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​The Fall of Mankind           The Choice   

God’s Way or Cain’s Way

The Creator of the heaven and the earth, the One who invented life has laid out His plan of reconciliation for mankind to return to God, to return to being in the Kingdom of God. God laid out His plan in Genesis 3 when God declared the defeat of the Adversary and that the Adversary’s plans will never come to full fruition. Yes, many will go the way of the Adversary and reject God, but some will hold to God, some will follow His plan of reconciliation and redemption, some will believe in the “seed of the woman.”

The “seed of the woman,” the redeemer, the bridge across the Chasm will come and will be victorious. It will take thousands of years to bring the “seed of the woman” to pass for it required a woman with the believing as Mary, “be it unto me according to thy word.” 

But the seed will come, and the Adversary will be defeated.

Hebrews 2:14
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.

The question is never about God doing what He said He will do. 

Numbers 23:19
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

God always does what He has promised. 
God always performs what He has said. 
The question is, will we choose to believe what God has said?

1 Thessalonians 2:13
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

The question is, will we choose to believe what God has said? 
Every individual must believe to receive or decide to find his own way.

Cain and Abel each had a choice. 

As Genesis chapter 4 opens mankind is experiencing the greatest heartache of all time, separation from God. This anxiety has not abated through the millennia for the rest of Adam’s bloodline as we search to fill that hole in each heart that only God can truly fill.

Genesis 4:1-2
And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Immediately we can see the limited spiritual understanding of natural man. Eve thinks she has gotten a man from God. Already Eve is convinced that the Redeemer has been born. However, instead of giving birth to the “seed of the woman,” Eve has given birth to the first person that will be of the Adversary’s seed. Remember in Genesis 3:15 there are two opposing seeds.

Now would be the proper time to handle a statement made in the previous teaching about Cain and Abel being twins. There is no verse of scripture that proclaims such a thought. However, there is evidence to support my statement.

Notice in Genesis 4:1 Adam “knew” his wife and she “conceive.”

Genesis 4:1-2
And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Notice there is no second conception for Abel.

Genesis 4:25a
And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth…

Genesis 16:4a
And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived:

Genesis 21:2a
For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age…

Genesis 29:32a
And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben…

Genesis 29:33a
And she conceived again, and bare a son…

Genesis 29:34a
And she conceived again, and bare a son…

Genesis 29:35a
And she conceived again, and bare a son…

God is consistent when it comes to announcing these births. In this last series of announcements notice the same woman is having these children and each time there is an individual conception for each child.

Cain and Abel are twins. In this manner God knew Eve would understand she had not received a man from the Lord. Eve’s first born was not the “seed of the women.”

Genesis 4:3
And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.

“In the process of time” means, at the end of the days or at an appointed day. This tells us that all of what God has shared either with Adam and Eve or with their children is not recorded in God’s Word. God had more to say then what the Word records either in the Garden or after man left the Garden. For they have an appointed time, a set day upon which they are to bring an offering to God. 

Genesis 4:4-5
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

What is the difference in these offerings that God does not accept Cain’s offering, but He does accept Abel’s offering? They both have obeyed by showing up at the appointed time. They have obviously both come to the same place. So, what is wrong with the offering of Cain?

A better question to ask yourself would be, what is right or good about Abel’s offering?

Hebrews 11:4 
By faith [pistis = believing] Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Abel’s offering testified that he was righteous. Righteousness is the absence of sin or your sin being covered by the shed blood, the life of an animal substitute. Only the blood covering could hide or cover sin. Only by the blood covering could sin be removed “as far as the east is from the west.”

Hebrews 12:24
And to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

The comparison here is between the sacrifice, the offering of Abel and the blood of Jesus. The offering of Abel in Genesis 4 is that of a sheep. When a sheep is killed it sheds blood. The life of the flesh is in the blood (Lev. 17:11). The payment for sin is death (Rom. 6:23). The animal substitution was offering the life of the animal in substitution of the life of a man. 

