Theme: Hatred / Murder
(Key verses: Genesis 4:1-8)
God’s unveiling of Jesus includes the progressive unmasking of the man of sin (the first man Adam) by the brightness of His coming in spirit and truth in us (2Thes 2:1-8; 1Co 15:45). It is through the natural (or “the first”) that we can start to get a basic understanding of the spiritual things of God, to be “seated” with Christ in heaven growing in His mind (Col 2:12; Eph 1:3):
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
1Co 2:15-16 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are first made in a state of darkness and death by God, before we are given the light and life of Christ. The “first” always precedes “the last”. It is through the exposing and destruction of the darkness and death (the flesh in all its forms) that the light of spirit life comes (Rom 8:6-8; Rom 7:24; Gen 1:2-4; Col 1:22; Heb 2:14).
Rev 1:17 And when I [John] saw him [Christ], I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last.
1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
God created darkness/death as an opponent or enemy of the spiritual light/life and this darkness/death is reflected in all physical and carnal things, including our physical body and the natural mind (Gen 1:2-31):
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 8:6-7 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
In essence we all have been born to be involved in a spiritual war – a war between darkness and light, between evil and good – but the battle/war belongs to God. It is His idea and through this battle/war we learn the necessary things that equip us for spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity comes through a long process. God has a good purpose for all of this, because through this battle/war we are learning about Him and His perfect plan for the salvation of all in the generation of the first Adam. The natural man is first given over to be the seed of the serpent, as we all share the same carnal mind with this “subtil” and evil creature. Our earthly beastly nature connects with this subtil beast as we naturally listen to him, as Adam and Eve demonstrated so clearly. We indeed have the devil as our first spiritual father and we are enemies of God and His seed – Jesus Christ (Joh 8:44; Rom 5:10; Rev 12:1-7):
Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil [shrewd, crafty, sly] than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Rev 13:1-2 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed [Christ]; it [Christ] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Any war is associated with anger and hatred. Human anger and hatred express the pride and lusts of the evil heart (our mind/our earthly nature) of the wicked man of sin in us (Pro 16:4; Jer 17:9; 1John 2:16). Anger and hatred are foundational in our understanding of the inward spiritual battles within the generation of the first Adam since the beginning. Humanity gives shallow and carnal reasons for all the wars and bloodshed that is going on in all levels of society in human history. The Scriptures however bring us to ‘the heart’ [the origin] of the problem. It is first reflected in the interaction between the two sons of Adam and Eve in Genesis, which helps us to understand the inward spiritual war and the works of God within our heavens (Rev 12:7-9; Dan 10:13; Dan 12:1; Eph 6:12; Col 1:16):
Gen 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten [Hebrew: ı̂ysh] a man from the LORD.
The name “Cain” in Hebrew is associated with “possession”, and the name also has the meaning of “a spear” connected to it – a sword-like weapon to strike someone with. Adam and Eve seemingly expected Cain to be the fulfilment of God’s promise that their seed will “bruise” the head of the serpent, as we all naturally think the weapons of our warfare is fleshly (Gen 3:15; 2Cor 10:3-4). Naturally we are all impatient beings, and we are unaware that God’s promises have a time period connected to it (Heb 11:7; Acts 14:22; Matt 10:22; 2Pet 3:9). In our immature state we want our salvation and healing now, and we question God as to why He is delaying and taking us via the longer route (Ps 27:13-14; Ps 69:3; Rev 6:9-10). God, however, has a perfect plan which works through patience. It is through patience that we will truly take possession of spirit life!
Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls [life].
God’s plan is perfected through patience. It is through much tribulations and divers temptations (tests) that we overcome through Christ, the true Seed of God (1Pet 1:6-7):
Jas 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
It is through these very important trials that we are prepared to wage spiritual warfare, to become spiritually matured, as the history of physical Israel admonishes us:
Exo 13:17-18 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: 18 But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.
