Hebrew Roots/The Law and the Covenants/Covenants:The Universal Covenant
THE UNIVERSAL EDENIC COVENANT
This is the covenant which was made in Eden with Adam and is commonly called the Edenic Covenant.
It was the presentation to man at his creation, of the everlasting covenant - i.e. the requirements of God and His promises to him in the covenant. It was a universal covenant, intended for all Adam's posterity and it is fulfilled in the Kingdom era as seen in Revelation 22: 1-4.
Although it is not named as such and set out as a covenant, nevertheless the content of scripture reveals that it was definitely a covenant made with Adam on the condition of obedience.
THE IDYLLIC STATE
Adam was created on the sixth day to have fellowship with Yahweh God who took on a tangible form to come and meet with him, and this seemed to occur on a daily basis. The scripture tells us that the work of creation was finished on that day, and on the seventh day He rested (Genesis 2: 1-3). So, it would appear that the garden which He created specifically for Adam was completed also on the sixth day and there He placed Adam whom He had created. Here, He instructed Adam regarding His covenantal purpose for him and the conditions which needed to be met for his life to be sustained. The first day of Adam's life was the seventh day of sanctified rest in the Garden in fellowship with his Creator.
Being created in the "image and likeness" of God, as a child of the Father, he possessed the divine nature. However, he was created as an independent person with his own rights to exercise his free will and make his own decisions. He possessed excellent reasoning powers, as demonstrated by his ability to identify and name all the creatures (Gen.2:19), but he was immature and inexperienced in the exercise of life's choices.
Therefore his inherent 'goodness' was untested and unproven.
Adam was created a living soul, and his inner man was infused with the light and life of Yahweh and they (he and his wife) were therefore 'clothed' in garments of light, as heavenly spiritual beings appear when manifested in this earthly realm. "In Him was life and the life was the light of men" John 1: 4 (When the spiritual connection was severed, they lost their spiritual covering and became aware of their nakedness, and needed to be clothed. Genesis 2:25)
Under the guidance of Yahweh, Adam was being educated and brought to self-realisation of his need of a partner which he later named Eve, or more correctly translated, Chavah (pronounced hava). Genesis 2:23
"And God blessed them" personally (Genesis 1:28; also in 1:31), and He told them to "be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it". The family unit was thus established with man as the priest over his house with the ministry of teaching his family the decrees and knowledge which Yahweh had given to him.
In the command to "replenish" the earth, He makes Adam aware that the earth has been made "empty/void" (Gen.1: 2), and was needing to be refilled and gave him authority to bring it under his control. In effect, Adam was given dominion over every living thing upon earth, as it's federal head. Psalm 8: 4-8 Adam was thus deputised to act as prophet, priest and king over all His creation. He was also given the assignment of caring for and guarding the Garden, the blueprint for a working week having been established by Yahweh's own example in six days of work and one of rest. Genesis 2: 1-2, 15
For food, man was given every herb of the field and the fruit of every tree to sustain his body. Genesis 1: 29
Also the animals lived on the vegetation of the earth which was sufficient to sustain their needs.
THE TERMS OF THE COVENANT
The Garden was Adam's immediate sanctuary, his home territory, enclosed by walls and a gate, a defined area which he was to tend and guard from intrusion. Within the Garden were two specific trees, symbolic of the covenant promise and the condition of the promise. Genesis 2:16-17
Adam had a choice of two trees, two types of 'life', except that the 'life', so called, from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, would bring death. Adam did not know from experience, the value of "good" or of "evil", nor did he understand the value of real life. So it was a test of trust in His Maker and obedience to His commands.
Adam was in a school of instruction, as evidenced by the introduction he had been given to all the animals and the basic knowledge given of his environment. He had been given basic instruction to prepare him against the intrusion of evil into his life but it depended upon him trusting in the goodness and integrity of Almighty God and His plan and purposes for him. Trust and obedience were the key factors.
This was a conditional covenant in which the blessing from obedience was the tree of life. The curse of death was the result of breaking faith with the covenant and disobeying the injunction which was given.
The terms of the covenant are: 1. Worshiping and serving Almighty God (inherent in the text) 2. Replenishing the earth with his own kind, physically and spiritually. 3. Exercising dominion over the earth as a king; Being a spokesperson for Yahweh to his wife and subsequent posterity, thus fulfilling a prophetic role and being a guardian of the sanctuary, as a priest.The test of obedience hinged on the first precept, the most important and basic foundation of the covenant.
The promise in the covenant was the "tree of life" which symbolised immortality and the condition for obtaining the promise, was not to partake of the tree of the "knowledge of good and evil".
The seal or sign of the covenant was the Sabbath, as it was a foretaste of the eternal rest of Yahweh God. The seventh day was symbolic of ultimate, spiritual perfection - the day when He entered into His rest.
For Adam and his posterity it was an opportunity to have a foretaste of what was promised to them. To Adam and his wife, it would have been a day of personal fellowship with Yahweh in the Garden. It was something given to them to always remind them of the covenant promise.
