Greetings MOL Family!
A few weeks ago, we began a new series in our Country Living class. In that study, we noticed that country living is found in the Bible, and we reviewed the first 4 chapters of Genesis to bring out some of those principles. In today’s class, we’re going to study the 5th chapter of Genesis. But first, let’s briefly review what we learned in Lesson 1.
A Brief Review
Where did God put our first parents when He created them? — In the garden. Was that their home? Was it their school? Did they have anything to do besides eating and sleeping and studying? What did they have? What’s that word of 4 letters? – Work, and they weren’t afraid of it. Did the Lord give Adam and Eve work in the garden? – Yes.
And when they sinned and had to leave the garden and go out in the world, did they have more work or less work after that? Remember that they had to work so hard that they would do what? — Sweat. Was that a curse or a blessing? A blessing to them, but a curse as far as the world was concerned. “Cursed is the ground for thy sake”. What kind of obstacle did the Lord tell them they’d have in Genesis 3? – Thorns and thistles, weeds and briars. Hindrances, why? — So we’d have to work harder and so we’d remember the results of sin; and learn to hate sin.
All of these are blessings. Very well then, the Garden of Eden was our first home. Will we ever see it again? Thank God, we’re on our way. God has the tree of life up there waiting for us; John saw it in Revelation 22. I want to eat of that tree again, don’t you?
Now in the 4th chapter of Genesis, we noted the first 2 boys born in this world as they grew up. What kind of life did they live, a country life or a city life? — A country life; country living. What special branch of country living was Abel involved in? — Shepherding. And what did Cain work at? — Agriculture.
Did God arrange a plan to teach them how to get back? What was placed at the garden gate? – Cherubim; to do what? – To keep the way of the Tree of Life. There at that garden gate they came with their offerings. The system of sacrificial offerings was designed by the Lord to show them how to get back to the garden.
Does that involve anybody having to die? Who would have to die? Jesus Christ, the Son of God. How was that represented or prefigured? — By the slaying of the lamb. So, when Abel brought his offering to the altar there at the garden gate, he brought what? — A lamb. He put his sin on the lamb, confessed his iniquity, slew the substitute lamb and placed it on the altar.
Did Cain bring an offering too? What did he bring? Did he build an altar? – Yes. What offering did he bring? — The fruits of the earth. Had God told them to bring the first fruits? – Yes, but they must also bring the sacrificial lamb. Notice that Cain went a certain distance, but he didn’t go all the way. Did God accept him? No. Why not? He wasn’t in full obedience, and he showed no faith in the cleansing, saving blood. Without shedding of blood there’s no remission.
By Faith, Abel…
What finally happened to Abel as a result of his experience there? – Was he murdered? Let’s see if we can find something better to describe what happened to him.
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 speaks. – Hebrews 11:4
Before he died, Abel knew that he was what? — Righteous by faith. Who said so? God said so. When God sent the fire upon the altar where Abel had placed the lamb, it showed the divine acceptance. Thus, Abel received witness that he was righteous. By it he, being dead, yet speaks. He’s still talking to us now, isn’t he?
Isn’t that wonderful? He had 6,000 years of witness. Nothing that is done through love of Jesus is ever lost my friends. Never be afraid that anything you do for God is forgotten. Cain got angry and killed his brother. He was angry afterwards because God worked with him. But now, let’s go back to Genesis 4 and see what finally happened to Cain?
And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD… – Genesis 4:16
He left the vicinity of the Garden of Eden; he wanted to get clear away from everything that reminded him of God and the sacrificial system. And the last part of the 17th verse it says he built a what? – A city. That points out to you that that’s the first instance of the use of the word “city” in the Bible. God had placed man in the garden and gave him in the program of country living. But Cain, having murdered his brother and turned from God, got as far away from the garden and God as he could, and built a city and started the city program.
Don’t misunderstand me. I do not mean to leave the impression that a city itself is wicked. Does God have a city? What’s the name of it? — The New Jerusalem. Are we looking forward to a part in it? So, don’t misunderstand me. The truth of the matter as I showed you our last study, there’s nothing holy in itself about country living. It’s proved by our story. Did Cain and Abel both have country living? One of them went in the way of righteousness; the other in the way of rebellion. Both with the same father and mother, the same family worship, the same educational programs, and the same advantages of being in the country – one went right, the other went wrong.
