864 – Roots of Truth: Cain and Abel

Many Christians when you talk about doing what’s right they accuse you of legalism immediately. Take a casual glance of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation get a concordance, look up the word righteousness and see the overwhelming frequency with which righteousness is expressed in the context of doing. What did Jesus say Matthew 7 verse 21 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Righteousness is right doing, sin is wrongdoing but there’s one standard that determines what’s right or what’s wrong and that’s a law of God. Let me say that again, there is only one standard of right and wrong and that is the law of God.

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864 – Roots of Truth: Cain and Abel

We are continuing with our series the roots of truth and our subject for today is Cain and Abel and as always because someone may just view one of the six entries in this series, it is important for me to explain why we chose the theme the roots of truth and the simple reason is, the major doctrines of the Bible as they have to do with salvation, are all rooted and they originate in the first three chapters of the book of Genesis. I’m referring to righteousness, sin, probation, the law, the second coming, forgiveness – all of these things have their origin within the first three chapters of Genesis and sometimes within the first eleven and hence the title the roots of truth and our subject for today is Cain and Abel. But before getting into that subject again we want to remind you that Jesus used this method of study, by going to the beginning when He answered the Pharisees in Matthew 19 verse 3 when they said is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause and Jesus said have ye not read that He which made them at the beginning. And so, we have the example of Jesus Christ going back to a time before sin to answer a question that emerged from the sinful dispensation. And this is the technique He used in Luke 24:27 where the Bible says and beginning at Moses and all the prophets He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

So, Christ would explain Scripture by beginning as early as He could to make clear whatever particular subject He was discussing. So, the roots of truth and the subject is Cain and Abel. I’ve always said that if all Bibles were banned by law, the one book I would like to have is Steps to Christ, but if the government were to say you can have a part of the Bible and that part can only be composed of three chapters, my three chapters would be Genesis 1 2 & 3. Now some of you may choose Revelation 12, 13, 14 or Daniel 7,8 and 9 which is all fine, my three, would be Genesis 1,2 and 3 which tells the story of how things began, how things went wrong and the solution to what went wrong which is really the essence of human history. So, we’ll be looking again at the early chapters of the Bible Genesis 1,2 and 3 as we discuss the subject Cain and Abel.

Now let me explain why I chose that title Cain and Abel.
I am dealing with righteousness and sin which again, each one can take up weeks of presentations but we haven’t got that. So, I’m trying to condense a lot of material into one presentation.

Go to first John, well let’s go to Hebrews 11 and we’ll read verse 4. Hebrews 11 verse 4 Our subject is Cain and Abel. Hebrews 11 reading verse 4 and I hope we’ve all turned off her cell phone so that there’s no disturbance during this worship experience. Hebrews chapter 11 verse 4 the Bible says by faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain by which He obtained witness that He was righteous God testifying of His gifts and by it He being dead yet speaketh. The verse tells us that Abel received testimony that he was righteous and that testimony came from God Himself and so we want to take a look at this thing called righteousness.

Now in 1 John chapter 3 we shall read verse 11 and 12. Our subject is Cain and Abel or sin and righteousness 1 John 3 verse 11 11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. In that verse 12 of 1 John 3 we have two opposites and one way to define what something is, is to say what it is not. And so, by reading 1st John 3:12 we can get some reliable information as to righteousness is and what sin is. Hebrews 11 says Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain by which He obtained witness he was righteous. We may safely conclude if Abel was declared righteous, Cain clearly was declared to be unrighteous, why? What Abel did was right, what Cain did was wrong. Let us take a look at what Genesis has to say. Let’s go to Genesis chapter 4 and we shall read from verse 1, our subject is Cain and Abel. We’re looking at these two massive themes; sin and righteousness.

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 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:5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. Now look at verse 4 and verse 5 and the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering but to Cain and to his offering he had not respect. Now we have God demonstrating two opposite responses; the one he demonstrated to Cain was precisely opposite to his attitude towards Abel and we have to understand why. Cain became very angry, his countenance fell.

Verse 6 6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? Now remember God is a God who loves to reason with us, so He invites us to reason. Isaiah 1:18 come now let us reason together and if we will reason as we study the Word of God, light would flash into our mind, of course you combine reason with an honest heart and a willingness to obey what you learn. Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?

