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Query for the Month
December 1st 2004 (God willing).
Previous "Queries" are
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there really an immortal soul?
Do you know the
difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!
Click on the link for a good
book on the character of our God which you can download for free and share
amongst your friends. It's called "Light on
the Dark Side of God" and is one of the best on this subject that I have
And in process of time it came to
pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering to the
LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the
fat thereof. And the LORD had respect to Abel and to his offering: but to
Cain and to his offering He had not respect.
Why didn't the LORD respect Cain’s
The foundation of the plan of redemption is that sin
kills! (Romans 6:23.)
But before it does it dims the faculties, especially
the mind of reason. For example, the man who was made in God’s image tried
to hide from Him behind a tree!
Let’s look at that:
6 And when the woman saw that the
tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree
to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did
eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat
[he chose to join her].
7 And the eyes of them both
[as their normal covering disappeared],
and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together,
and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the
LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his
wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of
the garden [because of their mind set].
9 And the LORD God called to Adam,
and said to him, "Where are you?"
[He knew, but needed Adam to show the angels how his mind was now.]
10 And he said, "I heard Your
voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid
[behind a tree]."
11 And He said, "Who told you
that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded you
that you should not eat?"
[A yes or no question.]
12 And the man said, "The
woman [whom You made]
whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat."
[Adam blamed his God and his wife both of whom he professed to love.]
13 And the LORD God said to the
woman, "What is this that you have done?" And the woman said, "The serpent
me, and I did eat."
[It’s his fault.]
The leap into sin had so changed both of them that
rather than own up to their guilt they tried to pass the buck on to
someone else. This is so normal amongst humans today that we hardly think
of it as it really is, a condemnation of another. Eve blamed the serpent,
while Adam blamed both God and the former love of his life, yet knowing
what she had done, he had chosen to die with her when he took of the
fruit. See 1 Timothy 2:14.
So they were changed:
physically, from a robe of light to a covering
of fig leaves;
mentally, in that they thought they could hide
from the Son of God;
and spiritually, because they would not
own up but blamed another for their action.
Therefore, after Adam’s jump into sin, the Son of God
had a difficult task to get that thought of death (which is separation
from Him as the life-giver) into the sin-darkened minds of His creatures.
He knew that the only way to save some of humanity would be for Him to
give them a piece of His life so that there would be a counter-measure in
them against the temptations of sin. (See 1 Corinthians 10:13.) Therefore
His first lesson in redemption was that there needed to be an exchange of
lives through "death to self" on our part, and a "death to Him" as God.
This is why the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you wroth
why is your countenance fallen? If you do well, shall you not be accepted?
And if you do not well, sin lies at the door
[of your heart and causes the problem].
shall be his [sin’s]
shall rule over him." Genesis 4:6-7.
In the New Testament this is expressed as: "If then I
do that which I would not, I consent to the law
[the Ten Commandments]
that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells
in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing:
for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I
find not. . . . Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it,
but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good,
evil is present with me." Romans 7:16-21. Paul goes on to say: "There is
therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk
not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law
the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin
and death. Romans 8:1-2."
At one time the Son of God was able to explain
salvation in greater detail to the exiles in Babylon.
23 And I will sanctify
My great name
which was profaned
among the heathen, which you have profaned in the midst of
them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD
says the LORD GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
24 For I will take you from among
the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into
your own land. 25 Then will I
sprinkle clean water upon you
[without the ashes],
and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols,
will I cleanse you. 26 A new
heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I
will take away the stony
out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh
[a loving one].
27 And I will put My Spirit
within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes
[the Ten Commandments],
and you shall keep My judgments
and do them. 28 And you shall
dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be My people,
and I will be your God.
But it was many centuries before Paul could write, ". .
. I am made a minister [helper], according to the
dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil
[explain] the word of God; even the mystery which has been
hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His
saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of
this mystery among the Gentiles; which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of
glory." Colossians 1:25-27.
It was not "hid" by any action on the Son of God’s
part, but as the result of sin’s dimming effect on the minds of men and
women. This brought about the need for a physical picture by which they
might see the spiritual reality, for this is not a literal "death" but a
spiritual one, although that does not mean that it is not as real. Only as
each penitent one responded to His plea and accepted that exchange could
salvation be accomplished. So He devised the plan that each person would
kill an innocent animal, once, at the beginning of his or her new life as
a Christian, in recognition of the fact that it had cost the Son of God a
portion of His life to save him or her, and that they too needed to "die"
with Him. This was also to be a great lesson for the children of men who
were not spiritually minded. Romans 8:6.
So we are told:
5 For if we have been "planted"
[buried] together in the
likeness of His death
[by water baptism, verse 3],
we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.
6 Knowing this, that our "old man" is
crucified with Him, that the body
[power] of sin
might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is "dead" is freed
[is no longer under its control].
