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THE TRIUNE OFFICE THE TWO TREES OF THE FIRST COVENANT, unlike Adam, had life in themselves. As living “doorposts,” they were designed to form Adam physically (as a priest) and fill him ethically (as a king). Once formed and filled, he would speak for God as a prophet. As a “liturgy in food,” these living blueprints were to shape Adam’s life, and through him, the life of all humanity. Consequently, these three roles all exist in the initial Testing in the Garden:



TRANSCENDENCE Call - Adam is anointed to rule HIERARCHY Commission - Adam is given a counterpart by God ETHICS Priest - Adam hears a challenge to the Law King - Adam must judge by the Law Prophet - Adam must speak the Law SANCTIONS Confession - Adam must present his counterpart to God SUCCESSION Father - Adam is qualified to rule and Eve is free to bear children

COMMENTS  All three roles—hearing, seeing and speaking, are legal. The three offices are a triune human “exposition” of the Ethics of the Covenant. Compare and contrast this chart with the charts on pages 37 and 65 of Bible Matrix. 28










Ascension LAW given to Head Ethics:

Testing LAW opened Maturity LAW received by Body










The threefold office is the process of Law, Wisdom and Prophecy. The prophet is the ears, eyes and the mouth of God combined, and he often speaks in riddles. His knowledge is beyond the simple-minded understanding of the priest and the legal wisdom of the king. “For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7) James Jordan says that the theme of the book of Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon, is the limitations of wisdom. “Wisdom is the skill to accomplish good things, especially in society, and thus is pointedly for kings. Proverbs tells us that life makes sense. You can understand it and wisdom enables you to function well in the world. Ecclesiastes tells us that life does not make sense, that you cannot understand it. Wisdom is useful but limited.” 2 Thus, the prophet is a spiritual advisor to both priests and kings.

2 James B. Jordan, Solomon and Wisdom Literature, lectures for the Bucer Institute, 2010.





Ascension: The Law Given (external law) A priest of God is a servant, a legal assistant, a silent “butler” of the Law. He never sits, but stands in waiting. He eats bread but never drinks wine. He only pours wine. He does not know the mind of his Master but is left to speculate based upon His revealed character. Testing: The Law Opened A godly king sits enthroned as a judge, a minister of the Law. He makes decrees, and sips wine to seal each decree. His legal role is to tremble at the Law and to outsmart its rivals. By its light, he is as wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove—a servant-king. As the priest carries the Word of God, so the king applies the Word of God. Maturity: The Law Received (internal law) A prophet of God combines service and rule as a legal witness to priests and kings. He not only eats bread and drinks wine, but does so at God’s table as His legal advisor, as a friend who shares the same mind. He comes from God’s table to serve priests and kings by reminding them that they are all accountable to a greater Judge, and prepares them for His coming.1 1 For the complete sevenfold office of Man, see chapter 13 of Bible Matrix II.



But how does all of this apply to Adam’s situation? Adam’s priestly office was to minister life from his own body to those in his care: Eve and her children. Adam’s kingly office was to minister death on God’s behalf to whoever would threaten those in his care: the serpent and any who would listen to, that is, worship him. Faithfulness in these two offices would unite them as a third office, that of the prophet who has authority over priests and kings. As a prophet, Adam himself would become a “tree of righteousness,” the source of food and shelter for “all flesh.” Offered as “firstfruits,” He would be the Covenant itself in flesh and blood (Forming). He would rule men as a righteous guide (Filling) and present mankind, the offspring of Eve, as a “chaste virgin,” corporately speaking, to God (Future). In these three roles, the Law is fulfilled. The complete Covenant Man, as a microcosmic house, is a door to the abundance of God for all Creation. 32









The three offices of priest, king and prophet correspond to the three domains given to Adam: the Garden, the Land and the World. Adam’s threefold service to God would enable him to bring the entire threefold world into that service: righteousness in the Garden, rule in the Land, and riches in the World.1

1 Hence the mention of the gold and precious stones of Havilah in Genesis 2:10-12. The third domain in this triune arrangement is predominantly the craftsmanship of the Spirit, which is the ministry of miraculous “joinings-together.” Consequently, the “World” is the place of abundant marriages and new technologies—a province of bridal cities and expanding empires.





