International Conferences for Clergy
Questions And Answers
ICC- Questions And Answers - Restoration: Abel, Cain, Satan
QUESTION: 1. What is your scriptural authorization for stating that God will restore Satan?
ANSWER: I never stated this. The Divine Principle makes no comment on the restoration of Satan (that is, Lucifer). The focus of the Divine Principle is the restoration of the descendants of Adam and Eve.
QUESTION: 2. What condition must man meet to be under Satan if we are already born in sin and shaped in iniquity? Is not the condition of sin automatic with man?
ANSWER: We are not born totally dominated by Satan. We are born on the mid-way position. Satan has a claim over us, but our ancestral link to Adam does not totally annul the Godly nature and mind which seeks God and recognizes His word. If it did, there would be no easy that we could respond to the saving message of Christ, no base for the Holy Spirit to move us to repentance. Because we also have inherited the nature to sin (from Adam) unless we do repent, we are doomed to sin and remove our selves from God, until Satan has a complete strangle-hold on us, making the prospects for salvation all but nil.
QUESTION: 3. Why does God allow Satan to dominate us and allow very poor people to suffer? What is the validity for this? Example: the problem in South Africa and the problem in the USA before the civil rights movement.
ANSWER: We have to remember that it is not only God who exerts a claim and influence in the world, but there is also a claim and influence exerted by Satan. Life is the battle ground for dominion between God and Satan. Why doesn't God just destroy Satan? God doesn't just destroy Satan because man is partially responsible for the existence of Satan. If Adam and Eve had not fallen under Lucifer's temptation, Lucifer, as Satan, could never have exerted a claim and influence into the affairs of Adam's descendants. In a manner of speaking, man created the Satan that inflicts him. If God, Himself destroys Satan, God would be guilty of intervening into man's area of responsibility. That we have responsibility in the first place is the basis of our freedom, creativity and ultimately our potential to be loving beings. God will not intervene into that area so that we can maintain that potential. Therefore for Satan to be defeated, man must play a role. Man must fulfill a responsibility in the subjugation of Satan. This is the ultimate meaning of the book of Job. Job is in the mid-way position between God and Satan. What ultimately defeats Satan is when Job adheres to God through the tortuous course of indemnity. This is the way of restoration for man. God sent missionaries to Africa, Satan caused them (through their failure) to fall into the trap of becoming tools of colonization and exploitation, in that form a new nation where everyone was to be free, but Satan gained a foothold by the failure of the forefathers to renounce slavery in the constitution at the inception of America, God intervened through the Civil War as an indemnity and punishment, raising up Lincoln, but Satan still dominated the peoples hearts and they set up a segregated system. God intervened and sent Dr. Martin Luther King. Our responsibility is to recognize and follow.
QUESTION: 4. Isn't Satan's claim over man an eternal claim?
ANSWER: Satan does not have an eternal claim over man, and thus the goal of God's providence is the final judgement and separation of man from Satan. When this happens Satan will lose his base of existence and power and be cast in the eternal lake of fire. That man still sins is indicative that God's providence has not reached it's ultimate conclusion. That's why we all are waiting for the Second Coming to complete salvation (Heb. 9:28; 1Peter 1:5; Acts 3:21).
QUESTION: 5. Could you please explain your statement that Satan hold a claim over the birthright of the son of God?
ANSWER: When Jacob indemnified the elder brother's birthright, it meant that the position of the first born was reclaimed by God. Therefore, Jesus could be born in the first born position without any claim by Satan over Him. Therefore, Jesus claimed the first son's birthright as the sinless Son of God. This is why Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness. Satan was seeking to pull Jesus down as he had pulled Adam down, but Satan was utterly defeated in his effort to have Christ submit to him. Satan had no condition to claim Jesus.
QUESTION: 6. Did God mean for Satan to be saved?
ANSWER: For us, the object of salvation history is the descendants of Adam and Eve. What will happen to Lucifer is of no consequence for us.