8 Now if we be "dead" with
Christ, we believe that we shall also "live" with Him:
9 knowing that Christ being raised
from the dead dies no more; death has no more dominion over Him.
10 For in that He died, He died to
sin once: but in that He lives, He lives to God
[in the same way]
reckon you also yourselves to be "dead" indeed to sin
"alive" to God through Jesus Christ our LORD
Being "alive" means being able to do right in God’s
While Adam and Eve burnt their animals the LORD saved
the skins to clothe them and this gave a perpetual outward picture of the
inward condition. "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make
coats of skins, and clothed them." Genesis 3:21. These replaced the fig
leaves they had used in their efforts to look righteous. Verse 7. Now they
were "in Christ" as well as He in them. Romans 8:1.
Thus began the animal sacrifices. An innocent animal
needed to be killed and burnt on an altar to represent the fact that He,
the Sinless One, was treated as we deserve, that we, fallen and sinful,
might be treated as He deserved. It’s skin then showed that they possessed
Christ’s "robe of righteousness". Isaiah 61:10. It was a picture of the
salvation, full and free, that began at the gates of the Garden of Eden.
As each repentant one came and made such an offering, so a record was made
for the benefit of the peoples of the universe to be used in the judgment.
The prophet wrote: "I beheld till the thrones were cast down
[placed in position], and the
ancient/ of days [God the Father]
did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of
His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His
wheels as burning fire
[pulsing with energy].
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands
ministered to Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him:
the judgment was set
the books were opened." Daniel 7:9-10.
To this end it is written: "And all that dwell upon the
earth shall worship him
whose names are NOT written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the
foundation of the world." Revelation 13:8.
Therefore, when Cain came with his bloodless offering,
it could not be accepted. Not only was it without "death", it was also all
of his own making for it was "the fruit of the ground." Thus it completely
negated all that God needed to get across to His creatures, that no one
can "earn" salvation, for it is the gift of God, the gift of life.
The phrase "in the process of time" (Genesis 4:3) tells
us that this was the first offering made by the young men as priests of
their new families, and therefore needed to be accurate as far as the
Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be
treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no
share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no
share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the
life which was His. "With His stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5. This is
not fair, but it is equal.
26 When a righteous man turns
away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and dies in them
[without forgiveness]; for
his iniquity that he has done shall he die
[the second death].
27 Again, when the wicked man
turns away from his wickedness that he has committed
[and is forgiven],
and does that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
28 Because he considers, and
turns away from all his transgressions that he has committed, he shall
surely live, he shall not die
[the second death].
29 Yet says the house of Israel,
"The way of the LORD is not equal." O house of Israel, are not My ways
equal? Are not your ways unequal?
In the parable of the penny-a-day workers, Jesus made
it plain that the householder thought he was getting value from the
eleventh-hour labourers, and even if he wasn’t, it was his money to spend
after all. Matthew 20:15. So it is with the Son of God.
However, by His life in humanity and His death at
Calvary, Christ has achieved even more than recovery from the ruin wrought
through sin. It was Satan's purpose to bring about an eternal separation
between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united to God
than if humanity had never sinned. In taking our nature by being born like
us, the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be
broken. Through the eternal ages He is linked with us. "God so loved the
world, that He GAVE His only-begotten Son." John 3:16.
He gave Him not only to bear our sins, and to die as
our sacrifice; He gave Him to the fallen race. To assure us of His
unchangeable counsel of peace, God gave His only-begotten Son to become
one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature. This is the
pledge that God will fulfill His word.
For this reason it is written, "Unto US a child is
born, to US a son is given: and
[of the universe] shall be upon His
shoulder." Isaiah 9:6. God has adopted human nature in the person of His
Son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven. It is the "Son of
man" who shares the throne of the universe. It is the "Son of man" whose
name shall be called, "Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The
everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
The "I AM" is the Daysman between God and humanity,
laying His hand upon both. He who is "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate
from sinners," is not ashamed to call Christians brothers and sisters.
Hebrews 7:26; 2:11.
In Christ the family of earth and the family of heaven
are bound together. Christ glorified is our Brother. Heaven is enshrined
in Christian humanity, and Christian humanity is enfolded in the bosom of
Infinite Love. Thus it is written:
"For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also
suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: who, when He was
reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but
committed Himself to Him that judges righteously: who His own self bare
our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should
live to righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as
sheep going astray; but are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of
your souls." 1 Peter 2:21-25.
One sacrifice, once in a lifetime, by one offerer –
that was the Son of God’s plan. But men have a habit of believing that
"more is best", so Satan was soon able to preach the two extremes – either
offer to God a gift of your own making, or multiply the offerings to
placate Him. Either way he succeeds in spoiling God’s ritual picture. So
when Cain came with his offering he was effectively accepting one of
Satan’s choices and this could not be used by God as a lesson for future
generations. So God rejected it.
