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Thursday, April 12, 2012

The LOVE of God - Study Part 3

Master Sculptor and Lover
In Genesis 1 and 2 we see God through His Word (Jesus) created all things. And we see that Jesus was very personally involved in our creation from moment one. It was He who stooped down to form us out of the dust of the earth as our Master Sculptor. It was he who broke the pattern to say LET US do this thing...

In Genesis 3 We see that it was Jesus who stepped in IMMEDIATELY after the fall and moved to cover us in His love and mercy, deal with the devil, provide covering, covenant, and reestablish contact with us. Then it was He who promised his own coming as the redemption lamb and seed of the woman. He was symbolized as the animal slaughtered to cover their bodies and he was the seed of the woman who would be bruised before crushing the serpents head.

Remarkable Love

Now let us take a look at who he was in scripture. How did that work itself out? Let's take a look at one of the most amazing and exciting revelations of scripture.
John 11 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
God's Word was literally turned into the seed that implanted and combined with the woman to make a body for Jesus to inhabit. He became human and dwelt among us.
Philippians 2:5-75 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
He laid aside all his divine attributes and became just a man. He was still the Son of God, indeed God himself, but he laid that aside to become a man. Actually he became the 2nd Adam and walked in the steps of Adam on this earth. Qualifying to become his replacement. He could not stop being God in nature, but He laid aside His divine privileges. In other words. Jesus walked this earth as a man, tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Heb 4:15) It was by Him that all things were created. (Col 1:12-16) He has taken a vested interest in us from day one. We see in Genesis 4 an interesting new piece to the saga of man.

Love Steps In To Cover and Protect

The fall has already occurred. The Garden was closed to mankind. Most people have the idea that this was the last time God was present with man, He would now operate at a distance. But we saw in Genesis 3 that God moved right back in to keep that contact going. He wanted to keep ties as close with men as they would let Him. Cain remarks in Genesis 4:14; 16, that he would be hidden from God's face and driven from His presence after killing Able. But this is after the fall. God was there, dealing with mankind. He was teaching them how to prosper on the earth and maintain communication with God through covenant. Where did Cain and Able learn to keep the offering? God!

Some have said that Cain's offering was not accepted because it was not an animal. That blood must be shed for covenant. This is partially true. But there was no law yet. It called these gifts offerings, not sacrifices. Cain was a farmer and Able a herdsmen. Both brought gifts from the work they did. However if you observe the tense. Cain brought AN offering. Able brought the first fruits. This was just a little something to Cain. Able brought the best. Kenneth Copeland remarked once, and I am inclined to agree, that the offering of Cain was the left over lot, also known as the third pickin's. This was not the first fruit. It was not Cain's best. It was the part he didn't want. That is why there is a contrast between "an offering" and "first fruits of".

The offering wasn't accepted because it wasn't Cain's best from the heart. It was just a ritual to him. He was treating God as second class. Able treated God with the highest respect. God was going to give his best to man some day and prove once and for all His Love for mankind. Able was showing that he trusted God for His increase and provision. Cain showed that he did not. This was and always will be a heart matter. Just as Jesus said the two coins offered by the widow were more than the large sums of the wealthy, because it was her heart in the matter, so it is with Cain and Able. Able's offering was offered in faith, and Cains' was not. Romans 14:23 tells us that all that does not proceed from faith is sin. Therefore Cain's offering was not accepted because it was not an offering of faith, but of ritual.
4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
Hebrews 12:19-2924 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
Able's blood cried to God for justice. Yet, even here in the justice pronounced, God informing Cain of the curse he invited by stepping out from under his new covenant and breaking it... can you hear it? It's the silent cry of God. He is not sad for Able, Able is now in Paradise awaiting Messiah, for many years. God is sad for Cain. It is with the murderer God has sympathy. Even as God informs Cain how the curse will begin to infect his life God has compassion on him. Cain now fears, having learned for the first time in human history that man's body can in fact be separated from his spirit and killed. Sure God told them that death was coming. Dying you shall die... Spiritual death leading to natural death. But up till now no human body ceased to operate. Cain ushered in the first physical death. Now fear, no doubt egged on by the accuser of the brethren, Satan himself, is agonizing his mind. Will someone now kill me?
Genesis 413 And Cain said to the Lord, "My punishment is greater than I can bear! 14 Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me." 15 And the Lord said to him, "Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him. 16 Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden.
God's Supernatural Response

