Friday, August 05, 2005

Deuteronomy 18:9-14 p11

Woe Unto Them!
For They Have Gone In The Way of Cain

They Were Morally Corrupt and Destitute
(1 of 6)

Deuteronomy 18:12-13
For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God

This article is a six part series which will examine what the Apostle Jude called; The Way of Cain. We will have presented before us the mention of three men; Cain, Balaam and Core (Korah). This series will concentrate mainly on Cain, the first son of Adam.

Balaam, was from Mesopotamia and lived during the time of the exodus out of Egypt, which involved some 1.5 million people known as the Hebrews, the Jews.

Core, (a son of Esau) lived at the time of the exodus and was openly opposed to Moses, leading an insurrection against him.

Part 12 of this series will look more closely at Canaan, (a son of Ham and the grandson of Noah) who was the father of the Canaanites.

To understand who the Canaanite's were and their religious practices (their spirituality) it is important to know how they came to be. They are described as: The abomination of the Canaanites (those nations) was the practice of witchcraft and idolatry. They called upon a fallen and wicked spirit world, which answered and deceived them. They had rejected the true living God entirely, yet worshipped their own false gods. Their hearts were corrupt. They were morally and spiritually destitute.

To understand how idolatry developed, we will go back to the beginning, starting with Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel. Here is where we have a picture of the purist form of idolatry, the focus upon self, the true revelation of the heart of man. Today, we call this humanism and relativism. Starting from the time of the age of innocence with Adam and Eve, through the flood with Noah and his family, to the Covenant promise given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to Joseph in Egypt, who saved the house of Israel, including their neighbors, the Canaanites, the Bible makes clear that mankind knew The LORD God Jehovah. With the exception of a small few (the remnant), mankind rejected The Lord God completely, just as the rulers and people did when Jesus lived, even as they do in this day and age. The question we are going to look at in this series is one that truly deserves an answer:
How did these people become morally corrupt and spiritually destitute?
God eventually judged the Canaanites, requiring the Israelites to destroy every living thing within those nations. They did not do as God required and instead, rejected the Law which they had received from Moses and continued in the way of idolatry and divination as seen with the worship of Moloch. They became morally corrupt and God eventually judged them (as he judged the Canaanites) some six hundred years after they entered the promised land through Babylonian captivity. After seventy years in exile, they returned to the land of their fathers and began to rebuild their Temple. For five hundred years they were controlled by foreign nations and had a corrupt priesthood, with the exception of a small few, who were blind leaders to their people. Finally, when the time was come, they crucified their Messiah, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, in such brutality, that even today it can be witnessed within the human mind. Forty years after the crucifixion, their beloved Temple was utterly destroyed and the Jews were ejected from their land. Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain.

In 1948, nearly two thousand years later, surviving overwhelming genocide by the diabolic forces or Hitler, Israel became a nation, in what seemingly is a miracle to which no other nation or culture has ever accomplished, as has been witnessed with the Jews and the land of Israel. It has been claimed that Jerusalem has been destroyed twenty six times in it's history.[1]

Today, the secular nation of Israel continues to suffer from the same issues of that ancient land, which the Bible proclaims will eventually build up to Armageddon and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. God's word declares these ancient peoples will war with each other through the generations, which includes this very day and the issues concerning The Middle East. The Bible gives to us the history and foretells the future of those who would war with God, his people and his land. Yet even more, the subject most mentioned from the word of God is that of his city, Jerusalem.
The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel Isaiah 60:14
Jerusalem is mentioned 806 times in the Bible. It is the very heart of this universe, our world, even the very heart of mankind itself. Who does not believe that Jerusalem is the center of the world's attention today?
Today, scientist tell us that there is NO center to the universe because it is continually expanding. Surely, the Angels are smiling at us. And, an aside here: Did you know that Jerusalem is actually the center of planet Earth? Virginia Marin [2]
WWI & II, Korea, Vietnam, The 6 Day war, Kashmir, Sudan, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, and so many other wars will be back page news while the entire world brings itself into the quagmire concerning Palestine. The Jews, Christians, Muslims, secular humanists, tribal warlords, dictators and those intent on a global world order, will all have their eyes on that which is the basis of the entire Biblical record, that which concerns Jerusalem. This should come as no surprise to any true born again believer, for the Bible declares that this region of the world will be the focus of the last days and the Tribulation period, as everything will center around the issue of Jerusalem - God's city (Zech:12:3).

The scene that is presented before us in Deuteronomy 18:9-14, refers to the nations of the Canaanites, which also includes around them the Assyrians, Chaldean's, Egyptians and the Phoenicians. All of these nations were idolatrous and actively practiced witchcraft. All of these nations were descendants of Ham, the father of Canaan, a grandson of Noah.

The previous world that lived before the flood was destroyed because of violence and wickedness. Ironically, Jesus said that in the last days, the same would be a sign of his return, as those days would be as the days of Noah, uncontrolled violence and terror.

When sin came into the world, there was no law given to reveal that mankind is a lawbreaker of God's moral standard. Truly it is here, at the very beginning, where we will find mankind fully turned unto himself, becoming so violent and hateful that God judged this world, bringing only Noah and his family through the waters. This is an image of baptism and redemption for the righteous, such as Noah.

