The Doctrine of the Serpent Seed and the Original Sin...
St. Augustine thought he had found
The sin by which mankind is bound:
"It was not," so said he,
"The fruit on the tree,
But the lust of the pair on the ground."
Was he right?
The Serpent Seed
THE ORIGINAL SIN
Author: Rev. Richard Gan
WHAT WAS ACTUALLY THE ORIGINAL SIN
THAT BROUGHT ABOUT THE FALL OF MAN?
1. "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." — Matthew 26:28
Why must the Precious Blood of the sinless Person of Jesus Christ be shed to purchase our salvation if the Fall of Man was caused merely by Adam's disobedience to a commandment? The Bible says that "as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom.5:12). Why must sin fall on every man in every generation, when the Scriptures clearly mention (in Exod. 20:5; 34:7; Num. 14:18 and Deut. 5:9) that God would visit "the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation" only?
Now, what was the iniquity, or sin, of our father Adam and mother Eve that it fell not only unto the fourth generation but on all generations?
If you were to study and meditate for a little while, you will notice that it must be something that Adam and Eve had committed that could be passed down from one generation of people to another, and upon all generations up till this time.
2. Why did God choose His Own BLOOD; why not some other substance?
Traditional and denominational-minded preachers have made people to believe that the Fall of mankind was merely the result of disobedience by Adam and Eve to God's commandment not to eat, or partake, of the fruit of a LITERAL TREE. If the cause of the Fall was the partaking of the fruit of the forbidden literal tree then Redemption must come by eating the fruit of another literal tree which God would have to provide, for His law requires thus: "thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe" (Exod.21:23-25 cf. Rev.13:10).
As God did not provide another literal tree whereby Adam and Eve might eat of its fruit for eternal life, it stands to reason that it was not the eating of the fruit of a literal tree that caused the Fall of the whole human race. Truly, it was disobedience to a commandment of God, but a serious act was committed such that it was necessary for the Blood of Jesus Christ to be shed as a Remedy for the Fall. Thus, the blood of man must have been involved in the Fall or else God would not have required the BLOOD of ANOTHER PERSON — His Only Begotten Son — to be shed to remit the sins of mankind. (Read Hebrews 9:22 and Matthew 26:28 — blood for blood.) Therefore it stands to fact that it takes the Pure, Sinless, Eternal LIFE BLOOD of Christ Jesus to cleanse the perverted, sinful DEATH-BLOODED NATURE in mankind. Read 1 John 1:7; Romans 3:24-25.
3. LIFE is in the blood, or blood is life, according to Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:4; Deuteronomy 12:23; John 6:53. Man was originally ordained to have LIFE (eternally) but instead DEATH reigns supreme. Read Romans 5:12,14,17.
Why? How? Because a substance totally foreign (not of the same kind) to the pure blood was introduced into the body of God's highest creation — Man. Since then DEATH has a firm grip on Man.
Any mixture of kinds is contrary to God's law. God has placed a law in His creation that the earth would bring forth the vegetation, fishes, birds and animals "after their kind". This phrase is repeated ten times in five verses of Genesis 1 (verses 11,12,21,24,25). To go against this law is to produce something not of its own kind. This is sin in the eyes of the Lord God. Hybridizing causes death. It cannot reproduce LIFE. In the animal kingdom, science has crossed or hybridized the mare and the donkey, producing the mule; the lion and the tigress, producing the liger; the zebra and the she-ass, producing the zedonk: and all these hybrids are sterile (unfruitful, without life). They cannot reproduce life physically because they are products which are against the natural law of God. Therefore death (sterility) reigns in their kind physically. (In type, we can see why there is only death in all denominational churches. They have committed spiritual fornication by mixing the Pure Word of God with the words of man-made creeds, dogmas and traditions.)
So, as a result of that sinful act of perversion — the introduction of a substance, not of its own kind, into the bloodstream — DEATH reigns in mankind spiritually. That substance, which carried the Satanic traits, was the blood gene of the Serpent (who was demonically influenced).
