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God Is Speaking, Are We Listening?


"By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks."
Good Morning my beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's day! We're so glad to have our brothers and sisters from around the world here with us today. Please know, that we continue to lift all of you up in our prayers. We would  ask that you would do the same for us. We praise God that He continues to bless and grow our ministry, allowing us to reach even more people! We would therefore, like to encourage all of you to share it with all of your family and friends. And, may God alone receive the glory. 
I would again like to encourage all of you to please visit our Prayer Wall, as there have been a number of new prayer requests. Please add any prayers or concerns that you may have as well. We are all called to pray with and for one another, in keeping with the commands of our Lord.
We know, that it is possible to have a momentary non-saving kind of faith and it is possible to have a somewhat prolonged saving faith where you are actually described as being a disciple; however, it isn’t quite the real thing, because at some point you turn and walk away when the teaching doesn’t quite suit you. The question then arises, "What kind of faith, is the faith that saves the soul?" 
We could obtain our understanding of faith, in the secular sense with the dictionary definition. The Oxford American Dictionary says this; Faith is reliance or trust in a person or thing. It is belief in a religious doctrine. It is a system of religious belief, i.e., the Christian faith. It is loyalty, sincerity." Well that’s a fairly decent definition of faith: reliance, trust, loyalty, sincerity.
For an even a better definition of faith out of a dictionary, we could look to the Oxford English Dictionary, and there we find that this is how the English define faith: confidence, reliance, trust, beliefs proceeding from reliance on testimony or authority, the duty of fulfilling one’s trust, allegiance owed to a superior, the obligation of a promise or engagement; and the quality of fulfilling one’s trust, faithfulness, fidelity and loyalty. This is a more extensive and even a better definition of faith.
However, in the Oxford English dictionary, there’s another paragraph that is just marvelous, its tremendous. It is a theological definition of faith. And, here is what that says. "That kind of faith is distinctively called saving or justifying faith by which in the teaching of the New Testament a sinner is justified in the sight of God. This is variously defined by theologians, but there is general agreement in regard to it as a conviction practically operative on the character and will, and thus opposed to the mere intellectual assent to religious truth sometimes called speculative faith."
I believe that theologians had ought to go get  a copy of an Oxford English Dictionary. Because that is a wonderful definition of saving faith. Allow me to just quickly read again to you the later part of that definition, "It as a conviction practically operative on the character and will, and thus opposed to the mere intellectual assent to religious truth sometimes called speculative faith."
It's saying that faith is a belief and a conviction that changes your life, changes the way you are; it affects your character and your will. There are many who preach the Word today, who seem to want a strip faith of that part. They want to redefine faith without the idea of loyalty or faithfulness or allegiance or submission or duty or fidelity or obligation. They want to make faith simplistic, where you just sort of believe in Jesus and that’s the end of it. Well, the Bible says, even the demons believe! Belief is Jesus is not enough!
And, according to the Oxford English Dictionary the word "believe," which of course in many ways is a synonym of faith, is defined in this way; "To have confidence in a person, and consequently to rely upon or trust to him or her." The dictionary notes that believe is derived from root words that mean "to hold estimable, valuable, pleasing or satisfactory, to be satisfied with." Allow me to quickly sum that up for you, "believe" in the Oxford English Dictionary means "to be completely satisfied with a person so as to have confidence and trust in that person."
Faith is not validated as faith until it responds in doing what God requires. That is why James 2:18, can challenge; "But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."
So, what the is saving faith? 
It is believing in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the degree that you are completely satisfied with Him, as to commit your life to Him in loyalty, faithfulness, allegiance, submission, duty, fidelity, obligation; and it is not mere intellectual assent. That’s a great definition from the dictionary. Faith cannot be placed in opposition to commitment, to surrender, to repentance, to delighting in the Lord. That's a dictionary definition, so, let’s now get a biblical one, shall we?
First, let us bow our heads in prayer.
Heavenly Father,
Father, we thank You for this Word today, the accumulated testimony of the validity of a life of faith. Lord, we know and understand, that we cannot save ourselves, there is no amount of no works that we can do, nothing by which we can merit salvation. Faith, is given to us by You, to those who embrace Christ as all, and as all, is the only life. We know, that it is by faith, the only way we can embrace Christ. Help us, Lord, to understand salvation comes by faith alone, confession of sin, repentance, and the embracing of an acceptable sacrifice which is now namely Jesus Christ, the Mediator of a better covenant, the one who with one offering perfected forever  us who are being sanctified. By His one offering purged our sins and sat down at Your right hand, the Majesty on High.
Father, we pray for the many who have not yet recognized their sin and the need by faith to embrace Jesus Christ, as the only sacrifice for sin and come in obedience to proclaim Him as Lord and Savior. We pray that today would be that glorious day.
In His name we ask and we do so pray
Today's Message: God Is Speaking, Are We Listening?

