Friday, November 23, 2012

Religion professor attacks Christians in class, plus Cain and Enoch

I love going back to Genesis when I do my daily reading of the bible. Everyone has their favorites, and I love beginnings. Genesis was graciously given to us as a way to see where we came from and what happened to set us on this course, now that we are so near the end. Each chapter drips with mercy- God's mercy to Adam and Eve after they sinned, God's mercy to Cain after He murdered his brother...

I made some observations in reading Genesis 4 last night. Some things resonate with the end time, as if they were bookmarks.

After Cain killed Abel, Cain worried that in his wanderings apart from his home tribe and apart from the presence of the LORD, that those who found him would kill him. To me, this says that Cain well knew that apart from the LORD, people could be murderous. As early as it was in man's history, Cain knew that by himself he was a sitting duck. He understood what sin could do and what people were capable of.

He asked the LORD to protect him. What chutzpah! He had just killed his own brother, after being reprimanded by God Himself for failing to give the right offering in proper heart-manner. God had told him that unless Cain appeals to the LORD to hold back his sin, sin would rule over him. It was crouching at the door even then. (Genesis 4:7). But Cain disobeyed and gave a false offering, allowed sin to rule him and killed his brother, was cursed by God and exiled, was worried that others would in turn kill him. Cain did not repent but still had the guts to ask for mercy. God gave it.

"Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him." (Genesis 4:15).

We don't know what this mark looked like, but God has put a mark on those whom He will put a mark ever since Genesis and He will do so until Revelation. See these verses:

"and said to him, "Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it." (Ezekiel 9:4)

"set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." (2 Corinthians 1:22)

He seals the 144,000-- "Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." (Revelation 7:2-3)

"They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads." (Revelation 22:4)

Of course, satan is a counterfeiter and will incite the Beast (antichrist) to force a mark on all those who must worship him. (Revelation 13:16)

So Cain's line went on and was ungodly.

"Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden" (Genesis 4:16) and there is no record he ever went back to the LORD.

Cain married and had a son named Enoch. This name means initiation and was the beginning of the descendants of those who were against God. (Though Cain's line was wiped out in the Flood of Genesis 7). This is not THE Enoch who walked with God and was taken alive to heaven. That Enoch was seventh from Adam and another, different man who came along a bit later.

Cain built a city and named the city after his son Enoch. Again, Cain sinned, because God has said go forth and multiply, and Cain did the opposite. Cain had failed to honor God, failed to repent when God chastised him, murdered, lied, disobeyed...sin had indeed overtaken Cain.

Four generations later, Cain's line had birthed Lamech. For no reason that is recorded, Lamech disobeyed the marriage law and took two wives. And here we see in Lamech the entrenchment of sin and how it twists thinking.

Lamech killed a man in self-defense. He knew Cain's story because he recounts it to his wives. And he assumes that because God had promised vengeance on anyone who killed Cain, seven-fold, that God would do the same to Lamech, and even 77-fold! Lamech's inflated sense of self is amazing isn't it?! At once sense he knew he had sinned, but repentance was not in him. Instead, he rested on a twisted version of a previous promise God had made to someone else. That is what unrepentant sin does to you.

And that is how people twist the bible today. Without faith and repentance, without a seeking to know His nature and character by studying His written word, they twist something that God had previously said and either spiritualize it or personalize it and it ends up being far from the intended meaning- and usually not even applicable.

Praise the Lord that there were some who stayed close to the LORD.

"And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord." (Genesis 4:25-26).

It is now 240 years after the creation of man. We don't know how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden so we don't know how long it was between creation and sin, therefore we don't know how long it was after the first sin when Cain killed Abel. However Cain was an adult with a profession when he gave the false offering (Genesis 4:2) to God and there were 'others' out and about Cain was worried might kill him, so we can assume a hundred or two hundred years for sin to begin to express itself regularly in human behavior. We can see how quickly sin does crouch at the door, desiring to rule over us.

But just so, we read that they called on the name of the LORD. Knowing that without God there is no help for sin, they began to call out. The phrase call upon seems to mean a corporate worship. And the name they called upon was Yahweh.

He reveals Himself to us, desiring proper worship and a relationship with His people. Though the story of Cain is an evil one of sin and disobedience and death, alternately, those who call upon the Lord in worship receive relationship and life.

I post this not only to share observations, but to urge one and all to read the Old Testament. I've noticed that today's Christian rarely reads the OT and fewer read Genesis. Genesis is under attack. Unless we read it we cannot defend it. Read about this recent attack at the University level. This Professor teaches at Florida International University (FIU).

"A university dean [of religious studies] in Florida, who moonlights as an Episcopal priest and is an admitted lesbian, recently caused controversy after a video surfaced on the web that provided snippets of a lecture she delivered to her Epistemology class, in which she discusses religion and evolution. “This is a book of myth, and that’s going to offend some of you,” stated professor Lesley Northup of Florida International University’s Honor College in the video. “And I don’t really care.” “I know that some of you out there are creationists. You really don’t believe in evolution,” another clip reveals. “I personally don’t think you should be allowed to leave this university with that belief.”

Here is a video of the Professor saying it the bible is a "book of myth" and anyone who believes it should not be allowed to graduate (implicit insult is that Christians are too stupid to hold a degree)--



So go back to Genesis. Read of God's incredible mercy and care of His people. Read of blessings and sin and worship and struggle and praise of the early peoples. Eve was the mother of all the living (Genesis 3:20) so she is your mother, my mother. We want to know our family tree, don't we?! Genesis 1-12 records the beginning of the beginning. We're a generation that is so near the end that we have a unique perspective to see the entire history of man unfolding from Genesis to (nearly) Revelation.

Jude wrote,

"It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (Jude 1:14-15)

Prior to the flood, Enoch prophesied that the Lord would come again. From the earliest moments (Genesis 3, for example, and Jude's mention) God promised redemption and release from sin. If Jude knew of Enoch's prophecy, and by extension us, and the Flood killed everyone alive except 8 people, that means Enoch's prophecy was carried through the flood and that Noah taught it to all his sons, who taught it to their sons, and so on, so that all generations would know and be comforted that holiness will be victorious at last!

Go back to the beginning. Because it is almost the end.

2 comments:

  1. Have recently found your blog and have so enjoyed your insights into the last days as we know it here on earth. Eschatology has always been a passionate area of Biblical study for me and it is always encouraging to find others. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Louise,

      Thank you for your kind comment :) You're welcome to stop by any time to read, or comment as you feel led. Share what you have learned in your studies as well! Have a pleasant rest of the weekend,
      Elizabeth

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