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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Zac Poonen ~ THE WAY OF CAIN

Received the following this morning through Zac's ministry:

It is a bit long but well worth the read and expresses much of that which I wish I could express better on so many things that we discuss here. Everything keeps boiling down into a heart matter, in my opinion...


"By this the children of God and the children of the devil
are obvious: anyone who does not practice
righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not
love his brother. For this is the message which you
have heard from the beginning, that we should love
one another; 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.. Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates
you. We know that we have passed out of death into
life, because we love the brethren. He who does not
love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother
is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has
eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that
He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down
our lives for the brethren. (1 John 3:10-16).

The first epistle of John was written when John was
about 95 years old. He was the only living apostle at
that time. All the others had been killed. John had seen
the day of Pentecost and the tremendous revival with
which the Church of Jesus Christ had been born. He
also saw towards the end of his life, the decline of
many of the churches that had started in great revival.
Perhaps the other apostles who had died earlier had
not seen this decline to the same extent as John did.

By the end of the first century, many churches that had
begun with great power had lost their first love (as we
read in Revelation 2 and 3). But the elders
(messengers) of those backslidden churches were
still sitting complacently on their thrones. One of the
elders only had a name that he was alive, but was
actually dead.

Another was so lukewarm that the Lord told him that
He was ready to spit him out of His mouth. Yet another
was allowing the false prophetess Jezebel, to lead
believers astray. Terrible things were happening in
these churches and yet those elders did nothing about
it. Both churches and elders had lost their zeal.

One can imagine how grieved John must have been to
see all this. It was with such a burden in his heart that
he wrote this first epistle. It is important to see what
John emphasizes in this letter - because
Christendom's condition today is very similar to what I
have just described.

There have been great spiritual movements in the
18th, 19th and 20th centuries, in different parts of the
world - mighty movements that God started through
men who knew Him. These movements were born in
revival, but they are all in a backslidden state today.
Compromise and corruption are rampant among
them. Elders have gone the way of Balaam - seeking
after money like Balaam did and leading believers into
worldliness, like Ba-laam led Israel to compromise
with Moabite girls.

Bearing the burden of the backslidden churches on his
heart, John writes much about loving one another. "By
this, the children of God, and the children of the devil
are obvious. Anyone who does not practice right-
eousness is not of God. Nor the one who does not love
his brother" (1 John 3:10).

John divides all people in the world into two categories
here - "children of God" and "children of the devil". And
he says that the way to find out the difference is this:
One who does not love his brother is not of God. He
may perhaps have many reasons why he cannot love
his brother, but he is not of God. If he belonged to God,
he would love his brother at any cost.

In verses 11 and 12, we read, "For this is the
message, which you have heard from the beginning,
that we should love one another, and not be as Cain,
who was of the evil one, and slew his brother Abel."

When Jesus spoke about the righteous, he began
with "righteous Abel" (Matt.23:35). But Cain, as we just
read, belonged to the evil one. Therefore he killed his
brother. 1 John 3:12 goes on to say, "And for what
reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil,
and his brothers were righteous."

Read that verse carefully. It does not say that Cain's
deeds were evil after he slew Abel. No. It says that his
deeds were evil even before he slew Abel. Why did
Cain slay his brother? Because Cain was an evil man.
We have often heard it said that God accepted Abel
because he offered a blood-sacrifice, and that God
rejected Cain because he didn't offer a blood-sacrifice.
But there is more to it than that. See what it says here
about Cain. "His deeds were evil; his brother's deeds
were righteous." And John goes on to say in verse 13,
"Don't marvel brethren if the world hates you." He's
comparing this with Cain's hatred of righteous Abel.
Hatred is the mark of the sons of Cain, and of all who
follow "the way of Cain" (as Jude calls it in verse 11 of
his letter).

In verse 14 John says, "We know we have passed out
of death into life" - not because we were baptized or
because we partake of the bread and the wine, but
"because we love the brethren. He who does not love
abides in death.".

We are to love everyone. It doesn't matter which church
they belong to. "He who hates his brother is a
murderer - and you know that no murderer has
eternal life abiding in him."(1 Jn.3:15).

Everyone who hates someone else is a murderer. In
contrast, John says that the proof of love is that in-
stead of slaying your brother, you slay yourself (v.16)!
You lay down your life. "We know love by this, that He
laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our
lives for the brethren".

Notice that in both cases there is a death - in one, we
kill our brothers and in the other, we slay ourselves!!
Thus the children of God and the children of the devil
are distinguished.

Cain killed his brother. The children of the devil
manifest themselves by slaying their brothers and
sisters. The children of God however put their own self-
life to death.

Cain smashed Abel's head in with a rock. But today
people are gentler - they don't use rocks, they use their
tongues! When you tear down your brothers and
sisters with your tongue, speaking evil of them and
making them look bad and small in the eyes of others,
you're actually slaying them. In this the children of the
devil are made manifest - because they are murderers
like their father, the devil.

Revelation 12: 9, 10 says that the devil accuses God's
children day and night. He doesn't tell God false things
about the brothers and sisters, because God knows
everything! He tells God only the truth about the faults
and sins found in God's people. Like Satan, an
accuser may speak the absolute truth and still be an
ac-cuser. That's the way of Cain - and "no murderer
has eternal life abiding in hi" (1 Jn.3:15).

Do you slay your brothers and sisters? Then listen to
what the Holy Spirit says: "No murderer has eternal life
abiding in him." Even if you claim to be born again and
baptized in water and baptized in the Holy Spirit and
speaking in tongues and breaking bread every week
and have removed all your gold ornaments, and
whatever else, if you speak evil of your brothers and
sisters, you are a murderer and you do NOT have
eternal life in you.

When Ham told his brothers that their father Noah was
lying down drunk and naked, he did not tell a lie. What
he said was the absolute truth. Yet God cursed him for
saying that. Why did God curse him? For speaking the
truth in the spirit of the accuser. And that curse comes
today on all who accuse God's children.


Mike Balog

 2005/7/9 9:47Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Zac Poonen ~ THE WAY OF CAIN

Continued (Part 2)

Satan accuses believers day and night. Jesus also
does something day and night. He prays for us day
and night (Heb.7:25).