But what was the offering of Cain?

Genesis 4:3
And in the process of time [on the appointed day] it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.

Cain came to God with veggies in his hand! Have you ever seen a veggie shed blood? Do you remember a time when God gave instructions for veggies being the covering for sin? There is of course the old axiom, “You can’t get blood out of a turnip” meaning, it cannot give what it does not have.

By his offering Abel demonstrates four things:
1. Abel acknowledges that a blood covering is needed because of sin.
2. Abel shows his belief that man could not and would not redeem himself.
3. Abel acts in believing. He shows his believing in the promise of God. 
4. Abel lives in the hope of the coming Redeemer, the “seed of the woman.”

Abel’s actions show him to be a man of believing. By his believing action God counts him as righteous. Some make a big deal out of the meaning of Abel’s name and say because of this Abel was not a nice guy. God however never speaks of Abel’s personality. God does however make a big deal out of the Truth that Abel believed God!

On the other hand, God is concerned with Cain’s offering with again no reference to the meaning of Cain’s name. It is Cain’s offering that informs us of Cain’s heart. Cain’s interaction with God after his rejected offering also teaches us about the heart of Cain. 

We can see the following in the action of Cain:
1. Cain did not believe the need for a blood covering. He saw no need for the animal substitute.
2. Cain was strong in his own works. “See what I grew, even with the ground being cursed I could grow this awesome turnip!”
3. Cain was not meek to God.
4. Cain did not believe nor hold the integrity of God’s Word.
5. Cain was not looking for the coming Redeemer, the “seed of the woman.” 
6. Cain’s hope was in his own righteousness.
7. Cain, like Esau, had contempt for his birthright.

How did Abel know his offering was accepted? How did Cain know that God did not accept his offering? 

Leviticus 9:24
And there came a fire out from before the Lord and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the People saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.

1 Kings 18:38
Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

God showed His acceptance of a sacrifice or offering by consuming the offering by fire from heaven. But the fire to accept the sacrifice of Cain and Abel would have come from between the cherubim. This would have been very visible both to Cain and Abel as to which offering God accepted and which one, He rejected.

How did they know where to take their offerings?

Deuteronomy 16:2
Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the Lord thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place [shakan] which the Lord shall choose to place His name there.

The word “placed” means to dwell as in a tent or a house. It is used of the holy of holies in both the tabernacle and the temple.

Exodus 29:45-46
And I will dwell [shakan] among the children of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell [shakan] among them: I am the LORD their God.

The Hebrew word for “dwell” is shakanShakan means to cause to dwell or to abide. It is the word God uses to designate His presence. Man could meet with God and commune with God where He dwelt. 

When giving directions for building the tabernacle and all that was to be placed in the tabernacle God had this to say to Moses about the Ark of the Covenant.

Exodus 25:8
And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell [shakan] among them.

Exodus 25:10a
And they shall make an ark of shittim wood…

Exodus 25:16-17a
And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold…

Exodus 25:18a-19
And thou shalt make two cherubim of gold… And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubim on the two ends thereof.

Exodus 25:21-22
And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

God had Moses build the tabernacle so that He could dwell [shakan] among His people, Israel. God would commune with Moses at the Ark of the Covenant, between the cherubim. Does that sound familiar from when Adam and Eve left the Garden of God in Eden?

Genesis 3:24
So, He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Cain and Abel knew where to go to offer their gifts unto God because of where God had placed His name. 

Therefore, when the appointed day arrived, Cain and Abel took their offerings to the assigned place, the place where God had placed His name to dwell, between the cherubim. Then God showed His acceptance of the offering by consuming the offering by fire.

But this is by no means the end to Cain’s account. God, as we have seen with Adam and Eve, walks in love and forgiveness and mercy to help Cain realize his actions and provide a way for him to change. For in his actions, Cain has also sinned. He has disobeyed the Word of God. Cain has rejected God’s way in favor of his own way.

