Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
What, Exactly, Was...
The Mark of Cain?
After Cain slew his brother Abel, YEHOVAH God set a "mark" on him, and sent him to the land of wandering. Cain began a society in opposition to the laws of YEHOVAH God, a world system which continues to our day, today. Just what is the "way of Cain"? You need to understand the answer -- and act on the truth!
by HOIM Staff
Just what is the "mark of Cain"? And why does the Scripture condemn in no uncertain terms the "way of Cain"? There is far more behind this Biblical narrative than most people have assumed. It directly involves your own personal life and future -- whether you know it or not!
In the book of Genesis we read the simple account, in the New International Version:
"Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, 'With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.' Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.
"Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering. But on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
"The the LORD said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.'"
Cain and Abel
"Now Cain said to his brother Abel, 'Let's go out to the field.' And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
"Then the LORD said to Cain, 'Where is your brother Abel?'
"'I don't know,' he replied. 'Am I my brother's keeper?'
"The LORD said, 'What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.'
"Cain said to the LORD, 'My punishment is greater than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.'
"But the LORD said to him, 'Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over. Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out from the LORD's presence and lived in the land of Nod east of Eden" (Genesis 4:1-16).
The Lesson of Cain
Why is this historical story mentioned in the Bible? Why does the Word of YEHOVAH God spend so much time on what some might regard as "just one murder"? Surely, our modern world sees thousands of murders every year -- and if you count the numbers killed in war, millions of victims are claimed every century!
There is much more to the story of Cain and Abel than you probably think!
Josephus, the eminent Judahite historian of the first century, gives us much greater insight into this matter. In his Antiquities of the Jews he records:
"Adam and Eve had two sons. The elder of them was named Cain, which name, when it is interpreted, signifies a possession; the younger was Abel, which signifies sorrow. They had also daughters. Now, the two brothers were pleased with different courses of life; for Abel, the younger, was a lover of righteousness, and, believing that God was present at all his actions, he excelled in virtue, and his employment was that of a shepherd. But Cain was not only very wicked in other respects, but was WHOLLY INTENT UPON GETTING [possessing], and he first contrived to plough the ground.
"He slew his brother on the occasion following: -- They had resolved to sacrifice to God. Now Cain brought the fruits of the earth, and of his husbandry; but Abel brought milk, and the first-fruits of his flocks; but God was more delighted with the latter oblation, when he was honored with what grew naturally of its own accord, than he was with what was the invention of a covetous man, and gotten by forcing the ground; whence it was that Cain was very angry that Abel was preferred by God before him; and he slew his brother, and hid his dead body, thinking to escape discovery.
"But God, knowing what had been done, came to Cain, and asked him what was become of his brother, because he had not seen him of many days, whereas he used to observe them conversing together at other times. But Cain was in doubt with himself, and knew not what answer to give to God. At first he said that he was himself at a loss about his brother's disappearance; but when he was provoked by God, who pressed him vehemently, as resolving to know what the matter was, he replied he was not his brother's guardian or keeper, nor was he an observor of what he did.
"But in return, God convicted Cain as having been the murderer of his brother; and said, "I wonder at thee, that thou knowest not what is become of a man whom thou thyself hast destroyed.' God therefore did not inflict the punishment [of death] upon him, on account of his offering sacrifice, and thereby making supplication to Him not to be extreme in His wrath to him; but He made him accursed, and threatened his posterity in the seventh generation.
"He also cast him, together with his wife, out of that land. And when he was afraid that in wandering about he should fall among wild beasts, and by that means perish, God bid him not to entertain such a melancholy suspicion, and to go over all the earth without fear of what mischief he might suffer from wild beasts; and setting a mark upon him that he might be known, he commanded him to depart" (Ant., I, 2, 1).
Josephus goes on to tell us that after Cain travelled over many countries, he,
"with his wife, built a city, named Nod, which is a place so called, and there he settled his abode; where also he had children. However, he did not accept his punishment in order to amendment, but to increase his wickedness; for he only aimed to procure everything that was for his own bodily pleasure, though it obliged him to be injurious to his neighbors. He augmented his household substance with much wealth, by rapine and violence; he excited his acquaintance to procure pleasures and spoils by robbery, and became a GREAT LEADER OF MEN INTO WICKED COURSES.
"He also introduced a change in that way of simplicity wherein men lived before; and was the author of measures and weights. And whereas they lived innocently and generously while they knew nothing of such arts, HE CHANGED THE WORLD INTO CUNNING CRAFTINESS. He first of all set boundaries about lands; he built a city, and fortified it with walls, and he compelled his family to come together to it; and called that city Enoch, after the name of his eldest son Enoch."
By the fifth generation after Cain, his great-great grandson Lamech had three notable sons -- Jabal, who erected tents and loved the life of a shepherd; Jubal, his brother, who loved music, and invented the psaltery and harp. His name probably is that from which came "jobel," the trumpet of jobel or jubilee. His half-brother was Tubal, who "exceeded all men in strength, and was very expert and famous in martial performances. He procured what tended to the pleasures of the body by that method [war]; and first of all invented the art of making brass."
