The Sacrifice Of Cain Versus Abel 2008

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Hi T____,

Thank you for your question. Here is what we know:

First of all we are told that “Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord” (Gen 4:3). Next we are told that, “unto Cain and his offering [ the Lord] had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell” (vs 5).

Why “unto Cain and his offering [ the Lord] had not respect”??? We are told why: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin [ Hebrews Strongs #24043- CHATTAAH- a sin offering- compare Exo 29:14-“. . . it is a sin offering- Strongs # 2403] lieth at the door. . .” (vs 7). Our lives are an offering to God, regardless of what sort it is.

If our lives are a ‘daily dying’ to the flesh, we are a ‘burnt offering’, a ‘sweet savor’ offering to the Lord. If our lives are lived to exalt ourselves in any way, even if we do good works, if they are for selfish motives, or if we simply take credit for our good works, we become a ‘chattaah’ a ‘sin’ or a ‘sin offering’, (same Hebrew word for either ‘sin’ or ‘sin offering’) to the Lord.

Exo 29:14 But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it [ is] a sin offering.

The words ‘sin offering’ are derived from the single Hebrew word ‘chattaah’. Our perfect savior was slain ‘without the camp’, outside the city, because “He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2Co 5:21).

The books of Exodus and Leviticus reveal that God gave Israel five types of sacrifices. They were

1) the burnt offering,
2) the peace offering,
3) the meat or meal offering,
4) the sin offering, and
5) the trespass offering.

These five offerings are of two types. The first three are referred to as ‘sweet savor offerings’. The last two are not sweet savor offerings.

To condense what is said of these offerings, the meat offering, or better translated, the meal offering, was NEVER to be offered without a burnt offering first. The ‘burnt offering’ is a blood offering, showing that the offerer understood that “without the shedding of blood there is no remission” (Heb 9:22). “the shedding of blood”, is typical of the giving up of a life. That is why we are told to consider ourselves as “crucified with Christ” (Gal 2:20), and to “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God. . .” (Rom 12:1).

Like the rejected firstborn of every generation, many Christians today just like Cain, see no need for an altar (the cross) or a blood sacrifice. They would much rather bring a sacrifice of their own ‘good works’, ‘a sacrifice of the fruit of the ground’, something they can say they produced with the fruit of their own labors, as a sacrifice to God.

‘Good works’ are a wonderful sacrifice to present to God. But ONLY UPON A BURNT OFFERING, A BLOOD OFFERING: “we ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP, created unto good works which HE hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10). This statement is preceded by: “by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, NOT OF WORKS LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST” (Eph 2:8).

You see, what Cain could not understand is the same thing man cannot understand today; good works are only acceptable to God when it is clearly understood that they rest upon and are the result of The Blood Sacrifice, “lest any man should boast… I will not remove MINE INTEGRITY from ME. MY RIGHTEOUSNESS I HOLD FAST AND WILL NOT LET IT GO…” (Eph 2:9 and Job 27:5-6). This lesson cost Cain dearly, it cost Job dearly, and it will cost us all dearly if we do not keep our sacrifices in their proper order and remember that it is the sacrifice of the blood of the Lamb that produces all of our righteousness and not vice- versa.

Lev 9:17 And he brought the meat offering, and took an handful thereof, and burnt [ it] upon the altar, beside the burnt sacrifice of the morning.
Lev 14:20 And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the meat offering upon the altar: and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and he shall be clean.
Lev 14:31 … a burnt offering, with the meat offering:…

There are many more scriptures which demonstrate that we must always remember never to make Cain’s mistake and offer the works of our hands as a sacrifice to God without first offering a burnt offering. We have virtually nothing that He is interested in. On the other hand, He has everything to offer us; the faith, the works, and the salvation. It is all of Him. To think anything less is to ‘bring unto the Lord a sacrifice of the fruit of the ground’, a sacrifice of the fruit of our own hands, separate from God.

Notice how Abel’s sacrifice contrasted with Cain’s:

Gen 4:4 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:


Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?…

Because Abel had ‘done well’. Abel had done as he had been instructed. If there had been no instruction beforehand God could not have told Cain, “IF you do well, will you not be accepted?”

I would strongly suggest that you read Andrew Jukes’ “The Law of The Offerings”. While it is not as exciting as “The Mystery Of The Kingdom” or “Types in Genesis”, I personally consider “The Law of The Offerings” to be the single most educational book I have ever read, next to the Bible.

I hope this has been of some value to you. May God bless you to come to the fullness of the knowledge of Christ.

Your brother, Mike Vinson

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