Genesis 4:5
But unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

“Very wroth” means, to be sad and “his countenance fell” means, that he was despondent. Some have read this verse and immediately conclude that Cain was mad at God. But that is not what this verse shows us.

Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies says “worth” generally means anger. However, “sometimes express the feeling of grief, sadness, rather than anger.” That is why the Septuagint translates Genesis 4:5 this way.

Genesis 4:5
but Cain and his sacrifices he regarded not, and Cain was exceedingly sorrowful, and his countenance fell. 

Cain was depressed. He was sad. He probably was caught off guard by God’s response to his offering. Generally, men do not see their own pride or lack of meekness. By his reaction, Cain probably did not see what was going on within his own heart and mind. Cain was not mad, rather his heart was hurt due to God’s lack of acceptance of his sacrifice, it depressed him.

Genesis 4:6
And the Lord said unto Cain, “Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

So, God starts working with Cain by asking him questions. Again this is the figure of speech, erotsis or interrogating. The asking of a question when you are not looking for any information. God is trying to get Cain to think, to acknowledge his sin, just like He had done with both Adam and Eve.

Once again God confronts sin with boldness, and mercy, and forgiveness, and compassion, and love.

It is God’s nature to give forgiveness and mercy. God is not out there waiting for the next person He can pounce on and destroy. God wants people to be saved and come to True knowledge [1 Tim. 2:4]. God wants people to have a life that is full and abundant [John 10:10]. But He will never force anyone to receive what He has offered. It will always be the individual’s choice. 

Cain has made the wrong choice and God is working with him, endeavoring to get Cain to change his mind, to change his heart, to make another choice. What does this tell us about the heart of our God?

Genesis 4:7
If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? [se’eth] and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

“If you doest well” means if you do that which is right or good. That which is right or good, in this situation, is for Cain to offer the blood sacrifice, the animal substitute. If Cain does that which is right, he shall be accepted. The word accepted means to lift up your face. Now that sounds strange, but at the same time, it also sounds appropriate for Cain who seems like he is doing a shoelace inspection at this time.

Genesis 19:18-21
And Lot said unto them, “Oh, not so, my Lord: Behold now, Thy servant hath found grace in Thy sight, and Thou hast magnified Thy mercy, which Thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: Behold now, the city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.” And He said unto him, “See I have accepted [se’eth] thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.

This is the same word accepted. It means to lift up your face after your request has been granted. In the East it was customary, when making a request to your lord, to prostrate yourself on the ground before him and then to make your request. This word accepted is when your request has been granted and you are told to lift up your face.

God is telling Cain that with the blood covering his request for the removal of sin, would be granted. This would allow Cain fellowship with God. Then God continues in verse 7:

Genesis 4:7b
...and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

This is an awesome verse of scripture when you know what it is saying. “Doest not well” means when you have done that which is wrong. It is the opposite of the first part of this verse. Then God said, “sin lieth at the door.” This sounds bad, except the word sin really means sin offering.

Exodus 30:10
And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements; once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the lord.”

“Sin offering” is the same word translated sin in Genesis 4:7. It means a sin offering. Next, “lieth at the door” means is lying at the entrance. God has brought a sin offering to Cain so that he can get right with God. At the door, or entrance, is about God having brought an animal substitute to the place where Cain would be expected to offer the animal.

Genesis 4:7c
...And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

The end of this verse is remarkably like Genesis 3:16 and you must wonder how much the Lexicon writers mixed up the two verses in their minds. The latter half of this verse is often taken to mean that Abel will be under Cain and Cain will be the ruler. But that is completely out of line with the context of what God is dealing with here.

The word “his” should be translated “it’s.” I think they translated this word “his” because the word lieth is in the masculine. But surely Abel is not lying at the door! No one should be thinking that Abel was to be Cain’s sacrifice. How some have gone from a discussion of sacrifices to Cain ruling over Abel, I am not sure, but some have made this leap. 

