Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
This is the 85th lecture on Genesis.
When God had regard only Abel’s offering evil feelings came up in Cain’s heart.
Although his brother obeyed the will of God, Cain brought an offering as he saw fit, so God had no regard for his offering.
Because of it Cain became angry, and he even bore a grudge against God.
God found evil stimulated in Cain, and reprimanded him.
He tried to stop Cain from committing even graver sin.
But Cain didn’t listen.
Genesis 4:8 says, “Cain told Abel his brother.”
It means Cain poured out the feelings in his heart to Abel.
In other words, he told Abel about the negative feelings he harbored toward God, and the reasons he had them.
This made life extremely difficult for Abel.
That is, Cain said to Able, “I have a grudge against you. I got angry because of you and God admonished for it.”
When Cain said what he did it this way, he caused Able to have a great deal of heartache.
God told Cain to calm his anger down and not to commit any more sin, but Cain did the opposite.
Instead of calming his evil, he continued to develop it.
He didn’t listen to God’s reprimand at all.
As time passed the evil feelings grew.
Since Cain learned the truth from his father, Adam, Cain knew he should not have done as he did.
So, he tried to control his feelings, but he couldn’t do it.
Rather than calming his evil feelings he let the feelings grow, and soon he reached the state where he couldn’t help putting the thoughts and feelings into evil action.
This is the attribute of sin.
Unless you pull out evil the moment it is planted in your heart, it will soon grow up and take over your heart.
Then, you will be incited by the enemy devil and Satan, and you cannot control your heart.
You may think to yourself, ‘I shouldn’t do this, but…’ and then you become the slave of sin.
Therefore, before you reach this state, when you realize that it is sin, and that God is not pleased with it, you should turn back from it right away.
It is impossible only by your own strength.
You should receive the grace and strength that God gives, and the help of the Holy Spirit.
And so, you should always be awake and pray.
Now, Genesis 4:8 says, “And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.”
The first murder of mankind took place.
Moreover, it was not even an incident that just happened on the spur of the moment.
Because, when the time came, he put into action his feelings that he had piled up in his heart, his sin was truly grave.
Furthermore, even though Cain heard the word of reprimand from God, he ignored it and committed sin according to its desire.
It shows how greatly evil was planted in his heart already.
Since the Bible says, “it came about when they were in the field,” you can find that Cain was waiting for the time when only the two of them were in a deserted place.
He already had a plan to kill his brother, and he was waiting for the timing to be right.
That is, Cain had carefully prepared to carry out the murder.
The fact is that when a person strikes another with the intent to kill him on purpose, the sin is regarded all the more grave.
In 2 Samuel, you can find an example of murdering out of personal enmity.
It was 7 and one-half years after David had become the king of the Tribe of Judah.
The remaining 11 tribes were still under the control of Ish-boseth, Saul’s son.
Then, Abner, the commander of Ish-boseth’s army, came to David representing the 11 tribes of Israel, and suggested to enter into friendly relations.
David treated Abner very kindly.
Then, in 2 Samuel 3:21, Abner said to David, “Let me arise and go and gather all Israel to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may be king over all that your soul desires.”
David was about to take the opportunity to become the king of 12 tribes of Israel and unite the kingdom through warfare.
Abner had departed in peace. However there was a man who sent his men after him to bring him back.
It was Joab, the commander of David’s army.
2 Samuel 3:27 says, “So when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the middle of the gate to speak with him privately, and there he struck him in the belly so that he died on account of the blood of Asahel his brother.”
Since Joab harbored a grudge against Abner for killing Joab’s brother in a battle, he used a wicked scheme like this and killed Abner.
To have his own personal revenge on Abner, he did something so evil that it could hinder resolving a grave national concern.
His selfish motives were also involved in it.
If Abner, the enemy general, comes under David, Joab’s position can be at stake.
Abner’s contribution of bringing 11 tribes of Israel to David would be very great.
And thus, David would have to treat Abner properly.