God tells Cain, think look at what you did. If you do what is right, if you do well, if you do what I say to do, I will accept you as verily as I accepted Abel. God did not accept Abel because Abel was better looking. God accepted Abel because Abel did what was right and so the Bible says if thou doest well and the implication is as Abel did, shalt thou not be accepted. Here is an iron principle on which you and I can lean our total weight – God always accepts right doing, always without exception. If thou doest well shalt thou not be accepted? Is a rhetorical question but the answer is yes and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. Now we have a clue.

If thou do as well – that must be righteousness because if thou doest not well it is sin. Let me try that again, I’m not sure you’re following me; the Bible is a book of opposites. In verse 7 we have that shown very clearly; if thou doest well shalt thou not be accepted, Genesis 4:6 and 7 and if thou doest not well which is a precise opposite, sin lieth at the door. If sin lies at the door, if sin is the result of not doing well, then the opposite of not doing well, is doing well. What is the result of doing well? It is God’s acceptance because doing well is righteous behavior. What is righteousness? What is sin?

Let’s go earlier as we hold on to the clues we just received from Cain and Abel whose two names make up our title. We’re looking at the root of sin, the root of righteousness.

Genesis chapter 2:16-17 the Bible says and God commanded the man saying of every tree of the garden thou mayst freely eat, notice the word commanded but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Now the Bible says that the wages of sin, is death. And so, God is telling Adam if you eat, you will die because if you eat, you sin. I’ll restate, the only reason why someone received the punishment of death is because of sin, there is no other reason why God executes the punishment of death, only sin. So, when God said in the day thou eatest thereof though shalt surely die, it is because eating meant sin. Then if eating is sin, not eating the fruit would be what? Righteous behavior, in conformity with God what God said – do not eat of this tree.

Now listen to God when he comes down to investigate what happened. Genesis chapter 3 reading from verse 9 9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11 And He said, who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? Now God is asking Adam did you do what I told you not to do? In other words, did you sin? Listen to Paul, Romans 5 verse 19 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. What Paul is doing, he’s writing, he is getting his information from Genesis 2 or 3 – he’s going back to the roots of sin. The world is in its condition because of disobedience. Adam and Eve were denied access to the Tree of Life because of disobedience. Now this is very clearly expressed in Genesis 3 when they were thrown out but to show you how to sometimes extrapolate and work out truth when it’s not clearly stated. Listen to Revelation 22:14 blessed are they that do His commandments that they may have right to the Tree of Life, now pause right there. Give me one word for do His commandments – it’s small word begins with an O and ends with a Y? Obey. Blessed are they that do His commandments that they may have right to the Tree of Life. Now if obedience gives a right to the Tree of Life why were Adam and Eve shut out? Because they disobeyed. So, then sin must be disobedience to God

Let’s go back to Romans 5 this time we’ll read 18 and then 19 and I want you to do a comparison between Romans 5:18 and Romans 5:19. 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. Now look at the words in chapter 5 verse 18 – therefore as by the offence of one, who is that one? Adam. What was his offence? Well it is defined in verse 19 – for as by one man’s disobedience. You see the offense was disobedience, 18 and 19 is saying the same thing using different words. So,

  • we have offense and we have righteousness in verse 18
  • we have disobedience and we have obedience in verse 19
Now if you do the comparison offense and disobedience are the same thing, which means that obedience and righteousness are the same thing. Look at those two verses carefully, they are saying the same thing using different words.

Let me give another example of that, this time from the Old Testament. Psalm 33 verse 6 6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. Now by the word of the Lord where the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth – word and breath they are similar or the same, heavens, hosts the same thing. Verse 9 for 9 For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. Speak and commanded the same thing. Done and stood fast the same thing.

Now Romans 5:18-19 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. And so, we have offence and righteousness. The offence is what Adam did, the righteousness what Christ did. Verse 19 the disobedience is what Adam did the obedience is what Christ did, meaning that obedience and righteousness are the same, offence and disobedience are the same.

So, we go back now to Genesis. When Adam disobeyed God, he sinned because sin is disobedience. Of course, the classic example definition is 1 John chapter 3 verse 4 4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law, but reduce it to one word – sin is disobedience. And so, God said to Cain if thou doest well. Let me pause on do.

Many Christians when you talk about doing what’s right they accuse you of legalism immediately. Take a casual glance of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation get a concordance, look up the word righteousness and see the overwhelming frequency with which righteousness is expressed in the context of doing. What did Jesus say Matthew 7 verse 21 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Righteousness is right doing, sin is wrongdoing but there’s one standard that determines what’s right or what’s wrong and that’s a law of God. Let me say that again, there is only one standard of right and wrong and that is the law of God. So,

  • if righteousness is right doing, then righteousness must be conformity with God’s law.
  • if sin is wrong doing then sin is anti the standards of God’s law
And so, the law of God sits smack dab in the middle, it determines what is righteousness, it determines what is sin.