Lamech, his father, was "so skillful in matters of divine revelation" -- probably consulted demons through witchcraft, the occult, and pagan methods of divination -- "that he knew he was to be punished for Cain's murder of his brother, he made that known to his wives. Nay, even while Adam was alive, it came to pass that the posterity of Cain became exceedingly wicked, every one successively dying one after another, more wicked than the former. They were intolerable in war, and vehement in robberies; and if any one were slow to murder people, yet was he bold in his profligate behavior, in acting unjustly, and doing injury for gain."
Thus, when we combine the Biblical account, with the account of Josephus, we find that Cain was the first man to build cities, and to place people inside them -- obviously so he could more easily "control" them. He became the world's first "tyrant." He was the first political dictator, and founded a society in distinct rebellion against the laws of YEHOVAH God. Those laws meant nothing whatsoever to Cain and his followers and his children. The laws of YEHOVAH God were considered to be for the weak and foolish, not intended for the intellectual elite of Cain and his leadership.
No doubt, also, that Cain began the world's system of taxation, to compel those in his cities to "pay" for their city services, "protection," and "government," and he and his cronies and aides lived very well of the spoils of the conquests, and the "taxes" they extorted from their followers and slaves. All this, no doubt, in the "name" of Cain, "servant of God," the world's first "benefactor." Thus this whole worldly "Babylonish" system really began with none other than Cain, the son of Adam, who murdered his brother Abel out of a fit of jealous rage!
It was Cain and those following in his steps that Yeshua the Messiah was actually referring to when he said to his disciples: "You know that the RULERS of the Gentiles LORD IT OVER THEM, and their high officials EXERCISE AUTHORITY over them [and love to do so!]. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave -- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:25-28).
The Messiah added, "The KINGS of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves BENEFACTORS. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves" (Luke 22:25-26).
Cain was the first "overlord," the first "benefactor." No doubt that is what he claimed to be, although it was all a charade, a cover-up, a pretense. No doubt he compelled men to virtually "worship" before him, like pagan kings have done for millennia, and professed himself to be a "god." In fact, there is evidence that he considered himself to be the "promised Messiah," and that is one of the reasons he was so outraged when YEHOVAH God rejected his offering, but accepted that of his "weakling" brother Abel, who did not have the sheer drive, force, and cunning that Cain did. Cain was ambitious -- and he could not tolerate "loss of face" before his brother and family. He was proud, arrogant, and stubborn. He would not allow YEHOVAH God to treat him the way he did; so he rose up and slew Abel, his "competitor" in the sight of the world. Thus he put an end to his "competition," once and for all.
The First False Messiah
Alfred Edersheim in his Old Testament History, gives us further insight into the character of Cain. He writes:
"Of the two sons of Adam and Eve, Cain was the elder, and indeed, as we gather, the first-born of all their children. Throughout antiquity, and in the East to this day, proper names are regarded as significant of a deeper meaning. When Eve called her first-born son Cain ('gotten,' or 'acquired'), she said, 'I have gotten a man from Yahveh.' Apparently, she connected the birth of her son with the IMMEDIATE FULFILLMENT OF THE PROMISE concerning the Seed, who was to bruise the head of the serpent. This expectation was, if we may be allowed the comparison, as natural on her part as that of the immediate return of our Lord by some of the early Christians.
"It also showed how deeply this hope had sunk into her heart, how lively was her faith in the fulfillment of the promise, and how ardent her longing for it. But if such had been her views, they must have been speedily disappointed. Perhaps for this very reason, or else because she had been more fully informed, or on other grounds with which we are not acquainted, the other son of Adam and Eve, mentioned in Scripture, was named Abel, that is 'breath,' or 'fading away'" (Vol. 1, 1890).
When YEHOVAH God showed respect to the offering of Abel, "probably marking His acceptance by some outward and visible manifestation," but showed no respect for Cain's offering, Edersheim declares:
"Instead of inquiring into the reason of his rejection, and trying to have it removed, Cain now gave way to feelings of anger and jealousy. In His mercy, God indeed brought before him his sin, warned him of its danger, and pointed out the way of escape. But Cain had chosen his course. Meeting his brother in the field, angry words led to murderous deed, and earth witnessed the first death, the more terrible that it was violent, and at a brother's hand. Once more the voice of Yahveh called Cain to account, and again he hardened himself, this time almost disowning the authority of God. But the mighty hand of the Judge was on the unrepenting murderer" (ibid.)
But when Cain was banished by YEHOVAH, and the ground was cursed to him, he complained that the punishment was too harsh, too severe. Still unrepentant, he professed to be fearful that someone might kill him, just as he had killed Abel. To prevent this, YEHOVAH set a "mark" on Cain, setting him apart, so no one would do this.