We are not told explicitly how that perfect plan would have played out had Adam obeyed. However, based on later events in the Bible, we can piece together a fairly accurate picture. It concerns food but it is also architectural. In fact, it is a trinitarian grid: Priestly



Priest Garden:

Tree of Life

Tree of Wisdom

Doorposts to Land...

King Land:



Firstfruits of World...

Prophet World:



Feast with Heaven...

Here is the same grid using the Bible Matrix icons:



We saw in Bible Matrix II that the Word of God is constructed like the warp and weft of weaving. The work of God is the same. Here again, we see the vertical columns forming the legal structure, and the horizontal rows filling out the relational “glory.” The three-level house is formed and filled. Legally, the two trees in the Garden were the prototypes of the grain and grapes in the Land, and the bread and wine in the World. Relationally, Adam’s faithful obedience as a priest in the Sanctuary would equip him to receive the kingly wisdom required to move out into the next domain. The Land also contained foods, foods that required faithful labor and greater skill: grain and grapes. Once again, these were gift and opportunity, but Adam was now required to rule over other men, his offspring. The test in this case would have been Adam’s willingness to offer God the priestly firstfruits as a servantking. God’s response to his faithfulness would have been the release of a kingly “Pentecostal” harvest. Adam’s wise rule would have brought a continual peace and prosperity to his proto-kingdom, preparing him for rule over an greater domain: the nations of the World. Failure to honor God with the priestly firstfruits would result in a divided kingdom. Eventually, each tribe would have its own priest, and each nation would have its own king, so Adam’s rule would have become prophetic, standing “at the right hand” of the king of kings, in the throneroom of God as priest, king and prophet, the entire world on the shoulders of one faithful man. Invited to eat and drink 36




with God, Adam would serve as the mouth of God. However, if intoxicated by the prophetic cup, Adam— and all the nations united under him—would stagger and fall. The faithful triune offices of Adam, fulfilled in the image of the Triune God, would bring all nations to a maturity capable of open fellowship with God. Garden - priest/tribe (servant to the Father) Land - king/nation (brother to the Son) World - prophet/empire (minister of the Spirit) This is more than mere speculation. In later biblical events we can see these three stages fulfilled positively (though imperfectly) in the history of Israel. Under Moses and Aaron, Levi was invested as a priestly tribe, mediating the Law for all nations in a portable Sanctuary. Israel was then given the Promised Land. Under David and Solomon, Israel became a kingly nation, mediating Wisdom for all nations. Under Daniel and Mordecai, a resurrected, reunited Israel was elevated as a prophetic advisor in the courts of world emperors.






It should be no surprise to us that this triune pattern is repeated throughout the Bible, both positively and negatively. The purpose of every list of instructions, every narrative, every genealogy, is bound up in housebuilding. Consequently, a failure to identify this aspect of the literature of the Bible will cause us to misunderstand and misinterpret it. Great tracts of Scripture given by God to edify the Church lie neglected, discarded as obsolete external scaffolding instead of being taught as the crucial internal framework which they are. When we read the instructions for the Tabernacle, and notice the presence of forbidden food, of priests, of life ministered out of death, we must read the events as blueprints for something greater, a great “serpentine” tree of righteousness constructed out of human society. Biblical architecture, however obscure, is the most profound and potent form of “promise.” Physical forms will become social forms and then spiritual forms. Word becomes nature, then nature becomes supernature. Comprehension of the architectural forms in the Bible opens to us the mind of God.


Bible Matrix III - Chapter 2  

"The Triune Office"

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