Listen to Genesis 2 verse 16 and the Lord God commanded the man. He repeats the word in verse 11 and in verse 17 of chapter 3. Now the only way to sin is to transgress the law. So, if Adam sinned and he did, when God said you shall not eat, that was a command and that somehow was an expression of God’s law because the only way to sin is to transgress law whether in thought word or deed. So, when the Bible says the Lord God commanded the man saying of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die, that was a command. And when Adam partook of the fruit along with his wife, they broke God’s command because sin is a transgression of God’s law. We did not have to wait for 1 John chapter 3 four thousand years after Eden, it’s right there in Genesis 3 and Genesis 2. Any deviation from thus saith the Lord is sin, conformity with thus saith the Lord is righteousness.

Now let’s go to 1st John again. 1 John we read from verse 7. 1 John, now my favorite book is Genesis, my second favorite book is John, the Gospel of John and his epistles for a second through John of course his masterpiece the book of Revelation.

1 John 3:7-8 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. Now verse 8 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; What we have are two opposite behaviors;

  • in verse 7 he that doeth righteousness is righteous even as these righteous.
  • verses 8 says he that committeth sin
It is both a doing on both sides, this is not legalism. Yes, righteousness begins with the condition, you’re transformed by God – yes, yes, yes, you must have a righteous mind to do righteous acts, yes, but some are the righteous mind. How do you know the person has a righteous mind? That’s why Jesus says a tree is known by what it’s fruits. Sin is a fruit, righteousness is a fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit and an evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit. And so,1 John 3:7-8, verse 7 says 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous – righteousness is a doing that proceeds from a righteous mind. Verse 8 8 He that committeth sin – now this may sound a little funny but we can also say in verse 7 he that committeth righteousness, committeth is just to do. That’s all it is.
  • you do righteousness, you’re right with God.
  • you do sin you’re on the wrong side of God
So, we have he that committeth sin is of the devil

Now let’s use the principle of opposites – he that doeth righteousness is of whom? Of God, not an accidental act of right, we’re talking about lifestyles, frequent choices. A Christian can make a mistake and commit a sin that does not make the person a child of the devil, we’re talking about a lifestyle sin, a path of sin, that’s what John is talking about not an occasional mistake with God’s people make.

What is righteousness? Righteousness is doing what is right. What is righteousness? Righteousness is plain and simple obedience to the Word of God and where is the word of God condensed? Where is the will of God for us condensed? What is this thing that’s the whole duty of man? And by the way the whole duty of angels, fear God and keep his commandments. Righteousness is living in conformity with God’s law. Sin is the violation of God’s law.

There are some people who say and I’ve heard and read that sin is not only what you do, sin is your condition, your nature is sin. Let’s examine that to see if that has any biblical support – that your nature is sin.

When God forgives, He carries out a transfer – we see that in the first few chapters of Genesis. Genesis 3, let’s read verse 7 of chapter 3 and the eyes of them both were opened and they knew that they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons. That’s what they wore, that was their sin and they attempt to fix their own lives which no human being can do, that’s God’s work. So that represented ah righteousness by works – one’s own effort to fix one’s spiritual problems, so essentially sin. In verse 21 of chapter 3 21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. Now I said when God forgives there’s an act of transference. Use your imagination staying in the root of this truth – what is righteousness? what is sin? I want you to picture Adam and Eve in verse 7 of chapter 3 they are wearing their own creation. I put the word “creation” in called a mere quotation marks aprons of leaves, God is not involved at all. Listen to verse 7 of chapter 3 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons – all referring to Adam and Eve,

  • God is not involved in self salvation
  • God is not involved in salvation by works
  • God is not involved and I am able to fix my own spiritual problems
God is not involved, only Adam and Eve were involved.

Listen to verse 21 and to Adam also and to his wife the Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them. In verse 7, the aprons were made entirely by Adam and Eve. In verse 21 the courts are made entirely by God but there is cooperation between God and the sinner because surely Adam and Eve had to allow God to remove the aprons of leaves, now so I may say, but that’s not in the verse, fine it’s not there in words, it is there by bold and unmistakable implication.