Thus Cain was the first man in the world to DEPART from the way of the living God, and to literally "go his own way" instead. His way of life became synonymous, in the Scriptures, with the way of evil, the way of spiritual ruin and disaster. Cain became the first of many who would be a "son of perdition," "son of hell," and "son of doom."
Rejected by YEHOVAH God, he began HIS OWN RELIGION. Still professing to worship the "LORD," he did so his own way, and began the practice of using manmade "idols" in human worship. The first such idols were figures of a man and female deity, no doubt representing Cain and his wife, with whom he built his first "city" and established his first "government." The first kings of the earth were "priest-kings," and Cain became the High Priest of his own religion. He established his own form of religious empire, with sensual, earthy services, compelling tithes to be paid by his worshippers, creating lavish "temples" with male and female prostitution, the origins of the worship of Canaanite abominations which YEHOVAH God condemned in the time of Moses.
Cain, Eve's firstborn, no doubt had been told many times by Eve of the "promise of her Seed" who would bruise the head of the serpent, and bring deliverance to the Adamic race that had been banished from Eden. Her stories, and the thought, fired his imagination, and he thought -- in part because she also believed -- that the promise referred to him, her "firstborn of many brethren."
Was he the promised Messiah? Of course not. But he thought so. At least, he thought he should be -- for he was the eldest, the strongest, the wisest and most cunning and able of the children of Adam and Eve. He was very angry and disappointed when he was not selected by YEHOVAH God for this position of honor and glory. So, in his rebellion against YEHOVAH and His laws, Cain made himself the "Messiah" of his own religion -- the origin of pagan false Messiah worship before the Flood!
Pride goes before a fall, Solomon wrote, and Cain never learned the value of humility. He was the first world advocate of "self esteem," "pride," and "self assertion." Not for him was the path of humility, meekness, and reverence for YEHOVAH God. He would never let anybody walk over him, or take an insult, or allow anyone to besmirch his imagined "honor." Thus in every respect Cain rejected the ways of YEHOVAH, and embraced the ways of Satan the devil, who became his real "god," and the "god of this world" (II Corinthians 4:4). He was the first, the pathfinder, of those of whom it is written:
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who SUPPRESS THE TRUTH by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what is made, so that men are WITHOUT EXCUSE.
"For although they KNEW GOD, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were DARKENED. Although they claimed to be wise, they became FOOLS and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for IMAGES made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
"Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things, rather than the Creator -- who is forever praised. Amen.
"Because of this, God gave them over to SHAMEFUL LUSTS. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In this same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were enflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
"Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a DEPRAVED MIND, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of ENVY, MURDER, STRIFE [just like Cain, their pathfinder and pacesetter!], DECEIT and MALICE. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them" (Romans 1:18-32).
This entire passage of Scripture is discussing the WAY OF CAIN -- the way this wicked world has followed to the core.
These very attributes discussed by the apostle Paul were the very things that FILLED THE WORLD prior to the Flood of Noah's time. From the time of Cain's original rebellion, the condition of the world continued to become more and more depraved, violent, and filled with bloodshed. Sensuality ruled the day and night. Greed, hard business competition, strife and ruthlessness ruled the cities and dominions of mankind. Robbers and thieves lurked in the highways and by-ways.
Alfred Edersheim writes: "Cain, as we know, had gone into the land of 'Nod' -- 'wandering,' 'flight,' 'unrest,' -- and there built a city, which has been aptly described as the LAYING OF THE FIRST FOUNDATIONS OF THAT KINGDOM in which 'THE SPIRIT OF THE BEAST' prevails. We must remember that probably centuries had elapsed since the creation, and that men had already multiplied on the earth" (Old Testament History, Vol. 1, 1890)
"Beyond this settlement of Cain, nothing seems to have occurred which Scripture has deemed it necessary to record, except that the names of the 'Cainites' are still singularly like those of the 'Sethites.' Thus we follow the line of Cain's descendants to Lamech, the fifth from Cain, when all at once the character and tendencies of that whole race appear FULLY DEVELOPED. It comes upon us, almost by surprise, that within so few generations, and in the lifetime of the first man, almost every commandment and institution of God should already be openly set aside, and violence, lust and ungodliness prevail upon the earth" (ibid.).
The inventions and pursuits of the Cainites point to the cultivation of the "arts," the introduction of military might and war, and a competitive business system requiring weights and measures, based on distrust -- the old adage of "let the buyer beware" and "never buy a pig in a poke." Even Jabal, Lamech's son, who was the "father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle," actually made even the pastoral life a "regular business." Jubal, the inventor of stringed and wind instruments, undoubtedly perverted the use of good music and introduced music much like our modern "hard rock," and "heavy metal" music. His music had to be the kind accepted and adored by a society bent on sensuality, lust, and depravity -- therefore, just like our modern wild lyrics and deafening music.