Joab thought chances were that Abner could be in higher position than he would be.
That’s why Joab used an evil scheme to kill Abner.
Because of this, David could have been put in a very difficult situation. But he acted wisely, and eventually united the kingdom.
Later, Joab committed a similar evil act again.
When Absalom stole the hearts of people and became the king for a short period of time he appointed Amasa as the commander of his army.
When David went back to Jerusalem after quelling this insurrection, he made a promise to appoint Amasa as the commender of the army.
In 2 Samuel 19:13, David said, “Say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? May God do so to me, and more also, if you will not be commander of the army before me continually in place of Joab.'”
Actually, to kill all the traitors was conventional.
However, David embraced the enemy general with his broadened heart, and showed his heart of goodness to win the hearts of those who participated in the treason.
Then, David commanded Amasa to call out the men of Judah.
At this point, Joab intervened again and killed Amasa.
2 Samuel 20:9-10 says, “Joab said to Amasa, “Is it well with you, my brother?” And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. But Amasa was not on guard against the sword which was in Joab’s hand so he struck him in the belly with it and poured out his inward parts on the ground, and did not strike him again, and he died. Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba the son of Bichri.”
Joab frequently stood against David’s will, and did evil acts in such ways.
He was always like a thorn in David’s side; he eventually betrayed David, and died miserably.
Regarding this, 1 Kings 2:32 says, “The LORD will return his blood on his own head, because he fell upon two men more righteous and better than he and killed them with the sword, while my father David did not know it: Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah.”
If a man hurts someone intentionally with the evil in his heart, then he will surely receive retribution for the sin.
As written in Numbers 35, the law of Moses also dictates that ‘the murderer shall surely be put to death’ if he kills someone on purpose.
Numbers 35:20-21 says, “If he pushed him of hatred, or threw something at him lying in wait and as a result he died, or if he struck him down with his hand in enmity, and as a result he died, the one who struck him shall surely be put to death, he is a murderer; the blood avenger shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.”
On the hand, God opened a way to survive for those who mistakenly killed others without any grudge.
He placed the city of refuge from place to place so that they could flee to those places.
Even today, the court of law considers this situation to some degree when a sentence is passed.
Even when two men committed the same sins, according to their motives, the level of punishment differs.
That is, the sentence is made differently whether the sin was accidental or intentional, or whether he committed sin on purpose with evil heart, or he couldn’t help it to survive. Depending on the reason for committing sin, a different sentence may be passed.
Our God the Father searches even the depth of people’s hearts.
When people commit sin, God considers each one’s status and situation and judges them; was his faith weak to be tempted by sin for the moment, or did he intentionally disobey with an evil heart, did he diligently live by the word but fell just once, or did he just disobey again in continuous disobedience.
It is imperative that you do not intentionally make life difficult for someone or do harm to others.
However, if you don’t ease or erase your ill feeling or grudge against someone, but keep it in your heart, it may suddenly come out one day.
Let me examine two cases.
The first is when someone is praised.
The Word of Truth says you should rejoice together when someone is praised.
However, if he was the one you used to have ill feelings toward and grudges against, you may not be able to really rejoice together with them.
“He did something wrong to me, but he did good to his seniors, and now he is praised.” You may think this way and feel even more uncomfortable.
Feeling as though you were treated unfairly, you may let others know about his flaws and criticize him.
However, does criticizing him allow for you to be lifted up?
Even though you are lifted up before people, how can you deceive the eyes of God?
Every form of evil in the hearts of people are eventually revealed before God.
Moreover, if they had a plan out of evil in their hearts and put it into action, how can God not know about it?
The second case of evil coming out is when someone is driven into a corner by doing something wrong, or when a person is criticized by others.
You may criticize the man along with others as if you had anticipated and just waited for something to happen.
“I already knew he would do this. He was like this from the beginning.” In this way, you add the feelings that you had before,
It proves that you have kept the ill feelings and grudges against the man that you had had in the past.
