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The Truth Shall Make You Free



CHAPTER VI

LOSS OF FREEDOM

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ADAM and Eve, reflecting in perfection the image and likeness of their Creator, were the earthly, visible part of the universal organization of Jehovah God. At that time the man could be spoken of as "Adam, which was the son of God". (Luke 3: 38) He and his wife were part of the universal family of God in heaven and in earth. The faithful spirit creatures were the heavenly, invisible part of God's universal organization. Some of these had dealings with the perfect man and woman while in Eden. Up to the time of the issuing of the divine mandate to this human pair, God dealt with them through his Word, his only begotten Son, to whom he said on the sixth day: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." And then through his Son God stated to man, male and female, the terms of the mandate. This was truthful testimony to them and was the law of truth. It was a Theocratic law, because it expressed God's rule of action and it came from Him. It marked out freedom's course for humankind.

One day error invaded the glorious garden. Such error was not from God's beloved Son, for he is the Word of God, and always God's

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utterances by his Word are faithful, reliable, founded on fact, and durable, and hence true. Adam and Eve had been given the truth and could combat the error, if they relied upon God's word in faithfulness. There was no need for God to prevent the error from coming in contact with them for a test. "His truth shall be thy shield and buckler," and by it they could defend their freedom. (Psalm 91:4) The intrusion of error, therefore, betrayed that there was another spirit presence operating unseen in the garden. How so?

"Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden?" (Genesis 3:1, 2, A.R.V.) Adam was away, and Eve was alone at the time. It could not have been the dumb creature itself, the serpent, that thus spoke and raised the question about man's freedom in the garden. Someone was back of that serpent in thus speaking and audaciously raising a question over the truthfulness and rightness of God's law. It must have been an unseen spirit creature who was masking his identity behind that visible form of the serpent, that crafty beast which seemed to have knowledge and insight more so than other beasts. Who was this one who would appear as a revealer of vital secrets? We are not left in doubt; the answer, at 2 Corinthians 11: 3,14, is: "The serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, . . . And no marvel; for Satan himself is trans-

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formed into an angel of light." Further evidence points to Lucifer, the son of the morning.

This circumstance calls attention to an arrangement invisible to Adam and Eve that had been established over the earth by their Creator. After the close of the sixth creative day, and after he gave the divine mandate to the human couple in Paradise, their heavenly Father set up a protectorate over them, a special heavenly organization having the exclusive care of them. This invisible organization over them and higher than they served as a particular heavens, whereas Adam and Eve in their dominion over the animal creation were the visible earth, figuratively speaking. These two parts, the heavenly and the earthly, constituted the original world over this terrestrial globe. It was a clean, perfect and free world, a world of light and truth. The invisible or heavenly part of the world was made up of holy angels who were placed under Lucifer, the cherub who was responsible to be always loyal to the Divine Throne and to uphold it without fail.

The details of the above arrangement are given in later parts of the Divine Record. Lucifer proceeded to set himself up as a heavenly king and to establish the organization under him like a rock, like "Tyre", which means "rock". His course of action became cause for a dirge or lamentation over him, to this effect: "Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou wast in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the

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sardius, the topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was in thee; in the day that thou wast created they were prepared. Thou wast the anointed cherub that covereth: and I set thee, so that thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till unrighteousness was found in thee." — Ezekiel 28:11-15, A.R.V.

Lucifer's course became the "way of a serpent upon a rock". (Proverbs 30:19) He observed the worship that man accorded to God, and Lucifer fell to lusting for that worship for himself. To turn man against the true and living God, the Supreme One, Lucifer must lie about Him and must stir up self-seeking in man and then present himself as man's bright-shining benefactor. Then he could, under the guise of good and with a mock cry of freedom from all rationing of the necessities of life and freedom of opportunity for self-betterment, mislead man into breaking God's righteous and reasonable law. After gaining the fear, gratitude and worship of man, Lucifer would set himself up above the angels of God and would deify himself as a god like unto Jehovah God. Such pride leads to destruction, and such haughty spirit leads to a terrible fall like as of a lofty tree cut down to earth. Prophetically it is written, at Isaiah 14:12-14: "How art thou fallen from heaven, 0

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Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High."

By thus rebelling from under Jehovah God and aiming to be equal with him or even superior, Lucifer became blinded into thinking he was making himself free and independent. In fact, though, he was enslaving himself to a traitorous ambition and he became the servant to sin of treachery and rebellion. Almighty God allowed Lucifer the liberty to take this course, but that wicked one became wrapped up in the toils of lies and religion, of which he became the author and inventor. Lucifer thereby lost the liberty of the sons of God, became an outcast from the universal organization of Jehovah. He came under the sentence of everlasting destruction, which he cannot escape but which must overtake him in due time.

Pretending innocence and surprise, he asked Eve why she was not eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. "And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." (Genesis 3: 2, 3) Eve had accepted that statement of truth from

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her husband and had observed the warning in order to continue living. They had felt and suffered no want as a result of refraining from eating the forbidden fruit; in fact, eating of it would mean to suffer the want of even life itself. Better life with something than death with loss of all.