QUESTION: 7. Was Romans chapter 7 written from the perspective of a person who is born again? If so, how can you use that to defend the position or the principle that Satan has a claim over man?
ANSWER: I'm not sure I follow your point. However, that Satan has a claim over man would be a view that would be in concert with the majority of Christian thought on the matter. Of course, you do understand, that we recognize that it is the relationship with Christ, through the shedding of His blood, that the claim of Satan is broken.
QUESTION: 8. I'm afraid I still can't accept that innocent people such as Cain and Abel, Esau and Jacob, should suffer for what their parents did. Please help me to see why God chose to punish Cain by taking away his birthright and giving it to Abel.
ANSWER: God was not punishing Cain. First we must answer why did God give man freedom and free will? It seems that in doing so, all our troubles started. God can control the animals, the plants, the stars, but man is such a headache for God. God created us so that we could enter into the world of heart that He is dwelling in. He wanted to engage us in an eternal experience of never ending love, a love that would produce exquisite joy. For such a being to exist, they would have to be givers, creative beings, beings who could take a subjective position in the universe. The giving of love is the highest moment of creativity, the pinnacle of freedom and expression, the exclusive domain of 3 dimensional subjectivity.
It is in this realm that God is dwelling. For man to possess this kind of freedom, creativity and subjectivity, he must also, as the moral foundation of freedom, assume autonomy, that is, a role in self rule, self government. The condition and responsibility of self rule, then would be the vital component for maintenance of Adam and Eve's subjectivity, creativity and freedom. Nonintervention into their role, is a sacred duty on the part of God. Having responsibility and fulfilling it, then, is the essence of what gives us the potential to stand as God's children.
We must also remember, not only does God have a claim and influence over us and human society, but also Satan has a claim over us and humanity. Why doesn't God just destroy Satan? The reason is because man is responsible for the existence of Satan. God did not create Satan. Satan came into existence through the corruption of the angel Lucifer. That corruption would have never been substantial, nor would it have exerted a claim over Adam's descendants had Adam and Eve fulfilled their responsibility to obey the commandment. In a manner of speaking, man played a role in the creation of the Satan that has the historical claim over him.
Therefore, if man's responsibility is to remain intact (and thus, his freedom, creativity and the potential as a being of love), he must also play a role in liquidating Satan's claim over man. God was calling Cain and Abel to play a role in liquidating Satan's claim. Notice that God spoke in a very encouraging manner to Cain in Gen 4:6-7, also God's intent was to bring Christ at that time to Adam's family, but God would not do it all, for that would violate His principle that man must play a real role of responsibility in the subjugation of Satan. Suffering comes, not because God is punishing us, suffering comes because we fail to do our part to liquidate the claim of Satan and we remain under his undesired rule. Even when Christ comes, Jesus must be tempted and as our representative subjugate Satan. This victory doesn't automatically come to us, we must fulfill our role by faith in Christ. If we do not have faith, even Jesus cannot save us. If we didn't have a role and responsibility in our restoration, what would be saved would not be human.
QUESTION: 9. Are Cain and Abel the off-spring of Lucifer and Eve?
ANSWER: No, both Cain and Abel are the off-spring of Adam and Eve. Lucifer's relationship with Eve did not produce any off-spring. It did, however, cause the nature of sin to pass from Lucifer to Eve, to Adam to all their descendants. Man's connection to Satan is a spiritual one. Satan's nature is inherited at birth for all Adam's descendants.
QUESTION: 10. If man is to overcome sin and return to God's original plan, then would the conflict between Lucifer (Satan) and Adam be resolved and their original position restored?
ANSWER: God's providence id moving towards the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21). God states that He will make all things "new" in Rev. 21:5. This does not, however, mean that the figures (Lucifer and Adam) will be restored to their former positions. This means the positions (not figures) will be restored. Christ comes as the "living Adam" to restore to man the right to the tree of life (lost by Adam). Once this would be accomplished, mankind restores his dominion over the angels (1Cor. 6:3). As man (in Christ) assumes his true position as sons and daughters of God, the angels can assume, likewise, their rightful position, status and relationship to man.
