“But Jesus said to him, Judas, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:48 MKJV)
Today we will make enemies as never before, yet we will not make enemies as much as identify them for what they are. However, we believe the apostle Paul’s words:
“For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age” (Ephesians 6:12 GNB).
Today, we remove Satan’s mask and discover and identify the mark of Cain.
Peter Marshall once described Satan as “the personification of man.” Many hours of debate and questioning could be spent talking about what he meant. Suffice it to say there’s truth in what he said. As God comes in those whom He sends in the flesh, so Satan comes in those whom he inspires in the flesh. Christ has His Body and Satan has his.
Today, we vindicate Abel. Today, we come against Satan’s essence and his last and great bastion of power. We come against his capital city and his headquarters, his central command post and his person. Today, we come against his deception par excellence. Paul wrote of him and his:
“And no wonder! Satan does it all the time, dressing up as a beautiful angel of light. So it shouldn’t surprise us when his servants masquerade as servants of God. But they’re not getting by with anything. They’ll pay for it in the end” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15 MSG).
Today, we remove Satan’s mask and discover and identify the mark of Cain. Let us always remember, however, it was God Who gave Cain that mark. And why? It was for protection. “Why would God wish to protect Cain?” we might ask. “Didn’t he offer an unacceptable sacrifice? Didn’t he become sullen when God refused it? Didn’t he reject God’s consequent counsel to him? Didn’t he become jealous and resentful of his brother, who was righteous and accepted with God? Didn’t he let go of all restraint and kill Abel, committing the ultimate crime? Why would God wish to protect him?” The fact remains that God protected him, as recorded in the Scriptures:
“Cain said to GOD, ‘My punishment is too much. I can’t take it! You’ve thrown me off the land and I can never again face You. I’m a homeless wanderer on Earth and whoever finds me will kill me.’ GOD told him,’ No. Anyone who kills Cain will pay for it seven times over.’ GOD put a mark on Cain to protect him so that no one who met him would kill him” (Genesis 4:13-15 MSG).
Not only did God protect him, He pronounced judgment seven times over on anyone who sought to do him harm. Furthermore, God even prospered Cain:
“Cain slept with his wife. She conceived and had Enoch. He then built a city and named it after his son, Enoch” (Genesis 4:17 MSG).
False believers repel enemies with their mark and attract many to join them.
Endless hours have been spent speculating on the nature of the mark God put on Cain. This paper will identify that mark, remove confusion from the soul, remove doubt and condemnation caused by that confusion, and thus encourage the true believer:
“Straighten up the hands which hang down and the enfeebled knees. And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all, and holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord; looking diligently lest any fail of the grace of God, or lest any root of bitterness springing up disturb you, and by it many are defiled, (lest there be any fornicator, or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright)” (Hebrews 12:12-16 MKJV).
This article will expose the false believers, the seed of Cain, those who not only neutralize enemies with their God-given mark, but even attract many to join them in building cities, outside of the Presence of the Lord; those who, as Cain, offer up unacceptable sacrifices to God; those who resent the true worship and sacrifice of the faithful.
We say to you today that the mark of Cain, which protects him, is none other than the appearance of love and piety. This appearance is very powerful, and has made Cain powerful, protected by God for His mysterious purposes.
It’s also with this love that the serpent deceived Eve. He came saying, in essence, “I’m trying to do something for you. It will be great and glorious for you, your eyes will be opened, and you’ll see as God.” Isn’t that the love displayed by the religious? Don’t they promise you the approval and blessings of God if you join them? Eve took the bait, and, thereafter, she began to see things in a new light, captivated by the love in which she had been snared.
False love is a tool for manipulating God and man in an effort to serve oneself.
This love is about getting, not giving, though giving is part of the strategy for getting, just as the serpent gave to Eve, so he could get what he wanted. The love the serpent brought to Eve is based on the lie that man cannot entrust himself to God to give him what he needs, so he must take what is necessary (fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) in order to see and do things for himself.
The love of man, particularly in its manifold religious expressions, has been born of, and lives on, the lie that God is not to be trusted, and must be manipulated, along with all of His creation, to get what you want.