If such a person attains power, he may act out of selfish motives while doing his work.
He may make an unfair judgments and evaluations and tack excessive responsibility on someone he has a grudge against.
God tells you to love even your enemies, and Ephesians 4:26 says, “BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”
In addition, Romans 12:17 says, “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone Respect what is right in the sight of all men.”
Yet still you don’t erase evil feelings, but keep them, and later pay back evil; you should know how grave sin it is.
1 John 3:15 says, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer…”
However you don’t stop at hating someone just once, but you pile up the feeling of hatred over and over, how many murders have you committed?
Because of this, you don’t receive answers to your prayers, blessing doesn’t come upon you, and you encounter trials, but you don’t realize why.
When grudges or ill feelings are piled up in your heart, you may be stricken with serious diseases.
The fleshly people may think they will feel good only when they pay evil for evil, but it never is so.
I hope that you can truly understand it will be great harm to you just to bear evil in your heart as well as to repaying evil with evil.
Even when someone acts with evil towards you, the will of God is that you pay back goodness.
Only when can you save the other person as well as yourself, then you can accomplish the good will of God.
Therefore, I wish for you to long for goodness all the more.
I hope you can understand the good will of God the Father when He says, “Cast off every form of evil.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
Now, let’s take a look at Genesis 4:9.
It says, “Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?””
God already knew Cain killed his brother Abel, and asked Cain.
It was not to call Cain into account, but God did it to show Cain His mercy for him.
That is, He gave Cain a chance to repent.
However, Cain said he didn’t know. He feigned complete ignorance.
To hide his evil act, he shamelessly lied.
Furthermore, he proudly defied God and said, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Proverbs 9:8 says, “Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, Reprove a wise man and he will love you.”
It can mean that a scoffer hates the one who reproves the scoffer.
It also has a meaning that you should realize you are a scoffer if you feel uneasy in your heart or hate someone who reproves you.
In tonight’s scripture, evil was planted in Cain’s heart; he didn’t recognize the love of God, but rather showed hostility.
It shows how much evil was already planted in his heart.
Such examples like this are found in many parts of the Bible.
In 1 Kings 22, Ahab the king of Israel was allied together with Jehoshaphat the king of Judah to wage a war against Aram.
Jehoshaphat suggested that they should inquire the will of God before going to war.
Ahab gathered the prophets, about 400 of them, and asked them. Then, they said he would win the battle.
Jehoshaphat thought it strange, and said to Ahab, “Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here that we may inquire of him?”
Then 1 Kings 22:8 says, “The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.””
What Ahab said was that he hated Micaiah the prophet because Michaiah didn’t prophesy good concerning Ahab, but evil.
Whether you like it or not, you should take the word a true prophet delivers as the will of God.
However, Ahab was so evil in his heart even when he heard the word of God through a prophet, he couldn’t discern whether or not it was the will of God.
He didn’t even have a heart to obey the will of God.
Again, Micaiah the prophet delivered an ill-omened prophecy that Ahab would die in the battle, and Ahab put Micaiah in prison.
Proverbs 29:1 says, “A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.”
As prophesied, Ahab was killed in the battle.
Micaiah’s prophecy troubled Ahab’s mind, and so he disguised himself and go to the battle, but he was killed by an arrow an enemy soldier shot at random.
There is another king who walked a similar way.
It was Zedekiah, the last king of Judah.
By that time, the Northern Israel already fallen and ceased to exist, and the Southern Judah was under the harsh military rule of Babylon.
Judah had to bring whatever tribute Babylon wanted, and Judah had to implement policies as Babylon desired.
At this point, Jeremiah the prophet told Zedekiah that it was the will of God to be passively under the domination of Babylon.
Southern Judah was in such a condition as to be judged in the justice of God.
God promised, however, that Judah wouldn’t be judged to be extinguish forever but would be restored in 70 years.
A long time prior to that, the 12 tribes of Jacob grew in Egypt to form a nation.
