Conference 2018, part 1. The line of Cain and the line of Seth, the struggle for humanity.

Friday Agust 10, 2018


Conference 2018, part 1. The line of Cain and the line of Seth, the struggle for humanity.


Two trees in the Garden enforces adult morality.


Gen 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;


Gen 2:17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die."


God gave man two trees in the Garden. One he was to eat from and continue to live, the Tree of Life. The other he was not to eat from and continue to not die, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Because of the second tree, man was perfect but not innocent. Innocence means a lack of temptation.


Temptation demands character and mature morality to overcome. Without it we remain childish and weak. Overcome by it we remain weak and enter into evil.


Adam and Ishshah faced the test from the serpent and failed. They knew that the judgment of God meant death and death descended upon them and the human race.


The first human death outside of the paradise of the Garden was murder. Cain slew his brother Abel. It seems fitting that the first death, a result of the judgment, would also be by the hand of man, the sinner.


This conference’s study is going to be about the two divergent lines from the original parents; the line of Cain and the line of Seth. They tell us much about humanity, life, and the condition of the world. They begin and reveal the struggle for the human soul. They also reveal the way of deliverance from the sin and death that plague man’s existence.


The story of the two lines:

Cain: alleviate the curse with civilization and culture, sinfully cross boundaries set by God, take what you want, lie, murder.

Seth: receive God’s grace and walk with Him.


The line of Cain took over the world. This is no surprise when we know that Satan is the ruler of the world. Yet the line of Cain was also prolific in creating a world of men that were only intent on evil continually. It would seem that the line of Seth became a very small minority, diminishing down to one man.


God wiped the slate clean with the flood. The world of Cain is going to come to an end. We who are spiritual know that we are here only preparing for the next world. Though we sometimes feel stuck on an ark, cramped and hemmed in by the ways of righteousness while we reject the world of sin and selfishness and sensuality, which is a rather large part of the word, surrounded by corpses and floating debris, looking out over the vastness of water,  we know that we are going to land on our mountain someday, our Ararat. We will walk out of this ark and set foot out into the open air, upon a new world, free and unhampered by anything that opposes goodness.


Until then we fight the good fight and let the Lord push and pull the ark where He may.


Although it is through Seth that the line will continue to Jesus and Abel was cut off, the conflict between Cain and Abel set us up for the conflict between Cain and Seth.


Fallen man is now under a curse. Yet, there is a way to overcome the curse while still living under it, which is provided by the grace of God.  


Man is still in the presence of temptation, but now it is from within as well as from without. His potential for character is therefore greater, but so also is his potential for evil.


The line of Cain: the attempt to overcome the curse without God.


Gen 4:1 Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, "I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord."


Gen 4:2 And again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.


Gen 4:3 So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground.


Gen 4:4 And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering;


The Lord had regard for Abel and then He had regard for his offering.


Gen 4:5 but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.


Gen 4:6 Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?


Gen 4:7 "If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it."


Cain is shown as a dark, morose, suspicious, and jealous character with a violent temper. The shadow of the fall is heavy over him. Abel is seen as obedient and therefore doing well.


The rejection of Cain’s offering only brought his deep and dark thoughts to a head. Jealous resentment now becomes one of the strongest motives in the human mind.


Fear is strong, desire is lasting, but pique overcomes them all. Try to think of the effect that jealous hatred and resentment have had upon the world and individuals and families and communities.


“It [pique] is the spur that the devil uses to ride the noblest tempers, and will do more work with them in a week, than with other poor jades in a twelve-month.” (Savile)


Throughout the things we study in this conference, we will constantly hail our deliverer. All of us are hopelessly bound to the line of Cain without Jesus Christ.


Yet, not only has Christ set us free from the line of Cain, He has entered us into His own line – sons of God.


We are not entered into the line of Seth or even the line of Judah, neither of which are remotely perfect. We are entered into the very family of Christ, and in that line we act accordingly.


1Jo 3:11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;


1Jo 3:12 not as Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous.


We might say that in this early earth, impulse lay close to action. Since, we have learned better how to disguise our feelings. Yet, the line of Cain lives on in every generation, and though jealous hatreds are better controlled, we now and again meet with a deep-seated hatred of goodness which might give rise to any crime.


The more godly is your conduct and the stronger is your faith the more people will jealously hate you. Cain hated his brother for one reason, his brother’s deeds were righteous.


How many spiritual people are scoffed at for their deep spirituality? How often do others strive to draw them into sin? They do the devil’s work well, and with zest and diligence.


These resentful and jealous people are not without their religion. Cain didn’t say no to the offering. He participated with vigor.


I’ll be quoting several passages from a commentary on Genesis by a theologian named Dods.


“There is no bitterness to compare with that which worldly men who profess religion, feel towards those who cultivate a spiritual religion. They can never really grasp the distinction between external worship and real godliness. The make their offering, they attend to the rites of the religion to which they belong and are beside themselves with indignation if any person or event suggests to them that they might have saved themselves the trouble, because these do not at all constitute religion.” [Dods]


Gen 4:7 "If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it."


Continuance of sin is never a necessity. God points the way out.


There is here a sharp and clear statement of the welcome truth, that continuance in sin is never a necessity, that God points the way out of sin, and that from the first, the beginning, God has been on man’s side and has done all that He could be done to keep man from sinning.


Cain must set aside his sin and submit to God’s will. This sin is about to master him and it will alter his future permanently.


“Some of us may be this day or this week in as critical a position as Cain, having as truly as he the making or marring of our future in our hands, seeing clearly the right course, and all that is good, humble and wise in us urging us to follow that course, but our pride and self-will holding us back. How often do men thus barter a future of blessing for some mean gratification of temper or lust or pride; how often by a reckless, almost listless and indifferent continuance in sin do they let themselves be carried on to a future as woeful as Cain’s; how often when God expostulates with them do they make no answer and take no action, as if there were nothing to be gained by listening to God - as if it were a matter of no importance what future I go to - as if in the whole of eternity that lies in reserve there were nothing worth making a choice about.” [Dods]


The line of Cain must have its religion, for it must feel it has overcome the divide between man under death and God, but it is one without regeneration or contrite humility before God. Their God must be like a man who is impressed at their doings like other men are.


Gen 4:8 And 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.


Did Cain have murder on his mind when tilled the ground or brought the fruit of his labor to God? Not at all. The evil was already in him. The latent jealousy of his brother lived silently within him and at the proper time it ripened.


Evil thoughts entertained ripen us for evil actions at the moment of loss of self-control. Yet nothing offered to God is accepted when thoughts of evil linger in the heart, whether we act upon them or not.


God had regard for Abel first and then his offering.


Gen 4:4 And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering;


God is not pleased with us by what we say or do, but by what we are. If we are what He pleases then the saying and doing will follow.


Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.

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