Cain and Abel were brothers. They had the
same parents. They claimed to worship the same God. The story of Cain and Abel is not just a
story of sibling rivalry, anger, jealousy, murder, involving just one set of ancient brothers.
Ever since that very day, the elements of the story of Cain
and Abel have been present in every conflict between man and God, every conflict between man and man, in the eternal quest
to please God.
Let's find out what was the cause of the disagreement.
Cain and Abel each brought a sacrifice to God. Abel's
offering was a young lamb. The blood of the slain lamb was poured out upon a rock. Cain's offering
was vegetables he had grown in his garden. God accepted Abel's offering, but would not accept Cain's.
What was wrong with Cain's offering?
What was right with Abel's offering?
Why was an offering needed at all?
What did Abel's offering tell God what He wanted to hear?
What did Cain's offering tell God what He didn't want to
Abel's blood offering said to the Lord,
"I know I need washing from sin. I can't wash my own sin away. The blood of this lamb says to You
that I believe Your promise to my mother Eve. You will someday send the one who will wash my sins and make
my soul clean."
Cain's vegetable offering said to the Lord, see how
good I can be. My own strength and my own good works can purge my own soul from sin."
From that very day, it has never left the collective
heart of mankind that there is something dirty in our souls that needs washing. It is the power of this inner
dirtyness that we call sin.
From the beginning of recorded history, every culture, every
society, every ethnic group has felt the irresistable urge to perform some kind of ritual, give some kind of sacrifice, that
will satisfy God, and purge this sin from our souls. The human soul has this inborn knowledge that it is
in an imperfect state. some law has been broken somewhere. something called sin is in the soul. This condition must be fixed. It
The ancient worshippers of Mithra the bull slayer,
would erect a large, high trellis, and kill a bull on it. They would allow the bull's blood to drain out of the carcase. The
faithful would walk under the trellis, and let the bull's blood rain onto their bodies. Down the street, from
this spectacle, the followers of Osiris would be parading down a Roman street, whipping themselves bloody to punish themselves
for their sins. This practice has come down thru history in various forms.
In the middle ages, inmates of monasteries and convents were
each issued a small whip, called the Discipline, which they were expected to use on themselves at regular intervals.
This practice survives today in the Phillipines. Every Easter time, these flagellents parade thru the streets
by the hundreds, whipping and beating themselves. Some even allow themselves to be nailed to a wooden cross for
a short time.
All this in an attempt to pay for their sins by inflicting
punishment on themselves. I once saw a travelog on TV. It showed a far away place in another part of
the world. I remember the sad picture of the people of that place, bending their bodies prostrate over a large rock, that
was directly under the thundering waters of a beautiful waterfall. These people would let the unimaginable heavy pounding
of this water beat on their backs for several minutes, in the belief that the water and the pounding pain would wash away
their sin. in certain places of the world, you see people crawing on their knees, for long distances, to reach some shrine,
and kiss some painted statue, hoping that sin will be cleansed from their soul. the ganges river in India is famous for the
never ending stream of thousands of Hindus a day, hoping that the waters of that river will wash their souls.
People have entered into monasteries, living lives
of self denial, giving up marriage and children, in an effort to satisfy God and atone for the sins of their souls.
People have made long journeys to some faraway place, hoping that their pilgrimage would purge their souls. Martin
Luther tried to wash his soul by climbing up a special staircase, called the scalia sacra. He climbed on his knees,
and kissed each stair, and repeated the prayers he was supposed to repeat. But his souls still was not washed.
The past 150 years, people began to deal with the sin in their souls an entirely different way.
Following certain teachings of denial of Biblical truth,
and the evolutionary teaching that man doesn't have a soul at all to sin with, people have tried to rid themselves of this
inner instinct concerning sin, by pretending that it is not there. The Soviet Union tried to wipe out this religious instinct
in man by literally making it against the law. It didn't work. After a half a century of arresting
and imprisoning people for the crime of praying, the people still insisted on praying. But the effort to outlaw
consciousness of sin is still going on.
Last year, in Kalmar, Sweden, Reverend Ake Green, spent
a month in prison, for reading aloud, the first chapter of the Book of Romans. That is the New Testament passage
that names the practice of homosexuality to be sin. To name sin and declare that the Holy God is against it, is
now considered to be a hate crime. Despite the centuries of people inflicting pain and deprivation on themselves,
and inventing elaborate rituals, the presence of sin is still felt. The sin is not washed away.
Despite the attempt of this generation to deny the
existance of sin, and outlaw the preaching of it, it still won't go away. We can't punish it away, like the flagellants.
We can't outlaw it away. Despite all of our best efforts, sin is still here. Sin exists in the human soul, whether
we like it or not. Whether we accept it or not. Whether we understand all the whys of it or not.
So what are we supposed to do? We need to be washed from sin.
But where and what is the washing place?
The Book Almighty God wrote to man, the Holy Bible, tells us where the washing place is. The Bible tells us where
the purging place is. That place of washing from sin is the Cross of Jesus Christ, where Jesus shed His Blood for the atonement
and washing of our souls. The first promise ever given to man by God was the promise that the Redeemer would come.
