Are You Going the Way of Cain?
Cain was Adam and Eve’s first born son. Cain symbolically represents the law. The law was given by Moses to show men that they are sinners in need of a Savior because no one can keep the law perfectly. Under the Old Testament animal sacrifice was required to cover sin but could not take away sin.
The law was given before Jesus became the sacrifice for sin once and for all. The law was a temporary restrainer of sin but has no power to defeat sin.
CAIN MEANS SPEAR, or a possession. A spear pierces the flesh. It cuts through the heart.
The sting or piercing of sin under the law brings death. The law does not bring life because no one can keep the law in its entirety. All are condemned to eternal separation from God who try to keep the law for justification. (right relationship with God)
ABEL was born after Cain. ABEL means breath of the Spirit. ABEL represents life in the Holy Spirit. Jesus brought life through his atonement for sin and his resurrection.
CAIN was a tiller of the ground. Tiller in Hebrew is abad. It means to work or serve like a bondsman. The ground represents earth or of this natural world.
ABEL was a keeper of sheep. Grace keeps God’s sheep justified from sin through Jesus Christ the Savior. ABEL represents God’s grace. (undeserved mercy)
CAIN brought before the Lord his offering. An offering symbolizes atonement for sin. In other words, Cain brought the works of his hands which he produced from the earth or the rudiments of this world, as an offering for sin.
ABEL brought a blood offering from an innocent lamb to atone for his sin.
The first offering given was made by God to atone for Adam and Eve’s sin by slaying a lamb and clothing them in its skin. CAIN was aware of this. However, he felt that he could earn forgiveness from sin by the works of his hand but God rejected CAIN’S offering.
God accepted Abel’s offering because it was God’s prerequisite for forgiveness of sin. The law says that the soul that sins shall die. Blood must be shed to atone for sin. An eye for an eye. A life for a life.
CAIN became jealous of his brother. Why? We know from the law that obedience to God’s word brings blessings but disobedience brings God’s curse. God refused to bless the work of Cain’s hands but he blessed Abel because he received the lamb sacrifice for atonement of sin.
The struggle between the flesh and the Spirit begin here. Those in the flesh or of the earth cannot please God but those in Jesus Christ are blessed in him and through him.
Often times this will cause jealousy and persecution from the religious mindset (those trying to keep the law for justification) towards the true Christian. These religious ones will attack the children of the Spirit because they want God’s blessings but they want it on their terms. They want God to accept them based on their deeds which they deem to be righteous in and of themselves.
To be rejected by God caused Cain’s countenance to fall or in modern English Cain felt inferior. This is what caused anger and jealousy to rise up in Cain.
After that the Bible says that Cain went and talked to his brother. That conversation is not recorded but I think that Abel tried to explain to Cain the way of salvation. They were talking in a field. Jesus said the fields are ready for harvest. The field represents bringing the salvation message.
Unfortunately, Cain did not receive the message of salvation because what he did was to rise up against his brother and kill him. This is significant because the flesh ( world minded ) always wants to rise up against the Spirit (God’s ways) all the time. The flesh wars against the Spirit on a continual basis according to scripture. The works of the flesh (human deeds outside Jesus Christ) do not please God and so the flesh resists the Holy Spirit all the time.
God asked Cain, “Where is your brother?” Cain replies, “How should I know ? Am I my brothers keeper? (Or in other words), Should I be guarding and protecting him? “
Cain lied to God when asked where his brother was. Cain rejected his responsibility as the oldest. In effect what Cain did was reject his inheritance just like Esau did. Then Cain became upset and cried about how he could not bear his punishment. Interesting to note, the Bible doesn’t mention his punishment right away, but Cain knew.
The Bible says that the soul that sins will die spiritually. CAIN was to face the worst punishment anyone could get. Separation from God. Notice how there was no repentance on his part. No lamb sacrificed. CAIN still rejected salvation by the blood atonement.
God, however, still offered to Cain his mercy. He tells him that if someone would want to hurt him in the future he would be punished 7 times. 7 is God’s number of perfection. God marked Cain with a reminder to all who would reject God’s plan of salvation for their own. God put a sign on him. CAIN was an example to others. All who saw him knew who he was and what he did. Scriptures tell us that sin will always be found out.
CAIN went out from God’s presence and dwelt in the land of Nod which means vagrancey. The flesh cannot dwell with God. CAIN was homeless.
1 John 3 :2 says that Cain was of the wicked one. The flesh is of the devil. The works of one’s hands or one’s own recognizance for justification is an abomination to God. It is of the devil’s nature; selfish, prideful, jealous and murderous.
Jude 1 : 11 says that apostates or false brethren go the way of Cain. They go after the way of the flesh and run after money. Baalam was a prophet for hire. He went the way of Cain. He prophesied nice things people wanted to hear for money. Korah another apostate was rebellious. He wanted his way instead of going God’s way.
The way of Cain is man’s way; greedy, rebellious and wanting the approval of men rather than the approval of God.
The flesh fights the Spirit and that is why God said the flesh must be put to death or denied. The flesh or world desires cannot inherit the Kingdom of God! A Cain mindset cannot inherit eternal life!
We can not rely on our works, good deeds or any thing else for salvation and acceptance by God except the blood of Jesus.
Trying to attain God’s approval by good deeds or law keeping results in separation from God in this life and also eternally.
Trying to keep the law (deeds of righteousness) for God’s approval is going the way of Cain. What is acceptable for salvation is receiving God’s free gift of eternal life through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. His blood alone can redeem from sin and make you a child of God.
Then when you are born of God all deeds done by the Holy Spirit are acceptable to him. God blesses his works not man’s works. Jesus Christ alone, by faith alone saves and justifies . Jesus said, I AM THE WAY. I AM THE TRUTH. I AM THE LIFE.