False love is a tool for manipulating God and man in an effort to serve oneself.
Cain was operating in this love when he made his sacrifice to God, in order not to give to Him, but to get from Him. His giving had a selfish motivation and goal. That’s why his sacrifice was not accepted. That’s why he was angry. He was rejected, and didn’t get what he wanted. Think about it. What other reason would there be for his anger? If his intention was to serve God and to do His will, which is the only valid motivation to make a sacrifice, there’s no possible way he could be angry with any outcome. He would have succeeded in doing what he set out to do, and nothing could take that away from him. But because his motive was to serve his will and not God’s, he was angry because his “good deed” wasn’t accepted.
The only kind of love that is acceptable to God, and which brings life, is the one that gives without thought of return. This is the nature of God, in which Abel, a son of God, made his sacrifice. He loved God as God loved him. If Cain had been in this way, he wouldn’t have been angry. Both he and his sacrifice would have been accepted. God said to him:
“If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling. But you did the wrong thing, and now sin is waiting to attack you like a lion. Sin wants to destroy you, but don’t let it!” (Genesis 4:7 CEV)
Cain had the heritage of a son of God. He heard the voice of God, was told what to do, and had the power to do it. But he caved in to his anger over not getting what he wanted. By killing righteous Abel, he committed himself to “the dark side.” He sowed by giving selfishly to get what he wanted, and he reaped the ultimate getting tool – the love of man. This is the mark God put on him, the mark of the beast that deceived Eve – the subtle and deceitful love, which savors and seeks to save the flesh. Cain was of the evil one (1 John 3:12).
Something particularly noteworthy is how the Lord Jesus dealt with this love. Consider what He said when Peter sought to save His flesh, rebuking the Lord for declaring that He would be killed by the religious:
“But when He had turned and saw His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men” (Mark 8:33 EMTV).
Being mindful of the things of men was the sin that God warned Cain about, and which, because he rejected that warning, took him over. He nurtured what he sowed – that sin attitude, and became false love incarnate, given over to his craving, marked with the love that would assist and keep him by its power to move others to do his will.
Cain was given the mark of the beast, the deceitful giving we call “love.”
After Cain was sent out of the presence of God, he built a city. How did he gather so many together? Not by force. It was by love that he was able to do so – by giving men what they wanted. That, to man, is love – helping you get or keep what you want in the flesh. The only way Cain could save his neck in a world hostile to him was to help men get what they wanted. By serving himself he sinned and was made unacceptable to God, but he was made acceptable to men by his service to them, and kept his life intact this way.
“For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life on account of Me shall find it” (Matthew 16:25 EMTV).
Purposing to save his life, Cain lost it. He left the presence of God. He was given the mark of the beast, the deceitful giving we call “love,” which preserved him. This love is truly about getting, not giving as is the true love. It’s about how others can benefit you, and what you must do to receive that benefit. It’s about how others make you feel. If God makes you feel bad, as He did with Cain, He isn’t respected or heeded, because you expect to be counted worthy in your own right.
Men, setting their hearts on what they want, and not on what God wants (He alone knowing what’s best), have been following in the way of Cain. Men are outwardly religious, while inwardly operating by the mark of the beast. Today, the common, nominal Christian arms himself from head to toe with the love of Cain. He girds his loins with love, has the breastplate of love, shoes his feet with love, and above all, takes the shield of love. He takes the helmet of love and the sword of love, using the Word of God “in love.” And those who do a good job of it are counted as most spiritual and godly.
However, because they seek their own gain, they are not accepted by God:
“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is His delight” (Proverbs 15:8 KJV).
That’s how counterfeit Christian preachers work: “Send me money and we’ll do such-and-such for God with it, you’ll be right with Him for supporting His work, and He’ll reward your giving.” But God has nothing to do with the preacher or his schemes. If you give to get, as the preacher does and proposes you do, you’ll eventually become embittered with the results. When things don’t work out, God will be “left holding the bag”; He’ll be blamed. But He was never a part of the scam, and had you listened to Him, instead of going in the way of Cain, it would have gone well for you.
