Subject 18 : GENESIS

[Chapter 4-11] Faith God Accepts with Joy (Genesis 4:3-7)

Faith God Accepts with Joy
(Genesis 4:3-7)
“And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.’”

Two Types of Sacrifice

As the end of the world draws near, blessed are those who follow the Lord and live in Him. Today’s Scripture passage tells us about what sort of faith we should have when we go before God and also serve Him.
It is written, “And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat” (Genesis 4:3-4). Here, Cain and Abel both offered their own separate sacrifice to the Lord, but the problem was that their sacrifices were very different from each other. It is said that Cain offered the fruit of the ground as the sacrifice to the Lord while Abel offered the firstborn of his flock and their fat. One had offered the fruit of the ground while the other had offered a lamb.
What do you think the fruit of the ground is? Cain offered to God things we usually eat, such as wheat, rice, beans, potatoes, melons, strawberries and all that sort of things. But Abel sacrificed the faultless firstborn of his flock and offered its meat and fat. The truth is there was a huge difference between these two sacrifices. This does not mean that there is a difference regarding the amount of sacrifices offered by believers today, but rather, this event tells us that amongst believers, there are those who believe in God properly while there are those who serve God with wrong faith. People who knew and believed in God properly offered the firstborn of their flock as a sacrifice to God, but those who have a wrong understanding of God and therefore a wrong faith in Him offered God the fruit of the ground as their sacrifice to God. In other words, this Scripture passage tells us that a small number of people believed in God spiritually while a number of people believed in God in terms of the flesh.
How can we determine if we believe in God properly or not? If we look at the Book of Genesis chapter 4:4 we will read, “Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering.” God had accepted Abel’s sacrifice, but He did not accept Cain’s and his sacrifice. Like Abel and Cain, among the Christians in this world, there are those who bring forth a sacrifice gathered with their own strength from the ground while there are those who bring a lamb to God. It means that there are two types of faith in today’s Christianity. Therefore it is clear that people who bring forth sacrifices like that of Abel are accepted by God, and people who bring forth sacrifices like that of Cain are actually cursed. Thus a question arises. Why did God accept Abel’s sacrifice and why did He not accept Cain’s sacrifice?

Unlawful Sacrificial Offering and Proper One

Cain cultivated the ground diligently and offered the fruit gathered from the ground as his sacrifice. However, Abel offered the firstborn of his flock. That Abel offered the firstborn of his flock means that he went before God the Father by believing in our Savior Jesus Christ who saved us humans from all our sins. However, Cain brought forth things from his own strength, namely, own efforts, fervor, sincerity and merits, instead of presenting himself by simply believing in Jesus. Cain went forth and presented his offerings which he prepared in his own way and thinking, then why did God not accept Cain’s offerings? God refused to accept them because Cain had come forth with his own sincerity according to his own thinking, instead of sacrificing a lamb.
 How did people know whether or not God had accepted their sacrifices offered to Him in the Old Testament era? God sent down fire from heaven to set these offerings on fire. This is how God had made it so that people who were offering sacrifices knew exactly whether He had accepted them or not. Cain and Abel both built altars. While Abel killed and placed a lamb on top of his altar along with its fat, Cain on the other hand placed the fruit of the ground on top of his altar. So when God looked upon them He accepted Abel’s sacrifice, by sending down fire and consumed it, while the fruit of the ground offered by Cain remained untouched. This was the sign from God.
We believe in Jesus as our Savior and go before God. Jesus is God. Jesus was God, but at the same time, He was also the Son of God. Just as the offspring of a human being is a human, God the Father’s only begotten Son, Jesus was really God. When God created Adam and Eve He said, “Let Us make man in our image, according to our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). As we can clearly see here, God uses the word, ‘Us.’ Also in the beginning of the Book of Genesis when God was creating the heavens and the earth with His “Word,” He tells us that God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit had participated together in the creation by recording this, “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2).
