The Household of God
The early history of mankind
- Chapter 99 -
DIVINE AND HUMAN LAWS
Thereupon the children brought refreshments and sustenance for the body consisting in fruit and old and new bread. But Adam did not want to eat anything because his midday vow still bound his palate, and so he touched it all just to bless it. The others did the same.
However, since they were all by now rather hungry and that so much so that they all - even Enoch not excluded - looked with obvious desire and a secret appetite at the fruit and bread and it cost them some self-denial not to break their vow, Asmahael asked Adam:
"Listen, Adam! Who has imposed the fast on you and your children? Why do you not eat of the fruit if you are hungry, nor do your children if they are hungry?
"Has Jehovah commanded you to do that? Or how do you think you are serving God by punishing yourself with fasting and fighting against your own nature? Tell Me and ask yourself whether it can be pleasing to God if a man who has never as yet managed through self-denial to keep even one of God's commandments reliably and observe it at all times, now, because he was too weak to keep an easy divine commandment, imposes on himself his own, much harder commandment. To keep this he will find in the end more impossible than a hundred divine ones which always are closely related to the nature of the being since God will not, and cannot ever, make the being bear more than it is capable of with its particular nature, for He knows best why He has called it into existence out of Himself Surely not so that because of careless neglect of the divine order it should lay down for itself laws of atonement which out of self-love it regrets already long before the temptation necessary for a violation has been added, - but that it may live in accordance with the divine order, eat and drink as needed by the body, recognize God and love Him above all and the fellowmen as children and brothers like itself and, for the sake of love, I say, the more distant ones ten times more than himself and his own physical children.
"Behold, this is all that God demands of all of you, and He gives you no other commandment than that of love on which all praise and all gratitude is based. This foundation is as such the alone true cognition of God and thus the very life everlasting.
"However, if you bind yourself whereas God releases you to eternal freedom, are you not a fool when you endeavor to render the work of release by eternal Love more difficult, crippling yourself through your own folly instead of truly liberating yourself in My love, mercy and grace? Therefore, release yourself from the bond of your folly and eat and drink so that God can help you in that which within you is against His order.
Therefore I say: Woe betides henceforth the vow-makers! They shall suffer a dual judgment - the one out of Me and the other out of themselves for the sake of My commandment they have not kept and for wishing through a greater folly to please Me by atoning for the former folly when they transgressed against My order. Hear, thus speaks the Lord and thus speak I with the mouth and tongue of the Lord:
"If you wish to make a vow pleasing to Me, vow in your heart not to sin and to make no other vow than henceforth not to sin.
"But who among you can say: 'Listen, my God and Lord, I shall no longer sin before you!'
"Behold, you are unable to say that when you are free; but whatever will you do when against My will you bind yourself with an unbearable yoke which oppresses you and renders you insensitive to the divine law of love and all the freedom of life within and out of it?
"Therefore eat and drink and think in your heart that your foolish servitude does not please God, but only your love and freedom do. Listen, Adam, this is spoken by the Lord's own mouth with His own tongue. So observe it and be free! Amen."
Following this gracious speech Adam immediately, thanking and praising the Lord aloud, helped himself to the fruit and bread and told also the others to do the same. And they all ate and drank and were invigorated in their bodies and grateful in their spirits.
When they had thus refreshed themselves with My blessing, they rose, thanked Me in their hearts and were full of joy. And Adam said:
O my great God and Lord and if I may be allowed to call You 'Father'! The former great and beautiful Paradise was rich in all life's joys, but they did not profit me. When I was rich I distanced myself from You. You took the riches away from me and bestowed on me all kinds of poverty. O Lord, only now do I thank You for it and say this aloud:
"If You, my God, had given me a thousand Paradises, truly I would have been more miserable than a worm in the dust. For every word from You is worth more than a thousand earths, each with ten thousand Paradises.
"O Lord, Your Word and Your holy will are the true Paradise of life. O Lord, let me be forever in this Paradise! Amen."
Now Enos, Mahalaleel, Jared and also the mother Eve after Adam's thanksgiving began to think to themselves: 'How come that Adam has broken his vow and taken food and drink? And as he is now speaking it sounds as if God were standing before him in person.'
But Adam received light and said: "If you wonder at this ask yourselves: 'Why do we not wonder at our own life?' And the answer will be: 'Because God is now closer to us and shall always be closer than our own life; for now we are all living in Him!' Hear this! Amen, amen, amen."