Of the Relation Between God, the World, and Man

The thought of the existing relation between God, the world, and man naturally arises out of the thought already explained con­cerning each of these three objects of knowledge. The existing relation between them is analogous to their being and existing rel­ation between them is analogous to their being and nature. Inasmuch .as God is self-existent, the Creator and Fashioner of the world and of man, the world and man sustain such relations to God as the work sustains to its artificer, the thing made to its maker, and the effect to its own cause. Consequently the world and man depend upon God who is their Maker and Preserver, and God is absolute and omnipotent Lord, sustaining all things and sustained by none ruling all things as highest Lord.

The world is related to man as means to an end, because for the sake of man the world came into existence, in order that in the world and through the world man might come into being. Man came into existence for the sake of God, that he might honor and love and glorify God, being well aware that he is from God, and that through God he has whatever things he possesses, and first of all existence and life. God, being self-existent and eternal, is the beginning and end of all beings, the efficient and final reason of their existence.

Since man came into existence and is being advanced from im­perfection to God’s perfection, his relation to God also arises and is advanced likewise from the first relation, existing between the Creator and His creature, to the highest relation, that between fa­ther and son. When man was disobedient and rebelled against God and went after the Devil, the creature most idous to God, there arose between him and God the relation of enmity and warfare. Man is irreverent towards God and practices deeds contrary to His will, while God avenges and punishes ungodly man according to his evil practices. The relations therefore of man to God are many and opposite and various according to the many sorts and kinds of the nature of man and his different moral conditions. Let us therefore consider these relations according to the view previously set forth concerning the old and the New man and their descendents.

The first man, of the earth earthy, is in relation to God in many different relationships analogous to his progressive and changed con­dition; the second Man, who is the Lord from Heaven, is related to God in one way only, the highest and most perfect, in the relation of Son to Father. Man in the Paradise of delight, living under the law of freedom, was in the same relation to God as one who is ruled over to his ruler, as a disciple to his teacher, as a servant to his own master; but having transgressed the law of life at the crafty in­stigation of the Devil he was placed in such relationship to God as the man on trial bears to his judge, as one who is sick bears to the physician, as one who is being educated and corrected bears to the preceptor and corrector. In these relations Adam lived and died, begetting many sons and many daughters.

The descendants of Adam were divided into two kinds and branches, contrary and opposed to one another, the race of the wicked Cain, who was condemned to sigh and to tremble upon the earth, which was called the seed of the Serpent, and into the race of righteous Seth, who was born in the place of Abel, whom Cain slew, which was called the children of God.

The race of Cain is in the relation of enmity and warfare to God, and is pursued and punished under the penal justice of God; but the race of Seth sustains the relation of piety and good discipline to God, and God provides for that race good things. When the Seth­ites commingled by means of unlawful marriages with the evil gen­eration all involved themselves in the relation of the penal justice of God, and were wiped off the face of the earth by the deluge, from which only Noah and his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth were saved, on account of his piety towards God.

After the deluge the descendants of Noah, resuming the position of apostasy from God, entered into the relation of enmity and war­fare with God’s righteousness, and lived an unhappy life on earth. But the Sethite Abram entered into the relation of friendship and true discipline with God, and received the lot and portion of his blessings and promises from God, which were also inherited by his descendants who maintained the relationship of piety and good discipline towards God.

In brief, the descendants of the old man, from the first were divided into opposite parties, who sustained the relationship to God in two opposite directions, one in the direction of impiety and dis­obedience which the penal justice of God judicially punishes, the other in the relation of reverence and obedience, a relationship which makes sure the inheritance of the promises and of the future and eternal rewards of God.

A few choice spirits preserved the good relation to God until the coming of the New Man. All had declined and become unprofit­able, doing the works of eternal torment and punishment. But when mankind had thus become unprofitable and had wandered away from God, the second Man came upon the earth, born of a woman and of the Holy Spirit without the seed of man, who from the begin­ning to the end maintained one only relation towards God, the best, the filial, which honors and glorifies the Father; and is, in turn, glorified by Him. The New Man was witnessed as the beloved Son of God from His very conception; because, declaring the good tid­ings of His conception to the Virgin, the angel Gabriel said concern­ing Him: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end,” (Luke: 1:32-33). And when the Virgin inquired: “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” again the angel said to her: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Officially also He was borne witness to as the Son of God when He was baptized in the Jordan by John, who heard a voice from heaven saying: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

The Holy Spirit also in the form of a dove descended and re­mained upon Him; and, filled with the Holy Spirit, He was led into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the Devil. Yet again it was testified of Him as the Son of God in a still more official manner upon Mount Tabor, when He was transfigured before the three eminent disciples, Peter, James, and John, and His garments became white as the light. Then a bright cloud overshadowed the disciples who beheld the divine glory, and a voice from the Father bore testimony from the cloud, saying: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” He who was in such man­ner witnessed as Son of God in turn glorified His own Father, by fulfilling the whole law and becoming obedient to the Father even unto death of the cross, that He might establish all of the precepts of the Father’s will and destroy the power and the authority of the Devil. But all who believe in the Son of God receive authority to become children of God, and are in relationship to God, in the same filial manner wherein they honor God as the First-begotten Son honored Him through obedience to all God’s precepts, and God loves them with a perfect love and glorified them likewise as He glorifies the Son; but those who do not believe in the Son of God are in the relation of enmity and warfare with God and are pursed by the penal justice of God as guilty of crimes worthy of death and eternal punishment.

These are the relations of God to the world and to man, and of man to the world and to God, and in accordance with these relations. have been arranged the Mysteries to be celebrated and the Com­mandments to be kept, through which we maintain relations and sustain communion with God, without which we cannot be saved. Hence after the explanation of the dogmas to be believed we pass, on to the explanation of the Mysteries to be observed, having a salutary virtue inseparable from the dogmas of the faith.

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