QUESTION: 11. It seems to me that God was setting Cain up to fail according to your explanation.
ANSWER: God did not want Cain to fail. God encouraged Cain to do what was right (Gen. 4:6-7). No providential purpose was served by Cain killing Abel.
QUESTION: 12. If God wanted Cain to offer his sacrifice through Abel, why didn't he bother to tell him? Also, where in the Bible does it say that he, Cain, was to offer it in that way?
ANSWER: This area of dispensation is man's area of responsibility. God did encourage Cain telling him that there was no reason to be upset and that if he did what was right, he would have been received. Cain's responsibility was to accept and obey through Abel's position. Cain failed in this responsibility when he killed Abel. Also God did not tell Esau either.
QUESTION: 13. If Adam and Eve produced only bad children, as you say, how then do you explain Hebrews 11:4?
ANSWER: I did not say Adam and Eve produced bad children. I said that Cain and Abel were born in the relative positions of good and evil, that is, that as a representative of the Archangel, Cain was in the position of relative evil, as Abel, the representative of Adam, was in a position of relative good. Even though Heb. 11:4 declares Abel to be "righteous", it is relative righteousness. It does not cancel out the effects of the Original Sin upon him, that is death, as 1Cor. 15:22 declares that the effects of the Original Sin was indeed "death for all". Adam and Eve produced a lineage and imputed to that lineage the consequences of the Original Sin: death. All fall under the consequence of sin, you, me and Abel.
QUESTION: 14. If the sacrifice of Cain was not essential in his rejection by God, did this mean that Cain had no choice in the failure of his sacrifice to please God?
ANSWER: After the fall of Adam, it was predestined that Cain would be in the position that he was, as it was predestined that Abel would be in the position he was. It was not predestined, however, whether or not they would fulfill their positions. God received Abel's offering. This is indicative of his position. Cain had not done something wrong. God encourages him in Gen. 4:6-7 and explains what his role and responsibility was. If he had done what was right then he would be accepted.
QUESTION: 15. Do you believe that God would not have had favor for Abel above Cain, if Cain had been a true servant of him? God is not a respecter of persons, proving if Cain would have obeyed God also he would not have been unfavored.
ANSWER: See Gen. 4:4. God placed Abel in the more favored position not because Cain had done something wrong. God set up the providence of Cain and Abel so that the blood order, corrupted by the fall, could be restored. In Gen. 4:5-7 we see that God encouraged Cain, indicating that to this point Cain had in fact not done anything wrong and there was no reason for him to feel bad about his position of less favored for if he does what is right (accept Abel as the most favored) he will be received, but if he does what is not right (reject Abel's position) sin is crouching at the door (the desire to kill Abel).
QUESTION: 16. Why did God favor Abel over Cain?
ANSWER: In the natural order of the Godly heritage, the first son should be the anointed and should hold the central position amongst all the other children. But because Satan reversed the natural order and claimed the birthright of Adam and all his descendants, the first son's position is many times overlooked in favor of the second son. This reversal of positions represents the restoration of the inverted blood order and is why we see this pattern reoccurring throughout the scriptures.
QUESTION: 17. How could Cain, who was evil, kill Abel, who was good? Can evil overcome good?
ANSWER: Evil can sometimes in the temporal, win over good, but never in the ultimate. Evil men stoned Stephen to death but after that God could claim Saul and make him Paul. God always gets the ultimate victory.
QUESTION: 18. Why did God reject Cain's offering?
ANSWER: God rejected Cain's offering because Cain as the first son was in the position of the angel. Just as the angel had to go through Adam to get to God, Cain must make his offering through Abel the younger brother who is in the position of Adam. I recommend that you study the Divine Principle chapter on Adam's family.
QUESTION: 19. On what scriptural basis do you assert that Cain was to serve through Abel?