Note: Adam was a son of God, and he was to bring forth sons and daughters of God "after his kind" unto God. There would not be, nor could there be, one bit of Satan's traits, such as lying and murdering, in them. Man was the only creature created in the image and likeness of God. His creation was in two phases. Read Genesis 1:26-28 very carefully. Adam was first created a spirit in the image of God and His Holy Angels. He was in the likeness of God and His Holy Angels when he became a living soul after God fashioned him a body of dust (Gen.2:7). And as the commandment for Adam to replenish the earth was issued to him immediately after he was created a spirit, it shows us that God dealt with him primarily in his standing as a spiritual being, a son of God. Hence, when sin came, spiritual death was imputed upon him.
How true it is that life is in the blood. All man are born sinners and have a perverted nature. We lie, we cheat, we covet. We do all manner of evil works. This is because of the serpentine nature that is in the blood. We live a sinful life because of the sinful nature and life that is in the blood. Therefore, we need to be BORN AGAIN of the Spirit of Jesus Christ Who had shed His Pure Sinless Blood for us. We need to apply His Blood onto our heart so that His Life is released on us. Only then would we change. We would have a new heart, a new life (because of His Blood). The Life of Christ comes in and we live anew. (That's what Paul teaches in Romans 7 and 8.) Truly, the LIFE is in the BLOOD. Hence, the shedding of the Blood of Christ is as an atonement of our sins.
4. "Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." — Isaiah 7:14
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise; when as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." — Matthew 1:18
Why must Jesus Christ bypass ordinary human conception and be Virgin Born?
Many Christians do not really know the answer to the question. To them, it seems that it was "just a proof" that Jesus Christ was a Son of God. Nevertheless, the reason should now be obvious to you if you have seriously studied the preceding paragraphs.
The blood of man was involved in the Fall. Therefore God had to choose BLOOD in his Redemption plan as His Own law requires it (Gen.9:6; Exo.21:23-25 cf. Heb.13:12). Jesus Christ had to bypass ordinary human conception and be Virgin Born because the blood of man is sinful (polluted) before God. If Jesus was born by ordinary human conception, He would surely be "shapen in iniquity; and in sin" (Psa.51:5). Then the work to redeem mankind would fail, for God requires only PURE innocent BLOOD.
In the Old Testament, God required the innocent blood of certain animals to be shed for the atonement of the soul. Read Leviticus 17:10-14. The BLOOD of Jesus Christ must need be INNOCENT to be accepted for the atonement of our souls (Mat.27:4; Eph.2:13; Rom.3:24, 25; 1Jhn.1:7).
BLASPHEMOUS TEACHING: Some denominational preachers are treading on dangerous ground in teaching the people to believe that Jesus was born of Mary's egg and God's spermatozoon. They believe that to be so because Jesus was a GOD-MAN, prophetically recognized as the "seed of the woman", and had an earthly genealogy as well; and being a God-man He had to be born of a sperm cell from God and an egg from Mary. Now, if this be true, then Jesus the Christ was in sinful flesh instead of being "in the likeness of sinful flesh" to be made sin for us (Rom.8:3; 2Cor.5:21). He would then be born a sinner because every man born into the world is a sinner by reason of the Fall which took place in the Garden of Eden. Thus, if Mary's egg was involved in the creation of the Body of Jesus, then Jesus had a sinful nature.
However, that certainly was not so! The Body of Jesus, a body of a man, was the very creation of God. God created both the sperm cell and the egg cell, and overshadowing Mary, planted the fertilized Seed in her womb. Mary, blessed of the Lord, was appointed as the mother to bring the Saviour into the world. As a mother she was to cradle, suckle and nurture the Holy One. The theological term "seed of the woman" is derived from such Scriptural verses as Genesis 3:15 and Isaiah 7:14. It refers to a conception not of man but of God (Luk.1:31,32,34,35).
Not only was Mary's egg not involved in the creation of the Body of Jesus, her sinful blood also did not contaminate the BLOOD of Jesus while He was a baby in her womb. (The baby in the womb of its mother has his own blood circulatory system. The mother's blood does not pass through the placenta into the baby's blood.)