“If you do well, shall you not be accepted?”
What really grieves God is that people make a vain profession of love for Him. How would you like it if people did that towards you – use you for what they can get from you, not giving a *** about listening to what you have to say, especially when it’s for their good? What if they were to speak highly of you but go directly against what you wish? How would you handle that? Nominal Christendom is like Judas to God, kissing the Son of Man on the cheek, but betraying Him to the death. God is treated as simply one Giant Impediment to men getting what they want or think they deserve.
All religious works of the flesh are fueled by the love of the beast.
The pope epitomizes the betrayal of Judas. He speaks of Christ and love, affecting a pose of great piety and holiness, while the blood of many is on his hands. He pilfers the poor while he lives sumptuously on the praises of men. Jesus Christ languishes on the cross, where the Catholic Church prominently displays Him (or so they think), while their greedy clergy gorge themselves on the flesh of men. They are so filled with every vile thing, taking the Name of God in vain and perverting everything that is good and holy, that their pores ooze with the smell of death and putrefaction. And men feast with them, as they’re feasted on. Why? Because they’re loved, getting what they love – the praise of man.
All religious works of the flesh, the visible churches and organizations of men, are fueled by the love of the beast. While true Christian doctrine says it boils down to love – “the greatest of these is charity” – men have a different definition and motivation for their love. Motivation makes all the difference. That brings us back to Abel and Cain.
When Cain slew Abel, Mystery, Babylon the Great (the incarnation of self-serving love) was there. In her, it is said, is found the blood of all slain on earth. False religion was there in the beginning, born of self-serving love, appearing good to men but evil to God, killing the righteous. (More about Mystery later.)
Today, the whole world is filled with would-be charity recipients. (Don’t churches register with the government for gain?) Everyone is willing to receive approval, or to give to receive it, but who’s willing to lay down the life, to lose it for God? Counterfeit Christians place the emphasis on how they should be treated, rather than on how God and others should be, and are, treated. These phonies are righteous in their own eyes, so let them do as they please. “Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” If you do that, you’re acceptable to them, no matter what you do.
Today, this love has conquered all nominal Christendom, creating an incorrigible mixture, even as it was in Noah’s day, in the day of the Flood:
“And after a time, when men were increasing on the earth, and had daughters, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took wives for themselves from those who were pleasing to them. And the Lord said, ‘My Spirit will not be in man forever, for he is only flesh; so the days of his life will be a hundred and twenty years.’ There were men of great strength and size on the earth in those days; and after that, when the sons of God had connection with the daughters of men, they gave birth to children: these were the great men of old days, the men of great name. And the Lord saw that the sin of man was great on the earth, and that all the thoughts of his heart were evil” (Genesis 6:1-5 BBE).
God cannot countenance mixture: “How can light and darkness live together?”
Believers became yoked with unbelievers, loving one another. In so doing, they produced great, impressive, heroic, famous, popular people – giants, not just in, or so much in, physical stature, but in character, ability, power and influence. They had great abilities of thought, word and deed. They were heroes to many in many ways. Among them were those who professed faith in God and who moved multitudes with their preaching – just like today, or rather, today is like it was in that day:
“And as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Because as in those days before the overflowing of the waters, they were feasting and taking wives and getting married, till the day when Noah went into the ark, And they had no care till the waters came and took them all away; so will be the coming of the Son of man” (Matthew 24:37-39 BBE).
God would not judge His sons, would He? Would He go so far as to kill them? He did it, as recorded. He cannot countenance mixture:
“Do not try to work together as equals with unbelievers, for it cannot be done. How can right and wrong be partners? How can light and darkness live together? How can Christ and the Devil agree? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? How can God’s temple come to terms with pagan idols? For we are the temple of the living God! As God Himself has said, ‘I will make My home with My people and live among them; I will be their God, and they shall be My people’” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16 GNB).
So here is His instruction for our good, our safety and salvation:
“You must leave them and separate yourselves from them. Have nothing to do with what is unclean, and I will accept you. I will be your Father, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18 GNB).
