There is a misconception that when Adam sinned the devil was given the title-deed to the earth and ultimate control over it.
In Jesus’ wilderness temptation we find an encounter and what the devil offered Him that should clear this up. “For the second test he led him up and spread out all the kingdoms of the earth on display at once. Then the devil said, “They’re yours in all their splendor to serve your pleasure. I’m in charge of them all and can turn them over to whomever I wish.”” [Luke 4:5,6 The Message].
The devil [serpent] was in charge of the kingdoms of the earth but not the earth itself. The King James translates a word wrong in Luke’s account. It uses the word power when authority should have been used. Authority is influence. Authority is the legal right to publicly act on behalf of a sovereign. In other words, the first Adam handed the power of attorney God gave him to rule the planet on His behalf to the devil.
We must keep in mind that Jesus is called the Last Adam [1 Corinthians 15:45b].
The devil thought he was smart. What he did not count on was a Man coming who would not surrender His Father’s commission for the sake of temporary satisfaction, and challenge his authority. After all, so many men, including the first man [Adam], had not been faithful to the Father’s mission.
The earth ~
“IS”the Lord’s [Psalm 24:1] – This revelation should eliminate any confusion over the ownership and ultimate control over the planet.
The word “is” denotes continuous possession.
The earth ~
Has always been the Lord’s and will always be the Lord’s. Adam did not give the title-deed of the earth to the devil. When Adam gave the power of attorney to govern the earth entrusted to him by God to the devil he became subservient to the devil instead of the Father. God has a mission and that mission has always been to bring heaven to earth [Genesis 1:26-31; Matthew 6:10].
Adam transferred his commission from the Father [to rule, to be successful and take Paradise to the planet / bring heaven to earth] to the serpent [infect the planet with venom and poison]. A person can only be commissioned to someone with a mission. This is done through submission, which by nature is coming under the mission!
It looks like this ~
Someone has a mission [purpose]
Someone else comes under [submits to] the person with the mission [and their mission]
The person with the mission commissions the one who is in submission to him and his mission
Paul the apostle made this matter abundantly clear when he wrote ~
Romans 5:12 – “Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
Romans 6:16 – “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey,
you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?”
When Jesus, the last Adam, arrived on the scene and began the restoration of all things [Matthew 18:11; Acts 3:21] He began implementing God’s plan to restore all “that” was lost. Jesus said, “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”
Please notice Jesus said “that” not “those”. “Those” [people] are included in “that” [everything in and everyone on the earth] but “that” is greater than “those”.
Please remember, God’s plan has always been heaven on [in] earth!”
The earth ~
God gave to the sons of men [Psalm 115:16]!
Look at what the psalmist said in verses 14-16 [GWT] ~ “May the LORD continue to bless you and your children. You will be blessed by the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth. The highest heaven belongs to the LORD, but he has given the earth to the descendants of Adam.”
Imagine that! What? That even after Adam blew up the planet God maintained His method of transforming earth by entrusting the earth to Adam’s sons. The gifts and call of God are irrevocable [Romans 11:29]. God has more confidence in people than people give Him credit for.
By the way, Adam was created in God’s image [perfect]. Everyone else is made in Adam’s image [flawed, sinful]. When a person is born again by God’s Spirit they enter into the process of being conformed to the image of the last Adam, Jesus Christ.
I like how The Message Bible says Psalm 115:16. “The heaven of heavens is for GOD, but He put us in charge of the earth.”
The earth ~
- If we view the earth as a place cursed by God then we will not exercise the required faith to see it transformed
- If we believe God cursed the earth then we will believe He is going to eventually destroy it
- If we believe He is going to eventually destroy it why attempt to transform it
- Without faith it is impossible to please God
- One of the ways we please God is to be in submission to His mission to transform the earth
The refusal to see the earth as cursed by God can be seen clearly in the behavior of Isaac, Abraham’s natural son of promise. In my last blog I wrote how Abraham kept his charge by faith, which empowered Isaac to keep His charge, and all those who are of faith to keep their charge, which among other things is to receive instruction from God and then obey Him [bring heaven to earth, disciple nations, etc.].
If Isaac had viewed the earth as being under God’s judgment [curse] then he would have struggled in coming to grips with God’s instruction for him to remain in a land that was in a famine.
- If God was the source of the famine [curse] then why would He instruct Isaac to remain there?
- Why would Isaac risk his seed on a land that was under God’s curse?
- He wouldn’t!
- Do we risk our seed [investment of time, talents and money]?
- Are we expecting a huge harvest from our investment?
- We determine our harvest, not God! [Matthew 4:24; Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:6]
In Genesis 3 we find God talking about curses. Those curses were on ~
- Vs 14 – the serpent ~ his curse was greater than the animals. Dust would be his food. Dust = natural man [made from dust], the flesh or carnality [sinfulness] of man. This means he has no authority to eat our faith, faithfulness or what they produce.
- Vs 14 – the animal kingdom ~ theirs was not as severe as the serpent’s. They get to eat what the earth produces. They don’t produce their food, The earth itself and those who tend it produce their food.
- Vs 16 – human relationships ~ this begins in the womb as we know that people are infected with a sin nature in the womb [Psalm 51:5]
- Vs 17 – the ground ~ obstacles to success would be present in the ground which requires faith [faithfulness, perseverance, endurance, etc.] to overcome.
Please note that God did not say He was cursing anything!
The curses were caused by deception, misrepresentation and insubordination!
All that it takes to reverse the curse is complete obedience to the Lord.
- Isaac sowed in the land [place of famine] and the same year he reaped a hundred fold [Genesis 26:12].
- God blessed Isaac for his obedience and faith to risk his seed in what looked like unproductive land [Genesis 26:12].
- Isaac became very wealthy in spite of the natural circumstances [Genesis 26:13,14].
God always blesses faith! Faith and faithfulness are synonymous. Faith is believing God, not just believing in God. True faith involves action that is commensurate with what we believe.
Friend, what you believe to be true is true to you even if it is not really true. “You shall know THE TRUTH [Jesus] and THE TRUTH [Jesus] shall make you free.
Who, and what you believe will determine what you will do.
Stop looking at your negative circumstances and assume God is the author of them. God does cause all things to work for the good of them who love him but He does NOT cause all things that are happening to them, or anyone else.
Keep your charge in the earth, remain faithful and be productive. God is looking for faith!
For HIS Glory!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury