Praise the Lord, Grace & Peace great people of our “Great God”…JESUS!
As I survey the landscape that exist in these last and evil days, I am shock at the lack luster drive that people have concerning what they should bring to God, and put on their Altar. It appears that we have adapted to the principles established by Satan’s economy, that you can bring Jesus Christ anything, and it is acceptable. Eze. 20:28-29 “For when I had brought them into the land, for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering: there also they made their sweet savour, and poured out there their drink offerings. Then I said unto them, What is the high place whereunto ye go? And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day.” This word Ba’mah (high place) was only found in Eze. 20:29, which applied to places of idolatrous worship where abdominal offerings were rendered, contra wise to the Lords requirements and standards. Hence for this Golden Nugget I would like to provoke the thought “My Altar Is Distinguished by My Sacrifice” To provoke further gospel provocation to support my premise, the scriptures are as follows:
Gen. 4:4-5 “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.”
Gen. 4:14-16 “Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
When we open the book of Genesis, we are furnished with fresh evidence that it is “the seed plot of the whole Bible,” and also the seed plot of man’s entire history.
When we read the fourth chapter of Genesis, we have two individuals Cain and Abel. Cain most definitely; represents the religious man of the world, and Abel represents a genuine man of faith. Please note that they were both born outside of Eden (Paradise). Hence; being the sons of the fallen first Adam, they had nothing natural to distinguish them, because they were both in a fallen state! It was because of this decadence, that classified them both as sinners, and hence they were no longer innocent. It is imperative that I reference this, in order to substantiate the reality of divine grace, and the integrity of faith that was needed. My brothers and sisters if the distinction between Cain and Abel were to be found in their nature, then it follows as an inevitable conclusion, that they were not partakers of the fallen state of their father, nor recipients of his fall. Now if this were the case, there could be no need for the grace and mercy of God to be exemplified, and the need for both of them to exercise faith in what was required.
So, if you consider my premise, we can truly see that Abel was not distinguished from his brother Cain by the natural man. The distinction between them was not contingent upon their circumstances, because “there was no difference.” So, what made the vast difference? It was entirely, in their sacrifices. Abel’s history acknowledges that the only way he could appease his standing and his relationship with God, was to do what was required. He knew distinctly that nothing else would be accepted. My brothers and sisters the eleventh chapter of Hebrews gives reference to this “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God bearing witness to his gifts; and by it he being dead yet speaks.” Please note that the highlight of this scripture is “SACRIFICE” Hence, we see the two brothers are not to be highlighted here, only their sacrifice! It was not a question as to the offeror, but as to his offering. This is where the distinction is made between Cain and Abel. My brother and sisters, this is what designates an individual’s standing before God. GOLDEN NUGGET!
Some would teach us that every man is born with qualities and the capacity to work his way back to God; but please know that Cain and Abel were not born inside, but outside of Eden. They were the sons, not of innocence, but of their fallen father, Adam. They came into the world as the partakers of a sinful nature handed down from their father; and it did not matter how they displayed their flesh, because it was the natural man in an ruined state. For this is conveyed to us in John 3, “That which is born of the flesh is (not merely fleshly, but) flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is, (not merely spiritual, but) spirit.”
They were both lost. They were “flesh.” Adam lost his innocence and never regained it. Once Adam lost this, he could only be identified as the head of a fallen race, by which through his “disobedience,” we were all made “sinners.” For Rom. 5:19 states “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” Hence, Adam became the corrupt source, that emanated the corrupt streams of a ruined and guilty humanity, which is spiritually dead.
Saints please understand that Adam could not bequeath nor impart his faith in God to Cain or Abel, because this is not hereditary. This can only be acquired on an individual level. Hence, Adam was a subject of grace because he was given the opportunity to comply with the requirements deemed necessary, as to what to bring to the Altar! Adam could only communicate to his sons what was needed for atonement; but nothing more. Adam knew as their father, that they were in a condition of ruin because of him, and hence his sons could only be partakers of the same. It’s simple, Adam being the begetter, handed done his DNA to the begotten! 1Co. 15:45-48“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.”