Seeing how His instruction has been thrown to the wind, Is it any wonder He says to His people, His sons and daughters:
“I know what you have done; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were either one or the other! But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of My mouth! You say, ‘I am rich and well off; I have all I need.’ But you do not know how miserable and pitiful you are! You are poor, naked, and blind. I advise you, then, to buy gold from Me, pure gold, in order to be rich. Buy also white clothing to dress yourself and cover up your shameful nakedness. Buy also some ointment to put on your eyes, so that you may see. I rebuke and punish all whom I love. Be in earnest, then, and turn from your sins. Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if any hear My voice and open the door, I will come into their house and eat with them, and they will eat with Me” (Revelation 3:15-20 GNB).
We have unveiled the prime pollutant – man’s love posing as godliness.
God has always hated mixture. A holy God, the Holy God, can’t stand it. Today, the earth is utterly polluted – environmentally, socially, and spiritually. It’s so bad, water can’t wash the pollution away. The inhabitants of earth can’t tell the difference between feigned faith and true faith, between affected love and true love. All must be cleansed by the fire of God:
“Therefore, since we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, for also, ‘Our God is a consuming fire’” (Hebrews 12:28-29 MKJV).
“But the present heavens and the earth being kept in store by the same Word, are being kept for fire until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7 MKJV).
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a rushing noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat. And the earth and the works in it will be burned up. Then, all these things being about to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in holy behavior and godliness, looking for and rushing the coming of the Day of God, on account of which the heavens, being on fire, will melt away, and the elements will melt, burning with heat?” (2 Peter 3:10-12 MKJV)
Today, in your sight, we have unveiled the prime pollutant, Satan’s power of darkness, his deception, his mask. It is man’s love and righteousness posing as godliness.
Nowhere is man’s love more evident or powerful than in the Christian churches of the world. Men build their cities and kingdoms in the name of love. They gather many together for fellowship, and they do it in His Name. The love they walk in is attractive to all people unless given discernment and kept by the Holy Spirit. That’s why churches grow in numbers and buildings. They don’t grow because God is adding to His Body. They grow because they’re being loved – the very thing they seek. How much more deceptive and appealing (to the flesh) can it get?
We are not worthy of Him unless we forsake all and take up the cross.
Men prefer the indiscriminate praise, solace, and comfort of man to the judicial, discriminate praise of God. They strive to save themselves rather than to submit to the salvation of God by the cross. To the Thessalonians, Paul wrote:
“For the mystery of lawlessness is already working, only he is now holding back until it comes out of the midst. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of His mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, so that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, so that all those who do not believe the truth, but delight in unrighteousness, might be condemned” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 MKJV).
Love of the truth means not only being prepared to jettison anything that stands in the way of walking in truth, but also doing it. When Jesus declared we aren’t worthy of Him unless we forsake all and take up the cross, He meant it.
Mystery, Babylon the Great
Let me tell you a dream I had years ago, shortly after I was converted to the Lord:
I dreamt I was at a hockey stadium with my unbelieving former friends. We were high up in the stands watching an amazing spectacle on the ice. There was a great, tall (perhaps fifteen foot or more) and beautiful woman, dressed in white, I believe, with something like a wand in her hand. She was orchestrating everything going on in the stadium, the performances, the performers, and the audience. Suddenly, I felt the urge to go down to the ice. She was beckoning me to come, not by audible voice, but by a hidden power. As I headed down from the bleachers, my companions looked at me like I was crazy. They were perplexed and annoyed with me.
Reaching the ice, she gave me the power to figure skate. I began to do things I was never able to do, and I knew she was doing it. She then motioned to the audience to applaud. The audience obeyed her every command, under her spell. As I skated, I enjoyed the power, the attention and the applause, but I sensed there was something sinister about it. Therefore, I began to make my way to the other end of the arena, on the ice, where it was darker, without people. I fell to one knee, and prayed that God would deliver me from this great woman’s power. I knew that I couldn’t resist it any more than a fly a forest fire. On my knee, praying, a silver candlestick holder, with three lit candles, appeared before me on the ice. It seemed about two feet high. I then received strength to leave the ice. I began to make my way up some empty bleachers, on my skates, heading back to find my friends. The dream ended there.
Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots, is all about love.
In time, I came to realize this woman was none other than Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots, the personification of false religion. She was very attractive, very powerful, and she ruled the earth, giving power to men as she willed. The Scriptures in Proverbs and Revelation declare that she has taken many strong men. It’s only by the grace of God I escaped.
Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots, is all about love. This is a report of her and her ways, her power and her success:
“’Come, let’s make love all night, spend the night in ecstatic lovemaking! My husband’s not home; he’s away on business, and he won’t be back for a month.’ [NOTE WELL WHAT FOLLOWS] Soon she has him eating out of her hand, bewitched by her honeyed speech. Before you know it, he’s trotting behind her, like a calf led to the butcher shop, like a stag lured into ambush and then shot with an arrow, like a bird flying into a net not knowing that its flying life is over. So, friends, listen to me, take these words of mine most seriously. Don’t fool around with a woman like that; don’t even stroll through her neighborhood. Countless victims come under her spell; she’s the death of many a poor man” (Proverbs 7:18-26 MSG).
Of her, whom men love, it is recorded:
“And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all those who were slain on the earth” (Revelation 18:24 MKJV).
Here is a poem religious lovers will consider crude and ungodly, ironically because they are guilty of the substance of this poem, the very love they prefer and practice:
Flattery and beauty are very powerful assets and the harlot uses them well. Not only young fools, but also many a strong and wise man has been rendered completely captive to her seductive powers. Even Solomon yielded his life to her for her promised benefits.
But these benefits are very shallow and only temporary, as intense as they can be at times, and leave one an empty shell, deluded into thinking he’s alive and a chosen servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. In reality he’s a whoremonger, at one with the harlot and an express enemy of Jesus Christ.
Her powers are awesome
her countenance spellbinding
she touches the stones
their response is instant
they grow excited
and enlarge themselves
she takes hold
gently but firmly
bestowing a pleasure
almost impossible to resist
“Service me and I’ll give
pleasure forever –
refuse me and I’ll crush you.”
an offer hard to refuse
“It is Heaven,” they say
she plays them
in all directions
their substance to the earth
her fame they spread abroad
they tell the news
and become the bearers
of death and destruction
and loving it so.
Here are some words (we have many such examples) from a professing believer taken by Satan’s love at his will:
“And so, it is so very dear to my heart, that Christians quit using scripture as a sword to keep wounding each other; that the word of God is plenty capable of reaching deep into our hearts without a sword. And that is why I bring them toward the light, for the purpose of them growing in what love is… and Satan is not about love.”
Syrupy, self-righteous, and deluded.
2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 ESV
(7) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.
(8) And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of His mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of His coming.
(9) The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,
(10) and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
(11) Therefore God sends them strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,
(12) in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Truth can and does hurt, especially when cutting to the heart.
It is true that millions are not using the Scriptures as they ought, being ignorant and self-serving, not having a love of the truth. The fact remains, however, that the Word of God is a sword, as the Scriptures declare (Ephesians 6:17, Hebrews 4:12). Truth can and does hurt, especially when cutting to the heart, as sent forth by God to do its work. Because people are convicted and pained doesn’t mean it’s from Satan. To this woman, Paul Cohen replied, speaking the truth in true love, and, though painful and apparently condemnatory, his words are redemptive, if received with a meek and humble heart:
“You are also wrong about Satan. He is all about love, the phony kind that you manifest and in which you have put your hope. Yours is the love of the flesh, which preserves the first Adam, sparing him from the sword of God, His will and truth.”
Those falsely professing faith in Christ want to be loved and will, invariably, be offended at such words, turning away from the medicine they prefer to call venom. True love they call hate, and contempt for God they call love. They want kindness, friendship, attention, affection, solace, comfort, acceptance, sympathy, empathy, recognition, praise and admiration. They want forgiveness, but not at the cost of death to self and repentance. They want desperately to live, and abhor the cross. As someone said, “Everyone wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die to get there.” Jesus makes it clear that each person must come through the cross, as He paved and showed the way. There is no alternative.