Sadly, there are some people in this world, who believe that the world just happened, that what we see now, evolved over eons of time. By faith we believe God created the heavens and the earth.

It is our faith in God, that leads us to believe Genesis 1:1 which says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." None of us were present at the time of creation, our confidence lies in the eternal Word of God. The writer of Hebrews said, "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." It is God’s Word that provides us with all the proof we need to believe.

It is by having a right relation with God, that has always been by grace through faith. The Bible is the Word of God, it is God's book of faith. Faith is absolutely essential to the Christian life. We enter into that life by faith. Moreover, we continue in that life by faith. There is no way we can be pleasing to God apart from faith. Scripture is very clear on that. We persevere in faith to the salvation of the soul.

Open with me your Bibles, to Hebrews chapter 11. In our study of this wonderful book, we have embarked upon the study of the power of faith, it is a very foundational study in every sense. In fact, this chapter was written, originally, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to help some people who perhaps did not fully understand salvation by faith, in order that they might understand it better. 

So, today, we will look at verse 4, I invite you to follow along with me as I read that to you, while we prepare our hearts for a Word from the Lord. Hebrews 11:4

"By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks."

It is interesting to me, that though Abel was murdered at the hand of an envious brother, Cain, and even though there is not a single recorded word that was spoken from his lips in the Old Testament narrative, nevertheless, for over more than six millennia Abel has “spoken,” and continues yet today. 

So, we meet the first man who came to God by faith. This is the man whom the Bible calls Abel. The whole point of the chapter is to let the Jewish people know, that salvation by faith was not something new, in fact, it is something very old, it goes all the way back to the days of Abel. He is the first one who exercised faith in this way.

In order to get a better picture of this, allow me to read to you from Genesis chapter 4, verses 1-8.

"Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.” Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering;   but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him."

Adam and Eve, though they were the first to be created, aren’t examples of faith because they had the privilege of sight, before the fall. I am sure that you will remember it says in II Corinthians chapter 5, it says that "we walk by faith and not by sight," but the fact of the matter is that Adam and Eve walked by sight. They walked and talked with God in the cool of the day. They had the presence of God, the Shekinah glory of God with them in the Garden of Eden. 

Remember, back in Genesis chapter 3 verse 15. "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel." This is the promise that the woman would have a seed who would bruise the serpent’s head. The promise, essentially, is that the seed of the woman would come, defeat the enemy who had interrupted fellowship with God and the implication is would then win back the right for men and women to have fellowship with God. The seed of the woman would be used for reconciliation, restoration and recovery.

So before God ever acted in judgment, God displayed mercy. Before He banished sinners from Eden, He gave them this blessed promise that a woman would have a son who would crush the serpent’s head and bring about reconciliation, the very restoration of fellowship that had been forfeited through Satan. Satan had brought the fall of man and God promises that one would come to bring about the fall of Satan.

In other words, by a woman had come sin, by a woman would come the Savior. By a woman paradise was lost and by a woman paradise would be found. There would come the seed of the woman. This is a prophecy concerning Jesus Christ, of course, and the virgin birth because no woman ever had a seed, the seed is in the man. The seed of a woman is a very unique promise that there would be a woman who would have in her a seed. We know that to be Mary and the seed being our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

It's unlikely, that Eve understood all the implications of that. This was the one who would be the seed of the woman who would crush the serpent’s head. It is believed, that she may have even been pregnant at the time, because she named her first born son Cain, which some commentators translate as "He is here," indicating that she may have been thinking he’s here, I’ve gotten the promised seed. As it turned out, it was actually far from it! In fact, Cain turned out to be the first criminal. Cain turned out to be the first murderer. The ultimate deliverer had to be God and that’s why the only one who could fulfill this would be the virgin-born Son of God conceived by the Holy Spirit, carried in the womb of Mary, none other than the Holy Child, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

I would like to just interject this thought, that it’s amazing how evolutionists and even so-called Christians tamper with the account of the book of Genesis and deny that Adam and Eve are real people. Even suggesting that the book of Genesis can’t possibly be true, because Adam and Eve would have, at that time, would be going around grunting at each other and saying ridiculous things, "Grr and Ugh," while clobbering the woman in the head with a stick or a rock then dragging her off to a cave by the hair. 