Genesis 3;16. The seed of the woman would crush the serpent's head. The knowledge of the coming Redeemer
was in the heart of man even from the beginning. Even before Abraham. Job 19;25. Job says, "for I
know that my Redeemeer lives, and that He shall stand in the latter day upon the earth. Even after worms destroy
this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God." Here, Job prophesies, his Redeemeer lives. His Redeemer
is the living God Himself. He shall stand in the latter day upon the earth. Christ shall come to earth in a body.
Spoken by the inspiration of God thru the mouth of Job, Even before Abraham. After worms destroy this body, yet in my
flesh I shall see God. Maybe Job's friends didn't understand what Job was saying, but we do. Job here
speaks his faith in the resurrection of the body.
All thru the Old Testament, God Himself is identified
as the Redeemer of mankind. The One who will provide the washing our souls need. Psalm 31;5.
Thou hast redeemed me, oh, Lord God of truth. Psalm 111;9. He sent redemption unto His people.
He commanded His covenant forever. Psalm 130;7. Let Israel hope in the Lord. there is mercy, and with
Him there is plenteous redemption. Isaiah 43;1. The Lord says, thus saith the Lord that created thee,
fear not, for I have redeemed thee. I have called thee by my name, thou art mine. God Himself is identified
as the one who will fight against the devil for us. The Lord had promised Eve, her seed would crush the serpent's head.
Conquer the enemy, bring us forgiveness, bring us the washing our souls need. But how was it going to be accomplished?
First, the Lord made friends with Abram.
Abram and his family were just as much idol worshippers as the rest of the world. When Abram heard a soft voice
in his heart, (Exodus 12:1,2,3), the Lord said, Abram, get out of your country. Leave your father's
house. Come to a land that I will show you. I'm going to make your name great and make you a blessing to the entire
A few years later, following the leading of the Lord, Abraham
brought his promised son, Isaac, to the top of a mountain, in the land of Mariah. He prepared to sacrifice him
to God. At the moment Abraham was poised to slay Isaac, the Lord stopped his hand, and provided a ram caught in
a bush as the sacrifice. With this strange tableau, the Lord begins to reveal His plan to redeem, rescue, and
purge, the dirty, lost souls, of the lost human race.
The plan of the Lord was profound and perfect.
The Lord Himself would take the legal place of the sinner. He Himself would serve the sentence. He
would take into Himself the pain, and do the dying, that God's Justice required against the guilty sinner. This
vicarious death, this shedding of His holy life's Blood. Would provide the perfect cleansing place.
The perfect washing place.
The perfect purging place.
But that is absurd. How can God die?
By making Himself a human body, and becoming one of
us, that's how.
The Redeemer of the human race is God Himself.
All of the elaborate ceremonies and sacrifices, That were
part of life in Israel, were designed for one thing. To keep before the people that the wages of sin is death.
An innocent lamb will take the place of the sinner, and shed his Blood and die. Hebrews 9:7 the high priest went
into the tabernacle alone, once a year, to offer the sacrifice of the Blood of the slain lamb. The slain lamb
was a picture of Jesus Christ. without the shedding of Blood, there is no remission for sin. It was not possible
for the blood of animals to completely and permanently wash away sin. They only enacted in a picture, and pointed forward,
to the once, for all, complete, perfect, dying, that would be done by the Son of God. Hebrews 10;10.
We are sanctified. That means washed, thru the offering of the body of Jesus, once for all. Hebrews 10;12.
After He had offered one sacrifice for sin forever, He sat
down on the right hand of God. Hebrews 10:14. By one offering, He has perfected forever them that
are sanctified. They that are washed. They that are purged. Hebrews 10;18.
Now, where remission of sin is, there is no more offering for sin. And God says in Hebrews 10:17, concerning
these washed ones, their sins and their iniquities, I will remember no more.
Jesus' last words on the cross were, it is finished.
What was finished? Our redemption. Our redemption. Our purging! Psalm 130:7.
With the Lord there is mercy, with Him there is plenteous redemption. Isaiah 43;1. Thus saith the
Lord that created thee. Fear not. I have redeemed thee. I have called thee by
thy name. Thou art mine. Colossians 1;14. In Him, we have redemption thru His Blood, even the forgiveness
of sin. Romans; 3;24. Being justified freely by His grace, thru the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Titus 2;14. He gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a special
people. Hebrews 9;12. By His own blood he obtained eternal redemption for us. 1 peter
1; 18,19. You were not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ. 1 John 1:7.
The blood of Jesus Christ His Son, cleanses us from
all sin. 2 Corinthians 5:17-19. If a man be in Christ he is a new creature. All things are passed
away. All things are become new. God has reconciled us to Himself. Being washed by the
blood of the cross. The Lord has washed our sins away. He no longer holds them against us.
Romans 3;24. We are justified freely by His grace.
For the past 150 years, modernists and mockers of all
kinds have ridiculed the ancient Biblical teaching of a blood sacrifice making an atonement for the soul. They
call it primitive superstition. They are like Cain. They want to appease God with an offering of their
I invite those objectors to the Blood Atonement of
Jesus, to tell that to the Red Cross, the next time they ask you to give some of your blood to save someones's life.
