And Abel came to be a herder of sheep, but Cain became a cultivator of the ground.
3 And it came about at the expiration of some time that Cain proceeded to bring some fruits of the ground as an offering to Jehovah.
4 But as for Abel, he too brought some firstlings of his flock, even their fatty pieces. Now while Jehovah was looking with favor upon Abel and his offering,
5 he did not look with any favor upon Cain and upon his offering. And Cain grew hot with great anger, and his countenance began to fall.
6 At this Jehovah said to Cain: Why are you hot with anger and why has your countenance fallen?
7 If you turn to doing good, will there not be an exaltation? But if you do not turn to doing good, there is sin crouching at the entrance, and for you is its craving; and will you, for your part, get the mastery over it?
8 After that Cain said to Abel his brother: Let us go over into the field. So it came about that while they were in the field Cain proceeded to assault Abel his brother and kill him.
This account is typical of the way in which the bible is written. Please therefore listen to the classroom lesson from God:
Cain was a cultivator of the ground, so he brought some fruits of the ground. Abel was a herder of sheep so he brought a sheep. The question that the reader is supposed to ask is: What on earth was wrong with Cainís sacrifice?
The account is written so that at first sight it looks like God favoured Abel over Cain out of partiality, having no good reason in justice. If that were the case then there would be no point in serving him, so if you like you can just write God off in Genesis chapter 4 (if you havenít already done so as a result of his claims in Genesis 1 and 2 that is).
Q: Why did God accept Abelís sacrifice and yet reject Cainís sacrifice?
The standard answer is:
A: Because Abel offered his sacrifice with faith, but Cain had the wrong attitude and offered his sacrifice without faith.
Or even worse an answer of the type:
A: Obviously Cain did not have any faith because look what he did after his sacrifice!
Both of these answers are entirely wrong and all modern churches to our knowledge have spectacularly failed to answer this holy poser from God. This question is easy to answer if you understand what sacrifice is all about. In fact the question could just as well be phrased as: What is a sacrifice? To answer this, consider the famous words of Samuel:
22 To obey is better than a sacrifice, to pay attention than the fat of rams (1 Samuel 5)
Obviously avoiding the sin that requires the sacrifice is better than sinning and then making a sacrifice to pay for that sin. So sacrifice comes about because of disobedience. So sacrifices existed to teach us about obedience. With this in mind ask yourself this next question...
Q: How many unspecified sacrifices did God ever prescribe for the Jews?
Or ask yourself this question...
Q: Did God ever say to the sons of Israel bring along whatever you like and Iíll judge your offering on its merit?
A: None and No.
Every sacrifice under the Law was precisely prescribed by God as to the offering itself, the day of offering and even the method making the offering. Take for example the regulations for the festival of Weeks under the Law of Moses...
16 To the day after the seventh Sabbath you should count,
50 days, and you must present a new grain offering to Jehovah.
17 Out of your dwelling places you should bring 2 loaves as a wave offering. Of 2 tenths of an ephah of fine flour they should prove to be. They should be baked leavened, as first ripe fruits to Jehovah.
18 And you must present along with the loaves 7 sound male lambs, each a year old, and one young bull and 2 rams. They should serve as a burnt offering to Jehovah along with their grain offering and their drink offerings as an offering made by fire, of a restful odour to Jehovah.
19 And you must render up one kid of the goats as a sin offering and 2 male lambs, each a year old, as a communion sacrifice.
20 And the priest must wave them to and fro along with the loaves of the first ripe fruits, as a wave offering before Jehovah, along with the 2 male lambs. They should serve as something holy to Jehovah for the priest (Leviticus 23).
As you can see the sacrifice was defined precisely by God. This was because he was trying to teach obedience through sacrifice, he was not trying to teach sacrifice itself.
For example if God specified a kid of the goats, and someone brought along a whole herd of cattle, would that be acceptable? Or if God stipulated an unblemished lamb, and someone presented a Picasso, a Ferarri and a prize winning Dalmatian to the high priest, how far would that get him? If God stipulated a turtle dove and someone brought along the rights to the whole Beatles back catalogue, would that work for God?
The reason that God does not explicitly say why he rejected Cainís sacrifice and accepted Abelís sacrifice is that it is obvious why he behaved in that seemingly arbitrary way, if you understand what sacrifice is supposed to be about. And modern churches do not understand sacrifice to God. They understand self sacrifice but they do not understand sacrifice to God.
God could not possibly have accepted Abelís sacrifice unless Abel had offered him precisely what he had prescribed, and on the correct day. So Since God accepted Abelís sacrifice, he must have stipulated to the pair of them that they should both bring:
4 Some firstlings of the flock even their fatty pieces (Genesis 4).
That is the end of the matter. Cain brought ďsome fruits of the groundĒ. That was not what God asked for so he rejected it. Furthermore the ground was already cursed due to Adam. So Cain added insult to disobedience by offering to God the fruits of his fatherís disobedience!
17 And to Adam he said: Because you listened to your wife's voice and took to eating from the tree concerning which I gave you this command, 'You must not eat from it,' cursed is the ground on your account. In pain you will eat its produce all the days of your life (Genesis 3).
One might also have a look at Genesis 5, the subsequent chapter, in one's attempts to understand Genesis 4. If so then one will find:
29 And he proceeded to call his name Noah, saying: This one will bring us comfort from our work and from the pain of our hands resulting from the ground which Jehovah has cursed (Genesis 5).