Most Christians accuse other believers for far lesser
crimes than getting drunk and lying naked!! They ac-
cuse them even for small faults that they see in them.
Those faults may be there. Jesus sees them, Satan
sees them and we see them. But the reactions of each
are different. Satan accuses. Jesus intercedes. What
do we do?

Both Satan and Jesus are looking for co-workers. We
can work together with either. When you see a weak-
ness or a sin in a brother, in that moment, you come to
a fork in the road. There are only two ways at that fork -
the way of intercession and the way of accusation.
Jesus intercedes and Satan accuses. And you have to
de-cide which of these two roads you're going to take.

We all come to this fork in the road often. Some
believers imagine that they are spiritual because they
stand at the fork and don't take either road - they don't
accuse and they don't intercede. But that's not
spirituality, be-cause Jesus has taken one road, and if
you don't intercede you are not following Jesus.

When we accuse, we get into fellowship with Satan.
When we intercede, we enter into fellowship with Je-
sus. By this the children of God and the children of the
devil are distinguished.

In Genesis 4:3 we read that "Cain brought an offering
to the Lord and Abel also brought an offering to the
Lord." Cain was not an atheist. Cain was a deeply
religious man. The children of the devil are not all
atheists. Most of them, like the Pharisees, are deeply
religious. The way of Cain is not the way of atheism;
it's the way of religion. It's also the way bringing
offerings to God. Cain brought an offering. Abel also
brought an offering.

But notice something here. We may have thought that it
was Abel's offering that the Lord accepted first. But
read carefully. It says in the last part of verse 4: "The
Lord had regard for Abel, and (then) for his offering." It
was Abel whom the Lord accepted first. That was why
He accepted his offering. In Hebrews 11:4, we are told
that by faith Abel offered a better sacrifice than Cain,
and that God testified about Abel's gifts. Why was
Abel's sacrifice better and why did God testify about
Abel's gifts? It must have been because of what God
saw in Abel's heart - in the light of Genesis 4:4.

Genesis 4:4 is clear: "The Lord had regard for Abel and
for his offering. But for Cain and His offering He had no
regard." God didn't disregard Cain's offering first, but
Cain himself. That was why He rejected Cain's

How does this apply to us today? If we have a wrong
attitude in our hearts towards even a single brother,
God will not accept our offering, even if we bring the
blood of Christ as our plea for forgiveness - just like
God did not accept Cain's offering. When we come to
God with our offering, and there remember that our
brother has something against us, we must settle
matters with that brother first, before God will accept
our offering. Je-sus said that if we don't forgive even a
single man, we cannot be forgiven by our heavenly
Father - even if God has already become our heavenly
Father (Matt.6:15). In the same way, if we have not
asked for forgiveness from even a single brother
(whom we have hurt), again we cannot be forgiven,
because Jesus also said, "Go and settle things with
your brother first. Then bring your offering to God."

So we must not only forgive ALL, but also ask for
forgiveness from ALL whom we have hurt. It is thus that
the children of God are distinguished from the children
of the devil.

Don't live under the deception that because you have
trusted in the blood of Christ, you're all right. If you
have slain your brother with your tongue, you must go
and settle that matter with him first. Only then will the
Lord have regard for you and therefore for your
offerings. James 5:16 makes it very clear that only the
prayer of a righteous man has any value before God.

We read in Genesis 4:5 that "Cain became very angry,
and his countenance fell." One mark of those whose
hearts are not right with God is that there is no
cheerfulness in their lives or on their faces. Their faces
are usu-ally fallen. The psalmist said, "The Lord is my
glory, and the lifter of my head." When the Lord is our
glory He is also the lifter of our heads. So when our
face is fallen, we can be sure that something is wrong.

The very first words that God ever asked a human
being, outside the garden of Eden were, "Why is your
face fallen? Why are you angry?" Cain had just come
from a prayer-meeting where He had offered
something to God! Should a man's face be downcast
just after a prayer-meeting? Why then is your face
fallen even though you go to prayer meetings every
week! You are a deeply religious person. Then why is
your countenance clouded?

I'm always suspicious of people who cannot look me
straight in the eye. When a person cannot look you
straight in the face and make eye contact with you, it
invariably indicates that something is wrong with him.
That's what the Lord was asking Cain, "Why can't you
make eye contact with me, Cain? What's wrong? Why
do you have such a long face?" The Lord asks you the
same question.

Then the Lord told Cain (and let me paraphrase His
words here), "If you intend well in your heart won't your
face be lifted up? You will certainly be accepted! I have
no partiality, Cain. All are the same to me."

If your heart is clean and the intention of your heart
towards all your brothers and sisters is good, your face
will always be lifted up! When your face is fallen, it
usually indicates that you have something against
someone. The way other people treat us can never
affect the glory of God on our faces. It's only our attitude
towards oth-ers that can make us gloomy and our
faces dark.

"But if you don't intend well in your heart, then, (God
said to Cain), sin is crouching at the door of your

Don't ever think that sin is far away from any of us.
Jesus taught us to pray saying, "Our Father who art in
heaven, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from
evil." That means, "Oh God, please keep me far away
from temptation. Don't allow me to go along that way.
Deliver me from evil." But if you don't intend well, sin is
not far away, but crouching at the door - like a lion
waiting outside your door, waiting for the slightest
opening so that he can get his foot inside. Very soon,
sin will come right in and occupy your heart. "Its desire
is for you!" God warned Cain. Sin's desire, like a lion's,
is to eat us up.

But God told Cain, "You must master it." (Gen.4:7).
Notice that in the very first message that God ever gave
man outside the garden of Eden He told him, "You
must have victory over sin." That is God's message to
man, not just under the new covenant in Romans 6:14,
but at the very beginning of human history!

You must master sin!

The message of victory over sin was not an
afterthought with God. On the contrary, it is there at the
very beginning of the Bible, one of the very first things
that God ever proclaimed to man.

Inside the garden of Eden, God killed an animal and
shed its blood (symbolizing the death of Christ on Cal-
vary), threw away the fig leaves Adam and Eve were
wearing (which symbolized human righteousness and
re-ligious coverings) and clothed them with the
animal's skin (symbolizing Christ's righteousness).