Likewise, God told Judah that they would be born again as an outstanding nation if her people humbly took the trials well under the rule of Babylon.
It is just as Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”
Zedekiah the king of Judah and his people didn’t understand such a deep will of God, but they rather treated Jeremiah as a traitor and persecuted him.
And they made an effort to resist against Babylon.
Eventually, the army of Babylon surrounded the city of Jerusalem.
Since Jerusalem was an impregnable fortress, one and half years passed by as the city was under siege.
Meantime, Babylon kept suggesting Zedekiah to surrender, but he didn’t listen.
It was because the false prophets told him that ‘God would help the king to escape from the threat.’
Then, one night, Zedekiah discreetly sent for Jeremiah.
Yet still, Jeremiah delivered the will of God.
As written in Jeremiah 38:17-18, he said, “Thus says the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘If you will indeed go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then you will live, this city will not be burned with fire, and you and your household will survive. But if you will not go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then this city will be given over to the hand of the Chaldeans; and they will burn it with fire, and you yourself will not escape from their hand.'”
Then Zedekiah opened his heart as written in Jeremiah 38:19.
He said to Jeremiah, “I dread the Jews who have gone over to the Chaldeans, for they may give me over into their hand and they will abuse me.”
What he said is this; if he surrenders and becomes a captive to Babylon, he will meet the Jews who have gone to Babylon as captives ahead of him, and he is afraid of being abused by them.
He considered more about saving his face than life and death for the nation, preservation of the Holy Temple, and the safety of his people.
Thus, Jeremiah exhorted the king once again.
He said to the king, “They will not give you over. Please obey the LORD in what I am saying to you, that it may go well with you and you may live.”
However, Zedekiah didn’t listen to him to the end.
When the city wall was breached by the Babylon army, he fled out of the city, but he was caught.
As a result his eyes were blinded, he was bound in fetters of bronze, and brought to Babylon.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
Jeremiah the prophet delivered and proclaimed the will of God even when people didn’t listen to him, but rather ridiculed him.
His heart at this moment is well described in Jeremiah 20:8-9.
He said, “For each time I speak, I cry aloud; I proclaim violence and destruction, Because for me the word of the LORD has resulted In reproach and derision all day long. But if I say, “I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name,” then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it.”
Those who truly love God and souls come to have this kind of heart.
Even when someone is going to the destruction, if you don’t say a word to him for fear he should dislike hearing you and his heart should be broken, it is the same as expressing your hatred towards him.
If you truly love him, it doesn’t matter whether your relationship with him goes bad; what matters is how to save him from death.
For the last 30 years, I have done my ministry with this kind of heart.
I knew you wouldn’t feel comfortable in your heart, not to mention I who deliver the word, yet still I’ve told you about sin, righteousness, and judgment.
As its result, countless souls came out from the darkness into the light, and they come into spirit and whole spirit.
It is just as Ephesians 5:13 says, “But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.”
Therefore, I hope that you can give thanks even when you are admonished or attention is drawn to you.
You should always humble yourself, and pay attention to whoever advises you.
Even if a young child advises you, you should be humble enough to listen to him.
You should first have a heart to listen like this, you can then discern right and wrong.
You listen, and follow it if it is the truth; if it is not, then you don’t need to obey it.
If you don’t even try to listen at all, no matter how right the word is, you cannot accept it right.
As you come into spirit more and more deeply, you will reach a point where your heart doesn’t condemn you.
It is because you keep the commandments of God with the heart of obeying the will of God the Father all the time.
The more deeply you come into spirit, the better you understand the heart of God, the more joyfully you keep the commandments.
Even if you are admonished by God, you will take everything as love, and you will eventually change into more perfect light.
However, Cain in tonight’s scripture didn’t realize the love of God the Father, but he rather busied himself in hiding his crime.
As a result, he paid a severe price for his sin.
I will talk about this in the next lecture.
May you will make spiritual bread of this lecture and always walk in the light to become the pleasure of God the Father, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!