If that is the case, then who created all things in the universe? It is written, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Then who is this God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth? He is none other than our Savior Jesus Christ who had come in the flesh of man as it is written, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…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” (John 1:1, 14). This Jesus is none other than the Son of God, the Savior who has saved us from sin. The word ‘Jesus’ means the One who “will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Jesus Christ is the true God who has saved all people from sins by coming down to this earth in human flesh.
We believe God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as one God, the Trinity. Thus, we refer to all of them together as ‘God.’ Jesus is our Savior and our Lord. And the Father of Jesus is our Father, and the Holy Spirit is also God.
People who believe in God go before Him bringing their type of offerings. But the most important thing for us to know is what sort of offering it is. When the true born-again saints (like Abel) go before God, they bring with them the faith that Jesus Christ is their perfect Savior. But Christians of the other category (like Cain) bring with them their own efforts, materials, merits and sincerity before God without having faith that Jesus Christ is their perfect Savior. They are truly foolish people. Therefore it is important for us to first know what sort of faith God will accept when we bring our sacrificial offering to Him. We must of necessity bring forth a sacrifice of faith. The sacrifice which God accepts is the faith that believes Jesus is our perfect Savior. Only when people go before God having faith like this, will God accept them with joy.
Most Christians are prone to go before God thinking, “Since I have been a good witness for Jesus, rendered my devotion in the works of the church, donated much money, and served the pastor well, God will naturally accept my worship. God will be joyful when He hears my prayers, my songs of praise and my gratitude towards Him,” but how wrong they are. We need to know that God will not accept these sacrifices, including these worshipers. God rejects these sorts of people, including their sacrifices. God seeks true worshipers who worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23).
God accepts the type of sacrifice that is of faith. Do you know what type of faith God requires from us? God gladly accepts as His children those who completely believe in Him and the fact that He is the Creator and the Savior who has saved them from all sins. God accepts the sacrifices of those who believe in His Son and completely accept Him as their Savior. In other words, God accepts those of us who completely believe in the fact that God’s Son, Jesus Christ has saved us perfectly from all our sins: God accepts people who believe that although they are without any meritorious deeds and have no choice but to die and to receive the judgment due to there sins, God’s Son, Jesus, has saved them from all their sins and delivered them from the judgment by coming down to this earth, taking on all their sins, and receiving the judgment in their place. God accepts this worship of faith offered to Him.

Wrong Faith

We need to know that God does not accept the faith and the worship of those who go before Him to worship with their merits saying, “Dear God, I did this and that for You. Lord, for You, I endeavored this much, accumulated this much achievements, offered all this sincerity and sacrificed much. And Lord I will continue doing these things until I die.” God does not accept the worship and the faith of those who offer their human sincerity, because if He were to receive worship like this, His heart would become heavy and will be indebted to human beings. Instead of being a God who has bestowed grace, He would be a God who has received favor from human beings.
God does not want to be a debtor. If this happened then God would say, “Hey, if you endeavor like that, don’t I have to do something for you?” And He will feel burdened. Then God will really feel ill at ease with their faith. God wants us to praise Him by having faith in and being truly thankful for the fact that God has loved us so much. In order to blot out all the sins of humankind, He sent Jesus to become the Savior of humankind. God accepts the worship of faith by those who go before Him with thankfulness and joy, offer worship to Him and serve Him.
God lacks nothing. He exists on His own, without any need or help from us whatsoever. God has no desire to receive any benefit from people, whoever they may be, not even just a little bit. God does not want to be in debt to anyone. God is Almighty. Let us assume that one of God’s creations comes before God and says, “I have labored so hard for You, so please accept this gift. I will do this for You everyday.” Worship like this is only a burden and anguish to God. And by doing this would only be showing disregard for Him. It would be the same as a beggar going through garbage dumps and bringing useless things by the truckload everyday to a king who has no lack whatsoever. Although they might seem good in his eyes, to the king, these things are only foul smelling rubbish. The righteousness of humankind is like that. Though they might seem clean to human eyes, they are in fact “like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).