Fig leaves will wither up in time - and so will human
righteousness and religious rituals. You can't wear fig
leaves forever! That's why Jesus cursed the fig tree,
when he saw only leaves on it, because it was a
picture of human righteousness! Human
righteousness has been cursed from the day of Adam.
"All our righteous deeds are like a woman's menstrual
cloth" in God's sight (Isa.64:6 - Literal translation ) - fit
only to be burnt or thrown away.

Instead, God gave Adam and Eve something that
would last forever - animal skins. That is how He
clothes us today - with the righteousness of Christ.

So, those are the very first things we need to do to find
our way back to God: Accept the shed blood of our
Substitute, throw away our own human righteousness
and accept the righteousness of Christ to clothe us.
But after that, the next message we need to hear is
this: You must have victory over sin.

It's there in Genesis 4: You must master sin! You must
get rid of the wrong attitude towards your brother. Do
you have a right attitude towards all your brothers? If
not, then sin is crouching at your door, and you must
master it! God's voice of love pleads with you right now.

Why should God plead with man? He could very well
have rejected Cain without giving him a second
chance. But God pleaded with Cain and He pleads
with us. The father of the prodigal son pleaded with his
elder son saying, "Why do you have a wrong attitude
towards your younger brother? Why are you jealous of
my hon-oring him. You too can come and sit at the
same table!" But the elder brother wouldn't listen to his
father. It was the same with Cain. He didn't listen to
God, for he had no fear of God. Instead, he went from
God's presence and killed his brother.

Then the Lord asked Cain, "Where is Abel, your
brother?" Cain replied, "I don't know." When your con-
science is hardened, you can tell lies even to God?

Cain asked God, "Am I my brother's keeper?" And God
said to Cain, "What have you done? The voice of your
brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. Now
you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its
mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand."

When Adam and Eve sinned, God never cursed them.
He only cursed the ground. But here, we see for the
first time God cursing a man. And it was when a man
had hurt his brother.

Remember this : The first time God ever cursed a man
was when a man harmed his brother.

Have you hurt your brother or your sister in any way?
Then you are standing on dangerous ground. Repent
before it is too late.


Mike Balog

 2005/7/9 9:49Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:Zac Poonen ~ THE WAY OF CAIN

Continued (Part 3)

One result of God's curse is described in verse 12.
God said to Cain, "When you cultivate the ground, it
shall not yield its strength to you. You shall be a
vagabond and a wanderer on the earth."

You will preach, but there will be no eternal fruit in your
labors. You will try to build the church and gather
people, but they will never be built up as the Body of
Christ. You may make converts, but you won't be able
to make disciples - because you are not a disciple
yourself. Whatever you build will not last for eternity.
You may preach the same messages that you read in
our books that have produced fruit elsewhere. But
those very same messages will not produce eternal
fruit when you preach them. You will work hard and
cultivate the ground, but there will still be no eternal
fruit. You will be without true fellowship, and a
vagabond and a wanderer all your days. You will
wander from one church to another. You will try one
church and find something wrong there.

You'll go to another church and there will be something
wrong there too. You'll be a wanderer, a vagabond and
a beggar all your days, unable and unwilling to submit
to anyone's authority! I have seen many people like
that. They allowed the lion crouching at their door to
enter in and swallow them up. And they imagined that
they could still serve God. That's not just sad, it's

And all because they have a wrong attitude towards
someone in their hearts. God spoke to them often, but
they would not listen. They would not allow God to
break them. They had plenty of knowledge. Their
doctrines were all correct! But something was wrong in
their hearts. So when they sowed, their labours did not
yield any eternal fruit. Are you like that?

Jesus said, "I've chosen you and ordained you that you
should go and bring forth fruit and that your fruit should
remain (for eternity). You prove to be My disciples by
bearing much fruit." (John 15:16, 8).

It is impossible for any branch to remain in Jesus the
Vine and to be fruitless. When the sap (the Holy Spirit)
flows into the branches, it is impossible for it to be
fruitless! You will bear eternal fruit. But if you're a
wanderer like Cain, then of course you will be fruitless.

To be a wanderer does not necessarily mean being
without a church-fellowship. I've seen many people
who have come to our conferences, who think that the
secret of God's blessing upon our work is found in the
doctrines we preach. So they get our books and our
tapes and preach the same messages to their groups.
But nothing happens, because the anointing of God is
missing. Others think that the secret of blessing is in
the pat-tern of our meetings. So they duplicate that
pattern in their meetings. But there is still spiritual
death in their midst. Why? Because the secret is not in
any of these things.

The secret of fruitfulness still lies, as Jesus said, in
falling into the ground, and dying to our self-life (John
12:24). The secret is not in a doctrine, it's not in a
pattern; it's in a life - the life of Jesus that God gives us
through His Holy Spirit, as we choose the way of the

Cain then told the Lord, "My punishment is too great to
bear. Thou hast driven me from the face of the ground
and I shall be a vagrant and wanderer." I'm amazed at
the Lord's tremendous compassion, even toward
someone like Cain. He told Cain, "I won't allow
anybody to kill you." Then the Lord appointed a sign for
Cain so that no-one could slay him (verse 15).

Cain could have repented and cried out saying, "Oh
God, be merciful to me." But he didn't. He went out
from the presence of the Lord and built a city for his
family to live in comfortably (verse 17). And his descen-
dants began to produce musical instruments for their
own entertainment (verse 21). Comfort and
entertainment became their gods thereafter - like they
are for many today.

A lot of evil things begin to happen if you go away from
the presence of the Lord. You lose your sense of di-
rection and you become a wanderer; and comfort and
entertainment become your gods. You live thereafter by
your human sense of what is right and wrong.

But where did all this drift begin? It began with
jealousy. When the fire of God fell on Abel's offering,
and no fire fell on Cain's offering, Cain became
jealous. Everything started there.

If Abel had been an older brother, Cain could have
possibly borne it. But Abel was younger! He thought,
"How can God anoint someone younger than me?
How can God put a fire on someone younger than
me?" That bothered him. And ever after, he was
determined to harm Abel.

That was how King Saul reacted too when he heard
the women of Israel praise young David more than him
(1 Sam.18:7). He became jealous of David and very
soon an evil spirit possessed him and he became
mad. This is how it will end up for all who like Saul,
choose the way of Cain. Evil spirits will possess them
sooner or later.