Many times the seal that has been given for a covenant is something which will be a perpetual reminder. This was the case particularly in the Noachic covenant with the rainbow and the perpetuity of the heavenly constellations for the Davidic covenant, to bring to remembrance His promises to them.
All of that which was instituted as part of this covenant is still incumbent upon man to keep -- worship, trust and obedience of Yahweh God; marriage and the family unit to people the earth; the mandate of functioning in the role of king, prophet and priest on the earth; the Sabbath; and, although not stipulated, for man to walk in the divine nature which he was given according to God's character and expression of life as we have seen in the life of Y'shua and which was given for all time in the ten commands (Exodus 20).
While Adam was walking in covenant relationship with Yahweh God he had not partaken of the tree of life. He was in a process of being developed to a stage of spiritual maturity wherein he would be able to enter into all that was symbolised by that particular tree.
The withholding of the knowledge of good and evil was not something that would have been kept from him permanently, either. As seen afterward, it was said, "the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil" (Genesis 3:22). Knowing good and evil was a quality of god-likeness.
It was an ability he would have gained through the wisdom he would have attained in the program of development which God had for him. The command was for him not to partake of it on his own initiative. So, when he did, so that he would not become immortal in a fallen state and be locked into that state forever, and unredeemable, he was driven from the Garden so that he could not partake of it (Genesis 3:24).
If he had continued to walk in submission to God, he would have inherited all things that pertain to life and godliness through the avenue of the knowledge of God (2 Peter 1: 2-8).
Proverbs describes the wisdom which comes from the knowledge of God as a tree of life (3:18), in other words, wisdom which has been imparted by walking with God is life-giving; and Paul describes the death-experience which comes from walking according to one's own understanding of what is right and wrong, good and evil, unable to do what one knows to be right or good, out of the self-nature which is alienated from God as a result of living from the wrong tree. (Romans 7:13-25; 1 John 3: 4)
Living in independence from God, using one's free-will to live according to one's own desires (whether 'good' or 'evil') is the essence of sin. It involves a transgression of the law - i.e. the commandment of God. The whole issue was whether Adam would live in covenant relationship with God or not. To obey or disobey the instructions of God. To do it His way or his own way (Ephesians 2: 1-3; Isaiah 53: 6).
- And we know what he chose!!!
The test in the Garden was for Adam to overcome his own self nature, even though he was created perfect he still had his own free-will. He was as a "living soul" in a natural state of perfection. The tree of life represented becoming a partaker of spiritual, eternal life. The tempter coming into the garden put him to the test of obedience or disobedience to the revealed will of God. To live according to God's will or according to his own. Adam was not deceived, so it was a complete free-will choice.
The issue is still the same. The tempter draws us away from our love relationship with God and the promise has not been revoked. He still offers to us, "To him that overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God" Revelation 2: 7
Enoch, the seventh from Adam, was one who walked with God and overcame, for God took him (Jude 14).
The test therefore was that Adam overcome, through being tested in his self nature, before receiving an impartation of the tree of life - i.e. eternal life, whereby he would have become an immortal being.
In the Hebrew of Genesis 2: , the grammatical construction is a genitive of cause. This indicates then that the tree imparted life, and continued in a life-giving function to those who partook, or who 'ate' of it. In other words, this tree symbolised receiving a spiritual impartation of life from the One they knew as the Word of God, the eternal life which Y'shua now imparts to us. He is the "Bread of Life" (John 6:48,51, 53).
THE SEAL OF THE COVENANT
The Sabbath is the everlasting sign of the Edenic covenant and continues to be kept throughout eternity by the redeemed saints. The godly line of patriarchs after the fall continued to keep all of Yahweh's statutes, laws and commandments, the last of which was Abraham. Genesis 26: 5
When his descendants fell away from walking in God's ways under the oppression of slavery, the first thing which He re-instated was the keeping of the Sabbath, before the giving of the ten commands of His law and it was confirmed that it still remained a sign between them and Yahweh of the Edenic promise throughout their generations, and in the age to come. Exodus 16: 4-5, 22-26; Exodus 31:13, 16-17; Isaiah 66:22
- Yahweh referred back to the establishment of it in Eden (Exodus 31:17).
Not only is the Almighty's law perfect, but it is eternal, therefore it does not become obsolete. The keeping of the Sabbath was incorporated into the ten commands and Y'shua said that He had not come to destroy the law by the bringing in of a better promise in the messianic covenant. (Psalm 111: 7-8; Matthew 5:17-19)
The keeping of the Sabbath is a token of faith in Yahweh God's promise of eternal life as it was in Eden and of the full redemption which shall be manifest in the age to come. Even when that 'token' has become a reality in the kingdom age, the prophets still speak of the keeping of the Sabbath, the sign of the Everlasting covenant set forth in Eden, the Garden of God. Isaiah 66:23; 44:23-24; 45:17; 46: 1-5
A sacrifice was only needed to ratify the covenants after the fall, for the purpose of redemption.