What is the sort of faith God finds most joy in? God finds joy in those who come before God by perfectly believing in God, that is, by believing God having saved them perfectly from sin and offering worship and praise to Him. Worship like this is the one that God finds joy in. What sort of worship does God accept? God accepts the worship of faith from people who believe that God Himself came to this earth in human form, took upon all our sins by receiving the baptism at the Jordan River, received the judgment for us, was resurrected in order to save us, and now sits on the right hand side of God the Father.

Two Types of Faith

People of this world can be divided into two types according to their faith. One type of people is like Cain, and the other is like Abel. Abel-like people completely believe in the righteous work that Jesus has done. In contrast, Cain-like people are those of Buddhism, Islam, Hindu and Confucianism who go forth to their gods by bringing their own sincerity. Included amongst this group are those who think of Christianity as a mere religion.
God does not accept worship from Cain-like people. Although they offer their sacrifices to God with utmost sincerity and diligence, God does not accept them. You should know by now why God does not accept them, right? The faith that God accepts with joy is the faith of believing in the righteous work done by Him. But we as humans are just a mass of sin. If these Cain-like people were to struggle to get rid of evils and desires of the flesh by not lying down, not eating much, and beating their own flesh, would God be pleased? God does not accept such worship.
God is merciful. When people go through such self-denying penance and ask, “Dear God, please accept me,” God feels sorry and uneasy. And He tells them, “Please do not do such useless acts. My heart is hurting, so please do not do such things.” All religions emphasize doing self-denying penances, but God never finds joy in them.
Numerous Christians boast about their achievements in the following manner: “When I was building this chapel, I donated one hundred thousands dollars,” “I went through 40 days of prayer and fasting in order to receive the remission of sins,” “I spent many all-night prayers and including early morning prayers in order to cleanse away my sins,” “I sacrifices my everything and followed the Lord in order to spread the gospel.” However, dear fellow believers please remember that God never accepts the fruit of the ground. God does not accept a worship in which a person comes forth with their own righteousness, like offering much prayers, doing much missionary work, donating much money, and offering much sacrifices and services.
Nevertheless, the problem we face is that there are so many Cain-like people on this earth. How many do you think they are? The numbers are uncountable. It’s almost everyone. Not counting the people of the other religions, many Christians offer worship to God with the fruit of the ground, being proud of their self-righteousness by saying, “Dear God, since I went through so much trouble for You, please accept me.” But a true worshiper is the one who brings forth the firstborn of the flock with pure motives, and not own efforts and merits, and offers it to God by faith, despite the fact that he has not done anything for God. Only then does God accept the worship. The firstborn of the flock refers to none other than Jesus Christ. God accepts the worship where a person says, “Jesus, You are my Savior. I have no merit of my own. Jesus Christ, You have saved me perfectly through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Father God, I come before You today with my faith in Jesus. Please, accept me.”
A Misplaced Faith
Cain-like faith which offers the fruits of the ground ceaselessly is very hard. Leading a life of faith like this with one’s own efforts is very hard and burdensome. Do you think someone could continuously lead a life of faith like this until death? It is not possible. How loathsome and how difficult would it be to offer worship by tilling the fields summer and winter and bringing forth the fruit of the ground everyday? Also, do you think a hard life like this would show any thankfulness? It will never.
When people start to believe in Jesus, worshiping like Cain will at first appear appealing. It is because these people started believing in Jesus without having been truly born again, and believe that God will accept them only when they bring the fruit of the ground, that being, something from their side, such as, sincerity, efforts, sacrifices, virtuous deeds and merits. Although they have accepted Jesus as their Savior, but sadly there hearts are still filled with sins because they have as yet not been born again, they have this mistaken notion that they must offer lots of donations, do much missionary work, offer lots of prayers and do many volunteer jobs. At first, doing these things may seem good and beautiful. So they get excited and give more effort to them.
Even though they may do so at first because they have much strength and excitement, but as they go on leading a life of faith like this, there will come a time when they will become totally exhausted or burned out. They are compelled to continue to bring something of their own before God, but eventually they won’t have anything more to give. Anyone with common sense will see that to endlessly offer the fruit of the ground is madness. Therefore would it not become so very difficult? In the end, these Cain-like Christians whimper before God crying out, “Dear God, I should have lived according to Your will, but I didn’t. Oh Lord, I ask Your forgiveness.”