Have you seen God bless someone's family or his
ministry? And are you jealous? Since you can't bear to
see that brother so blessed, you determine to find
some fault with him. But if the anointing of God is upon
that brother, you should be humble enough to
acknowledge it. You may not approve of him, but God
does. God has blessed him and accepted his
offerings. And your opinion of him is unimportant!
Humble yourself!

The anointing and support of God is everything. I have
told my fellow-elders that even if they have under-stood
every doctrine correctly and are eloquent speakers,
they must still check and see whether the anointing of
God is upon their lives or not. If God doesn't send His
fire from heaven upon their ministry, it would indicate
that He sees something in their hidden lives that
hinders Him from supporting them. If God supports
them, He will bear witness to their life, their family life
and their ministry. Then I would gladly back them -
even if I don't agree with them in many things!! But if
God doesn't bear witness to their life, their family life
and their ministry, then I will not support them. I want to
approve of those whom God approves of. And I will not
approve of those whom God does not approve of. I
don't want to know any man after the flesh. I want to
see if God bears witness to a man. I want to go behind
God, not ahead of Him. It's not enough that our
doctrines and our pattern are Scriptural. We need the
fire and the anointing of God more than anything else.

To tell you quite honestly, many doctrines are, in a
sense, secondary to me. I don't care whether a man
be-lieves in the baptism in the Spirit the way I do, or
not, whether he speaks in tongues or not, whether he
has the gift of healing or not, or whether he belongs to
this denomination or that. Some doctrinal
disagreements, I've discovered, are because our
minds are limited in understanding the truth of God.
We are often unable to ex-press matters of the Spirit in
human words. But if the anointing of God is there, God
is there! And if the fire of God is not there, then God is
not there - whatever else a man may claim to have and
however much noise he may make in his meetings. If
an elder of a church has not been able to build a
brotherhood and a fellowship in his local church even
after ten years, then God is obviously not with him and
he is a wanderer.

You can be a wanderer, even while sitting in a large
church, because you may not have any fellowship with
those around you. A thousand people may sit in a
cinema-theatre, but they don't have fellowship with
each other. One person doesn't know anything about
the person sitting next to him. In the same way, even
1,000 people sitting together in a church-building may
not be the Body of Christ. They may be just a
congregation of lonely people.

A husband and wife living under the same roof, but not
having fellowship with each other, are lonely too. There
are parents and children, living under the same roof,
who have no fellowship with each other. Such peo-ple
are lonely people, even though they live together day
after day. All such people are vagabonds and wan-
derers. You can sit in the best church in the world and
be a vagabond and a wanderer.

The first sin of man described in detail, after he was
expelled from Eden, is Cain's sin - jealousy that led to
murder. And it is significant that the apostle John wrote
about this sin of Cain when writing to the brothers and
sisters in the churches in his time (1 John 3:12). Jude
also mentions "the way of Cain" in his letter (Jude 11)..
Cain is mentioned both at the beginning of the Bible
and at its end. So there must be a warning that Holy
Spirit wants to give us about the way Cain lived.

What is "the way of Cain"?

It is the way of jealousy, and it leads to loneliness and
wandering. It destroys fellowship. The way of Cain is a
way in which you cannot bear to see God blessing
someone else - especially if he is equal to you or
younger than you. It is a way in which you cannot
humble yourself and say, "Lord, I acknowledge that
You have borne witness to this brother. I have a wrong
attitude towards him. Please forgive me, Lord. Help me
to love him and respect him."

Is there some brother or sister whom you cannot get
along with, but whom God still seems to anoint and
bless? If God can get along well with him/her, but you
can't, who then is likely to be at fault - you or God??
Whose opinion of him is likely to be more correct -
yours or God's? Be honest!

Wherever there is jealousy in a person's heart, it
certainly proves one thing clearly : That he hasn't seen
the body of Jesus Christ yet.

Why do I say that? Think of this physical body. There is
no jealousy among its members. My left hand is never
jealous that all the checks are signed by my right hand.
It is not jealous that it doesn't get a single chance to
sign a check! It doesn't say, "It's always the right hand!
Always the right hand! He's always doing the impor-
tant ministries and getting the honor!" No. Suppose my
right hand gets hurt one day. Does my left hand then
rejoice and say, "Ah! Now at last I'll get a chance to
sign some checks"? No. If my left hand did sign a
check, the bank wouldn't accept it, because the bank
wouldn't recognize the signature!! There is no jealousy
in the body! The left hand rejoices when the right hand
signs the check and even when the right hand collects
the money from the bank. What the left hand says is,
"That's my money too, for we are all part of one body."
When we have "seen" the body of Christ, that will be
our attitude to the more prominent ministry of another

The foot could easily complain and say, "I never get a
chance to be seen publicly. I'm always at the lowest
end of the body, and hardly ever noticed by anyone. I
wish I could get a promotion and move higher up in the
body and become like the hand or the tongue some
day!" But no foot ever thinks like that! On the contrary, it
says, "If God has decided to keep me down here at the
bottom of the body forever, that's perfectly all right with
me. I'm perfectly happy. I rejoice with the other
members of the body in their ministry and carry them
where they want to go! My joy is to do the task God
appointed for me!" That is also the language of one
who has "seen" the Body of Christ.

If a soul is saved through another brother's ministry,
praise the Lord, for we are all part of the same Body.
When we see God's blessing upon another brother's
ministry somewhere, and churches being established
through his labors, we can rejoice and say, "Praise the
Lord! That's for my Lord's kingdom! I'm excited! I had
nothing to do with it, but praise God that another part of
the Body went there and established the church." Can
you rejoice like that? If you're humble, you will be able


Mike Balog

 2005/7/9 9:51Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:Zac Poonen ~ THE WAY OF CAIN

Continued (Part 4)

Jealousy comes in only when we haven't seen that it
was God Who gave each of us a particular ministry in
Christ's Body. 1 Corinthians 12:18 says, "God has
placed the members, each one of them in the body,
just as He desired." That is what many Christians
have not seen.

God chose the right place for you in Christ's Body! And
God chose the right place for me. So if you have a
complaint about that, your complaints are actually
against God.