The love of God isn’t about being loved, but of loving; it isn’t a matter of receiving, but of giving; it isn’t focused inwardly, but reaching outward:
Luke 6:32-35 ESV
(32) If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
(33) And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
(34) And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.
(35) But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
Nominal Christendom has it backwards. There are many building their cities and kingdoms that are ready to accommodate those who seek to be loved, and those seekers of love will be loved by them.
We have renounced the countenance of love, both giving and receiving it.
The apostle John wrote:
1 John 3:11-18 EMTV
(11) Because this is the message which you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,
(12) not as Cain who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his works were evil and the works of his brother were righteous.
(13) Do not marvel, my brothers, if the world hates you.
(14) We know that we have passed over from death to life, because we love the brothers. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
(15) Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
(16) By this we have come to know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives in behalf of our brothers.
(17) But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother having need, and shuts off his compassion towards him, how does the love of God abide in him?
(18) My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
John referred to Cain as belonging to the evil one. Who was this evil one but the serpent (beast) that enticed Eve?:
“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made: and he said to the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1 Webster)
Satan, do we not identify your number, the number of the beast, which is the number of a man (Revelation 13:18)?
This is the mark of Satan, the beast:
“He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to be given marks on their right hands, or on their foreheads; and that no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark, the name of the beast or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16-17 HNV).
That mark is the mark of Cain, the subtlety of the beast that men call love. Let us call it what it truly is, for it is the cunning craftiness of the flesh. It is the supreme power of the flesh to deceive. Without that mark, no man is permitted to buy or sell.
We haven’t been permitted to speak because we don’t have that mark. We have forsaken the honor and prestige of men for the praise of God. We have renounced, in both word and deed (forehead and right hand), the countenance of love, both giving and receiving it.
We have denounced the claim that this mark, this love, this pious deportment, this image, which comes with all subtlety and deceitfulness, is that of true saints of God, walking in faith, worshipping God in spirit and in truth. We and those with us have recognized the love of God, and have discerned the difference between His love and man’s love, between the seal of God on the foreheads of His servants and the mark of Cain on the foreheads of those who offer up unacceptable sacrifices based on man’s own righteousness.
The Mark of the Beast and the Seal of God
There is man’s piety and love and there is godliness. Man’s is that image of which John speaks:
“And those who are on the earth are turned from the true way by him through the signs which he was given power to do before the beast; giving orders to those who are on the earth to make an image to the beast, who was wounded by the sword, and came to life. And he had power to give breath to the image of the beast, so that words might come from the image of the beast, and that he might have all those who did not give worship to the image of the beast put to death” (Revelation 13:14-15 BBE).
Upon God’s servants, however, is the seal upon the forehead. While the image of the beast is visible to the carnal man, the seal of God is not:
“Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life–even though invisible to spectators–is with Christ in God. He is your life” (Colossians 3:3 MSG).
We are not permitted to buy and sell because we don’t have the mark of Cain.
Unless we smile, shake hands, emit a certain, mild gleam from the eye, and pat others on the back as they pat our backs, our persons are not recognized as valid or acceptable in men’s kingdoms posing as God’s. When we refuse to play the game, countenances automatically fall, as did Cain’s with his rejection. The event of Cain and Abel is played out countless times, in countless places and in countless ways.
Unless we espouse the common doctrines of Cain’s worship and conduct ourselves in his spirit, we’re excluded. Unless we flow with the stream, as do dead fish, we’re shunned. Swimming upstream, against the current, as do living fish, we’re avoided at all costs as troublemakers. We’re misunderstood, misinterpreted, maligned, accused, criticized, and condemned as hateful, as divisive, as heretics, fanatics, cult leaders, and false prophets. We aren’t permitted to buy and sell because we don’t have the mark of Cain. We aren’t permitted to be part of the cities the sons of Cain build.