Aha! So Cain offered fruits of the Ďcursedí ground to be precise. This does not mean that the fruits themselves were cursed. For sons of Adam were all vegetarians, eating these very fruits, until after the flood when God said to Noah (since there wasnít much vegetation around):
3 Every moving animal that is alive may serve as food for you. As in the case of green vegetation, I do give it all to you (Genesis 9).
When Noah came out of the ark he made a sacrifice of some of the clean beasts to God, who responded as follows:
21 And Jehovah began to smell a restful odour, and so Jehovah said in his heart: Never again shall I call down evil upon the ground on man's account, because the inclination of the heart of man is bad from his youth up; and never again shall I deal every living thing a blow just as I have done (Genesis 8).
At this point sons of Adam became carnivorous. After the flood the earth was no longer cursed, the flood baptised the earth as it were. The pre flood ground must have been less fertile than the post flood ground when the curse was lifted. Adamís generation had much more efficient bodies however, living 960 years - see intro15.
So Cainís sacrifice was not cursed but it was seriously substandard and not what was asked for. Indeed the poor quality of the produce of the ground was in fact a punishment on men, and a cause of suffering and pain for them, and here Cain is offering what God was using to punish him personally, back to God!!
But that blooper was not why the sacrifice was rejected. It was rejected quite simply because it was the wrong sacrifice. It was not firstlings of the flock.
Furthermore men are incapable of judging faith, we can only judge works. So we are simply not in a position to judge either Cain or Abel as to their faith. In fact under the law of works, if you absolutely hated God and the high priest and your brother and had just finished abusing your entire family, yet brought along the correct sacrifice, possibly to show off to your peers, then your sins were forgiven.
So now that we know that Abel was asked to bring not one lamb, but some firstlings of the flock, we see that there is to be more than one ransomer in Godís salvation plan for the sons of Adam, which plan was known to Abel.
The purpose of Sacrifice to God is to humiliate the sacrificer and to glorify God. One does not bring to the altar of God oneís latest screenplay or the fruits of oneís commercial success, in order to get a pat on the back or an Oscar nomination or the Queens award for industry or the congressional medal of freedom, from the High Priest. One brings instead something pointing forward to the works of the ransomers to come who are going to save your life, so that God can give them the Oscars that they deserve. As for your efforts, well you are lucky to be an extra on the film set of the Kingdom of God!
10 The sacrifice to the Lord is a crushed heart. A sweet fragrance to the Lord is a heart that glorifies the one who made it (Barnabus 2 - First Century Writings).
So here we all are nearly 6,000 years later and we know very little about Jesusí ransom, even less about the other ransoms and absolutely nothing about sacrifice! Basically, as a race, we know everything about Cain, and we know nothing about Abel. Murder? No problem. Sacrifice to God - Doh what is that?
Now perhaps the reader can see what the church of Cain is? The Church of Cain is a church which gives God the sacrifice that it wants to give God, but not the sacrifice that God has asked for.
In this sense, every church on this earth is the church of Cain. The Born Agains are outrageous proponents of Cainism, teaching their flocks that you are saved if you accept Jesus' sacrifice. Well, Jesus gave his sacrifice for us yes, but he did not give it to us!! We are not his God. We are saved if he accepts our sacrifice, not if we accept his sacrifice. The JWs too are the church of Cain since they have been pushing the flock away from research and towards evangelism, in contradiction to Jesusí command for the flock to keep on seeking him, not them. The reason that Jesus gave the flock this command, is that he knew that there are two religions in each presence, and that every Christian in the first religion of each presence and in the second is tested as to whether he follows the faithful slave or the master of that slave. Those who pass the test are described by John as follows:
4 These are the ones that keep following the lamb, no matter where he goes (Revelation 14).
The lamb goes from temple to temple, from true church to true church. But in disobedience of Jesusí command, for 50 years, JWs have advised the flock not to go to university and get a good education, but rather to go straight into the sales department before they know anything. Better advice might have been for them all to take a university level course in abstract algebra. Better and more honest advice still, would have been for the Governing Body to admit that plainly they are not exclusive on bible understandings and that the flock is perfectly able to get understandings for themselves. Then they would empower the flock and enable them to become spiritual beings.
But I, Gordon, cannot condemn either the Born Agains or the JWs for their disobedience because the LWs are disobedient also. I have spent most of the last 3 years (2002-2005) designing software to compete with Microsoft because I thought that my Criminal past combined with my junk fax business might stumble people. I mean a bible decoder with a history of Mortgage fraud and junk faxing lacks a certain credibility. Therefore I created HyperOs in order that people could see that I was good at computer coding and understand that I might be just as good at bible decoding, which is a similar task. But I was offering God the sacrifice that I wanted to offer him and not the sacrifice that he has prescribed. I was seeking to glorify my creative powers, rather than his. I would have done so much better for mankind and for myself had I been seeking exclusively his glory. Now that time is lost.
But look! I ask the JWs and everyone else again. Help me!!! The LWs have authority from God to forgive all of your mistakes. And the bible was not written for G S Ritchie, it was written by the father of all of our minds for all of our minds. Decoding it is like a big game of Charades. The more people who play it, the quicker the answer appears. Let Peterís words be fulfilled again openly and without guilt:
17 And in the last days, God says, I shall pour out some of my spirit on every sort of flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams,
18 and even upon my men slaves and my women slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy (Acts 2).
Actually the sacrifice of Cain was even more of a problem because Cain was non adamic, not under a death sentence and therefore he would have become the high priest to Adam and his family once he reached the age of 30. So in his capacity as high priest, he murdered Abel. He set the pattern for Caiaphas and Jesus - for more see U10.