Restoration in Adam’s Family
The Providence to Lay the
Foundation for Restoration
The Providence of Restoration in Adam’s Family
Even though the Fall resulted from human failure, God has felt responsible to save fallen humanity.1(cf. Messiah 2.1) Therefore, God immediately began His providence to restore fallen people by having Adam’s family lay the foundation for the Messiah.
Due to Adam’s kinship of blood with Satan, he was in the midway position, relating with both God and Satan.2(cf. Restoration 1.1) For a fallen person standing in the midway position to be purified, come to God’s side and establish the foundation for the Messiah, he must fulfill a condition of indemnity. Consequently, for the providence of restoration to be accomplished in Adam’s family, the members of his family had to make certain conditions of indemnity to restore the foundation of faith and the foundation of substance. On these two foundations, the foundation for the Messiah was to be established, and the Messiah could have come to Adam’s family.
To restore through indemnity the foundation of faith, fallen people must set up an object for the condition. Due to his faithlessness, Adam lost the Word of God, which had been given him in order to fulfill the condition necessary to establish the foundation of faith. He fell to the position where he could no longer receive the Word of God directly. Consequently, in restoring the foundation of faith, Adam had to faithfully offer in a manner acceptable to God some object for the condition, substituting for God’s Word. For Adam’s family, this object was a sacrificial offering.
To restore the foundation of faith, there must also be a central figure. One would expect that the central figure in Adam’s family be Adam himself. It would seem that Adam should have offered the sacrifice, and that whether or not he made the offering in an acceptable manner would have determined success or failure in laying the foundation of faith.
Yet nowhere in the biblical record do we find Adam offering a sacrifice. Instead, his sons Cain and Abel offered them. What was the reason for this? According to the Principle of Creation, human beings were created to serve only one master.3(Matt. 6:24)CEV|KJ|NI God cannot conduct His providence in accord with the Principle with someone who serves two masters. If God were to accept Adam and his offering, Satan would use his ties of kinship with Adam as a condition through which to make a counter-claim upon him and his offering. In that case, Adam would be placed in the unprincipled situation of having to serve two masters: God and Satan. Since God could not conduct such an unprincipled providence, He took the course of symbolically dividing Adam, who embodied both good and evil, into two entities, one representing good and the other representing evil – an arrangement in line with the Principle. For this reason, God gave Adam two sons, representing good and evil, and set them in positions where each dealt with only one master, God or Satan. After setting up this arrangement, God had the two sons offer sacrifices separately.
Cain and Abel were both sons of Adam. Which one of them was to represent goodness and relate with God, and which was to represent evil and interact with Satan? Both Cain and Abel were the fruits of Eve’s fall; hence, their relative positions were determined according to its course. Eve’s fall was consummated through two different illicit love relationships. The first was the spiritual fall through her love with the Archangel. The second was the physical fall through her love with Adam. Certainly, the two relationships were both fallen acts. Yet between the two, the second act of love was more in line with the Principle and more forgivable than the first. Eve’s first fallen act was motivated by her excessive desire to enjoy what it was not yet time for her to enjoy and have her eyes opened, like God.4(Gen. 3:5)CEV|KJ|NIThis desire led her to consummate a relationship of unprincipled sexual love with the Archangel. In comparison, Eve’s second fallen act was motivated by her heartfelt longing to return to God’s bosom after she realized that her first fallen relationship had been illicit. This desire led her to consummate a relationship with Adam, her intended spouse according to the Principle, even though God did not yet permit it.5(cf. Fall 2.2)
Cain and Abel were both fruits of Eve’s illicit love. God discriminated between them based on Eve’s two illicit acts of love and accordingly placed Cain and Abel in two opposing positions. In other words, since Cain was the first fruit of Eve’s love, signifying Eve’s first fallen act of love with the Archangel, he was chosen to represent evil. Therefore, he was in a position to relate with Satan. Since Abel was the second fruit of Eve’s love, signifying Eve’s second fallen act of love with Adam, he was chosen to represent goodness. Therefore, he was in a position to relate with God.