Tubal-Cain, Lamech's son by Zillah (Lamech was the originator of polygamy, as he is noted as having two wives!), the inventor of metallurgy and processes using brass and iron to make implements, and weapons of war -- all this shows that the society of Cain was a godless, wicked, wild and depraved, sensual world, which worshiped a false god, and created a false, counterfeit religion, which consulted demons through occult arts and religious rituals.
Says Edersheim of that society founded by Cain:
"Moreover, it is very remarkable that we perceive in the Cainite race those very things which afterwards formed THE CHARACTERISTICS OF HEATHENISM, as we find it among the most advanced nations of antiquity, such as Greece and ROME" (ibid.).
Thus the original rebel against YEHOVAH God was Cain -- he was the founder of the world's BABYLON THE GREAT! He was, therefore, the original "Beast" who thought to "change times and laws." One suspects strongly that since Satan deceived Eve as soon as he could get to her, after that first Sabbath day, before she could get to know YEHOVAH God through fellowship, and before she could partake of the tree of life, that he must have deceived her on the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK! (For information on the beast from the land in Revelation 13, download or send for our article, The REAL Mark of the Beast).
No doubt, then, that when Cain began his own religion, which was against the laws of YEHOVAH God, he did away with the Sabbath command of rest (Genesis 2:1-3). In its place, he inaugurated worship on the First Day of the week -- in honor of the "Great Enlightener" -- Satan, the god of this world -- who brought "the knowledge of good and evil" to mankind -- earthly wisdom. Cain's religion, therefore, was begun in honor of Satan, the "prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2), and the original "sun god." Cain, as his Messiah, took on the attributes of divinity, also, and came to be worshiped as the "deliverer" of mankind, who delivered them from the rulership of YEHOVAH God, and His "evil" commandments. Cain's wife became, therefore, the original "Queen of Heaven," the first "Astarte," "Ishtar," or "Easter"!
It is interesting that soon AFTER the Flood, this ancient PAGAN religious mystery system was revived by Nimrod and Semiramis, who took these titles to themselves, and became the "Baal" and "Ishtar" of the pagan religion which spread around the world in different forms and guises, but with the same rituals and beliefs. Nimrod was the counterpart of Cain after the Flood. However, Nimrod was not an innovator; he merely continued to serve as "high priest" and "king" of the pagan world after the Flood, continuing an office which had come down from Cain himself, who was the first "Peter," which by definition means "Interpreter" of the hidden secrets. Nimrod was the first "father," or Pope, after the Flood. But the entire religious and political SYSTEM goes back much further, to Cain himself, who looked upon himself as the true "Father," and first "Papa" or "Pope."
Archaeology reveals that the cities of Babylon go back before the Flood of Noah's time, and the prevalence of pre-Flood idols and idolatrous images, including sun-gods and "goddess mother" images, shows how widespread the worship begun by Cain and his wife had become.
The "way of Cain" has a powerful attraction to human nature. It gratifies the flesh, and excites the senses. It has a compelling allure to the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:15).
"The Way of Cain"
The next narrative in the book of Genesis tells us what happened among the sons of Adam and Eve --
"When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful" (Genesis 6:1-2).
In other words, the lustful, wicked "sons of God" saw that the daughters of man -- the females -- were beautiful, lovely-looking women. No doubt, again, that these women stressed physical beauty. They dressed themselves up to look the most alluring and provocative as they could, using all the arts and charms of feminine wiles -- including powder, rouge, lipstick, eye shadow, and the like. The Scriptures inform us that Lamech's wives were named Adah, that is, "beauty," or "adornment," and Zillah, meaning "the shaded" (a reference to the kind of eye shadow later made famous by Jezebel who "painted her eyes"?), and his daughter was Naamah, which means "pleasant, graceful, lovely." For more information about this bizarre period of human history, be sure to write for or download our article, Did Angels Marry Women Before the Flood?
These women were the anti-types of the kind that Peter wrote about when he admonished Christian women: "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quite spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful" (I Peter 3:3-5).
However, as often happens, in the course of time, the progeny of Seth saw these alluring women among the Cainites, and intermarriage became commonplace. Just as the Midianite women seduced the Israelites in the time of Moses, so these women seduced the righteous line of Seth, who were tempted to forget the pagan upbringing and practices of these women, and began to intermarry with them. This event led to a disastrous result. The truth of YEHOVAH God began to die out, and wickedness became supreme in the earth. Eventually, the entire line of Seth became corrupted by the influence of the wicked daughters of Cain, and his family, and they embraced their pagan ways, violence, and vices. They forsook the ways of YEHOVAH and turned to the "way of Cain."
What was the result?
"The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that EVERY INCLINATION of the thoughts of his heart was ONLY EVIL ALL THE TIME. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, 'I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth -- men and animals and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air -- for I am grieved that I have made them.' But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD" (Genesis 6:5-8).