While that certainly sounds entertaining and all, however, that is utterly incompatible with the Scripture, which clearly tells us that in six days God created everything and He created it good and He created it complete. Adam, was intelligent enough that he could, according to chapter 2 verse 16, eat from anything in the Garden. And in order to make that wonderful food supply everything it should be, verse 15 says, he had the ability to "cultivate the Garden and to keep it." He was also intelligent enough to name every single animal that God created with a name that was in some measure consistent with that form of life. 

Obviously, these are intelligent beings, fully human. In fact, I’m convinced that they were far more intelligent than we are. I mean, with the accumulated effects of the Fall over these thousands of years since Adam, there has got to be a diminishing effect. And, since the law of entropy says everything is breaking down, we can assume that we probably have diminished brain capacities, right? I mean, if the most erudite person uses less than ten percent of his brain, that surely, the people in our culture today are using about one percent of it. Since people lived to be around a thousand years old, their accumulated knowledge would have to be well beyond our comprehension, 

Well, any way, Abel is quite an interesting name to give to a child. It reflects a simple word really; it’s the word breath. In Psalm 144:4, the Psalmist speaks of life as but a breath. And Abel is a model of that. His life was just a very, very brief breath.

On the other hand, Abel, was conceived and born outside Eden. He was conceived and born after the fall. He was expelled, because his family being expelled from the presence of God, he himself was raised in that expelled circumstance. He had not seen a manifestation of the invisible God. Adam and Eve had seen and believed and I believe were saved. Abel had not seen and yet believed and that is why Abel is the first on the list of faith examples, the first man of faith. 

Now we look at verse 4, there are three progressive identifications that are tied to Abel. First, he offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. Second, he obtained testimony that he was righteous, testimony from God who gave that testimony and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. Therefore, Abel, is a model of faith in the sacrifice that he brought. He is a model of faith in the righteousness he received and he is a model of faith as a preacher of faith. Because, even though he is dead, he still speaks to us today. 

Because Abel believed, he offered a better sacrifice. Because he offered a better sacrifice, God testified that this was evidence that he had been made righteous. Because he had been made righteous, declared righteous, he is for all ages a living voice, through the affirming the great truth of Habakkuk 2:4, in Hebrews chapter 10:38, "But My righteous one shall live by faith."

So, he offered a better sacrifice, he was declared righteous by God and he then becomes a model of faith, a preacher of faith to all who know his testimony.

These two sons lived in a civilized home, they have the knowledge of tools, to care for and maintain animals, slay animals, provide food, make sure they perpetuated their flocks. They were able to plant and harvest, grind and produce grain and make food. How primitive could they have been?The point is, when Cain and Abel came into the world, just as when Adam and Eve arrived in the world, they knew all they needed to know, as fully developed human beings with all their faculties, created in the image of God. 

Dead or alive, scientists still can’t produce a single scientifically acceptable trace of intermediate life. Although they have tried, remember the Nebraska man, which turned out to be the composite from a pig’s tooth. That's a good one! Let's not forget about the Colorado ape man, who was the man composed of the head of somebody’s pet monkey. Let's face it, the search for the missing link is "Mr. Hyde" at its best. If the evolutionist was using a scientific approach, he would be looking for at least three million missing links, because that’s the estimate of how many are needed to prove his theory. 

So, let's look at verses 3-4, which is where we get in to the real story. "So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering." 

There was obviously a place where God was to be worshiped. "So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought his offering." We don't know where this place was exactly, but we know they are somewhere east of the Garden of Eden, chapter 3verse 24, and they are kept out of the Garden of Eden. That much we know. They were expelled from the Garden, so God designated a place. In a sense, I suppose you could say it was the first mercy seat.