Dear fellow believers, are people fundamentally virtuous or evil? They are basically evil. The Bible says that people are “a brood of evildoers” (Isaiah 1:4). The Bible tells us that all kinds of filthy and evil thoughts come out from the human heart. Jesus said, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7:21-23). The Lord tells us clearly here that we are unable but to do these evil things because there are these evil desires in our hearts.
And because people pretend to be virtuous, they are nothing more than hypocrites. For people are devoid of anything good, and offer God their falseness saying, “Dear God, I have believed in Jesus well and I have lived a life that is pleasing in Your sight like this. Therefore please accept me.” Does hypocrisy like this last long? Soon their hypocrisy will be revealed. When Adam and Eve committed sin and tried to cover up their shame with clothes made out of fig leaves, but soon these leaves dried and fell off them. Clothing made of hypocrisy will soon become unusable. For the first one or two years after having started to believe in Jesus, a person does things well, truly liquidating the past way of life, not drinking alcohol, not smoking cigarettes, doing good deeds, keeping the Lord’s day holy, attending early morning prayer meetings, and offering prayers of repentance; but soon this person will get tired and will not be able do them well anymore. Dear fellow believers, would you really be able to continue well like this to the end? Could you offer all night prayers continuously? Could you really offer donations well with a thankful heart? Could you truly do everything well all the time before God? Perhaps you could do so for a couple of days, but soon you will not be able to do so anymore.
Could you really with a glad heart offer early morning prayers everyday of your life? In Korean churches, pastors generally have to wake up at around 4 in the morning to lead early-morning prayer meetings. Even pastors become extremely fatigued, but because of the prying eyes of the church members, the pastors can never fail to attend these early-morning prayer meetings. Thus among many pastors, there are those who say, “It would be much easier to be a pastor if it were not for these early morning prayer-meetings. Who made this thing called early-morning prayer meetings and made me go through these terrible hardships?” Is it not true that human seeds are innately like that? If one were to lead a life of faith by offering things of the flesh, the person would do well for the first few years, but soon afterwards they would have nothing in them left over to give. If one should offer worship like that of Cain, there would not be anything more remaining to offer to God later on. The only thing left for someone like this is to offer later on their sins. “Dear Lord, please accept me, a sinner. Please forgive my sins.” In the beginning this person would vigorously offer God the fruit of the ground, but in the end he would only offer his sin. Frankly speaking, the fruit of the ground is sins. “Dear God, please accept this sin. Please cleanse this sin also.” The truth is; Cain-like people only offering sins everyday.
Does God like washing away sins little by little everyday? No! God has washed away all our sins once and for all. God despises Cain-like worshipers. But sadly in this world there are many Cain-like worshipers; in fact they are in the majority. Their numbers are endless. 100% of non-Christians are Cain-like worshipers, and the tragic truth is that even among Christians, more than 99% of them are Cain-like worshipers. Was your faith also like this in the past? Did you not also offer Cain-like worship?
People who have received the remission of sins offer a worship of thanks to God. Although they may be lacking, He has truly blotted out their sins, so in order to listen to His Word again, they come to this Church and offer worship with gratitude and by relying totally on God. But on the other hand Cain-like people come before God to offer many fleshly things to Him. At first they will bring forth their own efforts and merits, but what will they offer when these things bottom out? They will then only offer up their sins. Why do Christian sinners who have as yet not received the remission of sins, go before God? They do this to offer their sins to God. And when they do this what will happen? God will not accept them; they will remain sinners and will go to hell despite having had faith in Jesus.
God saved us first. If we were to go before God by believing in His salvation and carrying that kind of faith, God would accept our faith, blot out all our sins, give us the Holy Spirit as a gift and adopt you as His children. The order in which faith works is like that. It was God who saved us first. In order to blot out all our sins, God came to this earth in human flesh. By receiving the baptism at the Jordan River, He took upon Himself all our sins. In order to end our judgment, Jesus shed His own precious blood on the Cross. He now sits in the throne at the right hand of God the Father’s after been resurrected from the dead to bring us back to life. God saved us first. We believe in our hearts that He has saved us. This is the essence and the order of establishing right faith.
