[This is part one of a three part series on the way of Cain, the error of Balaam, and the rebellion of Korah identified by Jude as a fundamental issue in the kingdom; from prophetic revelation for revival movements in Brasil and the US, and from apostolic decrees in Brasil and an apostolic meeting of NEI, both Apostle Clay Nash and Dr Don Lynch feel that revival movement leaders must deal with these three spiritual conditions as current limiters to the expansion of Great Awakening Revival.]
I am addressing these three limitations in modern American christianism.
Jude identifies people sharing in kingdom events who cause shipwrecks for God’s people, lying like concealed reefs under breaking surf of authentic agape relationships. Jude negatively identifies that they shepherd themselves. They are clouds without water, appearances of the real thing drifting about on wild waves because they lack anchor. They vagabond about like stars without set orbits, failing to respond to order of gravity. That is, they function in lawlessness as if they are subject to no verdict or order, exceptions to every rule.
God has reserved a gloomy darkness for them, the motivation of a heavenly response that reveals them for who they really are. This revealing accomplishes something essential to God’s purposes. Jude says these interlopers are already condemned, and we should recognize judgment already made about their teaching, behaviors, and intrusion upon the Message and kingdom culture.
Awakening comes into greater expansion when we deal with people who live in “the pathway of Cain, the deviant error of Balaam, and the rebellious opposition of Korah.” Jude says the examples by which we recognize the interlopers that limit revival are Cain, Balaam, and Korah. They are examples of false leadership.
Our application of this verse to the present international mini-movements for revival identifies the symptoms of these hidden reefs in leaders and mini-movements, especially as the fruit appears at the furthest reach of the branches. The integrity of the home base may not be the best measurement of our readiness for Great Awakening Revival. If our mini-movements produce a fruit contrary to the originating purpose, we need to deal with the pathway of Cain, the deviant error of Balaam, and the rebellious opposition of Korah.
The Pathway of Cain
The pathway of Cain is a detoured destination that produces a vagabond wandering: we never arrive at our designated destination because we choose a pathway that cannot bring us to that purpose. Cain wishes God to change His expectations, strategies, and purposes to fit Cain’s instead of Cain changing his expectations, strategies, and purposes to fit God’s. In this scenario, God agrees to be the Source of our entitlement, God treats us all the same so we can each self-determine “normal” by comparing ourselves with one another, and God submits to our expectations as our Resource.
This is, indeed, the pandemic narcissism of modern American religious christianism.
The highway or road is a pathway that leads somewhere, toward a set destination, an intentional selection as a chosen route, pursued on purpose. The way of Cain leads to a place that does not exist, and those who walk this detour never arrive at the true destiny.
The Story of Cain
The narrative of Cain comes from the earliest chapters of human history. Cain is a gardener or farmer, carrying on the garden lost legacy of his parents. Perhaps Cain is insisting that God restore what He disconnected from Adam and Eve, insisting that Cain be given a garden in reverse of the curse. Why? “Because I am the exception.”
The way of Cain originates from this spiritual condition, habit of thinking, and sense of entitlement, a claim to possession or privilege. Cain says, “God needs to change His ways to fit what I want.” The Cain detour diagrams the ditches of false entitlement, equality, and expectations. Cain demands what he determines should be his, making his way equal with God’s, testing acceptance by false equality with Abel, and creates his own expectations of God’s response.
False entitlement lays claim to possession and privilege that is never really mine in the first place, accepting as mine what isn’t or claiming what is mine on the wrong basis.
False equality demands a flawed criterion of my personal value to justify my false identity so that I dismiss God’s created purpose for myself and others in order to force fit them to my delusions.
False expectation develops a fabricated dreams and destiny with unrealistic outcomes and projects them upon God, circumstances, and other people.
The pathway of Cain says, “My expectations will be met by God’s surrender to me” instead of God’s expectations being met by my surrender to God.
The root of pride produces all the symptomatic fruits of delusion that feed the way of Cain. The “way of Cain” originates in a failure to surrender All, and this failure to surrender that develops into a syndrome of false entitlement, equality, and expectation, and seeks to redesign God and His ways to fit Cain and his ways. We learn that the way of Cain is the way of the vagabond, the way that detours from a proper destiny.
God asks for a blood sacrifice in worship. Cain is a farmer. His brother, Abel, is a shepherd. The problem isn’t Cain’s occupation but his insistence that his occupation become his identity, and his identity become the definer of his relationship to God. In essence, Cain would be required to obtain his sacrifice from his brother, and that breaches his false assumptions of entitlement, equality, and expectation.
So, Cain offers the produce of his farming to God while Abel offers a blood sacrifice. Abel’s offering is accepted. Cain is rejected. Abel raises sheep but doesn’t raise sheep simply to produce available offerings, nor does Abel gain his identity from the work of his hands. Cain works the ground, insists that what he produces defines who he is, and then demands that God makes redemption fit that false identity so that it never appears that Abel is superior in some way because the work of Abel’s hands seems to match the expectations of God for worship.