For his part, Satan had seized control of the creation, which God had created by the Principle, and established an unprincipled world having only the outward form of God’s intended universe. In the original, principled world, God intended to raise up the eldest son and have him inherit the birthright. Therefore, Satan felt a stronger attachment to the elder son than he did to the younger. Since Satan had already claimed the universe, he vied with God for the elder son, Cain, who was more valuable to him. Because Satan had a strong attachment to Cain, God chose to deal with Abel.
The Bible attests to the discrimination between first- and second-born sons. For example, God said to Cain, “If you do not do well, sin is couching at the door.”6(Gen. 4:7)CEV|KJ|NI From this we may understand that Cain had a base to relate with Satan. When the Israelites were about to flee Egypt, God struck the firstborn of the Egyptians, even the firstborn of their livestock,7(Exod. 12:29)CEV|KJ|NI because the Egyptians, as Satan’s vassals, stood in the position of Cain. When the Israelites were returning to the land of Canaan, only the Levites, who were in the position of the younger son Abel, were allowed to carry the Ark of the Covenant.8(Num. 1:50-53)CEV|KJ|NI; (Deut. 31:25)CEV|KJ|NI It is written that God loved the second son Jacob and hated the first son Esau even while they were still inside their mother’s womb.9(Rom. 9:11-13)CEV|KJ|NI They were placed in the positions of Cain or Abel based solely upon the distinction of who was to be the firstborn son. When Jacob was blessing his two grandchildren, Ephraim and Manasseh, he crossed his hands and laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, the second son in the position of Abel, to give him the first and greater blessing.10(Gen. 48:14)CEV|KJ|NI According to this principle, God placed Cain and Abel in a position where each could deal with only one master, and had them offer sacrifices.11(Gen. 4:3-5)CEV|KJ|NI
When Cain and Abel offered their sacrifices, “The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard.”12(Gen. 4:4)CEV|KJ|NI Why did God accept Abel’s offering but reject Cain’s? God received Abel’s sacrifice because he stood in a proper relationship with God and made the offering in a manner acceptable to Him.13(Heb. 11:4)CEV|KJ|NI In this way, Abel successfully laid the foundation of faith in Adam’s family. He serves as an example that any fallen person can make an offering acceptable to God provided he satisfies the necessary conditions.
God did not reject Cain’s sacrifice because He hated him. Rather, because Cain stood in a position to relate with Satan which gave Satan rights over the sacrifice, God could not accept Cain’s sacrifice unless he first made some condition justifying its acceptance. The example of Cain shows that in order for a person who has a connection with Satan to return to God’s side, he must make a requisite indemnity condition. What indemnity condition should Cain have made? It was the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature.
Had Cain fulfilled the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature, God would have gladly accepted his sacrifice. The foundation of substance would then have been laid in Adam’s family. How should Cain have made the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature? The first human ancestors fell by succumbing to the Archangel, from whom they inherited the fallen nature. To remove the fallen nature, a person must make an indemnity condition in accordance with the Principle of Restoration through Indemnity, by taking a course which reverses the process through which human beings initially acquired the fallen nature.
The Archangel fell because he did not love Adam; rather, he envied Adam, who was receiving more love from God than he. This was the cause of the first primary characteristic of the fallen nature: failing to take God’s standpoint. To remove this characteristic of the fallen nature, Cain, who stood in the Archangel’s position, should have taken God’s standpoint by loving Abel, who stood in Adam’s position.
The Archangel fell because he did not respect Adam as God’s mediator and did not receive God’s love through him; rather, he attempted to seize Adam’s position. This was the cause of the second primary characteristic of the fallen nature: leaving one’s proper position. To remove this characteristic of the fallen nature, Cain, who stood in the Archangel’s position, should have received God’s love through Abel, who stood in Adam’s position, respecting him as God’s mediator. In this way, Cain should have maintained his proper position.
The Archangel fell when he claimed dominion over Eve and Adam, who were his rightful lords. This was the cause of the third primary characteristic of the fallen nature: reversing dominion. To remove this characteristic of the fallen nature, Cain, who stood in the Archangel’s position, should have obediently submitted to Abel, who stood in Adam’s position. By accepting Abel’s dominion, Cain should have rectified the order of dominion.