Did our faith come first, or did God’s salvation come first? God saving us comes first. And then we receive salvation by believing in the fact that God has saved us. This is the faith that Abel had. But instead of believing like this, many people blindly believe in God like Cain. “Dear God, I just believe in You. I believe that God has created the heavens and the earth. I believe that God has somehow saved me.” But even though they say they believe like this without knowing fully how Jesus has completely blotted out all their sins, on what side would they belong to? They will be on the side of Cain. Descendants of Cain are sinners although they believe in Jesus. And God simply does not accept their worship.
Worship which God finds joy in is the faith of perfectly believing in the Lamb of God. God accepts the worship of people who bring forth the firstborn of the flock and their fat. God only accepts such sacrifices. “Although I am lacking, You took on all my sins, Lord. Thank You, Lord.” If a person were to bring forth faith like this and offer it to God as the firstborn of the flock, God will accept this faith.
However, instead of the firstborn of the flock, if one were to heap up the fruit of the ground like beans, millet, rice, potatoes, yams, apples, oranges, and so on and ask God to accept them, God will never accept them. One must come forth by purely believing in the Word, but if we were to come forth by having to add in some of our own thoughts or self-righteousness to the Word and try to worship God in this way, all that we would be getting is a curse, let alone blessings.
If we read chapter 40 of the Book of Genesis, we will find a story about the chief butler and the chief baker, who were both officers of Pharaoh the king of Egypt. The chief butler had a dream in which he had pressed grapes from a vine with three branches and given the juice straight to Pharaoh without mixing anything with it. And thus, he was reinstated to the butlership. However, the chief baker, in a dream, had added all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh into the uppermost basket of the three white baskets on his head. And for doing this, he was cursed and suffered death. Perfect and pure faith, which is acceptable to God, is having faith only in the work done for us by Jesus, the Lamb of God. We should not add anything else onto it.
Cain tried everyday to make offerings to God by trying to make something new. Thus his life of faith can only be a tiresome one. Could we offer something new everyday until we get old and die? We cannot possibly do that. What does God enjoy? God finds joy in the sacrifice of the firstborn of the flock. He loves His only begotten Son. He loves our faith when we believe in Jesus. God finds joy in those who believe that Jesus is their Savior and that God the Father had sent His only begotten Son Jesus, to this earth for their sake, and that Jesus has taken on the sins of the world by receiving His baptism, received the judgment for us on the Cross, and then been resurrected to make us come alive. These days we find many Cain-like worshipers. In the end, God will abandon them. Cain-like worshipers will be disappointed in the end.
Sacrificial Offering of the Righteous
Which group do you belong to? Did you and I not receive the remission of sins? Although we are lacking, we are certainly without sin. Because of this we have become those who offer Abel-like worship. I truly give thanks to God for we have become those who can offer Abel-kind of worship. People who offer worship with the firstborn of the flock get a passing grade from God. It is written clearly that when Abel had offered the firstborn of his flock and their fat, God had accepted them. As you offer the lamb, I truly pray that you do not mix any fruit of the ground in your offering. Should you do this, God will certainly not accept it.
There are many Christians who still offer worship with the fruit of the ground. People who offer Cain-like worship try to receive the remission of their sins every day little by little instead of receiving it once and for all. They believe if they commit sins, they can receive the remission of sins by offering prayers of repentance saying, “Dear God, please forgive me. I have done wrong. Please cleanse me of this sin with the sacred blood of Jesus.” Will sins in their hearts really disappear? Sins are only eradicated when we believe that God has blotted out all the sins of the world once and for all. Let`s say you owe a debt. If you go to your creditor and say, “Woe is me, please reduce my debt. Please write off my debt,” would he do so?  We must know that debt will only go away justly when we pay it off in full. Isn’t this so?