ANSWER: Making his offering through Abel means that Cain must accept and love his younger brother from the position of the less favored (as Esau was to do later) God's encouragement in Gen. 4:6-7 is directed to Cain to do what is right and he would be received. There would be no way for Cain to do what is right without accepting the God ordained position of his younger brother. That Cain killed Abel is why later Esau as the elder was placed in a position to have to serve his younger brother Jacob.
QUESTION: 20. What do you mean by Cain killing Abel destroyed the foundation on which Christ was to come?
ANSWER: Abel made the foundation of faith, if Cain and Abel could unite then the foundation of substance could also have been laid. If their conditions were made, then Christ could have come to Adam's family at that time in history. Cain killing Abel stopped that dispensation. I recommend that you study the Divine Principle chapter on Adam's family.
QUESTION: 21. Why did Cain need to go through Abel in order for his offering to be accepted by God?
ANSWER: Cain, in the elder brother's position, was in the position as a representative of Adam. As Lucifer could not offer directly to God, having to accept Adam's dominion, likewise, Cain could not make and offering directly to God, but had to accept the position of his brother Abel and make his offering through Abel. I recommend that you study more the Divine Principle chapter on Adam's family.
QUESTION: 22. It seems like Cain had no chance. I get lost when it comes to Cain's case. Could you elaborate?
ANSWER: Adam and Eve were the last component of the creation. For a time Lucifer existed before the creation of Adam. Lucifer watched as Adam grew and matured. Lucifer could not accept, finally, when Adam was to take the position of dominion of the Son of God. Lucifer's view was from the "elders" position. Lucifer was challenged to recognize the superiority of the Son's position even though he, Lucifer, was older and had, for a time, stood in a higher position (as covering cherub, that is; protector of Adam and Eve). Because Lucifer justified his rebellion based on his "elder" status, God sets up the elder son in the position of Lucifer and the younger son, in the position of Adam. If Cain and Abel can unite, it will refute the erroneous claim of Lucifer over Adam. God was not rejecting Cain or setting him up for failure. In Gen. 4:6-7, God speaks to Cain and encourages him to "do what is right" and he will be received. God's purpose was to bring Cain and Abel into unity that would reverse and unbind the erroneous dominion of Lucifer over man.
QUESTION: 23. Wouldn't you say that Cain's sacrifice was turned down because it was not a blood sacrifice and not because he did not accept Abel's position? Please explain.
ANSWER: I think their offerings reflect their natures and respective positions. God does not indicate that Cain has done anything wrong up to that point (Gen. 4:6-7). God just has shown favor to Abel over Cain. God tells Cain to do what is right, that is, do not kill Abel, but unite with him in his position as more favored by God.
QUESTION: 24. Where in the Bible does it say that Cain's offering wasn't accepted because he didn't recognize his brother's position? Where does it say (prior to Cain's sin) that Cain had to be in subjection to his brother? How did or should have Cain known that Abel represented Adam?
ANSWER: Abel had God's favor. Such a person in God's dispensation will always stand in the central position as the channel for God's blessing in accord with the dispensational agenda. It was Cain's responsibility to recognize the position that God had placed his younger brother. Because Cain killed Abel, God repeated the pattern successfully in Abraham's family centering on Esau and Jacob. Again, God does not repeat dispensations and record them in His word as a matter of coincidence.
QUESTION: 25. Why must Cain go through Abel for restoration instead of directly to God as Abel did?
ANSWER: God always works through a central figure who is most favored. In restoration God works to set up the position in which restoration can be accomplished. Because the fallen angel usurped the right blood order over Adam, God in order to restore His bloodline, will set up the positions of the angel and Adam. In restoration, the position of the angel must be restored by going through the position of Adam and thereby indemnifying the usurped bloodline. Therefore, Cain, in the position of the angel, must go through Abel, in the position of Adam; Esau through Jacob; the Israelites through Moses and ultimately mankind through Jesus.