Thursday, August 7, 2014

Abel a picture of Christ; Cain a picture of religion

Gen 4:1-5 KJV “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have acquired a man from the LORD."  (2)  Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.  (3)  And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD.  (4)  Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering,  (5)  but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.”

We know from John 5:39-40 and Luke 24:27, 44-45 that the scripture is all about Jesus. Seeing Jesus in the scripture becomes our joy because it reinforces the gospel of God’s mercy, love and grace.  Look at this familiar story from Genesis. Adam and Eve have two sons, Cain and Able, it is important to see the order in which they came. Cain came first and Abel came second. What does the Apostle Paul tell us? 1Co 15:46 KJV  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. Here we see a principle. The natural comes first and the spiritual comes after. Therefore, it is easy to see that Cain was a picture of the natural and Abel is a picture of the Spiritual. This is important in our seeing Jesus in ALL the scripture. This is a New Covenant way of looking at the scripture. It is not Old Covenant thinking. One of the problems that we face today is we have New Covenant prophecy and Old Covenant theology…. Let me repeat this for effect, “we have New Covenant prophecy and Old Covenant theology.”

Abel simply brought the first born lamb without spot and blemish. It was not from his effort at all. He had nothing to do with it. He simply offered what God had perfected. Cain however, was a tiller of the soil. He worked and toiled and sweat with his hands. He cultivated and watered and no doubt worked long hours. Abel tended the sheep and likely sat in the shade watching them. God grew the grass that fed them and provided the stream that watered them. I’m going somewhere here, pay attention.

Cain had the fruit and vegetables looking good, and all polished as he brought forth to the Lord the work of his hands. He wanted God to accept his good works. Abel on the other hand, simply chose what God had done and offered it to Him. This is really a picture of us. We want to bring to God the fruit of our hands instead of relying on the sacrifice that God made on our behalf. We want to add something to the finished work of Jesus. We refuse to allow our hearts and minds to be cleansed by faith and insist that we bring something of ours. This ends up being an affront to God… a slight to God. When we demand that we bring something to him so that he will reward our performance, no matter what it is, we in a sense are saying that we do not believe that Jesus blood was sufficient.

We need to go back and read the entire chapter of Isaiah 53. Let me pull out some of it. Isaiah 53 is a sovereign decree of God. Isa 53:12 KJV  “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” God says that he will divide Him a portion with the great and that Jesus shall divide the spoil with the strong… strong what? those strong in faith in the finished work of Jesus… those who do not try to add anything, including old covenant obedience to the Law. Our obedience, our giving, our sacrifice, our praise all stems from the finished work of Jesus. He has spoiled the Devil and he will divide the spoils… will we believe???

Isn't it interesting that Cain (religious people) continue to KILL Abel (those trusting in Christ)... how?... they kill their spirits and cast them into bondage of religion.

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