ADAM’S AUTHORITY AND ABILITY
Genesis 1:27-28 says, "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." God said that man would have dominion over all the earth. Friends, do you know the size of the earth? Have you ever thought about this? What do you mean when you ask a servant to manage two houses? It means that the servant has the ability to manage them; that is why the master commits the management to the servant. It would not be possible for all the houses in this Wen-teh Lane to be managed by one servant because a servant cannot do what is beyond his ability. Even a demanding master will only ask a servant to do a little more than the servant is capable of doing. Let me ask you —would God ask Adam to manage what he could not manage? If Adam could manage the whole earth, his ability must not have been the same as ours today. He had the strength, ability, and capacity to do it. Everything inside and outside of Adam was a fresh ability he received from the Creator. Although we cannot say that Adam’s power was billions of times more than ours, it had to have been at least millions of times more than ours in order for him to do what was assigned to him. Otherwise, he surely could not have done what was assigned to him. But for us, even managing an area as little as Wen-teh Lane, and sweeping it three times a day, totally exhausts us, and we find it hard to straighten our backs after sweeping. How could we possibly rule the earth? Adam not only had dominion over the whole earth, but also had dominion over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, and the cattle. Having dominion does not mean just sitting there. It means to dominate and manage. From this point, therefore, we see that Adam must have had extraordinary abilities which were superior to ours today. We may think that this is something new; actually, this is the teaching in the Bible. Before Adam’s fall, he had the ability to do many things without getting tired. After his fall, God said to him that in the sweat of his face he would eat bread. From this we know that Adam worked without sweat before his fall. This ability is the fresh ability that emanates from God’s creation.
ADAM’S INTELLIGENCE AND MEMORY
Genesis 2:19 says, "And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof." Friends, is not this something new? If we look into an encyclopedia and read all the names under the dog family, we would say, "I do not know them all. I cannot remember all these names." But Adam could name all the birds and beasts. We should realize how much intelligence he had. If some of us with less intelligence were to study zoology, we would not succeed because we cannot even remember all the names. However, Adam not only remembered the zoological names, he invented them. Now we can begin to see how full and perfect Adam’s intellectual power was. Do we even know how many millions of different animals there are? Yet Adam could name them one by one!
ADAM’S MANAGING AND KEEPING ABILITY
Genesis 2:15 says, "And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." Let us put the matter of having dominion over the whole earth aside and consider what God told Adam to do. God told him to dress and keep the garden of Eden. Dressing is more organized than managing. How big was the garden of Eden? Genesis 2:10-14 mentions four rivers: Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Euphrates, which went out of Eden and covered four regions. Can we imagine the size of the garden? We do not know how many times larger it was than Hon-kou Park or Chiao-Feng Park in Shanghai. In order to dress four regions covered by four rivers, how much ability did Adam need? Not only did he have to dress them, but he had to keep them as well. Keeping is guarding the garden from the enemy. Therefore, Adam must have had extraordinary ability in those days. He must have been a person with supernatural abilities. All these abilities were in Adam’s soul. Adam’s abilities must have been unimaginable. According to our eyes, Adam’s abilities must have been supernatural and miraculous; but to Adam himself, these abilities were merely human abilities, not miracles. They were natural abilities to him, not supernatural abilities.
Did Adam ever exhaust all of his abilities? According to what I see from Genesis, Adam did not exhaust his abilities. After Adam was freshly created by God, and before he could even demonstrate all of his abilities, he fell. When the enemy seduced Eve with some bait, what did Satan promise her? The bait used by the enemy was the ability to know good and evil like God by taking in the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan’s promise was to be like God. He told Eve that even though she had these abilities, there was still a big gap between her and God. He told her that once she ate the fruit, she would have God’s authority, wisdom, and strength. On that day Eve was tempted and failed.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 10: The Present Testimony (3), Chapter 9, by Watchman Nee)