The sin offering is lying at the door and its desire is to Cain. The Lexicons define this word as affection to a superior. But there are problems with that definition because of how it was used in God’s Word.

It was used of Christ’s desire for Israel and the wife’s desire for her husband. Never is Israel considered to be superior to Christ, nor is the husband considered to be superior to the wife. However, in this verse, that definition, affection to a superior, could apply; for Cain is superior to a sin offering, the animal that is at the door.

Next, the word ruler, is the same word we looked at before in Genesis 3:16 and Judges 8:23. This word means to have authority, but it also includes in it the sense of no fear. The husband, being the ruler of the wife, the one in final authority, should never produce fear. Nor should the husband ever try to rule or exercise authority that is based in fear; just as God does not teach us to act in fear toward Him but rather to act in love and with reverence.

Now let us put this whole verse together and marvel at the greatness of our God’s love.

Genesis 4:7 literally says,
If you do that which is good, humble yourself before me, God, by offering the animal substitute, the blood covering, you will be accepted and told to rise. But you failed to do that which is right and good, so, a male, a sin offering is lying at the door. And it has affection for you, as its superior, and it will not flee from you in fear.

God worked with Cain and tried to correct his disobedience that was born out of his pride and arrogance. But Cain refused. Cain rejected God and the sin offering. And then, between verses 7 and 8, a great change takes place in the life of Cain. A change that Cain cannot reverse, and God cannot forgive.

Genesis 4:8
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.

Cain kills Abel! 
What happened? 
How did Cain go from talking with God about the sin offering to a murderer? 
We are sitting here reading about God working with Cain, and suddenly, he is a murderer! 
How does this come to pass?

The answer is the Devil. Time is needed in here for this change to take place. Time is needed for the Devil to work his seduction on Cain. Again, like in Genesis chapter 3, time is not emphasized in these verses. Therefore, there is no time sequence set forth by God. However, no one changes in the time it takes us to read through this account. There is more time in here then we see from these verses.

1 John 3:12
Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.

This verse offers us a few nuggets of truth we need to see and understand.

First, Cain’s heart in his sacrifice was not just contrary to the Word of God, his sacrifice demonstrated his evil! Next, Cain has received seed, the wrong seed. Cain has become a child of the Devil. This takes place between verses 7 and 8 of Genesis, chapter 4. Now, how do I know that?

In Hebrews we read that the blood covering would bring remission for almost all sins. There was one sin that the blood could not cover because it was seed and seed is irrevocable.

Hebrews 9:22
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

In Genesis 4:7 God offers Cain a blood covering, the animal to sacrifice. God would not have done this if Cain were a child of the Devil by seed, already. Then 1 John tells us that he was “of the wicked one” when he murdered his brother Abel. 

“Of” is in the genitive case. Here we are looking at a genitive of origin, which shows us the relationship between the wicked one and Cain. The relationship was one of a son or by seed.

Acts 13:10
And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

Here you can see the animosity the seed of the Devil has for the seed of the woman, spoken of in Genesis 3:15. In Genesis 4 the Devil attacks the Christ line, the line of the seed of the woman. 

Has Abel been identified in God’s Word as part of the Christ line? The answer is no. He was killed before he had any children and therefore could not be in the Christ line. But from the viewpoint of the Devil, he has one of the two sons. God calls the other son righteous, who else could be the Christ line? If you have one as your seed and you motivate your one to kill the only other, you have attacked the Christ line.

After Cain becomes wrong seed his attitude toward God also changes. In the earlier verses, when God is working with him, Cain is depressed and sad. Now, he becomes hateful and angry and the enemy of God, just like his father, the Devil.

Genesis 4:9
And the Lord said unto Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” And he said, “I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?”

