Genesis 1:28 - "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. ..."

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." (Genesis 1:28)

Why did He instruct them to be fruitful?

This describes God's release of some spiritual living beings into the physical world. The spiritual individual is from another plane of existence - the spiritual world. In the spiritual world, God dwells, surrounded by innumerable living beings who relate with him in a variety of ways. These spiritual individuals are God's loving servants, each exchanging a relationship with Him in one mood or another.

Why? In other to have real love, the spiritual individual is given the freedom to love God or not. For those who have chosen not to love God, God designed a place that gives those spiritual individuals who have rejected their relationships with Him a place where we can seemingly be away from Him. This is the physical world.

We might compare this verse to a situation where a person is taking a fish out of the ocean and putting it in an aquarium. A person might set up an aquarium with some plant life, various facades of rocks and coral structures to swim through, and maybe some crabs or other creatures. Then an oxygenation system so that the fish will get enough oxygen. The whole aquarium is set up in such a way that the fish will be able to survive outside of its natural home - the ocean.

Now once the aquarium is set up, the person brings the fish to the aquarium and puts the fish in the aquarium. As he does this, he might, if he talked to fish, say something like what God said to humanity in the verse above. He might say: "This is your aquarium and you can multiply and rule over it. You can manage the crabs and the other species, and take care of things as you want to."

In other words, the aquarium owner is giving the fish some autonomy in terms of its new digs. It is giving the fish the freedom to have its own little kingdom.

Do we have the freedom not to obey?

This is a similar situation for us. God has given each of us the ability to dominate over others, and pretty much rule over the place. Why?

One of the aspects of our rejecting God in the spiritual plane, as we'll see as the analogy of Adam is unfolded, is that we desired to enjoy as God enjoys. We wanted to be the center of attention and have others serve us. We saw God enjoying in this way, and we became envious, in other words.

So as part of the physical world that God set up for us, He allows us to operate these temporary physical bodies designed with the ability to outsmart and dominate others. In this way, we can pretend we're in God's position of being the enjoyer and being served by others.

Consider how this has played out. Each of us so many opportunities to rule over others, whether it be animals, inferiors at work, children or those we lead in some group. These little 'king-ships' each come with consequences, however.

For example, practically every person has the opportunity to have children, or at least some sort of pet or even both. The children and the pet are subservient to the commands of the parent and/or pet owner, and the parent and/or pet-owner enjoys being the master of another living being. However, at the same time, the parent and/or pet owner has to take care of the child or pet. The parent and/or pet owner has to feed and clean the child or pet, and take the child and/or pet out to the park and so on. In this way, the child and/or pet and the parent and/or pet owner develop a relationship, which may become, to some degree, a loving relationship.

Who is serving who in these relationships?

Now, these relationships are no accident. It is no accident that we have these freedoms here to create these types of relationships, and then we undergo a series of lessons regarding caring, making sacrifices and ruling over another. These are all intended to teach us the meaning of loving relationships.

In fact, even though the physical world was designed to give us certain freedoms, it was also designed specifically as a rehabilitation center. The physical world teaches us about relationships. It teaches us, gradually, how to love again.

The intention is to prepare us for our return home to the spiritual dimension. We cannot dwell or stay in the spiritual dimension when we are envious of God and self-centered. We just do not have the right consciousness for the spiritual dimension in that state. So God set up a place that teaches us about loving service and relationships, in an attempt to bring our consciousness back to a state where we can resume our loving relationship with Him.

Every step of our physical lives within these temporary bodies, we are constantly given choices. With each choice is a consequence. Should we decide to help another, or care for another, there will be a good consequence. Should we decide to take advantage of another, or abuse or hurt another, there will be a negative consequence - one that shows us directly how it feels to be treated in that way. This is all due to the incredible programming of this physical world by the Supreme Person, God.

The question is which way we will go? Will we use our God-given freedoms in the physical world to hurt others and try to dominate others, or will we care for others and try to help others? This is our choice. One choice brings us closer to returning home and the other takes us further away.

For those who have, as they have evolved, chosen to care for others and try to help others, they are directly given a chance to return home by having contact with one of God's loving servants - who God periodically sends to the physical world in an effort to bring those who are ready back home.

The books of the Bible, in fact, provide a history of some of these loving servants, including Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Joshua, Job, Jonah, John the Baptist, Jesus, Jesus' disciples and others - all of whom God sent specifically to bring those who were ready to 'graduate' from the physical world back to our in the spiritual world.

What is the path home?

These representatives of God have all taught that the path back home is to re-establish our loving relationship with God. This is why Moses instructed:
"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Deut. 6:5)
And why Jesus taught, quoting Moses:
" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment."(Matthew 22:37-38)
And why Moses also instructed:
"...obey the commands I am giving you today--to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul..." (Deut. 11:13)

Consider another translation for this verse in Chapter One of the New Book of Genesis