My brothers and sisters the Apostle Paul made sure that we understand the essentials concerning the doctrine of the federal headship. If you will turn to Rom. 5:12-21, you will find that this inspired apostle looks at the whole human race as comprehended under two heads. I will not attempt to dwell on the passage; but merely refer to it, because it can be used in connection with my premise. In the 15th chapter of first Corinthians, we also have extended information concerning Adam the First Man; this being sin, disobedience, and death. But in Jesus, the Second Man, we have righteousness, obedience, and life.
My brothers and sisters as we evaluate the offerings presented, it states in Gen. 4:3-5 “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering to Jehovah. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fruit thereof. And the Lord had respect to Abel, and to his offering; but to Cain and to his offering, he had not respect.” This distinguishes what was preferred! Cain offered God the fruit of a cursed earth, without any blood to temporary atone for the curse. He presented “A non-blood sacrifice,” simply because he had no faith in what was required. If Cain had possessed a desire to embrace the divine principle that had been afforded him, it would have taught him, at the early stage of his life, as referenced in Heb. 9, that “Without shedding of blood, there is no remission.” This is a great cardinal truth, because the penalty of sin is death. Cain was a sinner, and, as such, death stood between him and God. Cain’s offering rendered no recognition concerning this fact. What his sacrifice represented was a selfish non sacrificial life, that laid no claim at all on the divine holiness that was required to please the Lord concerning his own true condition as a sinner.
My brothers and sisters, when we look at the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, we see that if He had not died upon that rugged cross, all His services would have proved to no avail in reconciling us back to God; to enjoy the relationship and fellowship we are afforded today. In Mat. 27:50-54 “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”
Saints it states in Acts. 10:38 “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him,” but it was His death that rent the veil…Glory! This allowed us to have access to the Holy of Holiest place before God! Wow, based on the finish work of Jesus Christ, we see the false ground on which Cain stood, i.e., as an offeror and a worshipper. Cain being an unpardoned sinner had the audacity to come into the presence of God, and present “a non-blood sacrifice,” which rendered him guilty as charged in the highest degree. I’m sure he had toiled and worked hard to produce his offering; but it did not matter! Could a sinner’s toil remove the curse and stain of sin? Could it satisfy the claims of an infinitely Holy God? Could it furnish a proper ground of acceptance for a sinner? Could it set aside the penalty which was due to sin? Could it rob death of its sting, or the grave of its victory? Could it do any or all of these things? My answer is “Impossible!” “Without shedding of blood is no remission.”
Cain’s “non-blood sacrifice,” was like all other “non-blood sacrifice,” they were worthless and abominable in the sight of God! My brothers and sisters this only demonstrated Cain’s ignorance concerning his own condition. We must all understand that God is not worshipped with the hands of men as though he needed anything. But we, sometimes as Cain, approach God as religionist, and embrace Cain’s ideologies as a false system of worship! But the word of God distinctly tells us in Joh. 4:23-24“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
Mankind takes pleasure in making God a receiver instead of a giver; but this is not the case; for God has established that, “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” and assuredly, God most definitely has more blessed places. For He being the great Giver of “all things” cannot possibly “need anything.” Hence, true praise is all that we can offer to God; and this can only be offered with a full and clear intelligence, that our sins have been put away by virtue of the blood atonement accomplished through Jesus Christ!
Now, my brothers and sisters let’s see what distinguishes Abel’s sacrifice. “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof.” In other words, he came before God by faith accepting the glorious truth, that God could only be approached by the right sacrifice; knowing that he being a sinner, had to place the death and blood of a spotless victim of another, to mediate between himself, due to the consequence of his sin. This was the only procedure that would meet God’s demands, to render a sinner’s temporal justification by faith. Saints this is, in short, the doctrine of the cross, in which alone the conscience of a sinner can find repose, because, therein, God is fully glorified.
Every divinely convicted sinner must feel that death and judgment are before them, as “the due reward of their deeds;” nor can they, by works of their own accomplish this, to alter that destiny. They may toil and labor; they may, by the sweat of their brow, produce an offering; they may make vows and resolutions; they may alter their way of life; they may reform their outward behavior; they may be temperate, moral, upright, and religious; they may, though entirely destitute of faith, read, pray, and hear sermons. In short, they may do anything, or everything which lies within the range of human competency; but, notwithstanding all, “death and judgment.” stands without the blood! These two stands cannot be removed by one’s own doing; hence, one can only live in the gloomy anticipation of the moment. I reiterate, it is impossible for a sinner, by their own works, to place themselves in the fullness of life and triumph, at the other side of “death and judgment. GOLDEN NUGGET!