Naturally we want vengeance on injustices to be swiftly executed. The natural man wants God to act quickly and that is contrary to how God performs His work in this life (Jer 1:12; 2Pet 3:9). We need to find out who WE are. I need to meet MYSELF. That is why God uses the longer route – to reveal our own natural heart to ourselves:
Deu 8:2-3 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
This is how we get to know that every word which comes from the mouth of God has a purpose for us. It is indeed with patience that we will possess anything worthwhile and be His witnesses for all to see:
Hab 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
Cain was NOT the type of the Lord Jesus Christ, who, with His flaming sword, equips His Cherubims (His elected messengers) to use their spiritual sword, “to keep the way OF the tree of life”. The “man” Adam and Eve was given in the form of their firstborn, Cain, could not take possession of this spiritual sword and he could not do the good which the Word of God commanded!
Gen 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Cain was just the type of our firstborn man of sin who uses his own sword through the natural acts of anger and hatred when things are not going as we want them to go (Mat 26:51; Acts 12:1-2). So when the second child of Adam and Eve was born, deeper evils of the natural heart of this “man” (Cain) were revealed, especially in the relationship between these two siblings:
Gen 4:2a And she [Eve] again bare his [Cain’s] brother Abel.
The name “Abel” in Hebrew is connected to “vanity” and his name also carries with it the meaning of “breath”. In one sense his name confirms the shortness and emptiness of earthly life (Rom 8:20; Jas 4:14). In another sense Abel was the type of Christ, the second Adam, who has the breath or spirit of God (Matt 23:35; Heb 12:24; Heb 11:4) .
1Co 15:45-47 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
There were still many things which Adam and Eve and their first two children had to learn and endure:
Gen 4:2b-4a And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.
Cain was a hard worker of the soil and Abel just had flocks to tend to – a seemingly much easier job than that of the labour of Cain. At the harvest time or at the end of time, as some translations have it, they both brought an offering to the Lord. God showed favour to Abel’s offering and this brought the anger and hatred in Cain’s heart to the fore. All Cain’s efforst were in vain!
Gen 4:4b-5…And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth [Hebrew: chârâh” = very angry], and his countenance fell.
We all will fume with hatred when we come to realise our own best efforts are not acceptable to God. We learn the hard way that we cannot replace the works of God’s Abel, Jesus Christ. His blood offering sets the example for us, and we can do all things THROUGH Christ IN us, which is to die to our ideas of doing things (1John 1:7; Rev 7:14; Rev 12:11; 1Cor 15:31). This is the type which Abel sets in place. By faith Abel sacrificed the more excellent offering than Cain (Heb 11:4,6). According to God’s instructions an animal or a blood offering is required to make atonement or covering for sin. God showed Adam and Eve what was required to have proper covering – the death of a beast:
Gen 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
Heb 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Cain did not take heed to God’s instructions, nor did he learn from the mistakes of His parents. They used their own righteous ideas (in the form of fig leaves), and the carnal consensus of their natural minds, to cover their shame.
Gen 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Our own toiling in the soil of our cursed ground will always produce a covering of “filthy rags” which is hopelessly insufficient:
Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
In the Law of the offerings we learn that a meal offering (those things which come “of the ground”) was ALWAYS to be placed “upon the altar, beside the burnt sacrifice” (Lev 9:17; Lev 14:31). A meal offering was never alone on the altar – the burned offering must be the initial offering, and any other offering must be placed on top of that. The burnt sacrifice was ALWAYS an animal that was killed. The shedding of blood is first and foremost in all sacrifices!
Heb 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Blood equates to the concept of life in Scripture. A life must be given. The shedding of the life of our old man is not what our natural first born flesh wants to hear or see. It is foolish and unnecessary to take up our cross – that kind of preaching is not accepted by those who prefer smooth words of deceit from their false teachers (Isa 30:10). But for God’s elect, which Abel typifies, the giving up of our earthy life leads to spirit life!