So we see then that the whole genetics belonged to God alone. God had caused Jesus to be virgin born for a purpose: that His Blood might be Pure and Sinless in order to redeem mankind. It was totally a new creation, so to speak, to bring about a "new heart" and a "new spirit" for the repentant souls as prophesied in Ezekiel 36:26-27. Jesus Christ was God's ultimate conception in the Master Plan of God.
And because of the prophecies and promises of God as spoken through His prophets, God provided the genealogical records to correctly identify the Saviour. That's the purpose of the genealogy of Jesus Christ.
5. Since blood was involved in the Fall of man, SEX must be the gateway to it. If SEX was not involved in SIN, why did Adam and Eve sew fig leaves together and make themselves apron to cover their nakedness? (Gen.3:7). And why was the female sexual organ cursed by God that her SORROW and CONCEPTION were greatly multiplied? (Gen.3:16).
Those of you who believe that SIN came by the eating of a literal fruit (whether apple, pear or whatever), have you ever wondered why the sexual organ was covered and cursed rather than the mouth if it was indeed the mouth which was involved in the act of SIN? Was not it strange for Adam and Eve to cover their sexual organs instead of their mouths? It could not be any clearer that the sexual organ was the guilty member of the body in the act of eating of that Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil! And they were trying to cover up their guilty parts! — "Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?" (Gen.3:11). Why did God (and why should He) curse the female sexual organ when the act was the eating of a literal fruit (if it was indeed a literal fruit) as the denominational churches would have you believe?
Man's sexual organ was not cursed because "Adam was not deceived". Eve was the transgressor (1Tim.2:14). However, the ground was cursed for Adam's sake. Since then man has to toil and till the ground, struggling against thorns and thistles, for his food (Gen.3:17-19).
6. In Genesis 3:15, God having cursed the Serpent, said to him:
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
Most Christians, in spiritualizing Genesis 3:15, can only see that "her seed" prophetically refers to the "seed of the woman" — Jesus Christ born of the Virgin Mary, and that Christ would crush and defeat Satan who could only bring temporary suffering to Him. They either fail to see or choose to disregard the first part of this dual prophecy. God had put enmity between the Serpent and Eve, and also his seed and her seed — BOTH SEEDS, NATURAL AND PHYSICAL. ("Thy seed" is what stumped many Christians. "Thy seed" is the "seed of the Serpent" — Serpent's Seed. The Serpent had a seed!) Eve had a natural seed — "her seed" — Abel, and so had the Serpent his natural seed — "thy seed" — Cain. And there was enmity between them concerning their faith in God. [See Appendix A-1.]
7. The genealogy of a person is traced to the side of the man (the father) because the blood line (or descent) comes through the male cell. But why does not the Bible tell us that Adam was the father of all living instead of stating that Eve was "the mother of all living"? (Gen.3:20). Does not this show that Cain was not a child of Adam but of Eve and the Serpent? And consider why Adam so named the first son of Eve Cain. Cain means acquisition, because he was not Adam's begotten son; he was merely an acquired son. Also, Genesis 4:1 states only one act of union between Adam and Eve, but two children were born. Yet, it does not record the two as twins. Whenever twins of the same father were born they are specifically stated in the Scriptures. Read Genesis 25:24; 38:27.
Note: All life, big or small, good or evil, comes from God (Isa.45:7). Thus, Eve was able to say that she had "gotten a man from the Lord" (Gen.4:1).
Undoubtedly, Cain was not the seed of Adam. He was clearly the seed of the Serpent.
If Cain was a son of Adam, who was a son of God, why did he kill Abel (Gen.4:8) since the characteristic traits of God are righteous? Would God's righteousness turn to unrighteousness in Cain to kill and to destroy life? Read Luke 9:56; Gen.18:23-28; 1 John 3: 15-16. (Remember: the law of God states that every living seed shall bring forth after its own kind (Gen.1:11-12, 21, 24-25 cf. 1:26).
If Cain's murderous act was not from God, then from whom did Cain inherit that trait? 1 John 3:12 reads "...Cain was of that wicked one and slew his brother."
