fallen race, just like you and me. If she was not truly one of us, then Christ was not born into our race and the meaning and the hope of the Gospel is destroyed. If Mary were immaculately conceived by the Holy Ghost as was Christ, and not of the seed of Adam, then we have nothing more here than God intercoursing with Himself. The Fallen race of Adam, in that event, is left out. There is no possibility, in that case, of any of us being born into the family of God. Though the thoughts and intentions of many who have believed this may be noble, the doctrine is not orthodox in the true historic sense and is fatally flawed.

The Need for The Bride’s Travail

That Christ the Man suffered in His intercourse with God so that life might be born into God’s family is witnessed by Isaiah: “Yet, it pleased the Lord to bruise him, he hath put him to grief. When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of His soul and he shall be satisfied; by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities,” said the prophet, speaking of Christ in Isaiah 53:10, 11.

God’s Plan Was To Reproduce Himself through Siring Children

That we are born a second time–a spiritual birth that eventually includes the physical body in the resurrection but is not natural and mortal as our first birth is–is testified in numerous Biblical passages. One such is in John 1:12, and 13: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Again, chapter 3, in verse 3, Jesus Christ told the Jewish religionist and theologian Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Jesus continued on to say that this is a spiritual birth, not a natural one, as our first one was. Even so, it is very real and actual, not figurative, and the affects of it can clearly be seen and felt, just as the visible affects of the invisible wind can be seen and heard by the moaning sound, the dust in the air, and the swaying of trees. The Apostle said, in I Peter 1:3, that God has begotten (or given birth to) us again; this time to a living, not a dead hope as in Adam. This was accomplished by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Revelation 1:5 says that this Resurrection was a birth. Christ was the first to be born from the dead. Again, in I Peter I:23, the Apostle says, “being born again, not of corruptible seed [or Adam’s seed, or in other words, the mortal life which we now have] but of incorruptible by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” That we are, by the new birth, part of the race of the Last Adam, of His flesh, and His bones, is established by St. Paul in Ephesians 5:29, talking about the Church being the Wife or the Bride of Christ. In that passage he says that we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. That the children of the last Adam (or man)–now having come out of God, and being flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bones–are to God what Eve was to Adam is further shown in this passage. St. Paul quotes Genesis 2:24 where it is written that a man and his wife shall be joined together and they shall be one flesh. He goes on to say, “this is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.”

In other words, Eve was in Adam, she came out of Adam, she was made in Adam’s image, and now, through reacting to him and intercoursing with him, the two of them become one flesh again; only this time it is in a more fulfilling, joyful, meaningful, and perspective way. In the same way the Church-redeemed man; born again man; those who are of the race of the second Adam-are joined to Christ as His Bride. As Christ is to the Church so man is to woman. As the Church is to Christ so woman is to man.

Many are the Biblical references to our spiritual intercourse with Christ and with God; our travail and suffering; and the birthing of life (or the bringing of life into the family of God) which results. In II Corinthians 11:2 St. Paul, says. “…for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” In Romans 7:4, the Apostle says that we have become dead to the Law Covenant by the body of Christ so that we, like a woman whose husband has died, might be free to marry again and this time to a new husband who is Christ. In Galatians 4:19, St. Paul tells the Church that he has suffered the travail of birth again, this time in sanctification, so they might be born into the image of Christ. This, like justification though for a different purpose and with different consequences, requires a voluntary death to the old, and a new birth from the dead by Christ and into Christ.

This Now is Bone of God’s Bone and Flesh of God’s Flesh

And so we see that God, too, was not satisfied with that which was not bone of His bones and flesh of His flesh. Had there been no Fall, no redemption, and no new birth into the new race of man, God and man would have existed in a relationship that would have been like that between Adam and the animals of the Garden. Had Adam not held out for Eve, there would have been no intimacy and no family. The emptiness in God which caused Him to create man to begin with would only have been filled in part. But God, like Adam, refused to settle for that and we owe our place in His family as His sons to His great idealism, patience, and willingness to suffer and get involved. Indeed, the race lost something profound and meaningful when Adam fell. But my friends, we have gained far more in Christ then we lost in Adam.

She shall be called Woman Because She was Taken Out of Man

Earlier, we talked a little bit about the Hebrew for woman. It is the word ishshah. As with the Greek words of the New Testament, it takes a bit of defining to put some of these words in a form that can be understood in English. Ishshah does not specifically mean female. That is the word neqebah, which means, sexually, a female, contrasted to a male. Ishshah does not basically project a contrast but rather a similarity. One of the principle meanings of the word Ishshah, and the one which we will dwell on here because it is the projected meaning in this passage, is: one together. To explain that, we may say it means the two from the one and this is not incorrect but it does not go far enough. Remember Eve was created when Adam was created, “male and female created He them” in verse 27 of chapter 1. It was not until God opened up Adam’s side and took her out that she had distinction from him. Now Adam says, “She shall be called, one together. This is the one who was in me [or in man] when I was one alone and from whom she came.” In other words, Adam said, “There are two of us and yet there is only one because we are one. We are the same in kind. We are the same creation. We have the same bone and the same flesh. Her flesh and her bones are my flesh and my bones. They came from me as she came from me.”

Therefore, shall a Man Leave His Father and Mother and shall Cleave unto his Wife: and they shall be One Flesh.

What does the therefore mean? Why? What is it saying to us? How is verse 24 related to what Adam has just declared? The word therefore is a combined word. The first part is the word a–just the letters a –and it means over, above, or against. It is really the same as the word El with a slightly different emphasis. El means the highest; the loftiest. It actually is used of God Himself. Al comes from the word Allah, which means to ascend, to recover, or to restore. The other part of therefore is the word cane, and this word means just, rightly so, or to be so. This tells us that through marriage with its intimacies the woman is reunited with the man and they become one flesh again. But now it is in a much exalted and loftier manner than the way in which they were one before. In this restoring of the woman to the man, which is just and right and what God designed, she keeps her uniqueness and her distinctions. Even so, in this reunion, she can intercourse and interact with him to fill up the empty void and the need that God saw in Adam when He said, “It is not good that man should be alone. I will make him a helpmeet.” This elevates man to a higher plain than he was on before. And it is the same kind of need which we believe God felt when He created man and planned the redemption.

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