What was the difference between the two men? – Just one difference – choice. All the country living in this world will never make a Christian out of you, never. It may help give you a favorable environment. But now notice, Cain, having arrived at an attitude of utter and outright rebellion against God started in to build a city. He had a city mind. Thus, we see through all the ages the great cities have been the centers of crime, of vice, of worldly business and competition; cut-throat business. The great cities have been places where men have gotten rich at the expense of others, and the great masses of poor people have been ground down.
God’s plan is always that every man shall have an opportunity to live and enjoy the fruits of labor; the cities help to defeat that; building great pyramids of wealth and power.
All right, now I want you to read something very interesting in the book Patriarch and Prophets, about what happened after the death of Cain. First, let’s take a look at here in Genesis the 5th chapter. After the death of Abel, Adam and Eve had another son, and what was his name? – Seth. That word means appointed. He was appointed to take Abel’s place, thank the Lord.
Abel had led a pastoral life, dwelling in tents or booths, and the descendants of Seth followed the same course, counting themselves ‘strangers and pilgrims on the earth,’ seeking ‘a better country, that is, plains and valleys where the children of Seth had dwelt; and the latter, in order to escape from their contaminating influence, withdrew to the mountains, and there made their home. So long as this separation continued, they maintained the worship of God in its purity. But in the lapse of time they ventured, little by little, to mingle with the inhabitants of the valleys. This association was productive of the worst results. ‘The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair.’ The children of Seth, attracted by the beauty of the daughters of Cain’s descendants, displeased the Lord by intermarrying with them. Many of the worshipers of God were beguiled into sin by the allurements that were now constantly before them, and they lost their peculiar, holy character. Mingling with the depraved, they became like them in spirit and in deeds… – Patriarchs and Prophets, pg. 81
This is what brought on the flood. The flood came because universal apostasy was the results of the mingling of the people of God with the people of Cain who were in rebellion. Brethren and sisters, and friends, it’s dangerous to put ourselves or our children continually under evil influences. If we had a barrel of apples with not one bad one in the lot – good apples, and we took some of those good apples and put them over in a barrel of bad apples, rotten apples, the rotten apples would get better every day, wouldn’t they? What would happen? You say, “But shouldn’t we make some effort to save the lost? — Oh, yes, I’m coming to that. But the point is that mere association does not accomplish it. Just mere association is perilous, dangerous, why? — Because by beholding we become what? —Changed. This is what happened back there in the early centuries of this world’s history.
By Faith, Enoch…
So, as we come down to the time of Enoch and Lamech, and Methuselah and Noah we find that the whole world nearly had gone in the way of Cain in rebellion against God, in polygamy, in immorality, in crime of all kinds, and in rebellion against God on every one of the commandments… God had to cleanse the world by a flood. Now what did God do about it? He raised up certain men who would give the trumpet a certain sound. One of the chief of these was Enoch. Let’s read about Enoch here in Genesis 5:
And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. – Genesis 5:21-24
Three hundred years Enoch walked with whom? — God. And then it says he was not – I wonder what that means? Turn over to Hebrews 11, and let’s find out. Don’t you love the Bible? Putting these verses together is stringing them like pearls on a string.
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” – Hebrews 11:5
It says that after 300 years of walking with God, he was not; what does it mean according to Hebrews 11:5? It doesn’t mean he died. It means he didn’t die. He was translated to Heaven without seeing death.
Anybody else ever have that experience? Elijah, he was translated. The chariot came for him, and he went up into heaven without ever dying. So up there in heaven right now, there are 2 men who have left this world and never died, and never will die, praise the Lord! Anybody like that today that’s going to have that experience? Oh, I hope you will my dear friends. While none of us can guarantee it, we’re told to cherish it. And will there be a whole group of people translated from this earth when Jesus comes?
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
Now notice there are two classes of people the Lord is coming for. The dead are going to be raised as He blows the great trumpet and calls the dead from their graves. But oh, Paul says there are going to be some people that will still be alive and remain until the coming of the Lord. What’s going to happen to them? With the resurrected saints, it says, we’ll be “caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: as so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Isn’t that wonderful?
What a hope. What a reality. What a reunion day. And Enoch is the first man that had that experience; he had it back there in the early century. God did it back there to show what His hope is for us down through the ages.
What a blessed hope indeed! Let’s pray that we will all be considered faithful, and worthy of this high calling!
Don’t forget to encourage others and share these blessed truths.
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.