Who then was the wicked one, the originator of murder? Jesus said that "the devil was a murderer from the beginning" (Jhn.8:44). He was the one who injected the murderous spirit and other evil traits into Cain through the Serpent.
9. What about Cain's lie: "I know not..."? (Gen.4:9). Where did it come from? John 8:44 has the answer: the Devil is the father of lies. Also where did Cain get his violent temper that he withstood God so — "Am I my brother's keeper?!"?
Not only did Cain show those two traits, but he also manifested a "NO REPENTANCE" nature which further proved that his life, prior to the murderous act, must have been quite disobedient.
10. The birthright belongs to the firstborn alone (Gen.43:33; 48:8-19). Why was Cain, who was the firstborn (Gen.4:1), not mentioned in the book of the generations of Adam (Gen.5) and in the genealogy of Jesus Christ (Luk.3:23-38)? (Notice: Esau, who was the firstborn of Isaac, was not mentioned in the genealogy Jesus Christ because he sold his birthright to Jacob — Genesis 25:29-34. Abel was not listed because he was murdered (that stopped the lineage), and Seth was the substitute to bring about the descendants of the Adamic Race.)
Jude 14 states that Enoch was the seventh from Adam. If Cain was of Adam, Enoch could not have been the seventh; he should be the eighth counting from Adam.
However, nowhere in the Bible is Cain referred to as a son of Adam.
All the above points conclusively proved that not only was the commandment of God broken, but that blood was also involved in the Fall through sexual fornication which resulted in the birth of the seed of the (Satan-possessed) Serpent — Cain.
Cain was not the seed of Adam; he was truly the seed of the Serpent as stated in the Scriptures in Genesis 3:15 and 1 John 3:12. He was a bastard. He was a seed that was not planted by the Almighty God but Satan.
Sexual fornication had its beginning in the Garden of Eden. Since then "filthy" sex is rampant everywhere. Satan is a Pervert ("Perverter") and from him sprang three great evils that blanket the whole world today — Sexual Perversions, Lies (including so-called white lies) and Murders. They were found manifested in the land of Eden. Since then, they have been on the increase, with added evil attributes, in every generation.
11. If the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was a literal fruit tree from which the first couple had partaken of its fruit that caused the Fall of Mankind; and also, if the Tree of Life was a literal fruit tree that man might partake to have Eternal Life, then where are both these trees today, since God did not destroy them? (There is no record in the Sacred Scriptures that they were destroyed.) If the trees were literal, it would be most logical to believe that the Tree of Life should be on earth somewhere in the region of the Garden of Eden (Gen.2:10-14) so that man may partake of its fruits in order to have Eternal Life, isn't it? If that be so, (a) where is that Tree of Life? and (b) why must Christ die to give us life through the shedding of His BLOOD?
Note: In Egyptian mythology, the Tree of Life is the fig tree. Obviously, you do not believe that, or do you?
THE SEED OF THE SERPENT
THE SEED OF ADAM
In checking the [two] blood lines (or lineages) of Adam and the Serpent, we will notice plenty of differences between their descendants.
1. Genesis 4:2 records that "Cain was a tiller of the ground". He was just like his father, the Serpent, who tilled the ground as a servant of Adam. Man was said to "till" the ground (Gen.2:5) only through his servant, the Serpent. Notice that Man was commanded by God to subdue the earth and to have dominion over all creatures of the earth that God had placed under his authority (Gen.1:28). After the Fall, Adam had to till the ground himself (Gen.3:23) when he lost his Serpent-servant whom God had cursed to become a snake. [See Appendix A-2.]
The Scriptures could not be any clearer in describing what the Serpent originally was. Yet, the Truth is actually hidden from the wise and the prudent man (Isa.29:14 cf. 1Cor.1:19; Luk.10:21). Observe that the Serpent was the highest and most intelligent of all beasts. He was also more subtle. He was not loathsome. Of all creatures of the field the Serpent was the only beast that could talk and communicate with Adam and Eve (Gen.3:1). Undoubtedly, He was an upright creature, very much like man but was not created in the image and likeness of God to be a son of God as Adam was (Gen.1:26). He was under the control of Adam, a son of God, to do as Adam commanded him. He was Adam's servant. (Perhaps the Serpent was like the Prehistoric Man, maybe better looking. The Prehistoric Man existed long before the present Modern Man (made in God's image and likeness) was created some 6,000 years ago.)
