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of September 1997
Next up-date: 1st October 1997 (God willing).
It is written that God said: "When you till the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto you her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shall you be in the earth. And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, You have driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from Your face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that finds me shall slay me. And the LORD said to him, Therefore whosoever slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him". Genesis 4:12-15.
It should be obvious that none of Cain's followers would want to kill him. They would have applauded the deed!! Take note that Cain and his brother had both offered sacrifices, independently, of each other, and Adam. This means that they were 'priests' in their own right by this time and therefore were heads of families and groups. One group was following God's instructions while the other was following their own inclination.
God's statement that Cain would be "a fugitive" and Cain's acceptance of it means that a 'law' would be pursuing him. The law of revenge! God needed to protect the murderer from the 'righteous indignation' of the loyal group that existed! Therefore He put His 'mark' on Cain's head to prevent His 'church' from persecuting and destroying what they considered to be His enemy! He says, in Deuteronomy 32:35 "To Me belongs vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste", but history shows that those who claim to be His followers have often disregarded this word.
A little further on it is written in Deuteronomy 32:41, "If I whet My glittering sword, and My hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to My enemies, and will reward them that hate Me". He may take His time, but He assures us that He will "render vengeance". However, the "glittering sword" is defined in Hebrews 4:12 as the Word of God, proceeding out of His mouth, and this does not suit many of His professed followers. They have a swifter and deadlier way!
Yet the following two sets of verses show what God wants. First, in Jesus. Second, in us.
Isaiah 49:1-2 "Listen, O isles, to Me; and hearken, you people, from far. The LORD has called Me from the womb; from the bowels of My mother has He made mention of My name. And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand has He hid Me, and made Me a polished shaft; in His quiver has He hid Me".
Psalm 149:4-9 "For the LORD takes pleasure in His people: He will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and [let that be] a two edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise you the LORD". Note that this is written of the MEEK.
And this is what is prophesied to happen.
Revelation 19:15. "And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God".
Revelation 19:21. "And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh".
It seems that so many professed Christians do not believe that
when God speaks that will kill! But the truth hurts! And a basic
reason for suicide is self-knowledge and despair. Consider
Revelation 6:16-17 and the story of king Saul which was in last
month's book. God will take "vengeance" but it will be
in His own time and in His own way. This is why Jesus did nothing
to stop Judas. See this month's book.
The mark on Cain
This "mark" is the mark of protection applied by a loving Saviour to those who are "at enmity"against Him. It's purpose is to ward off the unwanted attentions of His professed followers. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, and this is available until they kill themselves in some way, either by suicide or by retaliation. John 3:16.
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