God wants a lamb, and Abel’s work produces lambs. Cain misreads the redemptive reality of shed blood and sacrificed life, so he determines to school God in worship demanding God alter His expectations, equality, and entitlement in answer to Cain’s. Cain’s false entitlement leads to his false equality that leads to his false expectations. Cain suffers from a syndrome called, “the pathway of Cain.”
What can be more fundamental than the Creator determining my entitlements, equality, and expectations? How more fundamental can our worship be than to enter relationship with God based upon what He created us to be and called us to do?
Bringing God What We Want Him to Have
However, God isn’t rejecting Cain. He is rejecting Cain’s offering, and Cain’s insistence that God allow Cain to design worship. God designs worship, and that worship comes from a complete personal surrender of every “way” of man to submit to “the way of God.”
The way of Cain is “bringing God what I want God to have instead of bringing God what God wants.”
God designs worship. God never gives the authority and responsibility to design worship to man. The worship of God comes from God. Because God seeks to establish a heavenly kingdom on the earth through human beings, the worship He designs comes from heaven, not the earth, and that worship carries the capacity to join heavenly worship to earth worship. Whenever men design worship, bring it to God, offer it as their worship, expecting God to accept their worship because they are offering to Him, they are rejected at some level because they are bringing God what they want Him to have. In this way, men pervert worship and pervert God’s most basic purpose because the substitutions for God’s designed worship produce substitutes for God’s heavenly kingdom. The way of Cain produces a substitute kingdom, worship, and ultimately, a substitute god.
I sat on the platform at a large leader’s conference observing the music portion of our worship eagerly. The music portion of our worship often becomes the time and condition in which authentic worship rises as it releases the deepest surrender of our attitudes, emotional energies, and passionate love for God.
I observed such worship with music that an Overshadowing Glory resting upon the entire crowd of several thousand leaders.
Then, another wonderful worship leader came on stage in another session, anointed, worshipping, and passionate; however, the people went from worship mode to concert mode because this worship leader’s work was nationally popular. The people went into concert mode, moving from spirit first worship to soul first worship, investing more in their enjoyment of the music than in the offering of themselves as sacrifices. No Glory.
Without realizing it, the very people who were giving God what He wants began to give God what they wanted Him to have. The contrast was amazingly obvious. After the worship leader sat down, the worship leader from the previous session sat at the keyboard and began to sing a simple song. The people immediately went back to worship mode from concert mode, and Overshadowing Glory immediately rested upon them again!
This is one end of the spectrum of “the way of Cain.” At the other end of the spectrum are blatant idolatry and the spirit of religion in which the authentic and real never enters into the discussion, in which the spirit first experience never occurs and “worship” is completely about fleshly appearances and perceptions. This end of the spectrum of the way of Cain is “a form of godliness that denies the power thereof.” To be blunt, God has absolutely nothing to do with it even though it has “Jesus” and “Christ” carved in stone and religious artistry embedded into its practices.
The only way to escape this end of the spectrum is to run the other direction!
Often, the revival mini-movements become as guilty of the way of Cain as the religious establishments they left behind to experience revival, and they produce a way of Cain response to God, though less severe or obvious, that causes the originating fire to burn low, starved of heavenly oxygen, burning blue instead of red or white hot. They experience lukewarmness but fail to identify it because they continue to compare themselves with refrigerated religious settings.
It is possible to walk into the pathway of Cain after you start running the way of revival because you begin bringing God what you want Him to have instead of continually mapping your progress by what He wants to have.
It is possible as a kingdom leader or mini-movement leader to produce the way of Cain in those you lead so that, at some level of your mini-movements associations, those who follow actually begin to substitute the appearances and perceptions that mark your mini-movement for the “what God wants” of their personal surrender. If people surrender more to you and the trapping of your mini-movement than they do to God (at no particular fault of your own), you will find the pathway of Cain functioning in your mini-movement, and wonder why the mini-movement travels far afield from its originating assignment. You measure this more at the fruit bearing branches than the root system because what you are producing defines the success of your planting. So, when you think, “We are alright here as long as we maintain the home-base integrity to originating purpose,” you are falling for the method of hell to limit what your mini-movement assignment contributes to Great Awakening Revival.
Consider a scenario: a strong, anointed mini-movement in which the founder is motivated by a desire to make a place for their children, (a motivation and definer of purpose more common to ministry establishing than we want to admit). Consider that the special and valid anointing of the founder produces a strong expansion and influence for this mini-movement, but over time the heart and soul of the ministry becomes a way of Cain deception because the ministry continues to move more and more toward the false entitlement, equality, and expectations of the children for whom it was originated instead of the kingdom purpose that has been the real reason for its growth and influence.
