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I think we both agree on one thing, there is a seeking that is not of faith. That kind of seeking is always lacking the desire to surrender all to God. It is a seeing after some kind of god, a god that is not entitled to every part of His creation. When God shows Himself as He really is to such seekers, He is rejected, and His claim denied.
However, I refuse to use language that is not in the Bible. If the Bible does not say that Cain sought God or desired to please Him, then I will not.
I have no right to re-write the Scriptures.
About God and Cain having communication together because God spoke to Cain. So what! God speaks to Satan in the Book of Job on several occasions.
Cain responded with an offering from the toil of his own hands (religious pride).
They both offered sacrifices from the toil of their own hands, but one offered the best, the firstborn, showing total commitment ( always a sign of true faith ). We are not told that Cain offered from the first fruit. The omission there may mean that he did not, thus showing partial sacrifice, a sign of false faith..
You remember the old widow who offered her two mites, all she had. While the others offered from their surplus. Now, that widow had to have 100% trust in God that he will provide for her. That is the point. It is not a matter of seeking versus trusting, but seeking whole heartedly (faith ) versus seeking half heartedly.
Anyway, I appreciate the rest of your post, and I understand the point you are trying to make. But I truly believe the serious epidemic we have in the church is not that the people are seeking, but that they are seeking a god who does not require much of them.
| 2010/11/29 23:25||Profile|
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Well, methinks you may be straining at gnats, now.
Rewriting the Bible? Honestly!
Cain was seeking a God that certainly did require much of him. That was the problem! He did not obey and instead offered the toil of his hands. He did refused the cross that would cause his self-life to suffer. He refused to come to God on God's terms and thought that God would receive him on his terms. Afterall, he saw himself at that time as a good person. A good person that worked hard in the field and brought God an offering.
It wasn't until his offering was not received and Abel's was that jealousy, hatred and murder entered his heart.
Don't you think that Cain was taught what pleases God as Abel was taught? Many Christians are taught what pleases God but then don't do it. Just look at some of the postings on SI and what people believe.
Cain gets mad at God and jealous at Abel because Abel's offering (born of the cross) was received and his offering (born of the flesh) was not. It's classic and has been repeated millions of times through the ages.
| 2010/11/29 23:47|
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Sorry, I feel I should not add a post. God bless
| 2010/11/30 0:21||Profile|
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Yes, where were we mkal? Oh yeah, religion.
I said originally that Cain had a heart to seek God. That was true, unfortunately he did not have a heart to obey God. He was seeking God but wanted fellowship with Him on his terms, namely that he was a pretty good guy and worked hard and "God, you should accept all my hard work for you". Yech!!!
Can't be a seeker without being an obedient son. Can't be an obedient Son unless you are willing to pick up the cross.
Difference between religion and relationship, flesh and spirit, bastard and sonship, IS THE CROSS.
| 2010/11/30 0:32|
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I agree with all that you are saying except for your description of Cain in the first few lines of your original post for the simple reason that the Bible does not speak of Cain or of any unsaved person in those terms that they sought after God or had a desire to please Him.
The Bible uses other expressions to describe false desire or false seeking.
For example: it says of Herod in Mark 6:20 that he heard John the Baptist with pleasure. A few verses later it says that he watched the daughter of Herodias dancing with pleasure.
In the parable of the sewer some heard the Word with pleasure, but when tribulations arise they fall away.
Such is always the state of the ungodly, a double life that is void of the cross.
In Romans 9, Paul speaks of the Jews who sought after the law of righteousness but we know the story. When they found out that it requires a cross bearing, when their king came riding on a donkey instead of instituting a glorious kingdom and seating them on His right hand and on His left, they sought after His murder instead.
When we talk Bible language we will never describe an unbeliever as someone who had a heart to please God or sought after Him.
I challenge you to provide one account.
| 2010/11/30 11:21||Profile|
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SPIRIT of GOD on KING SAUL:
1Sa 11:4 Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul, and told the tidings in the ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voices, and wept.
1Sa 11:5 And, behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field; and Saul said, What aileth the people that they weep? And they told him the tidings of the men of Jabesh.
1Sa 11:6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.
SPIRIT of GOD LEAVES KING SAUL
1Sa 16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.
SAUL TURNED BACK FROM FOLLOWING THE LORD
1Sa 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.
SAMUEL EVEN MOURNS FOR SAUL (INTERCEDES FOR HIM)
1Sa 15:35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.
Most people remember Saul as an ungodly man. A man of the flesh. But at one time he followed the Lord for the scripture says that "he turned back from following me".
We do not see any negative thing about Cain until he murders his brother. And as most humans are, we are unduly harsh and unforgiving of Cain and think that he never had any desire to please God. Yet, we would never say that about Saul if we were living in the day that the Spirit of God was on him or about church going people today. How are we to know men's hearts? They may have desire to please God, indeed we may all have desire in this area, but that does not necessarily mean that what we do is actually pleasing to God.
It takes time to see fruit in someone's life. We see the fruit that was ultimately borne from Cain's heart and we see fruit that was ultimately born from Saul's heart. But we do not have this advantage in real life (seeing the end from the beginning). That is why we receive all men and believe the best about people.
Gen 4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
Once again, Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. If we were living then, we may have judged that Cain is a good guy who wants to please the Lord. There are lots of "good guys" around that want to please the Lord, but it does not necessarily mean that the offering of their lives is pleasing to Him.
This is a very important lesson and this is the second instance of the religious system in the Bible.
The first instance of the beginning of man's attempt to appear righteous in God's sight is when Adam and Eve covered themselves with leaves. This was unacceptable to the Lord and so He covered them with animal skins. Animal skins just don't hang around in the closet. Some animals had to die.
Adam's attempt to clothe himself and make himself presentable to the Lord:
Gen 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Gen 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
So, the second time we see man trying to please God from his own righteousness and works is Cain.
The scarlet thread of the provision of God runs from Genesis to Revelation.
Likewise, the black thread of self-righteousness and religion runs from Genesis to Revelation.
Would you have also offered to God the works of your hands?
Have you ever done that?
I think we all have, but none of us stand in judgment on each other and proclaim each other's eternal destination.
Instead, our attitude is this, and we leave everything else up to the Lord.
Rom 15:7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
Why are these lessons about Cain, King Saul and others so important to us?
Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
We have no hope at all in refusing the cross. It is only in the cross where our hope lies. The cross is doing things God's way.
You and I are arriving at the same destination. I am giving Cain the benefit of the doubt, because I think God was giving him a chance to do the right thing. Just like the Lord is giving us the chance to do the right thing.
| 2010/11/30 12:31|
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I think God was giving him a chance to do the right thing. Just like the Lord is giving us the chance to do the right thing.
As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
| 2010/11/30 13:11||Profile|