My brothers and sisters, this is exactly where the cross comes in. It is at the cross of Jesus Christ, that the convicted sinner can behold a divine provision for all their guilt and all their need. It is only here, where they can see “death and judgment” entirely removed from the scene, and life and glory replaced instead. According to 2 Tim. 1:10 “He has abolished death, and brought life and incorruptibility to light, through the gospel.” He has glorified God in the putting away of that which would have separated us forever, from His holy and blissful presence. Heb. 9:26 “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”
This was set forth in Abel’s “more excellent sacrifice.” Saints there was no attempt, on Abel’s part, to set aside the truth as to his own condition, he recognized his place as a guilty sinner, and hence made no attempt to turn aside the edge of the flaming sword at the gate of Eden, and try to force his way back to the tree of life. He could only appease God, by distinguishing his sacrifice with blood! Abel knew he deserved death and judgment, so he complied and found a substitute for the proper worship!
This is the same with every poor, helpless, self-condemned, conscience smitten sinner. Christ is their substitute, ransom, and their most excellent sacrifice. We all should feel like Abel, that the fruit of a curse ground could never avail for him; for “without the shedding of blood there is no remission for SIN.” My brothers and sisters the richest fruits, and the most fragrant flowers, in the greatest profusion, could never remove a single stain of sin from our conscience. Nothing but the efficacious perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our lamb slain before the foundation of the world; could give ease to the heart and conscience. Hence, all who by faith; lay hold of this divine reality, will enjoy a peace which the world can neither give nor take away. Rom. 5:1 makes this overwhelming clear that “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Therefore “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.”
We so often as children of God, try to build an Altar to God with minimum effort to provide an earnest in our sacrifice. We bring to our God the wrong attitude, the wrong motives, and inadequate substance; i.e. not the required Tithe, nor a sincere monetary offering either! This most definitely exemplifies walking in the error of Cain. For when we lack the desire to fulfill the Lords prerequisites and requirements, it proves we lack the faith that is deemed necessary to please him, and hence, will be rejected just like the non-bloody sacrifice that Cain rendered.
Please note the significance of the “blood, and fat” offered by Abel as it typified the presentation of the life, and also the inherent excellency that only exist in the Person of Jesus Christ! “The blood,” set forth the former; (presentation of the life) and “the fat,” shadowed (the inherent excellency that only exist in Jesus Christ). My brothers and sisters, both blood and fat were forbidden to be eaten, under the Mosaic Law. Why? Because the Life of Man is in the blood; and man, under law, had no title to life. We also see according to the 6th chapter of the gospel according to St. John, that Jesus Christ tells us that unless we eat of His body and drink of his blood, we have no life in us; because Christ is the life. This proves that there is not a spark of life outside of Him. ALL who are outside of Jesus Christ, are doomed to eternal death.
Jesus gave up His life on the cross; and because His life, sin was, by imputation, attached, when He was nailed to that cursed tree. Hence, in giving up His life, He gave up also the sin that came upon Him, so that the Sin would be put away, and left in the grave! (Sheol, Death, Hell) From which He rose triumphant, in the power of a new life, which righteousness was distinctly attached and given to us by our faith in His resurrection. It is imperative that we understand what Jesus expresses after his resurrection, that “a spirit has not flesh and bones, as ye see we have.” Please note that Jesus did not say, “flesh and blood;” because, in His resurrection, He had ascended into the Sanctuary of God in the Third Heaven as our High Priest and presented all of His blood that He shed upon the Cross, as an atonement for our sin. Lev. 17:11 states, “The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar, to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood which makes an atonement for the soul.” Jesus distinguished His altar by His perfect sacrifice for us! GOLDEN NUGGET!