Don't ever say, "That brother does not give me a
chance to preach." That's a lot of nonsense! How can
any brother hinder you from fulfilling the ministry God
has appointed for you in Christ's Body. If Almighty God
Him-self has decided to give you a particular task in
the Body, who can ever hinder you? No-one.

In my younger days, I was in an assembly where it was
plain to me (and to others) that the elders were jealous
of my ministry. They wouldn't let me preach in the
church-meetings. So I preached on the streets. No-
body could stop me there! And that's where I learned to
preach - on the streets. I stood in almost every street
corner of the town where I lived, and preached the
gospel. None of the elders were interested in
preaching on the streets. And when I came to the
church-meetings, the Lord would tell me to humble
myself, submit to the elders, love them, keep a good
relationship with them and keep my mouth shut!! And
that's what I did. Even today, after nearly forty years,
when I see any of those men, I have a good
relationship with them. God broke me and crushed me
through such experiences.

Those elders made me sit in the back of the assembly
because they were jealous. But it was obviously not
God's time for me to have a ministry then. So they just
fulfilled God's will for my life by what they did! And I

I have often thought of Jesus sitting in the synagogue
in Nazareth, listening to all the boring sermons that the
Pharisees preached there, year after year. He knew the
Scriptures and He knew His Father when He was 12!
Yet He sat in the synagogue, listening to the rubbish
preached every Saturday!! He kept quiet for 30 long
years. Can you imagine all the boring sermons that
Jesus heard there? He went to the synagogue
regularly - 52 Saturdays every year - from childhood to
the age of 30. So He must have listened to more than
1000 boring sermons in His life! Yet He sat through
them all, waiting silently - because He knew that His
hour had not yet come. The Father's time for Him to
preach had not yet come.

But today I see young people who are impatient. They
think they're ready to preach, but they are not! They
haven't been broken! They're seeking honour. They've
never submitted to authority. They are jealous! And God
can never bear witness to them.

God allowed such experiences to happen to me not
just once, but again and again - first in one assembly,
then in another and many years later, in yet another.
And He always told me to keep my mouth shut and to
wait for His time. So I kept my mouth shut. He always
told me to keep a good relationship with the elders in
those churches and to submit to them. And I did that.
Thus God crushed my self-life again and again - and
set me free from myself!

God cannot commit spiritual authority to a man who
has not been broken. That would be dangerous. It
would be like having un-insulated electric wires
running through the house. That would kill us.
Electricity is a very useful thing, but every wire must be
insulated. It's not enough to have power; we must have
insulation too.

It's not enough to have the power of the Holy Spirit, we
need brokenness too. Then we won't kill anyone
through our ministry. Brokenness is the insulation. And
that can come only as we allow God to crush us and
humble us through the different situations He arranges
for us.

God has a plan for you, my brother, my sister! Not a
single human being in the world can frustrate that plan
- no matter how hard they try to push you down. People
may have tried to keep Jesus down for many years. But
one day, when His Father told Him to GO, He went. And
then the Father said, "I am well pleased with my Son!"
The Father was well pleased with Jesus' humility,
seeing Him sit quietly for 30 years in the synagogue!
There is a time and a season for everything in God's
plans and purposes. And no-one can hinder God's

And in the next 3½ years, Jesus had such an anointed
ministry, as the world has never seen. In those 3½
years, He did what others could not do in 4000 years.
Let us learn humility then from Jesus. He would not
move until His Father told him to. He submitted to
imperfect Joseph and Mary at home. He submitted to
listening to boring sermons in the synagogue.

It says about Jesus in Isaiah 53:10, "It pleased the
Lord to crush Him." Have you allowed the Lord to crush
you? That's how we get spiritual authority. God cannot
use a man or a woman who has not been crushed and

Sisters, God may use a difficult husband to crush you.
But perhaps, you rebel and fight back. You may not
have joined the "Women's Liberation" movement. But if
people saw your behaviour at home, they'd think you
have! What is the result of that attitude? You haven't
changed your husband. And you yourself are a
wanderer, without any fellowship and without any
spiritual authority. You could have probably become a
woman of God by now, if you had learned submission
to authority.

I see many young people today - even in the church -
who think they know more than their parents, and who
will not submit to the authority of their parents. But what
is their spiritual condition? They are vagabonds and

Young people, don't waste your life. Learn to submit to
authority. Don't expose the nakedness of your par-ents,
like Ham did. That will bring a curse upon you. Maybe
your parents are naked, maybe they're drunk! Let God
deal with them. You cover them. Love covers a
multitude of sins. Be like Shem and Japheth who
walked backwards and covered the nakedness of their
parents. That is submission to authority.

But unfortunately, we have a "smart" young generation
today, who are proud of their "knowledge". They think
they're better people, just because they're smart and
educated, unlike their less-educated parents. But
what's the use of all that smartness and knowledge, if
God doesn't bear witness to you? Where is the fire? It
was the fire of God that distinguished Abel's sacrifice
from Cain's - and that has always been the distinctive
mark of God's presence - with a man, or in a church.

The Old Testament tabernacle was something that
even the Philistines could easily construct - because
its pattern was given in detail in the book of Exodus.
But there was one thing that they would not have been
able to produce - the fire of God that rested upon the
tabernacle. That fire was what distinguished the tent of
the tab-ernacle from all the other tents in Israel and in
the whole world! No-one could produce that.

The glory of God is the mark of His presence - not the
pattern. When Israel backslid, the pattern remained but
the glory of God departed. Don't ever imagine that the
pattern is the main thing in a church. I've seen men
and churches who don't follow the New Testament
pattern for ministry (as I understand it) but who still
have the fire of God upon them - and so I respect
them. Other things are secondary to me.

I don't go checking for the pattern - whether the ram's
skin coverings are dyed the right colour of red! I look for
the fire - not the fire of human emotion but the fire of the
Holy Spirit. If that is present, then God is there, even if
the pattern is slightly faulty.

Is the fire of God present in your church and your
ministry? Does God bear witness to you? That's the
most important thing you need to ask yourself. That's
what made Abel's sacrifice stand apart from Cain's.
Perhaps you see God's anointing on the ministry of
another brother who has his pattern wrong in some
area. And you wonder, "How can God bear witness to
that?" Perhaps God doesn't consider that doctrine as
important as you do. God values humility and sincerity
far more.

