“And Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him,” Genesis 4:8.
When there were just two brothers on the earth, they could not get along. When there were just two cars registered in the state of New Jersey, they had a collision! We have a problem getting along. The transgression that robbed mankind of everlasting life quickly led to the taking of life, murder. Man had taken on the nature of the evil one they had listened to in the Garden. As the Lord said in John 8:44, when He was chastising the Pharisees:
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.”
Satan’s purpose on earth is to kill and destroy. He does this through lies. We are told in 1 John 3:8: “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” The Lord came to destroy lies and murder by giving life and revealing the truth. The Lord prayed in John 17:18: “As Thou didst send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” It is likewise our purpose while on the earth to destroy these works of the devil by walking in the life and light of the Lord. The Lord promised in Matthew 16:18 that the gates of hell would not prevail against His church. The life that is in Christ is more powerful than death. The truth that is in Christ is more powerful than any lie. Life and truth will ultimately prevail.
To understand how life and truth will prevail, we must understand the “gates of hell” (see Matthew 16:18). Gates are doors, or access points. The gates of hell are doors that hell is using to gain entrance into the world, the church, and even our own lives. The original gate of hell was in the garden. He gained access to the world by convincing the man and woman, who had been given authority over the world, to believe his lies. Once man listened to the devil, because the devil was, “a murderer from the beginning” (see John 8:44), it was inevitable for man to become a murderer. The lie that he used to lead to the release of murder was envy, or jealousy.
Cain allowed the jealousy he felt toward his brother’s acceptance by the Lord to drive him to an even worse sin, murder. Jealousy, or envy, is still found as a root cause of murder in the world. We are even told that Jesus was crucified because of envy (see Matthew 27:18; Mark 15:10), and the persecutions that rose against the apostles and early church were because of jealousy (see Acts 5:17; 13:45).
How will the church be used to shut this door of hell which can lead even to murder? First, we will not have authority over the devil in others if he has a root in our own lives. Jealousy can ultimately lead to murder, but it is also the root of many seemingly lesser, but destructive sins. As we read before in James 3:16, jealousy is usually linked to selfish ambition. The result will be disorder, or division, and can be the opening to “every evil thing.”
Jealousy is almost always found to be the true root of divisions within the body of Christ today. Men will usually try to justify their actions by claiming that their reasons are something else, but the real root is usually jealousy. It can rise in the heart of any of us. If it does and we do not repent of it, jealousy can destroy the work of Christ, or will at least do it damage. Even so, in the end the church will prevail against this terrible gate of hell. How? Love is the truth that will ultimately overcome jealousy. We are told in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:
“Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Love never fails…
Jealousy divided the first two brothers, but love will ultimately unite those who are in Christ, so no evil will be able to stand against them. We are told that “the gates of hell will not prevail against the church,” singular (see Matthew 16:18). When we are united, the gates of hell cannot prevail against us. When we are divided, they will. But love will ultimately prevail, and before the end there will be a church that stands together in unity because they love one another. Let us determine in our hearts right now that we are going to be controlled by love, not envy. If we do this we cannot fail because, “Love never fails.”
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|