Saints this is why the scriptures emphasize in Rom. 12:1-2“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. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
When we walk in a carnal mindset, it is enmity against everything that represents the essence of truth in Christ Jesus! Note that Cain was angry; “He was very wroth, and his countenance fell.” The truth that filled Abel with peace, filled Cain with wrath. Cain because of unbelief, despised the only way in which a sinner could come to God. It was because Abel was accepted, in his gift, that “Cain was angry, and his countenance fell.” Cain’s rejection drove him to murder his brother! You can be assured that the child of God who strives to do things Gods way, will always be persecuted for their stand in Jesus Christ. Those who persecute, walk in a Cain-like justification, knowing that if they would walk in the ways of God, and present Him with what’s required, then He would accept them! If Abel had been accepted on the ground of his own righteousness, then Cain’s wrath, and his fallen countenance would have been justified; but we see this was not the case, because the Lord expressed to Cain in Gen. 4:7“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 doing well had reference to the offering. Abel did well by hiding himself behind an acceptable sacrifice. Cain did badly by bringing an offering without blood; and because of this we see the hideous conduct that followed, which resulted in his false worship.
“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.” Thus has it ever been; the Cain’s have persecuted and murdered the Abel’s. Historically, man and his own religion are the same; faith and its religion are the same; hence, wherever they have met, there has been conflict.
My brothers and sisters it is obvious that Cain’s act of murder was the true consequence of what he offered in his heart, and that fruit that he brought from the ground was a representation of some of the 17 works of the flesh; which most definitely yields false worship. Cain’s foundation was bad, and therefore the superstructure that he built on was bad also.
Cain fully exhibited the terrible fruit of the fall in the very thought of God, to which he gave utterance.” am I my brother’s keeper” He did not want pardon nor forgiveness, because he did not want God. He had no true sense of his own condition; nor any aspirations to go hard after God; no knowledge of how to approach God concerning his sin! Because of this, he was radically corrupt and fundamentally wrong; and all he wanted was to get out of the presence of God, and lose himself in the world, and pursue a name of greatness in it. So what did he end up striving for since his offering was not acceptable? He strived for a life without God, and hence set his purpose and goal toward decorating the world around him to make it a respectable place for him to be respected in! Even though God viewed him as being under a curse as a fugitive and a vagabond! King David knew what it took to be sustained in God when he penned Psa. 31:1-5 “In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.”
Saints “the way of Cain” exist in billions of people today. They would like to offer something to God; to do something for Him. In their own eyes they deem it right to present to Him the works of their own hands. They are ignorant of themselves, ignorant of God; but yet they perpetually make a diligent effort to improve the world; to make life agreeable based on their terms! God’s remedy to cleanse us with His blood is rejected, and man’s effort to improve is put in place; which according to Jude 1:11 is “the way of Cain.”
My brothers and sisters, what a vast difference it was for Abel and for us, who are people of faith! Abel felt and owned the curse that was handed down from his federal head Adam; he saw the stain of sin, and offered what was needed to thoroughly meet God’s divine requirements. He sought and found a refuge in God Himself; and instead of building a city on the earth like his brother Cain, he took his rest in a grave, where his blood cried up to God. The earthly things which Cain built upon, displayed the genius of Cain and his family, but underneath it was stained with the blood of a righteous man. Let the carnal men and women of this world be cognizant of this; let the spiritual men and women of God remain cognizant of this. This earth which we tread upon is stained by the blood of the Son of God, who is greater than Abel. Heb. 11:4 “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” Heb. 12:24-26 “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.”
Saints this is why the very blood which justifies the Church condemns the world. The dark shadow of the cross of Jesus may be seen by the eye of faith, looming over all the glitter and glare of this evanescent world. Be assured that “The fashion of this world will pass away.” It will soon be all over, as it pertains to “The way of Cain” which was followed by “the error of Balaam,” and then came “the gainsaying of Korah;” and then “Lake of Fire,” which will open its mouth to receive the wicked, and all those who walked in these ways perpetually, will experience “blackness of darkness forever” according to Jude 1:13. My brothers and sisters let us be cognizant of what we put on our altar before the Lord, knowing that it has to be acceptable, because it is our reasonable service, based on all the Lord has done for us. Every day that I wake up, I am reminded by the Holy Spirit that “My Altar is Distinguished by My Sacrifice” I pray that you strive to have a “JESUS DAY!”