Cindye Coates serves as a pastor/teacher at Solomon's Porch Family Worship
Center where her husband, Stan Coates is Sr. Pastor and Founder. Together they
have served in ministry for 20 years. Cindye is presently in postgraduate school
earning a doctorate in ministry. She is also a respected community leader who
ran for the Georgia State Legislature in 2004.
GOVERNMENT OF THE GARDEN
by Cindye Coates M.Div.
Interesting how close we are at war to The Garden of Eden. It’s actually
located beneath the Persian Gulf (meaning: the great divide) just south of Iraq.
It’s as though a mystery waits to be discovered beneath the waters of obsolete
teaching. Perhaps if we look to Genesis, we will find the original blue print of
how God designed Kingdom Order and a Redemptive Government!
The key word here is redemptive! Everything basically boils down to the cross
and what was accomplished in the atonement. Did Jesus offer Himself as a ransom
so that there would be a reinstating of the order of Moses? Did Jesus shed His
blood to secure hierarchal Judaism? The Gospel is far more powerful than any old
wineskin. Jesus repossessed the Garden in His death, burial and resurrection.
In the beginning God made all things good. In the Garden there was no pollution,
no racism, no poverty, no sickness, no confusion, no separation from God. There
was righteousness, peace, and joy. The Father God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit
walked with Adam (who was both male & female). Together Adam (and Eve) had
intimacy with their Creator and with each other. This was God’s original Plan
that Jesus has redeemed!
When God created mankind in His likeness, male and female, He did not create the
female to do laundry because they had no clothes. He did not create the female
to cook because they were eating raw fruit, seeds and herbs. The woman and the
man were designed to walk as one, co-laboring together with equal authority and
fellowshipping with God.
This principle applies to government. The focus is not on gifting, it’s on
relationship to God and revelation of authority and responsibility. Notice
neither Adam or Eve were ever children. They were “born” adults, mature, and
able to reproduce. This is the foundation of a Christ-Centered Effective
Government also known as Kingdom Order.
State of the Union
When God created mankind in His image, both male and female, what was the state
of their union? It was that of equal but opposite. They were Adam and Eve, not
Adam and Steve. In other words God did not elect 2 men to oversee the Earth. He
elected a man and a women who would reproduce after their kind more men and more
women who would rule the earth together in the same manor.
After the fall, hierarchal government was instituted to subjugate and dominate
people, as there was a flaw in the integrity of man. If God had intended to
continue this mode of operation, He would not have delivered us from it. If it's
not broke, don’t fix it. Right? This system was not God's best. It was not Plan
A. It was Plan B. God is not a “Plan B” God. His ways are
If we don't understand the Garden, we will not understand the Kingdom. The
Garden is the blue print of God's plan for all things. It’s vital to understand
the union of Adam and Eve as the founding elders of the Garden. If God had
intended to have just one overseer, He would had not allowed Adam to share His
authority with Eve in the Garden.
It was not good for Adam to “run things” alone. He needed a partner to help him
out. The word “help meet” (KJV) or “helper” (NKJV) in Genesis 2:18 is the same
word “Help” in Psalms 121 : 1,2!
And the Lord said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a
helper comparable to him.” Genesis 2:18 NKJV
I will lift up my eyes to the hills-- From whence comes my help? My Help comes
from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. Psalms 121:1,2
The word for “help” is ezer and is does not mean inferior to. God refers to
Himself as our Help, our Ezer. He personified His ezer in the form of Eve in the
Garden and He called this good!
Recently I attended a huge mega church in which “the Bishop” (The 0verseer)
would take the stage amongst a sea of people. The site was magnificent. It
reminded me of Jesus feeding the five thousand. As I was sitting in the sea of
on lookers, I kept seeing a Cyclopes in the Spirit every time this bishop would
take the stage. I was puzzled. I asked the Lord what this meant (if anything)?
He responded, “ I have set two (2) eyes in every body not one!”
I was awakened to a brand new thinking. The Lord had summoned me to this meeting
to expose a dynamic that had taken hold in our city that was not reflecting the
Government in the Garden! The Lord allowed me to see what really was. This form
of government was not that of the blue print. This form of Church government was
that of a hierarchal system that had been instated due to the fall. This
could not reveal the fullness of Christ as only half of the image of Christ was
leading the people.
I asked the Lord about Moses. “Lord, didn’t you set a man Moses over your people
to rule over them?”
The Lord quickly reminded me that the “Government of Moses” reflected the
Government of Egypt. Moses was the “Pharaoh” (leader) of the Hebrews. This was a
pre-redemptive government. This was not instituted in the Garden! This was
instituted in Egypt and in the wilderness.
We are the redeemed and we must say so! This revelation of the Government of the
Garden will revolutionize the world. God never intended one man to rule over His
people. This fosters immaturity and dilutes the impact that we have in all
dimensions of life; be it the family, the Church, the Civil Government, the
environment, the economy, world peace, etc… Kingdom Order originated in the
Garden. That was, and is, and will forever be God’s perfect Plan! Jesus has
liberated us from pre-redemptive governmental systems. We no longer have to be
Elders in the Garden
There are 3 types of “Church Government” today:
The Episcopacy-- weighted authority given to a certain individual.