Tell that to the soldiers who have spilled their blood on this world's battlefields to buy American freedom. When
the blood is spilled, the life is gone. and Jesus gave His life.
In that holy blood that Christ shed on the Cross, mankind
finally, has the perfect, sufficient, required, cleansing place. The perfect purging place.
Cain's offering of his own good works is not acceptable.
Whipping yourself like the Philippine flagellants cannot atone for your sins. Crawling a mile on your knees and
kissing a painted statue cannot purge your sins. Going into a monastery and living a life of self denial cannot
atone for your sins. Repeating prayers while crawling up a flight of sacred stairs cannot purge your sin.
When it comes to paying the price for sin, your money
is no good. Your sufferings are worthless. Only Christ was able to pay the price. No more
offerings are needed. No other sufferings are acceptable. There is no more dying needed. Jesus did
it completely. Jesus did it once for all. Jesus did it perfectly. Jesus did it completely.
We must understand something. The life of Jesus
is not received by half. The forgiveness from Jesus is not given out one sin at a time. We are either
in Christ Jesus, abiding in the Rest of His complete forgivness of all of our sins, or we are outside of Christ, forgiven
of none of them. There is no such thing as an incomplete forgiveness. There is no such thing as a
It is true that in this life, we reap what we sow.
If you have committed a murder, and you repent, and ask Jesus' forgivness, He forgives you completely. He washes
you completely. But you still have to live the rest of your life with the pain in your heart, of knowing y ou
took a life. And you have to live out your life in prison. If you committed adultery, and repent,
and ask Jesus' forgiveness, He forgives you completely. He washes your soul. But you have to live
the rest of your life in this world, with the pain of dealing with the wreckage of your family. You do reap what
you sow. But your forgiveness is perfect and complete.
Your forgiveness was bought by the pain and suffering
and death of Christ. You owe the Lord no more pain. No more suffering, no more death.
Jesus' work of redemption was complete. It is not possible for any human suffering to wash away sin. The
tears you shed from your heart when you repent of your sin cannot wash your soul. Only the blood of Jesus can purge your sins
away. Mary's brokenhearted tears, as she saw her Son crucified, cannot wash your soul of a single sin.
Only the blood shed by Jesus at the crucifixion is able to purge your soul. Jesus Christ Himself is the one and
only purging place. By Himself alone. Alone he sweat blood in the garden. Alone he took the scourging at the whipping
post. Alone He took the nails into His hands and feet. Alone He took the thorns into his brow.
Alone He took the spear into his side. Alone He bled the holy blood. He alone is the purging place.
When Jesus washes your soul, it is perfectly washed. When Jesus purges your heart from sin, it is perfectly purged.
There is nothing left to be done. Jesus said, it is finished. No more suffering needed.
No more payment needed. No more payment accepted.
The ancient Greeks and Romans, who worshipped many pagan
gods, had no scriptures from Jehovah. They believed that when the soul left the body, it had to travel thru a
dark and fiery place, filled with demons, until he finally conquered them all, and entered a lovely, quiet peaceful countryside,
called the elesian fields. This fairy tale has caused confusion.
You who believe that there is a dark fiery place that
you must pass thru, before your soul can enter into heaven, ask yourself, what do you find imperfect in Christ's perfection?
Did his wounds not go deep enough? Was the flesh of His
back not shredded enough? When He bled, did He not bleed enough? When He died, was He not dead enough?
What incompleteness, what imperfection, do you find in the redemptive offering of the perfect Son of God?
What imperfection, do you find, in His perfection,
that you, in your human imperfection, think you have the power to fill up? Which of your sins did the Perfect
One forget to pay for? The Roman soldiers insulted Jesus by spitting in His face. You can offer Him a deeper insult.
Just look at His passion and pain, and poured out life, and shed blood, and declare it wasn't complete enough.
Like Cain. Try to add something of your
own. Try to wash your own soul with your own sufferings within this life. Look forward to more suffering
after death in a fiery temporary hell that never existed except in the minds of ancient pagans. Like Cain, tell
God you'll do it your way. You'll make up your own self-punishing acts.
The message of Jesus' Redemption is, repent of sin, receive
Him into your heart. Receive His forgiveness. When you close your eyes in this life, you will be immediately
escorted by the Lord's angels, thru gates of splendor. The word gospel means good news. If you are
trusting in a twisted reporting of the crucifixion, where Jesus paid part of the price for your sins, but you have to come
up with a co-payment, and suffer in a temporary hell after you die, where's the good news in that? Hebrews 10.
We are sanctified by the offering of the body of Jesus once. By this one offering, He has perfected forever those
that are sanctified.
The Lord says, I have put my laws into their hearts, and
in their minds I will write them, and their sins and iniquities, I will remember no more. Their sins and iniquities
I will remember no more. 2 Corinthians 5:8. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, because your sins and iniquities, He will remember no more.
Once He has forgiven your repentant soul, and purged your sins with His own blood. Your sins and iniquities,
He will remember no more.