The Genesis account could not be more specific in describing a depraved and utterly corrupt and sensual world. But nevertheless, YEHOVAH inspired the author to continue: "Now the earth was CORRUPT in God's sight and FULL OF VIOLENCE. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for ALL the people on the earth had corrupted their ways" -- even the children of Seth by now had abandoned the principles of truth and were running rampant after the ways of Cain, greed, and selfish pleasures. "So God said to Noah, 'I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is FILLED WITH VIOLENCE because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth'" (Genesis 6:11-13).
That "world" was destroyed in a cataclysm of water which overflowed the whole "world" of that time. Those who followed the "way of Cain" all perished in the deluge. But today, our world has once again embraced the "way of Cain," and once again YEHOVAH God has said that He is going to DESTROY the society around us -- this time be "flaming fire" and divine vengeance -- the judgment of YEHOVAH God which will be poured out on this earth during the soon-coming "Day of the Lord"! (Send for or download our article, Did Noah's Flood Cover the Highest Mountains?).
Notice what the apostle Jude had to say about it!
"For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have SECRETELY SLIPPED IN AMONG YOU [the Ecclesia of YEHOVAH God!]. They are GODLESS MEN [yet obviously "professing" to be sincere, genuine Christian leaders and ministers!], who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord....
"...these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings....Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals -- these are the very things that destroy them.
"Woe to them! They have taken the WAY OF CAIN; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.
"These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm -- shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted -- twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
"Enoch, the seventh from Adam [who lived during the time of Lamech, descendent of Cain, and the time of great rebellion before the Flood], prophesied about these men: 'See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.' These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves [lie about their own imagined deeds and exploits] and flatter others for their own advantage" [so they could advance in the ministry, and receive higher offices] (Jude 4-16).
What does YEHOVAH God Almighty say about the way of Cain?
The apostle John tells us, "This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous" (I John 3:11-12).
Cain, consumed by hatred, violently killed an innocent, righteous man -- his own brother. He had no excuse. His anger was completely unjustified. But because his own deeds were wicked, and he knew it, in his heart he was jealous of his brother's relationship with YEHOVAH God, which he could not have so long as he continued in his selfish, greedy, competitive course -- the way of pride, arrogance and self-will. He had no intention of giving up his selfish pleasures. Therefore he simply slew the source of his irritation, the source of his provocation -- his frail, helpless brother.
The apostle Peter writes,
"But there were also false prophets among the people [Cain being the first false prophet!], just as there will be false teachers among you. They will SECRETLY INTRODUCE DESTRUCTIVE HERESIES [just as Cain did for the antediluvian world], even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them -- bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their GREED these teachers will EXPLOIT you with stories they have made up [including false biographical backgrounds, alleging accomplishments they never did, proclaiming themselves as "heroes" when they never fought in military action at all]. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
"For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people [who were following wholeheartedly the way of Cain!], but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the UNGODLY [those who choose the way of Cain instead of the way of YEHOVAH God!]; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of LAWLESS men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard) -- if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men froms trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority.
"Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord. But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like BRUTE BEASTS [like Cain himself, a brute beast!], creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.
"They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight [engage in sex parties and group sex, at sensual pleasure palaces and the like]. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes FULL OF ADULTERY, they never stop sinning; they SEDUCE the unstable [young men and women]; they are EXPERTS IN GREED [know how to extort the last penny out of Church goers at holy day offering time] -- an accursed brood! They have left the straight way, and wandered off [like Cain, into the "land of wandering"] to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey -- a beast without speech -- who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness.
"These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they ENTICE people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are SLAVES OF DEPRAVITY -- for a man is slave to whatever has mastered him [like Cain himself, who did not "master" the sin which sought to control him, as YEHOVAH God urged him to do].
"If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have KNOWN it and then to TURN THEIR BACKS on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: 'A dog returns to its vomit,' and, 'A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud'" (II Peter 2:1-22).
The attitude of Cain was described by Paul when he wrote: "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal [notice how all these characteristics perfectly describe Cain himself, the progenitor of this evil, lustful attitude!], not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God -- having a form of godliness [religious hypocrites!] but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them" (II Timothy 3:1-5).
Cain was the originator of the Babylonian Mystery Religion. When he left the region of Eden, he migrated EASTWARD, to Babylon, where he began his ungodly civilization. The earliest kingdoms on the other side of the Flood arose in the region of "Shinar," or the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers -- the area of "Babylon." From there the religion and government of Cain, and his way of life, spread around the populated world, enticing people to join their system, become a part of their "way." At first Cain was very subtle, and secretive, promising people new religious knowledge, and divine secrets, and protection from the wrath of YEHOVAH God. He devised a man-made religion of works, sacrifices, and worship of false gods, the original "Baals," with himself the chief "god" since he was the progenitor of his race, and considered himself the "Messiah to come."