That isn’t a problem, however. Our fellowship is with Abraham:
“For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10 MKJV).
We aren’t at all interested in men’s cities.
Descendants of Cain have made Christ and His saints (real or imagined) in their own image, which is idol worship. The halos in religious, “Christian” pictures of Mary, Jesus, and other “saints” depict a pagan aura of piety and love, as “children of the sun.” The leaders also manifest the same in the expression of their personalities.
Why does the pope of Rome pretentiously display himself with gestures, as if he has some mystical piety, personality, and power? Why does he clasp his hands, hold his head, gaze, and smile as he does? He wants to tell you he’s holy. It is self-righteous abomination.
Why do priests and nuns also do these things? Why, when speaking in ordinary, informal circumstances to ordinary people, do they not (don’t they) contract verbs? Is it below them to do so? Why are they so condescending, so patronizing, so “holier-than-thou,” so exhibitionist?
Does it stop with Rome? Not at all! As is the mother, so are the daughters. Anglicans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Salvation Army, Mormons, Pentecostals, Baptists, JWs, and Evangelicals of every formal stripe have their own versions of external love and piety, a feigned godliness and deportment. It is external religion, for the aggrandizement of the flesh, which is idolatry. Many, if not most, of those who are snared by this mysterious power, and partake of it, are sincere and are fully convinced that this is the way a Christian acts or should act.
However, it’s not real, and when tested but a little in many cases, is proven unreal:
“But Cain and his offering didn’t get His approval. Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk” (Genesis 4:5 MSG).
We are then accused of being in the place of Cain, condemning Abel. We’re asked by the one who truly walks as Cain, “Do I not believe in God? Do I not pray, fast, help others, read the Scriptures, go to church, preach and witness to others? Did I not ‘accept Jesus as my Savior’? Do I not believe in Jesus? How can you say the things you are saying? How dare you speak against God!”
To the reader we ask, “Because you don’t see the works, does that mean they aren’t there? Because you see works, does that mean they are? With what eyes are you observing?”
“But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to fast, but to your Father in secret. And your Father Who sees in secret shall reward you openly” (Matthew 6:17-18 MKJV).
Each of us must find our way from the Tree of Knowledge to the Tree of Life.
It is also recorded of Cain:
“Time passed. Cain brought an offering to GOD from the produce of his farm” (Genesis 4:3 MSG).
Cain brought an offering. He wasn’t paid to bring it; he didn’t bring it to idols; he brought it to none other than God. Yet note what James says:
“Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them?” (James 2:19 MSG)
We’ve all been deceived by the love of man. We’ve all been led to refrain ourselves from harming those with Cain’s mark. It’s his God-ordained protection. What Cain does with it is another matter. Can he be expected to do right?
While we have no right to condemn Cain, we have a duty to recognize that his mark doesn’t constitute piety and doesn’t display worship in spirit and in truth. Sons of God mustn’t commingle with the daughters of men – God forbid – for which cause He destroyed the earth in Noah’s day and destroys it today. Each of us, as sinners, must find our way away from the Tree of Knowledge, where we received the mark in the first place, to and through the flaming sword, yielding to death by shedding the mark of Cain and dying to self, in order to partake of the Tree of Life.
“For which cause, come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and let no unclean thing come near you; and I will take you for myself, And will be a Father to you; and you will be My sons and daughters, says the Lord, the Ruler of all” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18 BBE).
Read The Case for Coming Out.
There are many presumed ministers of Christ who teach that God only wants and does the good things that happen to us, never the evil. This is fanciful, flesh-satisfying, anti-Christ doctrine from Hell. We better believe that God is in full control over both good and evil, or we will faint when evil and tribulation come to try us. We need to understand that God is over all things. Otherwise, why are we told to fear Him? “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God?” (Romans 11:22).
Those given the grace to love God and neighbor will be accepted of God, but rejected by men, just as Jesus promised and exemplified. Whoever's eyes are opened will see the same in the following brief, but poignant, correspondence.
What was different about Cain and Abel's offerings to the Lord? It was that God had called on Abel to make his offering while Cain presumptuously offered to God.