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Excellent or Poor?
HEBREWS 11:4 TELLS US THAT “Abel offered unto God a more EXCELLENT SACRIFICE than Cain...” This clearly tells us that the LORD God is not just satisfied with a sacrifice, but with an excellent one. Yet in this hour and in this generation, God’s professed people think it does not really matter at all. Well, you’re WRONG—it matters to Him!!
“EXCELLENT”: from Strong’s #4119, Gk. pleion—“the largest number or very large:—very great, most”; comparative of #4183—“mostly, largely, abundant, great, plenteous”. (See Gen. 4:4.)
You see, the LORD God accepted Abel’s sacrifice because Abel was righteous! Friends, please take note of this: Just because you or I give unto the Lord, DOES NOT mean we always please Him in that. What really pleases Him is us in right standing with His Person, His Word, His Spirit, and so on. Abel was a dedicated and obedient servant, not merely a religious person like the religious people that churches are full of today (read Matt. 23:35 and I Jn. 3:12).
Jude 11 tells us, even WARNS us of this fact: “Woe unto them (false teachers)! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” Cain, Balaam, Core...they were not in right-standing with God, but they THOUGHT THEY WERE!!
The Bible speaks more about ol’ wicked Cain, whose sacrifice God rejected! I John 3:12 says, “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one (Satan), and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.” There you have it: evil works!
Abel and Cain
One was humble and truly obedient to God, not as the other who was proud and self-sufficient. Right outside the “East Gate of Eden” stood one of pure righteous faith, and another of self-righteousness.
Lamb and Fleshly Fruits
Abel was right to bring a lamb, for that blood offering was the true shadow and type of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who was destined to take away the sins of the world. “Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor...” (Gen. 4:2-5, NIV).
My dear readers, the ONLY WAY any of us will truly please the Lord and enter back into that lost Paradise is through the Blood of Jesus, NOT BY OUR OWN WORKS! Our own religious toil will not win us Heaven. No! Hebrews 11:4 tells us it is “by faith”, not by our works.
It is staggering how many Bloodless religions there are today—religions of mere “good works”. The Bible clearly tells us that it is “not by our works, lest any man should boast.” ONLY, I said ONLY in the Blood of Jesus Christ can we be redeemed and stand in His (not our) righteousness before a Holy God.
The TRUE Church, the Body of Christ, has been fully purchased with the shed blood of Christ (Acts 20:28; I Tim. 4:16, I Pet. 5:2, I Cor. 12:28, Eph. 1:7 and 14, Col. 1:14, Heb. 9:12, I Pet. 1:19, Rev. 5:9 and Heb. 9:14 all testify to Acts 20:28). We as His ministers are to steadfastly guard His flock, feed His lambs and sheep, and keep the wolves away. Sadly, most shepherds of today are the wolves themselves!
His Blood Cleanseth
Our sacrifices of the flesh will never wash away our sins. Revelation 1:5 speaks plainly of “Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” If you are merely “religious” and not “righteous”, today you too can find peace through Jesus Christ the Lord. REPENT and be baptized as Acts 2:38 instructs us—for the remission of sins.
~General James Green, Sept. 2006
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