THE APOSTOLIC MYSTERY REVEALED

Strategies of Christ that Establish His Church

Part 1

Bill Click

MYSTERIES BECOME STRATEGIES AS THEY ARE REVEALED

From the beginning, God released His strategy. The Lords strategy was for mankind to be in a fulfilling and fruitful relationship with Him. Although living beings surrounded the throne and various ranks of angels filled Heaven and the universe, God purposed to have a people for Himself who would freely love and willingly serve Him.

Gods intent was that human beings would honor His workmanship of them, intimately relating and completely following Him. To this end, God gave man authority, responsibility, privilege and reward in the Garden. How was this conferred? 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 (Gen.1:27-28a).

The authority, responsibility, privilege and reward of man, rooted in the image of God (imago dei), resulted in a commission to:

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 (Gen.1:28).

In the same way that mans authority was based in His relationship with God through likeness, mas authority was given in order to carry out his new responsibilities. Mans authority was designed by God to enable him to execute these responsibilities within his new divinely assigned sphere of influence. The LORD God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it (Gen.2:15).

Functioning in the image God gave him, man was to relate to God as he carried out his responsibilities with divine authority. God gave man every herb bearing seed . . . and every tree . . . every beast . . . every fowl of the air . . . everything that creepeth on the earth . . . every green herb for meat (Gen.1:29-30). This provision was to sustain man and become his privilege as he functioned in the image through relationship and carried out assigned responsibilities with divine authority. Mans reward, however, was unobstructed intimacy and fellowship with God complete fulfillment of that image he was made in by his Creator. They were to fellowship with His Voice (Gen.3:8,10).

Faith & Gods Voice: One from the Beginning

But without faith it is impossible to please him(Heb.11:6). Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Ro.10:17). We know these to be New Testament Apostolic foundations, but even at the beginning it was the case. There was a time when faith was not spoken of the way it is today. Then, faith was implicitly understood to be the essence of what it meant to be in relationship with God. Faith was neither a means of acquiring promises from God, nor a matter of being convinced He would act on man's behalf.

It was a failure of faith which resulted in mans sin and loss of authority over his surroundings. Eves faith abandoned the One whose Spirit had breathed into hers, rejecting the word of the man God had given her, listening to the wrong voice. The Serpent convinced her soulishly, being both logical and practical. Adams faith then sided with Eve and the Serpent. He rejected the Voice of the Lord for what his eyes told him was true. The command given to Adam had carried the warning of instant death. Since death did not immediately occur, the warning did not seem to be true (Gen.2:16-17; 3:6). But their change in trust did not change the reality of Gods Voice. On that day, both of them and all who followed, died (1Cor.15:22).

As a result, the war we often feel today is the perennial result of the fall of man, the transfer of faith from believing Gods Voice to preferring rationalizations which appeal to the natural man. God gave man authority, responsibility, privilege and reward in the Garden. What was the authority structure in the Garden? Man was to follow the Voice of the Lord. From the beginning we can see the most basic understanding of what an apostolic mystery revealed as strategy actually consists of: direction through the Lords Voice. The entire issue of the two trees was a mystery, but in the midst of that mystery was simple strategy from God which came through His Voice.