So Cain was like his father — the Serpent — a tiller of the ground. But "Abel was a keeper of sheep" (Gen.4:2) like his father Adam who kept animals under his hand (that is, his authority).
2. Abel, being the son of Adam, the son of God, had the true revelation of the Fall. That revelation enabled him to sacrifice the firstlings of his flock (Gen.4:4). He knew what had happened in the Garden. He knew that blood was involved and blood must be shed. (At least two animals were sacrificed by God Who made coats of skins to clothe Adam and Eve (Gen.3:21).)
Cain, being the son of the Serpent, had no such revelation as Abel had; he brought forth an offering of vegetables, fruits, flowers, and suchlike products of the ground (Gen.4:3). Now, paganism can be traced back to Cain. It is Cain's religion.
3. Cain manifested his father's traits which were derived from Satan — murder, lies, and violent temper (Gen.4:8,9). Read John 8:44.
4. The genealogy of Cain as recorded in Genesis 4:16-24, shows us what kind of people the Cainites were like.
Lamech, the great, great, great grandson of Cain practised polygamy by taking two wives (Gen.4:19). From whom or where did he get such a "revelation"? (Read what God had commanded through the prophecy of Adam in Genesis 2:23-24 concerning marriage.) Like his great, great, great grandfather Cain, Lamech also committed murder (Gen.4:23).
Cain's people were great people. They were knowledgeable in the things of the world, they were inventors, builders of great cities and big monuments, and also great businessmen (cf. Gen.4:17-22).
5. After Enos was born to Seth "then began men to call upon the name of the Lord" (Gen.4:26). This verse has often been misinterpreted by most Bible readers. Ancient Jewish records rendered that they (that is, the Cainites) "began profanely to call upon the name of the Lord. This shows us that the Cainic people had drifted off from whatever little knowledge of the true spirit of worship, which they might have learned from their father Cain, into idolatrous worship. They invoked the Holy Name of Jehovah God in their idol worship. Idol worship is also traced back to that time.
6. Genesis 5 records Adam's lineage right up to Noah. They were simple people. They maintained their spirit of true worship of Jehovah. History tells us that they were mainly shepherds. In this genealogy of Adam, you will notice that there is no record of any Satanic trait manifested in the descendants as each firstborn was a pure blooded son of Adam, the son of God. (Only firstborn were recorded because of the birthright. [See Appendix A-3.])
There is also no record of any polygamous marriage, lying, killing, or any other evil works of the flesh. Sin was only imputed upon Adam after the Fall. Therefore he and all his people had only imputed sin (DEATH penalty) upon them. They did not possess any inherited evil.
Questions: What could we say about the evil attributes of Cain and his descendants? Why was Cain's and his descendants' nature so vastly different from Seth's and his descendants' if they were all from the same stock (the same father, Adam)?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The word "seed" is from the Hebrew word "zera" which means "seed, fruit, plant, posterity", from "zara" meaning "bear, conceive seed". The same word in Greek is "sperma", which means "that which is sown, the germ of anything, children, offspring, posterity, progeny, descendants". The word "zera" is translated as "posterity" in the Lamsa Translation, and "offspring" in the Amplified Translation and the New Berkeley Version.
Modern theologians may maintain that the woman does not have any seed and that it is biologically impossible for the woman in Genesis 3:15 to have any seed. Yes, it is a scientific fact that a woman does not have any seed. However, the "seed" in Genesis 3:15 refers to that seed which the woman had been impregnated with by Adam as opposed to the seed implanted in her by the Serpent. Because Eve came forth from Adam's side, she was thus a part of Adam. Therefore that which was Adam's seed was rightfully also Eve's seed, which was Abel. And Cain, who was not of Adam, was not her seed in any way. Hence, Eve was only able to say that she had "gotten (not begotten) a man from the Lord" (Gen.4:1). Cain was the seed of the Serpent. The Serpent, in seducing Eve, intruded on Adam's garden (cf. Song of Solomon 4:12,16; 5:1; 6:2) and implanted that physical seed. Eve, in eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, brought forth the fruit of Death from her womb.