If this world was destroyed, then how did sin continue? After the flood, Noah delivered the first law given to man, that murder was forbidden. The reason; man is created in the image of God. We also find that Noah curses Canaan, who was still yet born. We will look more closely at this prophetic message given by Noah in part 13 of this series, but we know this curse came through Ham. Those who are cursed from God are those who reject his blessing, like the turning of the hand, one side is blessed, the other cursed. These are opposites as day is to night, as righteousness is to evil.

Sin will eventually develop into idolatry and divination but it will start first through, desire. It will then lead to lying, envy, jealousy, rage, and finally to murder. That flooded world stands as a witness of God's judgment, just as Sodom and Gomorrah was judged and entirely destroyed because of their total and complete wickedness. These two judgments stand as a testimony to the true revelation of the condition of man's own heart. God judges sin because man is in rebellion to God's perfect moral law. Eventually, man will begin to create his own god and his own morality. How did mankind become so morally and spiritually destitute?

WOE unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain

The Epistle of Jude, written some 1,600 years after Moses, offers to us a good understanding on the development of idolatry. Let us now take a look at what Jude has said concerning these men; Cain, Balaam and Core.

John Darby's Synopsis on the Epistle of Jude
In pointing out moral corruption as characterizing the stated of professors, Jude cites, as example of this downfall and of its judgment
  • the case of Israel, who fell in the wilderness (with the exception of two, Joshua and Caleb)
  • and that of the angels who, not having kept their first estate, are reserved in chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day. This last example suggests to him another case
  • that of Sodom and Gomorrah which resents immorality and corruption as the cause of judgment. Their condition is a perpetual testimony here on earth to their judgment.
Jude sums up the three kinds or characters of the evil and or estrangement from God;
  • First, Cain - That of nature, the opposition of the flesh to the testimony of God and His true people, the impetus which this enmity gives to the will of the flesh.
  • Second, Balaam - ecclesiastical evil, teaching error for reward, knowing all the while that it is contrary to the truth and against the people of God.
  • Third, Core - Open opposition, rebellion, against the authority of God in His true King and Priest.

Jude 1:11
Woe unto them!
I. for they have gone in the way of Cain,
II. and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward,
III. and perished in the gainsaying of Core

Cain was the first son of Adam. The story in Genesis tells us that he murdered Abel, his brother. After Abel, another son was born and his name was Seth. It is important to note the two divisions of humanity presented here. One is the genealogical line of Seth. The Lord Jesus will come through this bloodline. The Genealogy from Adam to Jesus Christ [3]

The other is the line of Satan, through Cain. This of course is not a genealogical bloodline as with Jesus and Seth. This is a spiritual representation of those who will reject God and choose, themselves. It took only nine generations from Adam that the world was filled with such violence that God sent judgment and destroyed all mankind through the flood, saving only Noah, his sons Shem, Ham and Japheth, and their wives (Gen:6:13).

Sin was carried through after the flood. How did this happen? To know the answer, we must take a look at the first man who rejected God, the first murderer - Cain.

John Gill's Exposition of Jude 1:11

I. For they have gone in the way of Cain; Which is a way of envy...
  • For Cain envied the acceptance of his brother's gift, and that notice which the Lord took of him;
  • Moreover, the way of Cain was a way of hatred, and murder of his brother, which his envy led him to;
  • which may be added, as another of Cain's ways, absence from the presence of God, or the place of his worship.
II. and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward; Balaam's error, which he himself was guilty of, was covetousness, or an immoderate love of money (2 Peter 2:15).
  • Which is the root of all evil
  • is a damnable sin, and excludes from the kingdom of heaven,
  • The error which Balaam led others into, was both idolatry and adultery (Rev:2:14)
  • Balaam is one of the four private persons, who, according to the Jews, shall have no part or portion in the world to come.
III. And perished in the gainsaying of Core: Korah (Num:16:1). His was against Moses, the ruler of the people, so theirs was against magistracy (Jude:1:8).
  • now the gainsaying or contradiction of these men was like Korah's; which was gainsaying God's own ordinance, and a contradiction of that which is for the good of men; the ground of which contradiction was love of liberty, and their own lusts; and, generally speaking, men perish in their factions and rebellions against good and lawful magistrates:
  • Korah gainsayed Aaron, the priest of the Lord, so these men contradicted and opposed the ministers of Christ, whom they would have thrust out in order to put in themselves, and whose persons they reviled, and contradicted their doctrines, which to do is of dangerous consequence;
  • and they might be said to perish in his gainsaying, as a type and example of their destruction, which would be swift and sudden, as his was; and to denote the certainty of it.
Cain is the way of envy, hatred. Absent from the presence of God.
Balaam is the way of covetousness, greed and the love of riches.
Korah is the way against magistracy, opposed the ministers of Christ, those who seek to overthrow God and his people.

Cursed children. 2Peter 2:14

End of part 1
They Were Morally Corrupt and Destitute

Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain

part 2 The Two Divisions of Mankind
part 3 In Due Time Christ Died For The Ungodly
part 4 The Revelation of Two Mysteries
part 5 Am I My Brother's Keeper?
part 6 Thy Brother's Blood Crieth Unto Me

[1] Dr. J Vernon McGee
[2] Fallacy of Mankind Being the Center of the Universe Virginia Marin: Messianic Judaism

Copyright Wendell Leahy
published by


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