I've had to learn many lessons in my life. A lot of things
that I once thought were important, I now realize God
doesn't consider so important. And a lot of other
things, that I considered unimportant, I see that God
con-siders as important.

God considers humility to be of fundamental
importance. He also considers freedom from the love
of money as very important. These are some of the
important doctrines of the Christian faith. But have you
ever seen any church's doctrinal statement having,
"Humility" and "Freedom from the love of money"
included in it? It's easy for believers to glory in their
being correct on Biblical facts and ignore more
important issues related to their character.

We see another example of jealousy in Numbers 16.
Notice that four people are mentioned here in verse 1 -
Korah, Dathan, Abiram and On - who rose up against
Moses, because they were jealous of his ministry.
They couldn't bear to see that Moses always had an
anointed word from God, each time He spoke! And so
they chose to walk "the way of Cain". That's why Jude
combines "the rebellion of Korah" with "the way of
Cain" in his letter (Jude 11).

These men told Moses, "You've gone too far. Everyone
is holy. The Lord is with all of us! Why do you exalt

In actual fact, Moses had never exalted himself. God
had called him out of the wilderness when he was
keeping sheep. And even then Moses had asked the
Lord to send somebody else, saying he felt himself
unfit for the task. He didn't exalt himself. It was God
Who had seen Moses' faithfulness and exalted him!

What did Moses do when they rebelled? Number 16:4
says he fell on his face. That's the best thing to do
when people accuse us. Fall on your face and let God
defend you. When people question your authority, fall
on your face. If God doesn't defend you, it's no use your
trying to defend yourself. God can deal with all the
Korahs, the Dathans and the Abirams better than you

Many years ago, God said to me, "When people
accuse you or question your ministry, fall on your face."
And that's what I've always sought to do. I know that
God can do a better job of defending me than I can -
and He has - all these 35 and more years.

Moses told the rebels that the Lord would show
everyone the next morning who was really accepted by
Him. So all the Israelites assembled the next morning.
But notice that out of the four men who had rebelled
against Moses the previous day - Korah, Dathan,
Abiram, and On - the Lord said that He was going to
judge only three of them. The Lord warned the
congregation to "get away from the tents of Korah,
Dathan and Abi-ram." (verse 24)

What about On? He obviously became sensible the
previous night, and repented. He must have gone to
Korah and said, "Brother, I'm not joining you in this.
Count me out." Thus On saved his life and saved his
family as well - because he pulled away from the

On, the son of Peleth, was a sensible man!

What about you? Are you sensible? Do you join with
others who have a spirit of rebellion? Are you jealous
of someone whom God has anointed? I warn you: "Pull
Back! Pull back before it is too late. Save yourself and
your children." Learn a lesson from On.

The other Israelites also repented of joining Korah,
Dathan and Abiram in their rebellious spirit and pulled
back from their tents. And the earth opened its mouth,
and swallowed up these three rebels and their house-
holds (verse 32). The rebels were judged and their
families were judged too. How sad it is when a father's
re-bellious attitude affects his children too! The father
rebels and his children suffer!

We read of Heaven opening twice and God taking two
people alive into Heaven - Enoch and Elijah. But this is
the only place in the Bible where we read that Hell
opened up and that people "went alive into Hell" (verse
33). Remember that the only time when God sent
people alive into hell was when He saw them being
jealous of a ministry that He had endorsed! That
should put a fear into all of us.


Mike Balog

 2005/7/9 9:53Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:Zac Poonen ~ THE WAY OF CAIN

Continued (Part5)

When the fire fell on Abel's sacrifice, Cain was jealous.
So God cursed him. When God's anointing was on
Moses, three rebellious men were jealous. So God
commanded Hell to swallow them up alive.

But there is one interesting part of this story that is not
mentioned in Numbers 16. It is mentioned later in
Numbers 26:10,11. There we're told that "the sons of
Korah, however, did not die."

How did that happen? The sons of Korah were also
standing there with their father outside their tent that
morning. But at the last minute they repented and ran
away from their father saying, "Dad, we're pulling out of
this", and ran and stood with Moses. They escaped
God's judgment at the last minute! And so the sons of
Korah did not die. Praise the Lord!

The sons of Korah then wrote a number of psalms.
Look at Psalm 46. It says at the top of this psalm that
this is "A psalm of the sons of Korah". They sing about
their deliverance here. What did they write?

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in
trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth
should change, though the earth should open up and
the mountains slip right in!" (v.1).

"Come behold the works of the Lord. What desolations
he has wrought in the earth." (v.8).

"Be still, (let go, cease striving, relax) and know that I
am God." (v.10).

The sons of Korah wrote some other wonderful
psalms too - Psalm 42, Psalm 44, Psalm 45 (the
marriage psalm of Jesus and His bride), Psalm 47,
Psalm 48 and Psalm 49. We can find more meaning in
these psalms when we know the background of the
men who wrote them.

(If these psalms were written by later descendants of
the original sons of Korah, then they too must have
been grateful that their fathers pulled out of the
rebellion against Moses, or else, they would never
have been born!)

God endorsed Moses' ministry publicly in such a way
that all could see it. Today, God's endorsement of a
man's ministry is not seen in the large number of
people he can gather together. No. False cults and
false relig-ions all have large numbers. Statistics are
deceptive in spiritual matters. Jesus had only eleven
disciples. God's endorsement is seen in the quality of
a man's work - and not its quantity. We will know
whether the anointing of God is on our life, not by the
number of people who join our churches, but by the
quality of those who join it.

Show me the private lives of a Christian leader's
closest co-workers and I will tell you whether that
leader is a spiritual man or not.

I have felt that if I could produce just eleven selfless
disciples in India, of the quality of those first apostles,
in my lifetime, I could say like Simeon, "Lord, Thy
servant can now depart in peace". But I've discovered
that it's not easy to produce even 11 men like those
apostles. Even among the best of believers, most
people seek their own in one way or the other.

Perhaps you are a sister who has to spend most of
your time at home. But God can make disciples even
through you. He can use you to lead other sisters to a
godly life. But you'll never lead anyone to godliness, if
you spend your time gossiping and backbiting when
you are with other sisters.

