Derek Prince - Every True-False Religion Falls Into One Of These Categories
This is an excerpt from: True & False Church - Part 1
Now, let’s consider the origin of false religion and the origin of true religion. Characteristically the origin of each goes back to the beginning of human history. And they started, both of them, with the two sons of Adam, Cain and Abel. There never has been any other kind of religion in human history but one or other of these two. So, let’s look at them for a moment, we’ll read the description of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4, beginning at verse 3. You’re aware, of course, that Cain and Abel were the first two sons of Adam and Eve. And they were both born after Adam and Eve were in rebellion and in trespass against God. Adam never had any sons before he became a rebel. And every descendant of Adam from that day onwards has the nature of a rebel somewhere in him. The Bible calls it the old man or the old Adam.
So, let me read this passage. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstlings of his flock and their fat [the best]. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering We don’t know exactly what happened but in some way the Lord bore testimony that He accepted Abel’s offering and He didn’t bear testimony to Cain’s offering. Most commentators suggest that some kind of fire came and consumed Abel’s offering on the altar. But nothing happened to Cain’s nice vegetable offering. Well, that upset Cain. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. He said in effect, Here you are, God, I’ve brought you the best I can grow out of the ground, the very best. And, you’re not interested. So, he was angry. I think he was angry with God and angry with his brother. So, the Lord said to Cain: Why are you angry? And why is your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.
Now, Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose against Abel his brother, and killed him. Notice, the first recorded sin after the original disobedience of Adam and Eve was not some trifling little peccadillo but it was murder of one brother by another. Sin doesn’t take a long while to mature. Once it’s released it’s there in all its ugliness right from the beginning. Now, let’s consider for a moment the difference between Abel’s religion and Cain’s. As I do this I want you to see that every religion humanity has ever known falls into one or other of these two categories. Everybody is either a follower of Abel or a follower of Cain although they don’t realize it. First of all, Abel received divine revelation. We know this because in Hebrews 11:4 it says: By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain.
And Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing the word of God. So, how he received a word from God we don’t know but he received a revelation from God that God required a living sacrifice which had to be killed and placed on the altar. So, Abel acknowledged that but Cain rejected it. He did not accept the revelation of the kind of sacrifice that God required. By his sacrifice Abel acknowledged the need for a substitutionary sacrifice for his sin and the sin of the race. By his offering Cain denied the need for substitutionary sacrifice and no blood was shed. Abel’s offering indicated the need for a life laid down, Cain’s offering rejected that.
In Genesis 3:17, after Adam and Eve originally disobeyed God, God pronounced a curse on the earth. He said, cursed be the earth because of you. Abel offered a propitiation for the curse on the earth, Cain offered the fruit of an earth which was under God’s curse. Nothing had been done to revoke the curse. So, Cain was offering God something that God had said was under a curse. The fourth difference was, as we’ve already seen, Abel received supernatural attestation from God. God bore witness that He had accepted Abel’s offering. Cain did not receive supernatural attestation. He just went through a religious performance. How many churchgoers are like that today? A religious performance but no supernatural attestation. Fifth difference, it’s practical. Abel’s religion produced a martyr. Cain’s religion produced a murderer. That’s a very wide difference. But, in each case, it was the result of their religion. The sixth difference is Abel’s religion will bring forth a bride for Christ. Cain’s religion will produce a harlot.
So, there you have the two types of religion. I’ll go through it very simply without going into details. Abel received divine revelation, Cain rejected it. Abel acknowledged the need, for a substitutionary sacrifice and a life laid down, Cain rejected that. Abel offered a propitiation for the curse that God had pronounced on the earth, Cain simply offered God the product of a cursed earth. Abel’s offering received supernatural attestation from God, Cain received no supernatural attestation. And that’s what made him angry. And we can, fallible though we Charismatics and Pentecostals and others like us may be, one of the main reasons people dislike us is because we’ve received a supernatural attestation, and they haven’t. Human nature has not changed one bit. Then the end product: Abel’s religion produced a martyr, a life laid down. Cain’s religion produced a murderer.
And finally, looking toward the future, Abel’s religion will bring forth the bride, Cain’s religion will bring forth the harlot. You see, there’s a complete line of demarcation between the two religions. And I suggest to you, this is far too vast a subject to go into in detail, that every religion subsequently practiced by humanity falls into one or other of these two categories. There is no new kind of religion, there are just a lot of different variations on the original religions.