Let’s go to Zechariah chapter 3 reading from verse 1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? 3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4 And He answered and spake unto those that stood before Him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him He said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. Now what’s going on? This is a depiction of forgiveness – justification by faith. There is a removal of one garment and putting on of the other. Of course, the filthy garment in verse 3 represents sin, the new garments represents the righteousness of Christ.

Now we go back to Genesis 3 the righteousness of Christ is not designed to cover sin, it replaces sin. So, forgiveness is a giving for, aphiemi, to give for, to carry away, to bear away. Behold the lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world John 1:29. So, God clearly had to remove the aprons of leaves in order to clothe them in the coats of skin. If now the carnal nature is a sin, if you go to God and say Father forgive me for having a carnal nature what does God remove? He cannot remove the carnal nature until this mortal puts on immortality when Jesus Christ comes back then it is destroyed. Until then every saved person has the carnal nature, that’s why Paul says in Galatians 5:17 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so, that ye cannot do the things that ye would. The saved person still has a carnal nature but is no longer ruled by the carnal nature. He or she is ruled by the Spirit of Christ, by the nature of Christ. He’s a renewed spiritual creature according to John 3:6 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. We always have the carnal nature until this mortal puts on immortality. So, if the carnal nature is a sin, how does God forgive it, because forgiveness requires the removal of something and replacing it with something else?

My brothers and sisters the carnal nature is not a sin for which God holds you and me responsible or guilty. Now I am NOT praising the carnal nature by any means. The carnal nature is a terrible thing, it originated with Satan by the way not Adam, it was Satan. That’s why Jesus told the Pharisees in John 8:44 ye are of your father the devil. The carnal nature is a terrible thing, it’s a bad thing but the reason why it is not charged to us as a sin is based on this absolutely critical principle when studying the subject of sin, sin is a choice. Are you with me? Sin is a choice. The carnal nature is not a choice we made, sin is a choice, righteousness is a choice and so God says in Deuteronomy 30:19 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Let me show you a sin as a choice. Let’s reread Genesis 2:16-17 as we continue Cain and Abel, righteousness and sin, and as I said earlier and trying to pack in 30, 40 minutes what would take days and days and weeks of sermons to really flash out.

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Those are God’s words thou shalt surely die. Sin is a choice. Now Genesis 3 verse Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

Now here is a choice as to which word to accept. God said don’t eat, if you eat you die. The serpent said if you eat you live. By the way it’s amazing that people follow the devil.

  • The devil says that sin brings benefits, God says sin has none.
  • The devil says sin brings benefits, your eyes open you become like God and people go for that
Here’s God’s Word thou shall surely die. Here Satan’s word he shall not surely die. Now Eve had to choose whose word will I accept and she chose the devil’s word.

Now let’s go to Adam Genesis 3 verse 17 17 And unto Adam he said, because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife. Now let’s use our minds, again what is God implying when He said because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife? I’ll tell you what he’s implying

  • because you listened to someone else instead of to me
  • because you chose another voice instead of mine
  • because you followed another voice of authority instead of mine, cursed is the ground for thy sake.
Because you chose contrary to My Word, a curse comes on the entire earth. Sin, the curse on the earth is the result of a choice to go contrary to God’s command – because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife. Adam chose, Eve chose. Sin as early as Genesis 3 is a choice. Now there’s such a thing as an ignorance sin; And the times of this ignorance God winked at; Acts 17:30. 22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin -John 15 verse 22. So, God understands an ignorant sin, but an ignorant sin is still a sin and that needs to sink in. Now God does not charge us with guilt, there’s no guilt from an ignorance sin, that’s how merciful God is. No guilt is associated with an ignorance sin because the person doesn’t know. You see for you and me a sin and receive guilt we must have knowledge. There are people who will be in heaven who never kept the Sabbath while they were on this earth they didn’t know, they did not know. God does not hold them guilty, but before they enter the gates on the roads on the trip to heaven they will keep a Sabbath somewhere in space. God does not charge us with guilt when we sin ignorantly because for there to be guilt there must be knowledge, without knowledge we cannot make a choice and I said sin as a choice. Adam and Eve had knowledge, not guesswork – knowledge – leave the tree alone, if you eat you die. The devil said you eat you live. They had a choice and they can exercise a choice because they had a benefit of knowledge.

What is sin? What is sin that has guilt? Sin that incurs guilt is a willful deliberate intentional conscious violation of the known will of God. Let me say that again, sin that incurs guilt, not all sin incurs guilt, a genuinely ignorant sin which means I didn’t know I had no way of knowing does not incur guilt and God overlooks that but it still goes on Jesus because a sin is a sin. You see the law does not care if the sin is ignorant or willful. It doesn’t care. The law says the soul that sinneth it shall die. If I sin ignorantly, I have still sinned and the law says you must die. God in His mercy says, yes, the death penalty must be executed but there’s someone who take that penalty from him and it goes on to Christ.