Earth goddesses and gods, after the custom introduced by Cain, are found by archaeologists throughout Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia. The system of paganism was widespread.
But even as Cain first began his counterfeit religion with subtlety and craft, with secret planning and mystery, as long as Adam was alive, when Adam died the gloves were taken off, and the mystery religion became full-blown. A similar process occurred during the days of the apostles and the early Church. Another such apostasy from the truth of YEHOVAH God is prophesied for our end-time, today!
End-Time Apostasy Foretold
The apostle Paul foretold,
"Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us [false letters were already circulating which were purported to have been written by Paul, but were the works of deceivers!], saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way [notice the powerful admonition -- deceivers were rampant, and YEHOVAH's people were to be EXTREMELY CAREFUL, lest they, too, become victims of a powerful and highly placed deception!], for that day will not come until the REBELLION OCCURS and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction" (II Thessalonians 2:1-3).
Paul goes on, "For the SECRET POWER OF LAWLESSNESS is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so until he is taken out of the way [a servant of YEHOVAH God, who finally is taken "out of the way" by YEHOVAH even as Enoch and Noah were protected by YEHOVAH from the violence of their enemies, the God-haters and false prophets of that time]. And then the lawless one will be revealed [he will come to full power and influence, without anyone restraining him], whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming" (verses 7-8).
In the early Church, it was the apostles themselves who "restrained" the apostasy. But when Peter and Paul were removed from the scene -- they were both executed during the reign of Emperor Nero -- then the apostasy blossomed and spread without restraint. The visible Church of YEHOVAH God was taken over by apostates!
Even so, the same thing is prophesied for the END TIMES. Paul's message is obviously dual. For these things not only were at work in his day, but he clearly says that an APOSTASY from the truth -- a REBELLION of spiritual lawlessness -- was to occur BEFORE the second coming of the Messiah!
Paul goes on to explain that in the end times,
"The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the WORK OF SATAN [he will be doing Satan's work, while proclaiming he is doing "God's Work"!] displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe THE LIE and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness" (II Thessalonians 2:9-12).
Consider these warnings from YEHOVAH God sincerely, deep within your heart. Will you also be deceived by the coming powerful delusion? It is already here! And many have already succumbed to its deceptive allure, its blandishments, its smiles and profession of love. The "way of Cain" is alive and well on Mother Earth, today! It is rapidly destroying the truth of YEHOVAH God, and leading the true people of YEHOVAH astray, into bitter bondage and spiritual error. It has exalted itself, and has lifted up its ugly head, and reared up, to devour the unwary and all who don't truly hunger and thirst for righteousness and the laws of YEHOVAH God, and who don't sincerely LOVE the TRUTH!
The Mysterious "Mark of Cain"
When Cain was banished from the sight of YEHOVAH God, to the land of "Nod," or wandering and unrest, YEHOVAH placed a "mark" upon him so that all would know who he was, and would not destroy him lest they suffer seven-fold vengeance.
The Hebrew word for "mark" is simply owth and means "a signal, as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence -- mark, miracle, ensign, token."
It was something that identified Cain, and set him apart from other men. It marked him as NOT being one of YEHOVAH's own people, but an outcast, a renegade, a man who had been banished from the society of YEHOVAH's people. This mark came to stand for Cain and his way. Could it have been the pagan "cross" or "X" which was a sign commonly used in pagan societies and among the heathens religions? The "cross" or "Tau" symbol stood for the pagan Messiah Tammuz, who was the illegitimate son of Semiramis, wife of Nimrod.
Alexander Hislop tells us:
"There is yet one more symbol of the Romish worship to be noticed, and that is the sign of the CROSS. In the Papal system, as is well known, the sign of the cross and the image of the cross are all in all. No prayer can be said, no worship engaged in, no step almost can be taken, without the frequent use of the sign of the cross. The cross was looked upon as the GRAND CHARM [rememeber Cain? The "mark" was his symbol of divine protection! No wonder its use would become commonplace among his followers!], as the GREAT REFUGE IN EVERY SEASON OF DANGER, in every hour of temptation as the INFALLIBLE PRESERVATIVE from all the powers of darkness. The cross is adored with all the homage due only to the Most High; and for any one to call it, in the hearing of a genuine Romanist, by the Scriptural term, 'the accursed tree' is a MORTAL OFFENCE.
"To say that such superstitious feeling for the sign of the cross, such worship as Rome pays to a wooden or a metal cross, ever grew out of the saying of Paul, 'God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ' -- that is, in the doctrine of Christ crucified -- is a mere absurdity, a shallow subterfuge and pretence. The magic virtue attributed to the so-called sign of the cross, the worship bestowed on it, never came from such a source. The SAME SIGN OF THE CROSS THAT ROME NOW WORSHIPS WAS USED IN THE BABYLONIAN MYSTERIES, was applied by Paganism to the same magic purposes, was honoured with the same honours.