The Congregational-- ruled by a congregation of varied maturity.
The Presbytery-- overseen by elders, mature leadership.
In Genesis we notice that God did not set a bishop to oversee things. He did
not set up a congregation to rule things either. He set up a presbytery of 2
elders who would have reproduced more elders had they not handed over their
authority to the devil. Thanks be to God, Jesus redeemed that authority and is
calling for elders today!
Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden to oversee it. To put it in “Greek”
terminology…they were a God-elected presbuteros (presbytery) of elders. They
were given the responsibility to oversee as bishops (episkopos), to aid and feed
as shepherds (poimen), all of which are plural! The only one Who should hold the
title “The Bishop”, “ The Rabbi/Teacher”, “The Pastor/Shepherd” is The Lord! We
are His multiplicity. We are His dispensation.
Both Adam and Eve were elders who represented the Godhead. It took both to
reflect the authority of God. Civil rulers and family leaders receive their
authority from above. The same is true of Church leaders/officers. The
healthiest churches are those who have male and female elders, who aid the
people of God, equipping the saints for the work of their ministry!
The local Church should model a functional family. This does not mean that the
elders have to be married to each other. There are cases when single ministers
plant churches. In this case it is a good thing to trust God to raise up men and
women to lead and equip. The presence of both genders in leadership will bring a
balance and wholeness, provided these individuals are submitted to the authority
of Jesus and live a surrendered life before God!
Qualifications of Elders
Both Timothy & Titus wrote of the qualifications of elders. They provide the
confirmation of two witnesses so that these qualifications are established. (1Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-8)
If anyone wants to provide leadership in the church, good! But there are
preconditions: (Message Translation)
1. A leader must be well thought of,
2. Committed to his/ her spouse,
3. Cool and collected,
4. Accessible, and hospitable.
5. He/she must me able to teach,
7. Not be over fond of wine,
8. Not pushy but gentle,
9. Not thin-skinned, easily offended,
10. Not money-hungry.
11. He/ she must handle his/her own affairs well.
12. Attentive to his/her own children and having their respect. For if
someone is unable to handle his/her own affairs, how can he/she take care of
13. He/she must not be a new believer, lest the position go to his/her head
and the devil trip them up.
14. Outsiders must think well of him/her, or else the devil will figure out
a way to lure him/her into his trap.
I left you in charge in Crete so you could complete what I left half-done. Appoint leaders in every town according to my instructions. As you select them,
ask, "Is this person well-thought-of? Are his/her children believers? Do they
respect their parents and stay out of trouble?" It's important that a church
leader, responsible for the affairs in God's house, be looked up to--not pushy,
not short-tempered, not a drunk, not a bully, not money-hungry. He/she must
welcome people, be helpful, wise, fair, reverent, have a good grip on
themselves. (Titus 1:5-8 The Message)
Constants vs. Variables:
In order to understand and apply present-day Truth, we must understand the
difference between constants and variables! A constant is the absolute; that
which is unchanging, irrevocable and eternal. The variable is that which
pertains to culture, customs and temporal things. So often we learn variables as
if they were constants. This is vital! To be unable to distinguish between
constants and variables will cause many to remain smothered and dwarfed by a
religious system, never coming into the perfect place of life and liberty!
Example: “the husband of one wife”
1 Timothy 3:2 lists one of the qualifications of an elder is to be the husband
of one wife. So many people use this one scripture to disqualify women and
divorced men for the office of an elder. This would be funny if it weren't so
ridiculous. Let's stop just a minute and apply some cerebral Christianity!
First of all, this was written in a time when men had several wives at a time. God was requiring a model of devotion and consummation to only One. Women did
not have multiple husbands, that's why man were addressed here. Also, this could
not disqualify divorced people because God Himself has been divorced. (Jeremiah.
3:8) So in this verse, the Covenant is the Constant; the gender/marital status
is the variable!
Back to the Garden
A while back Joni Mitchell wrote a song that was recorded by Crosby, Stills,
Nash & Young with a famous lyric hook…“and we got to get ourselves back to the
garden.” There is much Truth in this 3rd Day declaration. It is imperative that
we fix our minds on Redemption. Jesus bought back Paradise. He bought back God’s
original blueprint that were given over to the devil. I will go as far to say
that if it was not in the Garden (prior to The Fall), it's not in the Gospel!
So we wait. We wait on God when in reality He is waiting on us to process that
which has already been possessed for us! He is waiting for the redeemed of the
Lord Jesus to say so and model the leadership that was given to both Adam (who
was male & female) in Gen 1:27:
1. Be Fruitful.
2. Multiply and become numerous.
3. Replenish the earth with abundance.
4. Subdue & bring under subjection.
5. Have dominion & authority ruling over everything that lives.
Jesus is "held in the heavenlies" until the restoration of all things. Acts