So, let me make it very clear, there’s nothing glamorous about an ignorant sin, it still damages you, it still causes pain for Christ but in His mercy God does not charge the person who sins out of genuine ignorance. Sin that incurs guilt, is the willful intentional deliberate violation of the revealed will of God. This was the case with Adam and Eve in the garden of the they were not deceived Eve was to some degree, Adam was not but if Eve had stayed by Adams side as instructed by the Angels and Christ, she would not have found herself in the position where she could be tempted by the devil working through the serpent.

What have we said about Cain and Abel, righteousness and sin? Righteousness at a practical level a working definition is right doing not just right saying, it is right doing. That is why 2 Peter chapter 3 verse 13 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Righteousness my friends is right doing, sin is wrong doing. The follow up to righteousness as right doing is how? By what power? The power of the indwelling Christ because a sinner cannot live a righteous life by himself or herself because a righteous life is the very life of God. That I need to say again.

When God said let us make man in our image, His intention was Adams life would reflect His life. Adam can’t be God but he had to live like God. He had to be like God, the very life of God had to be the life by which he lived. Righteousness is living the life of God and no sinner can do that by himself, it is through the indwelling power of the righteous Christ.

And so, when I say righteousness is right doing I am right biblically but a necessary question is how? By the indwelling power of Jesus Christ. Sin is wrongdoing how by the indwelling power of the devil. The power of sin is Satan, the power of righteousness is the life of Christ. What is sin? Sin is the violation of the law of God, one word for that? Disobedience.

In Patriarchs and Prophets page 49 paragraph 2 Ellen White write these words obedience, perfect and perpetual was the condition of eternal happiness. On this condition they were to have access to the Tree of Life. Obedience, perfect and perpetual – what did she mean by that – perfect and perpetual? Obedience all the time in everything. 99% obedience is not perfect. Obedience three days a week is not perpetual. Let me say it again by saying this, the life God intended for Adam was a life that would fit him for heaven, angels, unfallen beings, seraphim, cherubim and God Himself – that is righteousness. The life required of us, that righteous life, that is the life that fits us for communion, association with heavenly beings. You’ve all heard the expression righteousness by faith. It is nothing more than right doing by faith. Deuteronomy 6 25 25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us. Conformity with God’s law is righteousness. The question is, how do I conform? Through the indwelling power of Jesus Christ.

Cain and Abel is our subject. Cain representing sin, Abel representing righteousness.
So, we have said that sin is the violation of the known will of God. Why do I say the known will of God? Is because there is such a thing as ignorant sin and ignorant sin does not incur guilt.

In Gospel Workers page 162 paragraph 2 Ellen White writes light makes manifest and reproves the errors that were concealed in darkness, meaning ignorance, and as light comes the life and character of men must change correspondingly to be in harmony with it. Sins that were once sins of ignorance because of the blindness of the mind can no more be indulged in without incurring guilt. What she’s saying is when the light of truth comes, an ignorant sin ceases to be ignorance sin and if it’s committed again then it incurs guilt. That’s why I define sin as sin that in incurs guilt, that’s what causes destruction and condemnation, is the willful violation of the known will of God. Adam’s sin was not ignorant sin. Eve’s sin was not ignorant, it was willful and so they came under the condemnation of God’s law.

Last Events page 217 paragraph 5 Ellen White writes none will be condemned for not heeding light and knowledge that they never had and they could not obtain. Genuine ignorance does not bring condemnation for the sinner, the curse goes onto Christ.

What is sin? It is a choice to do wrong with full knowledge of what is right. Let me reword that, what is sin that brings condemnation and guilt? A choice to do wrong when having the knowledge of right, which is precisely what Adam and Eve did. No one will be lost because of ignorant sin, that’s not the problem of the world.

  • The problem of the world is direct and willful violation of God’s law
  • The problem with the world is deliberate disobedience to the plainly spoken word of God. And the LORD commanded the man saying do not eat – that was somehow an expression of God’s law because that’s the only way to sin and Adam went contrary to that, coldly and blatantly and plunge the world into sin.
And so, we have to ask ourselves, is there an area of my life where I am willfully disobeying God? Willfully, while I sing the hymns very loudly willfully disobey God? I am placing myself under condemnation, I am flirting with death, not just death that’s the consequence of sin, I mean the second death from which there is no return. Am I knowingly, intentionally, purposefully violating God’s law? If the answer is yes, then the same power with which I choose to sin is the same power by which I can choose to do what is right by the power of Christ that will with which we exercise the power of choice.