Since verse 3 says "It came about in the course of time," it could been at the end of a particular week or end of the month. Then, in verse 4, "he brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering."

So, here is the testimony of Hebrews chapter 11 verse 4 is that Abel is a model of faith. Now we’re coming to where that obedient act of faith occurred. He comes to worship God and he worships appropriately, demonstrating faith. That is what Hebrews 11:4 says, he "By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice." Neither Cain nor Abel could have known anything about sacrifice unless God had revealed that to them.  So, "By faith," which points to faith in the revelation of God. He had been told by God that God required a sacrifice. He believed that and he evidenced his faith by obeying God’s revealed will. And that is why he is a model of faith. He heard the truth, he believed the truth, he obeyed the truth.

That's not to say that God rejects all fruit offerings, grain offerings, vegetable offerings. You have in the book of Leviticus, which has a number of them. However, the first and primary offering and the only one which could atone for sin was the blood sacrifice. It was better because it was blood and it was better because it was required as a sacrifice for sin. We know, it was a picture of the greater sacrifice that would be offered by Christ. Abel’s was not just a blood sacrifice, but he brought, according to verse 4, the firstlings of his flock and their fat portions. This was long before the Mosaic Law. Yet, Abel approached God on God’s terms in the divinely appointed way. 

Cain, however,thought he could approach God on his own terms, his own self-styled sacrifice could be brought, that which reflected his farming trade and skill. Cain didn’t recognize, apparently, the need for atonement, and that’s really the bigger issue here. I believe that these young men knew that death,  atonement and covering were required by God. Cain didn’t acknowledge his sin, he didn’t acknowledge the need for blood sacrifice and atonement, thought he could approach God without sacrifice, without atonement on his own terms. In fact, Jude 11 calls this the way of Cain, the way of false religion.

As a footnote, there isn't any information here about the general character of Cain, against the general character of Abel. Scripture really doesn’t tell us anything about that. I believe the reason is, because no matter how good you are, you cannot be saved by your own efforts. You recognize you’re a sinner, and the need for blood sacrifice and an atonement. So it’s really immaterial whether Abel was a better guy than Cain. Because no one is good enough. I suppose you could say, that Cain is the father of false religion and Abel is the father of true religion. Cain failed to obey God and, consequently, he is rejected.

Now, in Genesis 4 verses 5-8, "but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” God's not looking for information, He already knows. He wants to hear it from Cain. God is saying why don’t you just bring an animal sacrifice? If you do right, surely you will be accepted. That's the point in verse 7. 

God is giving Cain the invitation to obey, its an invitation for forgiveness. If you continue in the path you’re in, sin is crouching at the door and its desire is for you, therefore, you must master it. I find it’s amazing that God gives him this invitation and invites him to think it through and do what’s right. Abel still needed to recognize his sin and need for a blood sacrifice as an atonement.

Guess what, He does all of us also! God invites each of us to acknowledge our sin, turn from it and accept Christ's sacrifice for our sin.

Cain, however, was evil and wouldn’t admit it. He didn’t think he needed a sacrifice for his sin, didn’t believe the Word of God. Then in verse 8, "Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him." 

Verse 13, "Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear! Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” So the Lord said to him, "Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold." And the Lord appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him."

There’s remorse, but there was no repentance, Cain would have to live with his guilt for the rest of his life. He’s not going to be able to die. Cain was the first apostate. He did not want to recognize his own sin.  

Then, at the end of the chapter, in verse 16, Cain went out from God, he dwelt "in the land of Nod, east of Eden," out from the presence of the Lord. Incidentally, that is where all false religion ends up, out of the presence of the Lord. 

Abel was as much a sinner as Cain. But Abel believed God, he obeyed God and that faith was counted to him for righteousness. And, here, we have the first ever record in Scripture of righteousness being credited to the account of an obedient sinner. If you don’t recognize your own sin and dependence on the sacrifice that God has established in Christ as the only way of salvation, you're, you’re hopeless.

This was when the road to Calvary was really being built, then at the cross at Calvary, it would be one lamb for the world. That is where the life of faith truly begins. I would like to encourage you by faith, putting your trust in the Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice, and God will give open testimony that you are now righteous.

May it be so.. 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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