"That which is now called the Christian cross was ORIGINALLY NO CHRISTIAN EMBLEM AT ALL, BUT WAS THE MYSTIC TAU OF THE CHALDEANS AND EGYPTIANS -- the true original form of the letter T -- the initial of the name of Tammuz -- which, in Hebrew, radically the same as ancient Chaldee....That mystic Tau was MARKED IN BAPTISM ON THE FOREHEADS OF THOSE INITIATED IN THE MYSTERIES, and was used in every variety of way as a most sacred symbol. To identify Tammuz with the son it was joined sometimes to the circle of the sun..." (The Two Babylons, Loizeaux Brothers, Neptune, NJ 1959, pp. 197-198).
A clear understanding of the pagan use of the cross can only inspire one to wonder as to its original source. And nothing would suit the purpose better than the "mark," the "sign of protection" which YEHOVAH God Himself used to mark the forehead of Cain!
This was further reinforced when the Roman Church accepted the fictitious account of Constantine the Great's so-called conversion to Christianity. According to Finding Dulcinea (Librarian of the Internet) --
"Constantine was the son of Constantius, who had served as a Caesar (a junior emperor) of the Western Roman Empire under Maximian before succeeding Maximian as Augustus (senior emperor) in 305. Constantius’ death in 306 sparked a conflict over who would succeed him. Though Constantine had the support of his father’s army, he allowed Severus, his father’s Caesar, to become Augustus.
"Maxentius, the son of Maximian, was angered that he was passed over and declared himself Augustus. He defeated the Severus and Galerius, the Augustus of the East, in 306 and 307. In 311, Maxentius declared war on Constantine, the greatest threat to his power.
"In the spring of 312, Constantine led his army toward Maxentius in in Rome. After routing Maxentius’ forces in northern Italy, Constantine approached Rome in October.
"According to legend, on Oct. 27, the day before the two armies would battle outside of Rome near the Milvian Bridge, Constantine had a vision instructing him to fight in the name of Christ, with his soldiers’ shields bearing the symbol of Christ. The symbol was either a cross or the labarum, an intersection of the chi (X) and rho (P), the [supposed] letters of Christ.
"Christian author Lactantius, writing several years after the battle, described, 'Constantine was directed in a dream to cause the heavenly sign to be delineated on the shields of his soldiers, and so to proceed to battle. He did as he had been commanded, and he marked on their shields the letter Χ, with a perpendicular line drawn through it and turned round thus at the top, being the cipher of Christ. Having this sign (ΧР), his troops stood to arms.'
"The author Eusebius, a Constantine apologist, also described the event in Life of Constantine, which he wrote after Constantine’s death in 337. According to Eusebius, Constantine saw a vision of a cross rather than the letters of Christ.
"'He saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens, above the sun, and bearing the inscription, CONQUER BY THIS. At this sight he himself was struck with amazement, and his whole army also, which followed him on this expedition, and witnessed the miracle,' wrote Eusebius.
"The following day, Constantine’s outnumbered forces defeated Maxentius’ forces, which tried to retreat over the Tiber River on a pontoon bridge. In the chaos of the retreat, the bridge collapsed, leaving only the too-narrow Milvian Bridge as a route to escape. Maxentius and many of his men would drown or be trampled to death in the escape. Constantine rode into Rome with the head of Maxentius.
“'There, at around the age of twenty-four, Constantine was hailed as emperor, of the western half of the empire,' writes historian Frank E. Smitha. “He was hailed as a man of boldness and a man favored and guided by the gods.”
In commenting on this event in Constantine's life, Alexander Hislop writes:
"...I am not without my suspicions that the X may have been intended to have one meaning to the Christians and another to the Pagans. It is certain that the X was the symbol of the god Ham in Egypt, and as such was exhibited on the breast of his image. Whichever view be taken, however, of Constantine's sincerity, the supposed Divine warrant for reverencing the sign of the cross entirely falls to the ground...
"In this view, therefore, it [the cross or Tau] had no very great attraction for the Pagans, who, even in worshipping Horus, had always been accustomed to make use of the mystic Tau or cross, as the 'sign of life,' or the magical charm that secured all that was good, and warded off everything that was evil. When, therefore, multitudes of the Pagans, on the [so-called] conversion of Constantine, flocked into the [Roman] Church, like the semi-Pagans of Egypt, they brought along with them their predilection for the old symbol. The consequence was, that in no great length of time, as apostasy proceeded...the Tau, the sign of the cross, the indisputable sign of Tammuz, the false Messiah, was everywhere substituted in its stead" (The Two Babylons, pp. 204-205).
The pagan "cross" sign or symbol is the MARK OF CAIN!
Those who go about using this sign identify themselves as followers of the "WAY OF CAIN," and the RELIGION BEGUN BY CAIN!