As time went on and Satan studied the burnt offering
system, he worked to confuse its meaning even more in the minds of men,
turning it in some cases into human sacrifice! So, when given the
opportunity during the exodus from Egypt, the LORD greatly expanded the
sacrificial system to explain many other facets of the plan of redemption.
Foremost of these improvements was the religious feast known as Passover
in which a man who had had something removed from his life (by
circumcision) ate a portion of a roasted lamb which symbolised an
infilling of a new life. This was done at home and not in a church.
3 Speak you to all the
congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month
[March/April] they shall take to them every man a lamb,
according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house:
4 and if the household be too little
for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next to his house take it
according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating
shall make your count for the lamb
[so that it would be totally
Let’s add the New Testament explanation of this before
we go on:
[boasting] is not
good. Know you not that a little leaven
leavens [expands] the whole lump
Purge out therefore the old leaven
that you may be a new [clean] lump, as you are
[as Christians free from the control of sin].
For even Christ our passover
[lamb] is sacrificed
for us. Therefore let us keep the feast
[in a spiritual way],
not with old
[physical] leaven, neither with the
[natural man’s] leaven of malice and wickedness; but
[spiritual] unleavened bread of sincerity
[through a heart of love]."
1 Corinthians 5:6-8.
Now back to Moses:
5 Your lamb shall be without
blemish, a male of the first year: you shall take it out from the sheep,
or from the goats: 6 and you
shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole
assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening
[late afternoon]. . . .
21 Then Moses called for all the
elders of Israel, and said to them, "Draw out and take you a lamb
according to your families, and kill the passover.
22 And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it
in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side
posts with the blood that is in the basin
[making the sign of a
cross]; and none of you shall go out at the door of his
house until the morning. 23
For the LORD will
[allow the destroying angel, Satan to]
pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood upon the
lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over
[He will protect you],
and will not suffer the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you.
. . .
43 And the LORD said to Moses and
Aaron, This is the ordinance
[law] of the passover:
There shall no stranger eat thereof: 44
but every man's servant that is bought for money
[and lives with
you], when you have circumcised him, then shall he eat
thereof. 45 A foreigner and a
servant shall not eat thereof.
46 In one house shall it be eaten;
you shall not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house;
neither shall you break a bone thereof
47 All the congregation of
Israel shall keep it
48 And when a stranger shall
[live among] you
[and join your
religion], and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all
his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he
shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person
shall eat thereof.
49 One law shall be to him that
[circumcised at eight days], and to the
stranger [who is circumcised later] that sojourns
[make no distinction].
After about 1,500 years the new rituals of sacrifices
were so distorted by the opposition that they were removed completely and
the death of the Son of man at Calvary was substituted for them. Since
then the minds of Christians have become more clear and today we can think
of either a lamb on an altar or a man on a cross to represent the Son of
God at the gate of the Garden of Eden – either will do – so long as we
realise that it is the life of divinity that has been offered to, and
accepted by, each and every person who has started on the road to
Unfortunately for God, it is the majority who want
their own way!
Unfortunately for us, they are prepared to kill for
"And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to
pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his
brother, and slew him." Genesis 4:8. Thus he showed plainly which side he
had chosen. He was a liar who confused others’ minds by his actions, as
well as a murderer who hated others – a sinner. Jesus said to a group of
like-minded people, "If God were your Father, you would love Me: for I
proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself
but He sent Me
[gave Me permission]. Why do you not
understand My speech? Even because you cannot hear My word. You are of
your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a
murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is
no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a
liar, and the father of it." John 8:42-44.
Cain’s attempt to make an offering of his own choosing
spoilt the Son of God’s plan to teach about the exchange of lives which
turns a natural man or woman into a Christian, therefore God could not
accept it. It also showed that Cain had rejected the offer of salvation
and was determined to help himself. Under those conditions, there was
nothing that God could do for him. So right at the beginning of the world
two classes of humans came into existence – those who would gladly accept
the gift of the life of divinity and those who wilfully reject it.
For the latter, "there remains no more sacrifice for
[God has no more to offer], but a certain
fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour
the adversaries." Hebrews 10:26-27. This of course, is only after the
Spirit has made many attempts to get through to the sinner and been
Who wants to add (or
subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will
publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the
Some of the comments on this page are
adapted from books in my library. No recognition is given because they are
not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my
Next query. To be
discussed from December 1st 2004.
You may not eat within your gates
the tithe of your corn, or of your wine, or of your oil, or the firstlings
of your herds or of your flock, nor any of your vows which you vow, nor
your freewill offerings, or heave offering of your hand: but you must eat
them before the LORD your God in the place which the LORD your God shall
choose, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and
your maidservant, and the Levite that is within your gates: and you shall
rejoice before the LORD your God in all that you put your hands to.
Does this text mean that we can eat (use) our own
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