The three-fold mandate deals with evil or the kingdom of darkness. It is about the establishment of righteousness lived out in community. We will look at how Adam and Eve, Moses, and Jesus handled this mandate.

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve were given these mandates of heaven after being created by God in the Garden of Eden.

In Genesis 2 we read that “the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15 NKJV). The implication is that the garden was his domain and he had the responsibility to protect and care for the garden. The specific command is: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16–17 NKJV).

Immediately after God’s command to Adam, He declares it is not good for man to be alone and He creates for him a helper comparable to the man.

The blessing of God for Adam and Eve is found in Genesis 1, “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.’” (Genesis 1:28a NKJV). Along with that blessing came the authority to have dominion on the earth. Adam and Eve were created in the image of God with the capacity to multiply humankind. At this point, the fall had not happened. God’s will was that the entire earth would be full of His righteous creation: man. At the fall of man, God pointed to a way of salvation and redemption for His creation. God prophesied when He said to the serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15 NIV). The battle lines were drawn. The warfare began!

Moses

The same mandate was given later to Moses for the children of Israel before entering the land of Canaan. Israel was to drive out the enemy nations that had rejected the living God. They were to possess the land that Jehovah was giving to them as an inheritance. As each tribe received their inheritance from the Lord, Jehovah fulfilled His covenant to Abraham: “And when Joshua had dismissed the people, the children of Israel went each to his own inheritance to possess the land” (Judges 2:6 NKJV). Israel was to be a nation of righteousness through obedience to the Law God had given to Moses on Mount Sinai. The Law, which contained ordinances, was kept in the Ark of the Covenant located in the Holy of Holies in the Tent of Meeting. Israel was to have an ordered community in which they were to serve Jehovah and bear witness to the nations about Jehovah’s rule and His mercy. The Lord, though, left some enemy nations in the land to test Israel: “(this was only so that the generations of the children of Israel might be taught to know war, at least those who had not formerly known it)” (Judges 3:2 NKJV). For more information read Numbers 33:52, Deuteronomy 18, and the Book of Joshua.