Hislop continues: "...there seems no reason to doubt that that Maltese cross is an express symbol of the sun; for Layard found it as a sacred symbol in Nineveh in such a connection as led him to identify it with the sun. The mystic Tau, as the symbol of the great divinity, was called 'the sign of life;' it was used as an AMULET OVER THE HEART; it was marked on the official garments of the priests of Rome; it was borne by kings in their hand, as a token of their dignity or divinely-conferred authority" (ibid., p.198).
The Vestal virgins of Pagan Rome used it suspended from their necklaces, even as Catholic nuns do now. The ancient Egyptians did the same, as Egyptian monuments show. Wilkinson in his work on the Egyptians (The Ancient Egyptians: Their Life and Customs) notes that it was already in use as early as the fifteenth century before the Christian era (Crescent Books, New York, NY 1988, Vol. 1, p. 277).
"There is hardly a Pagan tribe where the cross has not been found. The cross was worshipped by the Pagan Celts, long before the incarnation and death of Christ....It was worshipped in Mexico for ages before the Roman Catholic missionaries set foot there, large stone crosses being erected, probably to the 'god of rain.' The cross thus widely worshipped, or regarded as a sacred emblem, was the unequivocal symbol of Bacchus, the Babylonian Messiah, for he was represented with a head-band covered with crosses. This symbol of the Babylonian god is reverenced at this day in all the wild wastes of Tartary, where Buddhism prevails, and the way in which it is represented among them forms a striking commentary on the language applied by Rome to the Cross" (The Two Babylons, p. 199).
How did the cross get into the visible "Christian" church? Hislop relates, "Now this Pagan symbol seems first to have crept into the Christian Church in EGYPT, and generally into Africa. A statement of Tertullian, about the middle of the third century, shows how much, by that time, the Church of Carthage was infected with the old leaven. Egypt, especially, which was never thoroughly evangelized, appears to have taken the lead in bringing in this Pagan symbol" (ibid., p. 201).
Says Ralph Woodrow, in Babylon Mystery Religion, "It was not until Christianity began to be paganized that the cross came to be thought of as a Christian symbol. It was in 431 A.D. that crosses in churches and chambers were introduced, while the use of crosses on steeples did not come until about 586 A.D. In the sixth century, the crucifix image was introduced and its worship sanctioned by the church of Rome. It was not until the second council at Ephesus that private homes were required to possess a cross" (Ralph Woodrow, Riverside, CA 1982, p. 50).
Woodrow points out that long before the Messiah, the cross was a widely used religious symbol not only in Babylon and Egypt, but also in China, where it was used on pagodas, in northern and southern India, among both Buddhists and Hindus, in Ethiopia, and in Mexico, among the Aztecs.
The ancient Mexicans worshipped the cross as "Tota," or "Our Father." But the Word of YEHOVAH God condemns calling a stock of wood "My father" (see Jeremiah 2:27).
The cross, as an instrument of death and crucifixion, is also of remote antiquity, and pagan. The cross was used in this way by the ancient Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, in Palestine, Carthage, Greece, and by the Romans. Tradition says the originator of this form of execution was none other than Semiramis, the apostate-prostitute wife of Nimrod, shortly after the Flood!
However Nancy L. Kuehl notes in her work, A Book of Evidence: The Trials and Execution of Jesus, that the Messiah was not nailed to a cross or Tau, but to a living tree -- notice!
"Whatever one believes, we must believe Jesus was hanged alive on a living tree. The evidence is overwhelming. From the New Covenant, we have several references to it. Never is the word xulon translated as the 'cross.' The word for 'cross' would have been stauros, and even then the Greek word only reflects the upright nature of the tree! The word xulon, however, is the same that Luke uses in 23:31 for 'moist wood' and refers to a living tree! The Hebrew equivalent would be the 'ets (derived from 'atsah), which is also used as a term for 'gallows' in the book of Esther where Haman is 'hanged' (Esth. 5:14; 8:7). It is the same word used in Genesis 40:19 and Deuteronomy 21:22 to describe the hanging of an individual on a 'tree.'
"These 'gallows' DO NOT refer to a Roman cross. The word is even used to describe the fruit trees of the Garden of Eden, including the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In the New Covenant, the disciples were QUITE CLEAR about how Jesus was hanged [crucified], and it wasn't upon a Roman cross. The disciples, in fact, confronted the Jewish judicial Sanhedrin later that decade with the ultimate accusation that they had hanged [crucified] Jesus upon a 'living' tree" (Resource Publications, Eugene, OR 2013, p.199).
For more information on how the Messiah was put to death, send for or download our articles, The "CROSS" of the Messiah! and The Messiah's Crucifixion Tree.
Doesn't it make sense, then, that the "cross" was the literal "mark of Cain"? It was his own personal "amulet" of protection; he began to view with with superstitious regard and reverence. And it became the symbol of his way -- his religious institution -- his mystery religious system.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
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