What does God say? I'll tell you what religion would say. "Yeah that's right! You murderer! You're gonna get what's commin' to you! You killer! Stone him! Hang him!..." Religious people brought a woman caught in the act of adultery to Jesus. The law said to stone her. They waited for His response. If He says not to, He is breaking His own law. If He agrees to stone her, He is breaking His teaching of Grace and Forgiveness. Jesus says: "...he who is without sin, cast the first stone..."(John 8:7) So how does God respond to Cain? He says that if anyone kills Cain he will be judged 7 times harder. He then marks Cain with a sign to warn others not to invite that death on themselves. What is that sign or mark? No one can know for sure what the symbol or mark actually looked like. Was it a specific sign? Was it just a birthmark type thing? The actual appearance of the mark is irrelevant. What IS the mark of Cain? It is a biblical symbol of Jesus' Blood! It may very well have been in some sort of shape or red colored. But it was a mark to prevent anyone else from killing him. It was this same typology that God used in covering the door posts of the homes of Israel in Goshen to prevent death from coming to them. (Exodus 12:7)

What was God's response to Cain? Was it anger and cursing! No, the curse was the natural response to Cain's rejection of the Blessing that was covering him and shielding him from the curse that was already working it's way through the earth. God didn't curse Cain, he simply informed him of the results of the curse he invited. God's response was to cover him in the blood of Jesus, symbolically, until the day it would come to pass. I would not be surprised to see Cain and Able in heaven today. Jude 1:11 and 1 John 3:12 both make it clear that the work of Cain was of the Devil.  Cain's name became associated with wickedness. 

However, both Peter and Judas rejected Jesus before the cross. One received forgiveness and the other did not. It's not that Judas couldn't be forgiven, or that it wasn't offered to him. He just didn't receive it. He chose not to. So did Cain receive the forgiveness offered to him? Who knows. We do know this... He was marked by God with protection and covering to prevent the judgement of others. It was yet another moment in history where God spoke up and said: "My blood! My Son! Is coming for you!"

Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the Love of Christ? NOTHING! All along the way He moved to cover us in His Love! Jesus is PASSIONATE about you! The Mercy of God stepped in to cover and protect Cain, the first murder! Under the GRACE we have now, under the blood of Jesus shed to make us righteous before God... how much more will His Mercy step in to protect you from your mistakes and missteps!?
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
Another Seed

There is yet another moment in this story that bears our attention. God looks now to Eve, many years later it seems. He gives her another son, a righteous son, to replace righteous Able. Seth, who most believe is the father of all those who live today since Noah came through his line, was born to Eve. His birth signified the first ever, revival. Through Seth's line men began to call on the name of the Lord again. 
Genesis 4
25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, "For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed." 26 And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.
By this time Adam was now over 130 years old. We have no biblical record to indicate WHEN Adam and Eve fell. Many scholars believe it was quickly. Some ancient Hebrew scholars felt it was on day one. I personally believe that naming the animals took more than one day and that his meeting with Eve for the first time probably took his attention for far more than one day. She would have been more of a soul mate than any soul mate in human history. And thus it is, through Seth's line that we are introduced to a few more interesting characters. Which will have to wait until the next study.

God is passionately in love with man. He is passionately in LOVE with you! This whole thing has always been about you! Remember, God has covered your sin in the Blood of Jesus, and He has protected you from all the bad you ever have or will do! As Cain learned, that doesn't mean there are not consequences in and on this earth. But your standing with God was taken care of by the Blood of Jesus! All that God requires is your response!

Darrell G. Wolfe


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