The children of Adam and Eve will follow in the curse of their parents.  We join the story of Cain and Abel in progress:

 And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.  And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.  And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and IF THOU DOEST NOT WELL, SIN LIETH AT THE DOOR. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.  Gen 4:2-7 (KJV)

Human nature remains unchanged through time.  Adam blamed his wife, and Cain blamed Abel.  We still want to blame someone else to this day.  I really miss my late wife now!  When sin is at our door, we need to take charge over it.  One reality may remain though; we need to ask God to help us to rule over this temptation.

And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.  And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?  And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.  And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;  When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.  Gen 4:8-12 (KJV)

We like to think that a man should be ready and able to defend himself.  But the reality of a violent crime means that one may be unable to mount a defense.  A surprise attack, or an overwhelming opponent leads to the sickening reality of helplessness.  The violent take our friends and leave us sickened by the crime.   Even the winner knows he has lost his soul, feeling the mark of Cain.  God sees and knows where the blood of man is shed.

And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.  Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.  And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.  And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.  Gen 4:13-16 (KJV)

Having witnessed the birth of sin, we can still see it working today.  We had a historical event in Bellefonte Pennsylvania a few years ago.  I watched an old landmark building being destroyed by fire.  They had a sidewalk café and a German restaurant in an old riverfront building.  It will be greatly missed.

The picture should evoke imagery of hell.  We can see a great loss in the death of loved ones.  Have you lost a friend who did not have Christ yet?  These are the greatest losses of our lives.  We can only help those who God has identified as his “sheep”.  They know his voice, so we can draw them by his word. 

FIREFIGHTERS NEEDED

Can you save someone from the fire?  These bible studies can be used for saving others.  These lessons can be presented to children’s classes, or senior citizens.  The material is easy to teach, so steal it!  By telling stories you can demonstrate a lesson that the audience can be active in.  We can participate in the kingdom of God.  Instead of coloring books or boring lectures, let’s do activities that make learning fun. 

HERE IS LIVING WATER FOR YOUR FIRE ENGINE:

Remember the adult bible study idea?  Camp is not the only place it can become a hands-on lesson.  Faith without works is dead, so build the Ark of the Covenant in class.  Find some tools and lumber and make some sawdust!  I can provide blueprint drawings ready to go now.  If you work with others to do things, you begin to relate to them.  Doing God’s work makes us grow in unity.  You become a doer of the word by acting on it.  Having a little ark of the covenant will let you do campfire skits with visual aids and props.  You can reenact David’s army bringing the ark home from the Philistines!  All ages can do this too.

The previous lesson about Cain and Abel can be a skit.  If an adult reads the story, children (or even seniors!) can go through the motions of the characters.  The story comes alive as it begins to move.  A campfire can add magic from the Holy Spirit too.  No multi media or stage lighting can match the power he can bring to a campfire.  Consider sharing your lesson plans with others. 

YOU ARE EMPOWERED – VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT

God knew you before you were born.  He made you a servant when you were a baby.  He will give you his words to say.  You can do it, even if you are just a child.  The God who made the universe is your friend, and he has promised something to you.  

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.   2 Timothy 1:9

What is his purpose?  He wants to be our friend, and to share his creation with us.  The angels did not receive this gift!  This is not for evil people either.  We have to warn God’s sheep that they can lose this promise.

 and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:17-18

When a father gets old, his children get his good treasures.  The oldest son might get more, but Jesus will share with all of us, as his brothers.  We are children of God, his heirs, and we inherit what Jesus gets from God.  We are part owners of his creation.

You can be the good example, a living bible to the world.  You can be a leader at any age.  Samuel was called as a child.  Abraham began his ministry journey at the age of 75 years.  These are all good service, and part of being a Christian.  But remember how the offering of Cain turned when his walk went astray.

BACK DRAFT:  FIRE TURNED AROUND

As a firefighter in Michigan we were warned about fire being able to turn on us suddenly.  A back draft can blast out of a doorway and take out the firefighters.  It can be the same for a Christian ministry.