God told Adam not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam should have conveyed this Will to Eve, who in turn should have conveyed it to the Archangel, thus multiplying goodness. Instead, the Archangel conveyed to Eve his evil will that it was permissible to eat of the fruit. Eve in turn conveyed this evil will to Adam and led him to fall. This was the cause of the fourth primary characteristic of the fallen nature: multiplying evil. To remove this characteristic of the fallen nature, Cain, who stood in the Archangel’s position, should have been receptive to the intentions of Abel, who stood closer to God, and learned God’s Will from him. Thus, Cain should have made a foundation to multiply goodness.
There are many instances in human life which correspond to the situation of Cain and Abel. When we look within ourselves, we find that our innermost mind delights in the law of God.14(Rom. 7:22)CEV|KJ|NI It is in the position of Abel, while our body, which serves the law of sin,15(Rom. 7:25)CEV|KJ|NI is in the position of Cain. We can become good only if our body obediently follows our mind, which directs us toward goodness. All too often, however, our body rebels against the mind’s directions, repeating by analogy Cain’s murder of Abel. This is how evil grows within us. For this reason, the religious way of life requires that we make our body submit to the commands of our higher mind, just as Cain should have submitted to Abel and followed him.
We can also see this in the practice of making offerings. Since we fell to the position of being “deceitful above all things,”16(Jer. 17:9)CEV|KJ|NI the things of creation stand in the position of Abel. Hence, through offering them we can go before God. To give another example, the universal tendency to seek out good leaders and righteous friends stems from our innermost desire to come before God through an Abel figure who is closer to God. By uniting with him, we can come closer to God ourselves. The Christian faith teaches us to be meek and humble. By this way of life, we may meet our Abel figure and thus secure the way to go before God.
In relationships at every level of society – from those between individuals to those at the level of families, communities, societies, nations and the world – we find that one party is in the role of Abel and the other is in the role of Cain. In order to restore society at each level to the state originally envisioned by God, those in the Cain position should respect and obey those in the Abel position. Jesus came to this world as the Abel figure to whom all of humanity should have submitted and followed. For this reason, he said, “no one comes to the Father, but by me.”17(John 14:6)CEV|KJ|NI
If Cain had yielded to Abel and thus fulfilled the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature in Adam’s family, they would have established the foundation of substance. Together with the foundation of faith already laid, Adam’s family would have established the foundation for the Messiah. The Messiah would then have come to them and restored the original four position foundation. Instead, Cain killed Abel. In murdering Abel, Cain repeated the sin of the Archangel. That is, he re-enacted the very process which had given rise to the primary characteristics of the fallen nature. Adam’s family thus failed to lay the foundation of substance. Consequently, God’s providence of restoration through Adam’s family could not be fulfilled.
The foundation for the Messiah is established by first restoring through indemnity the foundation of faith and then establishing the foundation of substance. With regard to their requisite sacrifices, the foundation of faith is restored by making an acceptable symbolic offering, and the foundation of substance is established by making an acceptable substantial offering. Let us examine the meaning and purpose of the symbolic offering and the substantial offering.
The three great blessings, which are God’s purpose of creation, were to be realized when Adam and Eve, having perfected their individual character, became husband and wife. They were to give birth to good children, raise a good family, and master the natural world. However, due to the Fall, the three great blessings were lost. The way to restore them requires us to take the opposite course. First, we must establish the foundation of faith by making the symbolic offering, which fulfills a condition of indemnity for the restoration of all things and a condition of indemnity for the symbolic restoration of people. Next, we must establish the foundation of substance by making the substantial offering, which fulfills an indemnity condition for the restoration of first the children and then the parents. On this basis, we can establish the foundation for the Messiah.
We can consider the meaning and purpose of the symbolic offering in two ways. First, as discussed above,18(cf. Fall 4.1) Satan gained dominion over the natural world through his domination of human beings, its rightful rulers. For this reason it is written, “the whole creation has been groaning in travail.”19(Rom. 8:22)CEV|KJ|NI Thus, one purpose for making the symbolic offering of all things is to enable all things to stand as God’s actual object partners in symbol. It fulfills an indemnity condition for the restoration of the natural world to its original relationship with God. Second, since human beings fell to a position lower than the things of creation,20(Jer. 17:9)CEV|KJ|NI in order for them to come before God, they must go through all things. This follows from the Principle of Creation, which requires that one approach God through that which is closer to Him. The second purpose for making the symbolic offering is thus to fulfill an indemnity condition for the symbolic restoration of human beings.