We see yet another example of jealousy in 2 Samuel
15. There we read of Absalom, David's son. David had
been very good to Absalom, forgiving him for
murdering his brother Amnon and recalling him from
exile. In 2 Samuel 14:33 we read that "the king kissed
Absalom." David obviously loved Absalom very much.

But in the next chapter, we read of how Absalom took
advantage of David's goodness. Absalom rose up
early each morning and stood near the gate of
Jerusalem, and looked out for those who came with
complaints and lawsuits. Absalom would then call
them, put his arms around them and tell them that
although their claims were legitimate, King David had
not appointed anyone to settle such matters. And then
he would go on to tell them, "I wish somebody would
appoint me as the judge. I would sort out these
problems in no time at all. If any-one had a problem, I
would ensure that he gets justice quickly."

And if anyone tried to bow down to him, Absalom would
lift him up and tell him, "Don't do that! I am only your
brother! Don't humble yourself before me!" And then
Absalom would kiss him. Thus Absalom stole the
hearts of the men of Israel, from the man whom God
had anointed (verse 6).

That story has been repeated many times in these
3,000 years since then. Evil men have frequently stolen
the hearts of God's people away from God's anointed

Absalom couldn't bear to see God's blessing upon his
father. Imagine a son being jealous of his own father!
But I have seen this happen in my lifetime too. I have
seen godly men, as spiritual fathers, nurturing and
bring-ing up young men and leading them into a
ministry. But after those young men, who were once
nobodies, grew up and received a ministry, I have seen
them despise and ignore their spiritual fathers and
stealing the hearts of people away from their spiritual

In a little while, Absalom had such a following that his
father David had to flee for his life! And the usurper
Absalom sat on the throne. But what's the use of sitting
on a throne if God doesn't back you up? It was just a
matter of time, before God destroyed him. I've seen
that happen too - time and again.

The apostle Paul told the elders in Ephesus, in Acts
20:29, 30: "I know what's going to happen here after I
leave. From among yourselves, men will arise, who
(like Absalom) will draw away disciples after
themselves - men who speak perverse things."

What were those perverse things Paul referred to?
Those perverse things were not wrong doctrines. No.
They were the words by which some of those elders
would later draw people to themselves. They would
have a private agenda in the church - to promote
themselves. They would quickly forget the example of
Paul from whom they received everything they knew of
the Christian faith.

I've seen many such people - who easily forget the
goodness they have received from godly, older broth-
ers. They even forget how they received their ministry.
Now they are jealous of their spiritual fathers and seek
to exalt themselves in the eyes of their congregations.

How soon Absalom forgot his father's goodness to
him. But what was the final end of Absalom? His head
got caught in the branches of an oak tree while he was
riding on a mule, and he was stabbed to death while
he was hanging there. How terrible.

The Scriptures record many stories like that of people
who were jealous of men whom God had endorsed. In
Matthew 27, we read of Jesus standing before Pilate.
Pilate was a heathen man who didn't know any-thing
about the Bible or about the true God. But when Jesus
stood before him, he could see clearly that Jesus was
an innocent man and that "it was because of jealousy,
that the Pharisees had delivered Jesus up."(v.18).

The Pharisees were jealous because the people
appreciated Jesus more than them. Annas and
Caiaphas were both more than 60 years old, but Jesus
was only 33. And the people were admiring and
following this young man! The fire of God was upon
someone half their age. They couldn't bear to see that -
and they were jealous! And so they decided to get
Jesus killed! That plan didn't originate with atheists,
but with the most reli-gious people of that time - the
Pharisees. They too walked the way of Cain!

But the atheist Pilate could see through the whole
thing! Even atheists are often able to see through the
jealousy that Christians have of each other today?

Let us look at one more example of those who were
jealous of someone whom God had blessed with
mate-rial riches.

Job was the most godly man who lived on earth in his
time. God Himself certified to that fact. He was also a
very rich man. His children were also good-looking
(Job 42:15) and probably spiritually-minded like their
father. Job would pray with and for His children
regularly and they were consecrated to the Lord (Job

Job had three preacher friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and
Zophar, who were jealous of him, because, they
couldn't stand the fact that Job was spiritual, wealthy
and had a good family! If Job had been poor and
spiritual, they could have accepted him. Or if he had
been rich, but not spiritual, that too would have been all
right with them. Or at least if his children were wayward
that would have been some comfort for these 3 men!
But what they couldn't stand was the fact that Job had
everything going well for him - he was spiritual, wealthy
and had a godly, good-looking family! These things
bothered those 3 preachers continuously. And they
burned with jeal-ousy. They had visited Job many a
time, but their jealousy was not exposed until calamity
hit Job's home.

One day they heard that Job's children had died and
that his business had suffered a grievous loss. And
they must have all felt a secret joy in their hearts at this
news. Even though they said to each other, "Let's go
and comfort him", they didn't really go to comfort him.
They went to preach to him. Initially, they pretended to
share his sorrow and threw mud on their heads and
wept as if to show their grief. But then they started
preach-ing to him and kept on telling him that there
must be some secret sin in his life for God to judge
him so severely.

But what did God think of these men and their
preaching? In Job 42:7, we read that God told them,
"My wrath is kindled against the three of you. And I'll
destroy you unless Job prays for you." And Job, good
man that he was, must have prayed for them saying:
"Forgive them Lord, for they didn't know what they were
saying." Those three preachers too were walking the
way of Cain.

They never said one wrong thing about God. But
jealousy burned in their hearts against Job - and
because of that jealousy, despite all their doctrinal
correctness, God was ready to destroy them. When
God blesses another brother materially and blesses
his children as well, can you rejoice in it? Or do such
things bother you?

If it bothers you that a spiritual brother is also
financially well-off, it would be a good thing to ask
yourself why you are bothered? It must be because
money means so much to you! You must be
considering money to be a big thing! That's why!
Otherwise, it wouldn't bother you at all. You would be
happy that your brother is prospering! You'd be happy
even if he has a house ten times as big as yours! And
you would be happy to see that he's got a car, when
you've got only a scooter or a cycle.

When you get to heaven, you will discover that money
has no value at all. Godliness with contentment, you
will discover, was the greatest thing of all - not
godliness with prosperity, but godliness with
contentment. The only way to be perfectly happy and
content with our financial circumstances, is by seeing
that God is the One Who determines our financial
boundaries. He determines how much each of us
should earn. That is not determined by man or by
circumstances, but by God.