What sort of a person does God look for? He looks for someone who has faith like that of Abel. God neither accepts nor tolerates Cain-like worship. Instead, God tells us to come before Him with a faith like that of Abel. Worship which God finds joy in is faith by which one receives the salvation from God, and faith in which one can return glory back to God. This is only possible through the offering of the firstborn of the flock and their fat. That is why God gladly accepted Abel’s offering of the firstborn of his flock. On the other hand, God tells us to throw away Cain-like sacrifices. He tells us not to come before Him with Cain-like type of faith.
God accepts the firstborn of the flock and their fat. We should therefore in our worship offer to God the firstborn of the flock and their fat. The order which God has saved us is as follows: God planned to save us completely. Jesus the only begotten Son of God the Father realized the Father plans by coming down to this earth. God the Holy Spirit had recorded everything in the Bible what the Father and the Son had accomplished for our salvation. The Holy Spirit had God’s servants record the Word. And the Holy Spirit places a seal on everyone who believes in this Truth just as it is.
As it is written, “Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat” (Genesis 4:4), only when we believe in God’s Word of salvation as it is recorded do we receive salvation, and then only does God accept our worship and receive glory. We must lead a life of faith based on the Word of God. We must lead a life of faith like that of Abel. Abel did not accomplish much. Have you ever seen a shepherd? He leaves his flock in a pasture, and all he does is blow reed pipes, eats what he has brought with him whenever he feels hungry, and every so often has a look to see if the flock is safe. If there seems to be no problem, he would even take a short nap, and that is all that he does. Occasionally when wolves or other wildlife approach, he drives them away by hitting them with his stick. And then when nighttime comes, he guides the sheep into the corral. That is his job, and afterwards he does whatever he pleases.
But when the time came for him to offer worship to God, he sorted out the firstborn of his flock and offered it as a sacrifice. A little lamb is so pitiful. Yet he told it, “My young lamb, you are truly lovable but my father had offered sacrifice like this too. So you my dear lamb must die in my place.” Then he offered this firstborn of his flock as his sacrifice to God by taking its life. What difficulty could there be in this? For a shepherd to bring a little lamb, the firstborn of the flock and offer it to God just like that, do you think there is any hardship in doing this? Do you think he broke out in a sweat? He used none of his effort. If he had killed an adult sheep, it might have been difficult, but as he caught just a little lamb, there wasn’t any need to use his strength. If one were to slit its throat, blood will flow freely, and it will die in an instant. Then all he has to do is cut its stomach out and then take out its intestines, separate the fat from the intestines, liver and kidneys, and place that on the altar with the lamb. And then fire from heaven will come down and consume it all.
Cain on the other hand brought his farm produce with much groaning and effort and placed that on the altar heaping it up like a mountain, but fire did not come down from heaven to consume his offering.
This means that God accepted Abel’s worship. Like this, as we offer our worship before God, we must believe the written Word of God and offer our pure worship. Only when we believe in the Word of God and offer worship like this, will God accept it. It doesn’t matter at all, whether or not Abel’s hands were stained with offal from the lamb, and whether or not his body was covered with dirt, or whether or not his appearance seemed shabby. Because God saw the firstborn of his flock and the faith of offering such a sacrifice, He accepted Abel. That is why Abel became the ancestor of faith.
Our ancestor of faith is actually Adam. Who is next in line of his ancestry? It is Abel, and was certainly not Cain. Even now God accepts those who come before Him with Abel-like faith. He accepts people who come to Him with faith like this. God accepts the worship, praise, and service of those who come to Him by believing wholeheartedly that Jesus, the firstborn of the flock is their perfect Savior

God Does Not Accept the Sacrificial Offering of a Sinner

We need to know that God does not accept the worship of Cain-like people. In a time like this when Christianity has fallen, and the worship offered by Christians resembles a mixed stew. It is a worship like this that is offered with all sorts of things mixed together in and cooked up by there emotions. Worship offered in Christianity today is like that of mixing in the Lamb as well as other things just like that of Cain, that is, the fruit of the ground, and then boiled up together thoroughly with an emotional fire. But God does not accept worship like this.