Note: Jesus Christ was neither of Mary, nor of Joseph. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, not begotten of Mary (cf. Mat.1:16). He was supposedly the son of Joseph (cf. Luk.3:23). Our Lord Jesus was begotten of the Almighty God, our Heavenly Father (cf. Jhn.1:14; Acts 13:33). Hence, the revelation that the ovum of Mary was totally bypassed to bring about the sinless nature of the body of Christ in the Virgin Birth is true. The whole genetics belonged to God alone; not a slightest bit was of the fallen nature of Mary.
The subject of the two seeds of Genesis 3 cannot be suppressed nor can Eve's relation and connection with the Serpent be evaded. For in it we are enlightened on the true doctrine of the Original Sin — that which brought about the Fall of Man. We cannot miss what the Spirit had written concerning the woman's sorrow in conception and in childbirth; and that her desire would be to her husband who would henceforth rule over her. In His divine judgement, God meted the punishment to fit the crime. Why did God employ the pain of childbirth? What is the purpose of using the word "conception"? How about the word "desire"? Anyone who has the spirit of discernment would be able to see and understand what the whole chapter of Genesis 3 is all about.
There is great spiritual blindness among modern theologians. Though they declare that the "seed of the woman" (who was the seed of promise) prophetically refers to Jesus Christ, yet they rule out any progeny from the Serpent. (They are consistent in inconsistency!) How could they deny that the Serpent had his seed when the Word of God specifically stated that both — the Woman and the Serpent — have their respective seeds?
If the Garden of Eden was a paradise why must the ground be tilled? This question seems to be in the mind of some people.
The Bible does not give us a picture of a perfect earth with a garden of paradise that Adam and his wife would just spend their time roaming leisurely around it, and doing nothing but luxuriating for all eternity. Although man was not supposed to toil, he was required to work, even as God worked (and is still working). He was commanded to "be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over" all the creatures.
We read in the Scriptures that God rested on the seventh day from all His work. Ecclesiastes chapter 3 tells us that there is a time for everything. The heavenly body of light is a regulator of seasons for the earth. In the coming Millennial Reign of our King, the Lord Jesus Christ, there will be work for His Bride(-wife), the Elect. There will also be work for everyone to do in the New Heaven and New Earth. Work (activity) has always been a part of God's plan of creation.
Adam was commanded to subdue the earth. The earth must be tilled (or cultivated) before it could be subdued. Adam, as a son of God, had the authority over all the creatures of the earth. Adam was not created to be a tiller of the ground. A son of God is not created to toil; he is a child of God. The Serpent-kind was created to be subjected to him to do the tilling. But when sin was imputed upon Adam, he lost his authority and all his privileges. He also lost his Serpent-servant. To obtain his food, Adam not only had to till the ground himself, but also had to toil against the thorns and thistles which the ground brought forth as a result of God's curse upon it.
ADAM and Eve =====> ABEL (murdered by Cain)
``===> SETH + Sister
ENOS + Sethic wife
CAINAN + Sethic wife
MAHALALEEL + Sethic wife
JARED + Sethic wife
ENOCH + Sethic wife
METHUSELAH + Sethic wife
LAMECH + Sethic wife
Last =======> NOAH + Cainic wife or Hybrid wife
of the \\
Pure Sethic ``===> 3 sons -- mixed seeds -- HYBRIDS -- Japheth, Ham, Shem
Hence, after the Flood, God "...hath MADE OF ONE BLOOD (that is, the one blood line [kinship, descent] from Noah and his wife) ALL NATIONS OF MEN FOR TO DWELL ON ALL THE FACE OF THE EARTH..."
-- Acts 17:26
In His Great Plan, the Will of God, which was foreordained before the foundation of the world, is expressed thus — "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." — Romans 8:20-21