Why are you jealous then of someone who has more
wealth than you? Why can't you be happy when
someone prospers both spiritually and materially? Do
you have godliness with contentment?

Can you rejoice when another brother's children are
spiritual, even if your own children are carnal? Or do
you have some jealousy there too, and secretly wish
that his children will fall in some way?

The green thread of jealousy runs all the way through
the Bible, in the lives of many religious people. It
started with Cain. Job's 3 friends had it. It was found in
Korah, in King Saul, in Absalom, in the Pharisees (in
Jesus' time) and also in the Jewish leaders (of Paul's
time) who were constantly jealous of the apostle
Paul's influence over the other Jews. Unfortunately this
evil continues to run in the lives of many believers
today as well.

Is there jealousy in your heart today? Are you trying to
show people that you are better than others? Are you
waiting for some calamity to hit that some brother or
his family? Then, like Job's preacher friends, you may
look happy externally, but you know you're not! You're
jealous. You're walking the way of Cain.

Are you jealous because somebody else's ministry
prospers, his church prospers and you don't think it
should be that way, because he's wrong in this thing
and that thing and the other thing? But God is blessing
him and so God obviously, doesn't share your opinion
about him! What should you do, when you find that God
dis-agrees with your opinion of a brother! You should
humble yourself, acknowledge your error and agree
with God. Let God be true, and every man a liar.

Sister, are you jealous of some other sister whom
seems to have everything going smoothly for her,
whereas you face pressure upon pressure daily? Do
you find yourself hoping that some misfortune will
befall that sister?

It is in our hidden attitudes that we can discover
whether we are in fellowship with God or the Devil.

God exposes your heart to you in love today, just like he
exposed Cain's heart to him. And He tells you also: "If
you intend well, your face will be lifted up! You will also
be accepted! My fire can come upon your life too!"

We are called to lay down our lives for our brothers.
How far Christians have drifted from the Spirit of Christ
when they imagine that God is with them, just because
their doctrines are right, or because they speak in
tongues, or because their praise and worship is so
melodious. These are not the marks of God's

Did Jesus say, "All men will know you are my disciples,
when your doctrines are right"? Did He say, "All men
will know you are my disciples, when you break bread
every week" or ".when you speak in tongues" or
"..when your praise and worship is melodious."? No.

He said, "All men will know you are my disciples when
you love one another".

If God has shown you something in your heart of the
spirit of Cain or of the spirit of Korah or of the spirit of
Absalom.. repent!

If you find that you have the spirit of Eliphaz, Bildad and
Zophar, or of the Pharisees..repent!

There is forgiveness with God, that He may be feared.

God is Almighty and we are all nobodies. Let us
humble ourselves then under His mighty hand.

He who has ears to hear let him hear. Amen


Mike Balog

 2005/7/9 9:54Profile

Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2749
Phoenix, Arizona USA


What a message this is! I just read this myself and was going to post it here, you beat me to it Mike. ;-)

I was paricularly convicted by the following passage from this article and I have to ask the Lord to reveal to my heart the answer to this question, "am I an accuser or an intercessor?"

Cain killed his brother. The children of the devil
manifest themselves by slaying their brothers and
sisters. The children of God however put their own self-
life to death.

Cain smashed Abel’s head in with a rock. But today
people are gentler - they don’t use rocks, they use their
tongues! When you tear down your brothers and
sisters with your tongue, speaking evil of them and
making them look bad and small in the eyes of others,
you’re actually slaying them. In this the children of the
devil are made manifest - because they are murderers
like their father, the devil.

Revelation 12: 9, 10 says that the devil accuses God’s
children day and night. He doesn’t tell God false things
about the brothers and sisters, because God knows
everything! He tells God only the truth about the faults
and sins found in God’s people. Like Satan, an
accuser may speak the absolute truth and still be an
ac-cuser. That’s the way of Cain - and “no murderer
has eternal life abiding in hi” (1 Jn.3:15).

Do you slay your brothers and sisters? Then listen to
what the Holy Spirit says: “No murderer has eternal life
abiding in him.” Even if you claim to be born again and
baptized in water and baptized in the Holy Spirit and
speaking in tongues and breaking bread every week
and have removed all your gold ornaments, and
whatever else, if you speak evil of your brothers and
sisters, you are a murderer and you do NOT have
eternal life in you.

When Ham told his brothers that their father Noah was
lying down drunk and naked, he did not tell a lie. What
he said was the absolute truth. Yet God cursed him for
saying that. Why did God curse him? For speaking the
truth in the spirit of the accuser. And that curse comes
today on all who accuse God’s children.

Satan accuses believers day and night. Jesus also
does something day and night. He prays for us day
and night (Heb.7:25).

Most Christians accuse other believers for far lesser
crimes than getting drunk and lying naked!! They ac-
cuse them even for small faults that they see in them.
Those faults may be there. Jesus sees them, Satan
sees them and we see them. But the reactions of each
are different. Satan accuses. Jesus intercedes. What
do we do?

In Christ,


Ron Halverson

 2005/7/9 12:06Profile

 Re: Zac Poonen ~ THE WAY OF CAIN


Very searching. Much food for prayers.

One thing of interest is the causes and effects Poonen notes. Even if said condition not from directly similar roots, tends towards similar outcome and have similar resolution.

Sorry this is vague. I feel this is not the moment to give details, but one thing I recognised straight away - the wanderer - and what interests me more is the connection with jealousy, which, until the last couple of years I would never have been able to identify in myself, nor its roots, nor its outworking, but pivotal similarlities striking as I veiw all the facts of which I'm now aware.

The secret of fruitfulness still lies, as Jesus said, in falling into the ground, and dying to our self-life (John 12:24). The secret is not in a doctrine, it's not in a pattern; it's in a life - the life of Jesus that God gives us through His Holy Spirit, as we [b]choose[/b] the way of the cross.

In the light of what he said about Korah, this quote takes on new meaning; that is, the connection between rebellion and a falling-into-the-ground type of death, dust returning to dust. The vessel that was marred, being thrown back onto the wheel.

 2005/7/9 16:01

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