In Genesis chapter four we learn that Adam and Eve’s first son has decided to follow in their rebellious footsteps. A grown man, Cain had obeyed God perfectly until he began to allow Satan to approach him. As did his mother and father, Cain listened to the devil’s smooth, ear-scratching words, allowed them to take up residence in his mind, then embraced them as “a better way to serve God.” And as he did with Cain’s mother and father, Satan convinced Cain that he could defy God and “not surely die.” This identical scenario has been replayed billions, possibly trillions of times down through history. One can almost hear the devil saying to Cain, “Why go to the trouble of obeying God? After all, an offering is an offering, right? He will be satisfied with whatever you give Him. After all, its the thought that counts.”
Notice that Cain’s brother Abel, also a grown man, continued to obey God by presenting an offering that met His approval. Until this point in their lives, both men had obeyed God. If not He would have dealt with them as we find Him doing in chapter four. There is no indication that either man had defied Him before this incident. Recall that Abel is called “righteous,” meaning that he had not offended the Lord–he had remained in a state of sanctification while Cain was opening his heart to Satan who eventually convinced him to “touch” what God had told him to avoid. Like his parents, he heard Satan’s voice, entertained its message, approached the forbidden item, then touched it. Here we see being carried out the formula for the formation of the first denomination as half of the Church of Eden (Abel) obeyed God’s strict offering doctrine while the other half (Cain) formulated its own which, of course, was an improvement over God’s doctrine.
Like his parents as they walked toward the forbidden tree, Cain was thoroughly convinced that the Lord would approve of what he was about to do. This is proved by his reaction to God’s condemnation of both Cain himself and his offering as recorded in Genesis 4:5. Cain was both surprised and disappointed. He fully expected God to accept his less-than-acceptable offering. He had the same reaction when confronted for murdering Abel (4:13,14). Simply put, he accused God of being unfair and unreasonable. This is the reaction the Institutional Church will display when the Lord rejects them and their religiosity.
Following the spiritual demise of their parents, Cain and Abel became God’s second church in Eden. Then came Cain’s fall. Then he killed his brother because Abel’s light illuminated his darkness. Darkness hates the light for the same reason Cain hated Abel. As is still the case, those who reject God’s way hate those who embrace it. Today, those who refuse to be sanctified by God live in spiritual darkness while totally convinced by Satan that they are in fact sanctified, living in light and pleasing Him. We must never underestimate the power of the devil who has convinced the church that there are two types of sanctification: his type and God’s type. He has also convinced her to embrace his (Satan’s) type. The following will reveal the difference.
Recently a t.v. news item revealed that a local woman had been killed by her boyfriend. While gushing over the goodness of the victim the announcer noted that all those who knew her said that she was “… a woman of faith.” Being a person of faith means that one believes and obeys God’s Word: “Faith comes by hearing … the Word of God” (Rom. 10:19). The true person of faith lives “… by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mat. 4:4). In other words, a person of faith is sanctified–called out of the world. Further into the story we learn that this “woman of faith” was living in adultery with her killer. I personally know two women who are living in similar situations while not only claiming to be children of God, but who are giving Him credit for placing them in their respective affairs. Like the Texas preacher who, after admitting that God condemns a particular sin in the Bible, announced that his church was “… stepping outside the Bible” in search of truth. And not only that, God had stepped out with them and was “… doing a beautiful thing” with the church by having them disobey His Holy Bible. Sin being sin in the eyes of God, are the acts of the above-mentioned people any different from rejecting God’s Sabbath, creating denominations, celebrating Christmas and Easter, believing in inherited sin and the rapture, etc?–each of which are condemned in the Holy Bible. The wages of sin is death, regardless of the sin. One is either sanctified (separated) from Satan’s world–spiritually alive–or part of it–spiritually dead. Though they claim to be children of light, the church-attending, Bible-reading, cross-wearing “Christians” described above are in fact children of darkness. If, that is, we can take God at His Word. L.J.