What God Hath Joined Together

Paul declared the eternal truth concerning man when he wrote to the Romans, "Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God." To make this truth practical to mankind is the one legitimate purpose of the Christian religion. The Hebrew story of the garden of Eden, recorded in the second and third chapters of Genesis, following the account of God's perfect creation, represents something besides Him, as coming upon the scene in the guise of a serpent, and inducing Adam and Eve to partake of a knowledge of evil; and the sequel to this fable of the serpent, as seen in the subsequent history of mortals, illustrates the effect of so-called evil usurping the place of good in the consciousness of men. Obviously all the serpent would have to do to accomplish its purpose would be to get the man to think of himself as a separate intelligence from God; for, in deluded thought, this suggestion accepted would naturally appear as a sense of evil power, presence, and experience; in other words, the fable would apparently become the fact in human consciousness.

Now the momentous question for humanity is, Did a serpent, or something corresponding thereto, actually beguile God's image and likeness into knowing something besides good, and thus submerge man's original, pure selfhood in an evil consciousness, or is it all only a suppositional dream of error? Human belief, voicing itself through scholastic theology, physiology, materia medica, vehemently declares that it did, and points to the testimony of the earth convulsed with passion and strife, and lying under the curse of sin, disease, and death. These are proofs, surely, argues incarnate error, that man was banished from the divine presence and given over to the dominion of the serpent.

But this does not coincide with the viewpoint of Christianity, as stated by Christ Jesus, who said that the devil "is a liar, and the father of it," and that "there is no truth in him." In other words, Jesus' pronouncement implies that evil is but a false sense, and this false sense, not God, is the author of sinning mortals and the source of their evil works. In the last of the sacred writings John speaks of the serpent as that "which deceiveth the whole world;" that is to say, the whole story of the serpent, from Genesis to Revelation, is simply hallucination, the pictured panorama of the vision of error, having no substance or reality in the truth.

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Watch and Pray
December 27, 1919

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