Anglican Morning Devotion for 23 November 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Woe unto them! 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. 12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. 14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.” (JUDE 1:11-16; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
If you have believed that the ways of Cain passed with his demise, you would be mistaken since his ways and wickedness have only been magnified by the passage of time. His means of destroying that which is morally commendable have only changed in technical sophistication. Cain was the firstborn following the Fall of Adam and Eve. We are not told how much time interceded between his birth and that of his brother Abel; but Abel was a prophet and Cain was a murderer much more affected by the Serpent than Abel. In a rage of jealousy, Cain murdered his brother Abel.
Cain was a sinful man of the flesh. He did not treat the most important concerns of his soul with any regard whatsoever. He knew that only the shedding of blood could be offered as a proper sacrifice to the Lord, yet he brought no blood offering and, instead, shed innocent blood. Even now doth the blood of Abel cry from the dust of the earth and shall be, in due course, satisfied. In time, Adam and Eve had another son of righteousness who would be the agent whereby a righteous stock could be preserved in the earth. Noah came in that line in the process of many years. The bloodline of Cain perished in the flood, but not the spiritual wickedness in the hearts of men.
If we look around us today, we may look in the brothels and bars of the world for an example of the Way of Cain being demonstrated in the human race. Though there may be ample examples found there, there may be other, more profound examples right in front of our noses. Turn your TV’s to the evangelist channels and there may find among the rarely righteous ministers, many like unto Cain. How so? The introductory text gives the simple answer: “…they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward.” They preach with one objective in mind – MONEY! The Scriptures call this ministering for “filthy lucre.” “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” (Titus 1:10-11) Naturally, a man given to full-time work in the ministry (not simply Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights), may require some benefit to cover living expenses, but not the lucrative salaries we observe among the large church ministries. Amazing, the Latin root word for Lucrative is ‘LUCRE.’ It means to gain advantage for profit. If we follow the money, we shall turn up a devil somewhere in the mix.
These Cainish ministers may appear very sophisticated and well-grounded in Scripture, but do not judge them by appearance, but by fruits. They are much like the clouds that arise on the horizon promising rain in the desert wastes, but they form too late to produce water and dissipate with the coming sunset. Their promise was false and adds to the hopelessness of the perishing life of the desert. They are as trees without fruit, or whose fruit withers soon after the blossom. They may sway large multitudes of people whose lives return to the same morbid sins of the past once cultivated by these deceivers. Twice dead is a final deadness. We all must die sooner or later, but for the righteous, the second death has no power: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” (Revelation 2:11)
The Way of Cain is the way of the falling star or meteorite. It has no set orbit. It is not limited by the same forces that maintain order in the Universe. It finally burns itself out in the atmosphere of some other well-directed heavenly body. It may wander the Universe for millennia until it encounters the atmospheric friction of another heavenly body. Once it is burned out, it is fated for eternal darkness in the ether of space.
Beware of the Way of Cain. To follow the false prophets is to share in their destinies. Your will become like unto those you follow: “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.”