What sort of faith should we have? We should possess and keep an Abel-like faith in God. What I am trying to say is that we must not muddle up our pure faith with things of the ground. And no matter what others might say about it, we must clearly keep in our hearts the truth that God has accepted Abel’s sacrifice. People have a tendency to think that God accepts Cain-like type of sacrifices by making only the formalities look good as they offer their Cain-like worship, but they are gravely mistaken. God does not accept such sacrifice even if one were to heap up the fruit of the ground as high as a mountain and say, “Please God, accept these.”
There is only one thing that God desires. What the Father desires is none other than for us to have the faith of simply believing in the work His Son had done after having come down to this world in order to save us. Even if it may be as small as mustard seed, He finds joy in that type of faith. What God the Father desires and expects from us is for us to have the faith of believing in His Son and nothing more. It was like this back then and even now, it has not changed. We must keep this faith.
“But He did not respect Cain and his offering” (Genesis 4:5). God did not accept Cain or his offering. No matter how much a person jumps up and down, shakes and rolls, is frivolous and says, “Dear God, please accept these,” God will not accept Cain-like offerings. When Elijah was facing 850 heathen prophets of foreign gods on top of Mount Carmel, where these prophets were calling on their foreign gods all day long, but no fire came down from heaven to consume their offerings. Christian worship today is no different from that. We must remember in our hearts that God does not accept Cain-like offerings, even if thousands of people gather in a grand chapel for worship with an array of flowers worth over hundreds of dollars used to decorate the pulpit, US$ 200,000 pipe organ accompanying the songs of worship, the choir singing holy worship orchestrated in four voice parts, and donations getting collected as high as mountain at every worship service. Even now, even if a sinner were to carry out numerous works with sincere devotion and offer large amounts of donations, because they are sacrifices offered out of a Cain-like faith, God will not accept him or his sacrifice.
Muddled up Faith
Just as God had divided the waters that were under the firmament from the waters that were above the firmament on the second day of Creation, we must be able to distinguish improper faith from the proper faith. We must clearly be able to divide our pure faith from a muddled up faith. And we must examine ourselves to see if we are indeed offering a Cain-like type of worship or an Abel-like way of worship, and we must draw a clear borderline in our hearts. We must certainly inspect ourselves on what sort of faith we are offering, and with what sort of faith we are going before God at this moment. And we must keep a clear faith, the pure faith of believing in the Word just as it is.
These last of the days in which we are living is a period dominated by syncretism. All religions are muddling up and are becoming one, with the sole idea to prevent the scattering like that experienced by people who had built the Tower of Babel. Christianity is seeking peaceful co-existence with other religions, and the number of Christian leaders who support religious pluralism is increasing daily. But religious syncretism will surely fail. If we look at the Book of Revelations, we will read, “And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird” (Revelations 18:2). Syncretism, which seeks unity with various religions that serve all sorts of evil spirits, and will most certainly fail.
Regarding our faith in Jesus, if we were to believe in a muddled up fashion, we will surely receive God’s judgment. Today Christians who have not been born again are busy raising the muddled up tower of Babel again by taking in this and that of the world and mixing in with their faith. They are in fact standing against God with their great influence and accomplishment by creating a united power. During these last days, we as the righteous saints must be most careful of this ‘syncretism’, which tries to make us mix something into our pure faith. If we would add anything in with the sacrifice of Abel, the firstborn of his flock and their fat, we will most certainly be destroyed. Should our faith be muddled up like that of Cain, it will bring our ruin. We who are living in the very last of the days must never believe in a muddled up way.
Currently, Satan is inspiring syncretism into people of every religion and even Christians. As a result, all religions are getting tied up as one. Every single one of them is uniting to become one, and it has now been accepted as a common good. But God tells us, “There are two kinds of faith, not one.” It means that there is a type of faith like that of Abel, and then there is another type of faith like that of Cain. And it means that the faith of Abel, who had come forth relying only on the firstborn of the flock, is the genuine faith.
Faith is not one, but two. There is the proper faith; and there is the improper faith. Because we have started with the proper faith, we must guard our proper faith, keep it until the end, spread it devotedly, and then stand before the Lord when He returns.
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