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Lecture on Genesis | God Measures Our Faith | Lecture on 1 John

 
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Title
   Lecture on 1 John(27) - Lecture on 1 John (27)    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   1John 3:12
Date
   2011-11-06



Passage

[1John 3:12]
"Not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous."


Main

In the last session, I explained that God's children practice righteousness and love their brothers.
God's true children love their brothers and sisters not just with words and lip service, but with deeds and truthfulness just as they love themselves.
1 John 3:12 says, "Not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous."
To understand this verse, we first have to understand Cain and Abel depicted in Genesis chapter 4.
Cain and Abel were the sons of Adam and Eve whom they gave birth to after they had been driven out of the Garden of Eden.
The elder brother, Cain, farmed the land and Abel was a shepherd.
The first man, Adam, was driven out to this world and lost all his authority and honor that he had enjoyed in the Garden of Eden.
He could no longer live with the honor that he once had in the Garden of Eden.
But before he sinned he had gained knowledge on all things from God, and he had formerly ruled over the First Heaven.
He could live on this earth utilizing his knowledge. He also passed down his knowledge to his children. Thus, Cain knew how to farm and Abel knew how to tend the flock.
As time passed, the sons had a problem.
It was the problem involving giving offerings to God.
Genesis 4:3-5 says, "So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell."
According to the law of the spiritual realm, sinners cannot communicate with God who is light.
Since Adam sinned, he could not communicate with God any more. But it doesn't mean his communication had been severed all at once.
It was like people increasingly lose communication with God as they become stained with sins.
Before the communication was completely severed, God taught Adam about giving offerings.
He could be forgiven of sins and communicate with God by giving offerings to Him.
In the book of Leviticus we find many kinds of offerings, but the most important is the sin offering.
God taught Adam in detail about how to receive forgiveness of sins through offerings, and Adam delivered the message to his children.
Therefore, Cain and Abel knew how they were supposed to make offerings before God.
But in the course of time, Cain changed the way of giving offerings to God.
Each of the proceedings in the process of making offerings is specified by the law of the spiritual realm.
God cannot accept just any kind of offerings.
Especially, when you give the sin offering, you have to give an offering of blood.
Hebrews 9:22 says, "And according to the Law, one may almost say all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."
Leviticus 17:11 also says, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement."
The wages of sin is death, and thus sinners have to pay for their sins with 'life'.
When they give sacrifices for the atonement of sins, they have to give blood, which stands for life, so that they can pay for their sins.
When Adam committed sin and was driven out from the Garden, God made clothes with skins of animals.
This act of God contained a spiritual meaning about the forgiveness of sins.
Adam certainly learned the spiritual law and rules in giving offerings, and he taught them to his children.
Abel obeyed what he learned, but Cain did not.
Cain gave offerings with the fruits of the ground as he saw fit.
As a result, God did not accept the offerings of Cain, which were given in a way that Cain saw to be fitting.
Today, we still have to give God sacrifice of blood that is appropriate and can be accepted by God.
But we do not slaughter animals today. Instead, we come to church and attend worship services.
If we worship in spirit and truth and with all our hearts and minds, it is spiritually offering to God the sacrifice of blood.
Those who worship in spirit and truth will obviously cultivate righteousness and love, which Christians should have.
On the contrary, if they do not worship with all their heart, but just spend time in church, they are the ones who give the 'sacrifices of Cain'.
Those who worship this way will also live ungodly lives that are no different from that of unbelievers.
They say they believe in the Lord, but in their lives we cannot find any spiritual evidence that they are children of God who have been saved.
Brothers and sisters, some people have a misunderstanding about this incident with Cain and Abel.
They think like, "Cain was a farmer and that is why he gave offerings with the fruit of the ground, and Abel gave sheep because he was a shepherd, so what is wrong with Cain's offering?"
They think that Cain must not really have known the spiritual law and gave God the good things he had, but God showed favoritism toward Abel, and that is why Cain had hard feelings.
But this is not right.
Had God not taught Adam the proper ways to give offerings and Adam not taught both sons, it would not have been easy for Abel to give the sacrifice of blood either.
Suppose you have to give an offering to the holy God without knowing anything about it. Which one would you prefer, to slaughter an animal as the sacrifice or offer good smelling fruits and grains?
If you think with common sense, it is not something desirable to cruelly slaughter an animal and make an offering of the blood to God.
Especially at that time, evil did not prevail as much as today, and people did not slaughter animals or eat them yet.
People began killing animals and eating the meat a long time after this. It was after the flood of Noah.
So, if God had not taught them how to give spiritual sacrifices, it wouldn't have been easy for Abel to slaughter an animal and give it to God.
Hebrews 11:4 says, "By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks."
Abel heard the word of God, and when he gave offerings of blood by obeying with faith, this act became the righteousness of Abel.
He was forgiven of sins and he could please God.
But although Cain heard the same thing, he just gave offerings of the fruit of ground as he wished.
This kind of fleshly offering cannot make us righteous before God nor can it be acceptable to God.
So, what did Cain do then?
Did he repent saying, "I didn't keep the words of my parents. I should have given God a sacrifice that is pleasing to God!"?
Rather than realizing his fault, he had hard feelings against God.
As he didn't have anybody to direct his temper tantrum at, he became jealous of his brother.
In fact, there are many people who are like Cain today.
The will of God is clearly shown in the Bible, but they change the word of God according to their thoughts.
They pass judgment on those who stick to the word of God as it is, rather accept it. They also become jealous of those who are loved by God.
For example, those who cast off sins, pray fervently and live by the word of God can have spiritual experiences.
They can communicate with God in the works of the Holy Spirit, and they can even manifest signs and wonders.
But some say they believe in God, but when they see such things they say it is strange or even wrong, even though such things are clearly recorded in the Bible.
About such people, 2 Timothy 3:5 says, "Holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these."
Even if you outwardly lead a life in faith, if you change the word of God according to human thoughts, it has got nothing to do with God.
You can meet and experience God only when you discern the will of God and do what pleases Him.
You should not just think like, "I cannot hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, and my spiritual eyes are not opened. I have not experienced any divine healing either. Why is it that they are the only ones who experience such things? There is something wrong with this."
You should look back on yourself with humbleness, thinking like, "What am I lacking that I cannot communicate with God and I do not experience God's works?" and then change yourself.
Let us go back to Cain and Abel.

 
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