1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
The cross of Christ is our cross if we can apply it to ourselves. Yes, it is only upon the sacrifice of Christ that we can bring our own life:
Mat 10:38-39 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
We must take our own cross and follow after Christ, our example.
1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
It is not only the sacrifice of Christ that is needed, as the carnal Corinthians thought and was rebuked by Paul for only seeing the cross of Christ and Him alone crucified:
1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
The taking up of our own cross fills up what is behind of the affliction of Christ, as we die with Him and is not persuaded by the false doctrine of substitionary atonement:
Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church.
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
The symbolic week in the book of Daniel has two parts – even two oblations (offerings) which completes the one week (seven days):
Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
The first part is the sacrifice of Christ, and the second part is our sacrifice. Jesus’ death on the cross opened up His resurrection spirit life and that (“aeonian” life) helps those who are given the down payment of that “holy spirit of promise” to die to their own sinful fleshliness in this age (Eph 1:13-14; Gal 5:22-23; 2Co 4:7). That is how the war in the heaven is won – with the blood or life of Jesus in us:
Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Abel is providing us with this type of obedience to the pattern of Godly salvation:
Gen 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat [Hebrew: cheleb chleb] thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
The Hebrew word for “fat” here is “cheleb” or “chleb” which can be better understood in this following verse:
Num 18:12 All the best [Hebrew: cheleb chleb] of the oil, and all the best [Hebrew: cheleb chleb] of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given thee.
Abel, while tending his flock, rested in God’s provision as he guided them every day to the pastures which God already provided (Eph 2:8-10). The fat is Christ’s life and His life works in us to enable us die to our own firstborn, our flesh, which we offer as a living sacrifice in the service of His body:
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Cain saw his own brother Abel as his enemy because God “prepared a table” for Abel in the sight of Cain (Psa 23:1-5):
Gen 4:6-7 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
The natural man is the enemy of the spirit man and will always hate and persecute him (Gal 4:29-30; Gal 5:17). God spoke to Cain about the reason for Him rejecting Cain’s offering. But Cain, the type of our natural first born fleshly man, could not do well as he clung to his own integrity and his own persuasions (Job 27:5-6). His pride also prevented him to ask Abel for one of his flock. His selfishness surely also did not want to buy an animal from Abel to sacrifice. King David said that we must know that anything we sacrifice to God will cost us a price:
2Sa 24:24-25 And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.
We naturally, like Cain, do not at first understand the spiritual principle of being in a family or a body where we respect the contributions which each one supplies, especially those whom we see as “less honourable” and “uncomely”, whom we by nature despise (Rom 14:2):
Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
1Co 12:23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
Like Cain, we naturally hate and kill our brother Abel, a type of the spirit man as we actually vent our anger towards God and His Christ when we do that:
Gen 4:8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
Psa 2:1-2 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
The same thought that goes into hatred and resenting others, is the same thought and spirit that is behind the vilest evil and murders (Matt 5:21-24). Can anyone plead innocence?
1Jn 3:11-12 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
1Jn 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
All wicked and deceitful hearts commit murders (Jer 17:9). What we do to and say about others, we do to and say against God because no one can do anything which God has not ordained and written in their books (Ps 139:16). Not one single event in this world (outside and inside ourselves) is happening without the holy counsel of God (Eph 1:11; Acts 4:25-28; Gen 50:20). But God will mercifully bring us to see the absurdities in our self-righteous attitudes when He burns that out of our hearts with His spiritual breath (Eze 36:31-32):
Jer 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
But even in the rejection of Cain and his offering, God provided hope and the assurance of salvation for all in the generation of the first Adam:
Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin [Hebrew: “chaṭṭâ’âh” / “chaṭṭâ’th” = sin or sin offering] lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
Cain and all in the generation of the first Adam will be accepted as all will sacrifice the old man of sin to eventually rule over him as we all will do “well” in the last Adam, Jesus Christ (1Cor 15:22). The Lord is indeed “a man of war” and this Lord, the Lamb of God, shall overcome all those in the first Adam who is making war with Him:
Exo 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.