The word “keeper” means a guard or protector. Who is supposed to be Abel’s protector? Who is Cain slamming here? Cain is getting in God’s face and trying to lay a human guilt trip at God’s feet. 

“Aren’t you, God, my brother’s keeper? Aren’t you supposed to know where he is and what is going on with him?” 

Now we have anger! Now we see hate for God coming from Cain. He is no longer a sad man or a depressed man. Cain is an angry man! His pride and arrogance have led him to become the enemy of God.

Genesis 4:10
And He said, “What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto Me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand.

Now we have a third cursing. 

First, the Devil is cursed, then the earth is cursed, and now Cain is cursed. Cain is cursed “from” the earth; the word “from” means, more than. Cain was cursed more than the earth. Now the big question is why? Why is Cain cursed more than the earth? Has God gotten a little extra vengeful with Cain because he is a murderer? Perhaps God is being especially hard on Cain to let others know there is a price to pay when you walk in the way of rebellion and disobedience. How could God, who is Love, be so harsh to Cain?

Deuteronomy 30:8-9
And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the Lord and do all His commandments which I commanded thee this day. And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as He rejoiced over thy fathers:

Cain is cursed more than the earth because the earth has a reprieve from being under the dominion of the Devil. When a person believes God and walks with God, God will cause the earth to produce, to be fruitful. But as one who has seed of the Devil, Cain has no reprieve. His wrong seed will always remain. The curse of Cain is more than the earth because he has made it unavailable for God to bless him or reverse his bad choice. There is simply no reprieve for Cain. Cain made his own free will decision, a decision that God is required to honor.

Genesis 4:12
When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

Cain also will never receive from the ground the way a person who believes God can receive from the ground. That makes life harder when you have decided to be a farmer. A “fugitive and vagabond” is translated by some as a restless wanderer or a homeless wanderer.

Genesis 4:13
And Cain said unto the Lord, my punishment is greater than I can bear.

The way this verse is translated, it sounds like God was too harsh on Cain but that is not the case. Cain has caused his own trouble by walking with the Devil. God cannot be blamed for the problems in Cain’s life. Remember what we have just read, God sought reconciliation with Cain. It was Cain who refused God!

The word “punishment” is the word sin or iniquity, and the word “bear” should be translated forgiven in this verse. 

The statement Cain is making is literally, “My sin or iniquity is more than can be forgiven.” Cain knew his sin of accepting the seed of the Adversary was unforgivable.

The reason Cain’s sin was more than could be forgiven was that it was the sin of becoming a child of the Devil, of accepting wrong seed. This is the only unforgivable sin in God’s Word.

Genesis 1:21
And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their [its] kind, and every winged fowl after his [its] kind: and God saw that it was good.

Seed reproduces what it is, what it is designed to produce.

God has always gone above and beyond to care for man and to keep man right. But man, often fails to see or receive the goodness of God because he is too busy making his own way and exalting himself. Yet, God holds true to His nature in every account set forth in the Word of God. 

Adam and Eve turn their backs on God, opening a vast chasm between mankind and God, and yet, God works to restore fellowship with them, God moves to establish reconciliation. 

There has not been a sin committed since the world began, short of accepting spiritual seed of the Devil, that God has not been willing and able to remove from the individual. It is why God promised to send “the seed of the woman,” mankind’s redemption and salvation.

The Fall of Mankind was devastatingly catastrophic. Through the millennia it has cost the lives of billions of people, all people God desired to be saved and have a True knowledge of Him, all people God desired to be with Him in eternity. Yet, God forgave Adam and Eve. But, becoming a child of the Devil, accepting his seed, is unforgiveable. 

Every individual has a choice! Accept God's way of reconciliation;

John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

This is God's way!

Cain's way was to reject God's way in favor of making his own way.

God's way or Cain's way is the choice every person must make.

© Auxano Ministry 2020

All verses quoted in this article are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted.

The Fall of Mankind