"And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:4,5) This was a direct lie, the first one ever told, and it made Jehovah God appear to be a liar. It was the first sin, and it resulted in the murder or loss of life to the first human pair. Lucifer, by this lie and slander against God, became the Devil, or slanderer of God. "The devil sinneth from the beginning." "He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (1 John 3:8; John 8: 44) Jehovah's good name for truth, righteousness, unselfishness, and supremacy as God now became at stake and must henceforth be vindicated and the Devil be proved a liar.

The statement of that old Serpent, the Devil, was a lie as to things divine and it affected the creature's attitude of worship. Hence the uttering of that lie as a guide to conduct and worship was the introducing of religion, to ensnare humankind away from the worship of Jehovah

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God in spirit and in truth. The Devil, in fact, was striving to set himself up as god like unto the Most High', and he held out the expectation to Eve and her husband of becoming "like gods", like Elohim, or, "as God." (A.R.V.) What honest person can deny that such system of worship and deification is religion? and that the Devil was the one to introduce religion? It is religion because it is not the worship of Jehovah God, the worship which God's only begotten Son, the Word, practices. Religion is based on the word of a creature rather than on the word and commands of the true and living God. No one can point to any religious ceremony or formalism that Adam and Eve performed in Eden up to that time. In innocence they followed the word and command of Jehovah God.

Religionists, however, will point to James 1:26,27 and say: Do not these texts call the worship of God religion?' According to some English translations of the original Greek text it would appear so, because they read thus: "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

Examination of these texts reveals that the Greek word translated "religion" is the word threskeia, and "religious" is threskos. These two words, however, have no connection with the

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Thracians of ancient Greece, who were very superstitious religionists and devil-worshipers and therefore inventors of religious mysteries. Instead, threskeia is drawn from the Hebrew word darash, to seek, that is, to seek God, as at 1 Chronicles 28:9; 2 Chronicles 15:2; 17:4; Psalm 9:10; and elsewhere. Hence the Syriac Version, which is a translation into the language Jesus Christ spoke, renders threskos and threskeia properly; and Murdock's English translation of the Syriac Version renders James 1:26, 27 as follows: "And if any one thinketh that he worshippeth God, and doth not restrain his tongue, but his heart deceiveth him; his worship is vain. For the worship that is pure and holy before God the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and that one keep himself unspotted from the world." Martin Luther's Version translated threskeia as Gottesdienst, or God's service.

At Colossians 2:18 the Authorized or King James Version translates threskeia as worshipping, but at Acts 26:5 as religion, wrongfully, because Paul the apostle there used threskeia to mean form of worship. It is true that religion, such as the Pharisees of old practiced among the Jews, is a form of worship, but the worship of God in spirit and in truth is not religion. True worship in spirit is of God; religion is of God's opposer, who schemes to make himself "like the Most High". The word religion is drawn from the Latin word religio, which word, from the very beginning of its use long before Christ,

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was applied by the Latin heathens of Italy to their practice of demonism or religion. Will "more religion", as now clamored for, produce a free postwar world? For a right conclusion reflect on what religion's introduction did to the original world.




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Prior to the religious doctrines of the Devil through the serpent, Eve had not felt any need of freedom from want. Human needs were abundantly supplied. Now, however, through entertaining the serpent's suggestions, Eve's heart felt moved with selfishness. She felt she was missing something, and that by adopting religious doctrines and following them she and her husband would become Godlike and become free and independent, wanting nothing. "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."  — Genesis 3: 6.

As to Adam's act it is written, at 1 Timothy 2:13,14: "For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." Eve, though formed second, ran ahead of Adam and showed willfulness in sin. She was deceived in that, when she ate, she found she did not get what she expected, but the serpent had cheated her. (Genesis 3:13, Roth., margin) Nevertheless, her willful selfishness and her insubordination to her head, her husband, made her party to the transgression.

Inasmuch as Adam was not deceived, he did not enter into the transgression with any hope of gaining what the serpent promised to Eve, but in order to keep her for himself. He would become a lawbreaker with her and suffer the

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same destiny with her, rather than be deprived of her. He preferred her to such life as he had known before her creation. Neither Adam nor his wife maintained integrity, that is, soundness, blamelessness or perfection of obedience toward God. Adam, being her earthly head, backed up her course of rebellion by joining in her trespass, and therefore the responsibility for the transgression falls chiefly upon his head. The condition of the future offspring was primarily affected by what he did rather than what Eve did. God could have created another perfect wife for Adam, if need be, in order that the divine mandate to fill the earth might be carried out. Hence the divine judgment declares: "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin." — Romans 5:12.

Jehovah God had said to Adam that, if disobedient, "thou shalt surely die." The serpent said to Eve: "Ye shall not surely die." On the serpent's religious contradiction of God's Word are based the doctrines of immortality of the human soul, and of temporary punishment of church-members in a blazing "Purgatory", and of eternal torment of unconverted sinners in a "hell" of literal fire and brimstone. By the facts which followed, whose word was vindicated as true, sure and reliable, Jehovah's or the Devil's?



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