CHRISTIAN ROOTS

BOYS BRIGADE WAS A CHRISTIAN YOUTH MINISTRY in England.  It was copied by Baden Powell, a retired British army officer who based the BOY SCOUTS on that ministry. 

“Early admirers of the Brigade included Robert Baden-Powell who as Vice President of the Boys’ Brigade used it alongside initiatives in schools, particularly Eton, to promote the idea of scouting and outdoor pursuits based on those of the military for boys. At the time, he did not originally intend that any individual organization would later arise from this aim in the form of the various Boy Scouts movements.”

WORLDLY CORRUPTION

Patriotism seemed like a good idea to another national leader, took the concept to the worst extreme.  Germany called on its HITLER YOUTH to defend Berlin from the Russians in the final days of WWII.  Children were given arms and asked to fight and die for Hitler’s lost cause.  They died bravely, and lost their souls for the most evil lies of Satan.

“The Hitler Youth, known in German as Hitler-Jugend (HJ), was founded in 1926, though its roots stretch back a few years. Its origins come from the Jungsturm Adolf Hitler (Adolf Hitler Boy’s Storm Troop), an arm of the storm troopers founded in 1922.  As the war progressed, the group took on the work of men drafted into the armed forces, manned anti-aircraft defenses and also produced many soldiers, especially for the Waffen SS, notably the 12th SS Panzer division under Kurt Meyer. As Germany was invaded, members of the HJ were taken into the army at ever younger ages, and, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, they were a major part of the German defenses.  In his last public appearance, just days before his death, Adolf Hitler ventured out of his Berlin bunker on his 56th birthday into the chancellery garden to decorate twelve-year-old Hitler Youths with Iron Crosses for their heroism in the defense of Berlin.”

We have to watch every work to assure that the Lord is still being served in spirit and truth.  We need to keep the body of Christ from diseased parts that can spoil the whole body.

SOURCE OF ERROR?  BAD THEOLOGY

How was it possible for anyone to take children so far from the truth, to die in a war?  The roots of this teaching were established in Germany long before the Nazis.  Martin Luther planted these anti-Semitic ideas during the reformation. 

“Accordingly, it must and dare not be considered a trifling matter but a most serious one to seek counsel against this and to save our souls from the Jews, that is, from the devil and from eternal death. My advice, as I said earlier, is:

First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss in sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire. That would demonstrate to God our serious resolve and be evidence to all the world that it was in ignorance that we tolerated such houses, in which the Jews have reviled God, our dear Creator and Father, and his Son most shamefully up till now but that we have now given them their due reward.”  Martin Luther

PRUNING AND GRAFTING

God has warned us not to condemn the Jews, as we are just accepted as adopted sons.  We can be cut out and replaced by the Jews who will come to Christ later:

What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded…  And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;  Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.  Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.  Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Romans 11:7-21

TRY THE SPIRITS

We have a great opportunity to bring life to God’s lost sheep, or to mislead them.  But God is faithful to provide a good map.  We have instructions for testing the voices of spirits that plant ideas in our minds.

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world…  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1st John 4:1-7

YOU HAVE APPEAL TO OTHERS

With knowledge of spiritual warfare, you may be in a great place to serve others.    With this opportunity comes responsibility.  You need training in the weapons of spiritual warfare. 

WATCHMAN IN THE TOWER

Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:  If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;  Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head…  So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.  When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.  Ezekiel 33:1-9

If I do not warn them, I will be punished for my failureHere is the warning to the church:  Cain was preparing to worship God while his life was not right.  Instead of fixing his relationship, he blamed his brother.  Martin Luther did some good things, but not all was right as he blamed the Jews.  Youth ministry too can be taken away from God if we are engaged in blaming others while our own walk is crippled.  From Cain to Hitler, blame passing is a symptom of self-failure; the new mark of Cain.  We who are in Christ can still be tempted, and need to maintain a good relationship with God.

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