My friend’s life comes down to right and wrong, righteous or sinful, obedient or disobedient.

Christ Object lessons page 283 paragraph 3 Ellen White writes these words there are only two classes in the world today and only two classes will be recognized in the judgement – those who violate God’s law and those who obeyed and that goes all the way back to Adam and Eve and then Cain and Abel and all the way down; only two classes. Listen to this very fascinating statement, here’s what the statement says, the only question asked in the judgment will be are they obedient to my commandments? Let me say that again, the only question asked in the judgment will be are they obedient to my commandments? That comes from the West Indian messenger July 1 1912 paragraph 5.

Now this is essentially what God asked when He came down into the garden. Listen to God, Genesis 3:11 11 And he said, who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? What is God saying, did you disobey me? Did you obey or did you disobey? What did you do? That’s what God was asking. The only question, because when God came down that was judgment. Judgment requires investigation then assigning the punishment and then carrying it out. You investigate, you determine guilt, innocence then you execute when there’s a reward or punishment. Christ came what happened? Spoke to Adam. Adam said whatever, okay. Adam, you be quiet because judgment is individual not family. Then Eve by herself, what happened yeah fine. Then God gave Eve her punishment verse 16, then Adam his, then snake his in verse 15. But God’s essential question was, did you disobey me and Ellen White says the only question asked in the judgment are they obedient to my command? did they do what I said?

Let me tell you something about the carnal nature as I close. Always remember if you find yourself resisting the concept of obedience always remember the problem with the carnal nature is God’s law. Listen to Romans 8:7 because the carnal mind is enmity against God. What is enmity? Hatred, hostility. So, you asked the question, why is the carnal mind so hostile to God? The verses say it has hostility, it says it is enmity why? The verse explains because it is not subject to the law of God. The law of God is the basis for the enmity the carnal nature feels towards God. The law of God is the basis for the enmity Satan feels towards God. It is the law of God, this is the mind the unconverted person has that directs his or her life.

And so, the person does not like the concept of obey but even after conversion, hmm. Even after conversion when the child of God is studying the word the law hating mind tries to corrupt the person’s study. So many Christians are opposed to obedience. They hate the concept and that is the carnal mind working its satanic magic in the person’s mind. The Bible is so simple, it’s so simple – righteousness is right doing, sin is wrong doing.

Listen to Mary, now no one knows you like your mother not even your father, God bless all fathers. No one knows you like your mother. 1And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 3And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus said unto him, They have no wine. – John chapter 2:1-3. Verse 4 4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. Verse 5 5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. If Adam and Eve had followed that counsel, we would not be here in this condition. Let me say it again, Mary’s words are counsel for the whole world and there’s life in that advice, whatsoever He tells you to do, do it. That’s how to live a blessed life, that’s a righteous life. The opposite is a sinful life:

  • whatever He tells you to do modify it, that’s a sinful life.
  • whatever He tells you to do offer some recommendations, that’s a sinful life.
A sinful life doesn’t necessarily include murder and genocide and patricide and robbing banks and blowing up, no, no, no, no, no it can be just a polite sophisticated opposition to one area of God’s Word, that’s all, just one. Where there’s no surrender and 99.9% surrendered to God qualifies you for very sophisticated entrance into hell. I urge you from my heart, ask God to give you a mind to do whatever He says. That was Christ’s testimony of His relationship with His Father.

Listen to John 8:29 He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; why? For I do always the things that please him. Use the law of opposites, if the Father stays with those who do always a thing that please Him, what is this as you to those who don’t?

May God’s Spirit lead our minds to fall in love with the concept of obeying God, so that what was said of Christ and prophetic words I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart – that can be said of us – our greatest joy is to obey God.

Remember when Jacob was deceived by Laban, he worked seven years for Rachel? When he pulled back that veil I guess he probably screamed when he saw who it was – her sister Leah, not an attractive woman. Laban said seven more years, he ended up working twenty years. The Bible says they seemed as nothing, nothing why? He loved Rachel so much the years felt like nothing. When you love God obedience is not a chore, it’s a lifestyle of love. May God bless us as we follow the path of Abel not Cain, as we follow the path of righteousness and not sin.

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