Consider a strong, anointed mini-movement for intercession, prophetic revelation, or authentic revival that begins with the outbursts of grace, Glory, and growth but at some point becomes something inconsistent with its originating assignment because of pride’s subtle conception of substitutes for God’s purposes: having shown that we are anointed, we now are entitled to “first place” or “universally recognized as the best” or “if you ain’t got this kind of revival, you ain’t really got revival.” From this entitlement to possession and privilege, you construct a false equality that demands God measure all other mini-movements by yours, then you develop false expectations for God and people based upon entitlement and equality that resembles a movie script with lines and actions for God and others even though they do not have a copy of the script. You begin to prophesy and project acceptance and rejection upon God and others based upon your fabrications instead of maintaining a humble, brokenness about the actual reasons for your existence, success, and future. Over time, like Cain, you believe that God needs to change His expectations to fit yours, God needs to redefine His standard so make yours the basis for measuring “equality,” and you project upon God your entitlement to historic recognitions including strange and novel truths that only you can properly communicate as His one and only representative.
Add to these scenarios, the more commonly discussed failures of previous mini-movements that became denominations, dead ends of false doctrine, or siloes of special distinctions about revival and its manifestations instead of the purposes of Great Awakening Revival.
The obvious “pathway of Cain” that is demonstrated by religion cannot be our only focus if we are to deal with this revival limitation because the way of Cain in “them other folks” isn’t what is really limiting the expansion and establishing of the next move of God. It is the way of Cain in the Remnant mini-movements that must be confronted.
While it is so easy to talk about visible departures from Bible, kingdom, and Gospel and invest considerable emotional energy in mini-movement battles for the best and brightest of this generation, the real battle for a Great Awakening Revival comes in the internals of Remnant ministries returning to a human striving for goals contrary to the actual assignments Heaven gave them at their inceptions. And, when the pathway of Cain comes to individuals, ministries, and mini-movements, it limits the outbreaks of revival that could gain momentum and become Awakening.
When anyone brings God what they’ve produced with a “I’m entitled to do this,” a “this is equal to what You’ve asked for,” or “God, you now must operate according to my expectations if you are going to do a good job of being God,” the pathway of Cain detours them away from faithfulness.
Reversing the Detour Mapping of Cain’s Way
Begin with humility. Humble yourself. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and surrender to His lifting and timing. In this way, the future belongs to Him, and you will be entitled to what He gives you. You will be equal to what He created you to be and called you to do. You will experience what His Providential pathway provides for your next steps. Pride is your root issue, and humility is your surrender posture for purging pride.
Then, repent of pride. You gotta say something! You need to say it out loud: “Lord, I repent of pride. I repent of the root and fruit of pride. I repent of the deception of pride. I repent for receiving the lie, believing the lie, and living the lie of false entitlement, equality, and expectation. I repent for opening the door to pride, responding to the deceiver’s methods.”
Then say, “I renounce pride, at the root! I renounce the fruit of pride! I renounce the open doors through which pride gained a foothold in my soul! I renounce false entitlement, equality, and expectations!”
Then evict pride as a spiritual condition: “Pride, go! Get out! At the root, I lay the ax of repentance and uproot your systematic delusions! Pride, get out of my life! You cannot operate in me anymore!”
Next, restore your originating assignment, redefine the relationships within your ministry to match that assignment’s priorities, and reset your ministry to the criteria God set for success and acceptance when He gave you the assignment. Be ready to sacrifice the sacred cows that have wandered into the meadow: these are the intrusions of people’s expectations that are eating with the authentic producers of your future. Yes, that means that you will lose some good people, and you may even need to reset your own friends and family members to God’s expectations. It may cost you dearly, tear at your soul, but the reality is that you cannot answer to the tyranny of their expectations and please God. Allow for a season of reset in which this transition to your origination is restored, but set your heart to bring that season to a conclusion at some point with your ministry completely reconstituted toward this origination purpose.
You will discover that many people arrived at the assignment with false entitlement on their minds: “I have a right to” and “I deserve” as the measurement of your ministry’s integrity. To some extent you may have sacrificed the wrong offering because you brought their demands into the worship. You will discover false equality in your people with false claims about being treated unfairly, and adjustments made to accommodate these false claims that sacrificed your originating purpose. You will discover that some of the people closest to you continue to yoke your neck with their personal expectations as if you are free to sell some aspect of your kingdom assignment to them for the price of their support or friendship.
You will discover people who demand to be the exception to the rule because of their pride. If you surrender to them, you immediately diminish your surrender to God and fail the test of loyalty to His purpose. Once you make the exception for them, you have offered a sacrifice of the work of your own hands, hoping, expecting, and even demanding that God accept it.
You may discover hidden reefs of betrayal. People who have chosen the way of Cain also point people to the same detour from God’s pathway of purpose. Eliminate these detours in people’s lives with proper signage, warning that the way of Cain is a road by which you never arrive at any destination.
Then, purify your life of every effort on your own part to define and design worship. God never gives us the authority or responsibility to design and define worship: God designs and defines worship; God creates worship; we release worship at the level of our surrender.
So, reset the calibration of your worship to what God wants, redefine worship as your surrender of all to what He asks for, and reform your worship so it begins with your spirit so your soul and body respond SpiritFirst to Holy Spirit in worship.