The substantial offering, on the other hand, is an internal offering. Following the order of creation, in which God created all things first and human beings afterwards, this internal offering to restore human beings can only be made on the basis of an acceptable symbolic offering. After the symbolic offering fulfills an indemnity condition both for the restoration of all things and for the symbolic restoration of human beings, we must make the substantial offering, which fulfills an indemnity condition for the complete restoration of human beings. The substantial offering means fulfilling the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature. This is essential for the actual restoration of human beings. The substantial offering is carried out when a person in Cain’s position honors the person in Abel’s position and sets him above himself as an offering. Through this, they fulfill the indemnity condition to be restored as good children. At the same time, it is also reckoned as the indemnity condition for the restoration of their parents. In this manner, the substantial offering can meet God’s expectation.
How can we understand the indemnity condition for the restoration of the parents? To establish the foundation for the Messiah in Adam’s family, Adam should have been the one to establish the foundation of faith by making the symbolic offering. However, as explained above, Adam could not make the offering, because if he had tried, his two masters, God and Satan, would have contended over it – an unprincipled situation. In addition, there is another reason from the aspect of feeling and heart. Fallen Adam was the very sinner who caused God the heartache and grief which was to last many thousands of years. He was not worthy to be the beloved of God’s Heart, with whom God could work directly to further the providence of restoration.
Accordingly, God chose Adam’s second son Abel in his stead and had Abel make the symbolic offering. Abel fulfilled the indemnity conditions for the restoration of all things and the symbolic restoration of human beings. If Cain and Abel had then fulfilled the indemnity condition for the restoration of the children by making an acceptable substantial offering, their father Adam would have shared in the victory of this foundation of substance. Thus, Adam’s family would have established the foundation for the Messiah.
Before the substantial offering can be made, the central figure of the offering, the one who is to be offered, must be chosen. God had Abel make the symbolic offering for two reasons: first, to have him establish the foundation of faith in Adam’s place; second, to qualify him to be the central figure of the substantial offering.
Cain was the one to fulfill the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature, yet his accomplishment would have resulted in the entire family of Adam fulfilling the condition. How was this possible? It may be compared to the situation of the first human ancestors, who could have helped God accomplish His entire Will had they obeyed His Word. It may also be compared to the situation of the Jewish people of Jesus’ day, who could have helped Jesus accomplish his will to bring complete salvation to humankind had they believed in him. If Cain had yielded to Abel and fulfilled the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature, both children would have been regarded as having fulfilled the indemnity condition together. Cain and Abel were the offspring of Adam, the embodiment of both good and evil. Had they unshackled themselves from Satan’s chains by fulfilling the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature, then Adam, their father, also could have separated from Satan and stood upon the foundation of substance. Thus, the foundation for the Messiah would have been established by the family as a whole. In short, had Cain and Abel succeeded in making the symbolic and substantial offerings, the indemnity condition for the restoration of the parents would have been fulfilled.
When Abel made his sacrifice in a manner acceptable to God, he fulfilled the indemnity condition to restore Adam’s foundation of faith and firmly secured his position as the central figure of the substantial offering. However, when Cain murdered Abel, they re-enacted the Fall, in which the Archangel murdered Eve spiritually. Needless to say, they did not fulfill the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature and failed to make the substantial offering. Hence, neither the foundation of substance nor the foundation for the Messiah could be established. God’s providence of restoration in Adam’s family came to naught.
The failure of God’s providence of restoration in Adam’s family teaches us something about God’s conditional predestination of the accomplishment of His Will and His absolute respect for the human portion of responsibility. From the time of creation, God predestined that His Will be accomplished based on the combined fulfillment of God’s portion of responsibility and the human portion of responsibility. God could not instruct Cain and Abel on how to properly make their sacrifices because it was their portion of responsibility that Cain make his sacrifice with Abel’s help.
Second, even after Cain killed Abel, God began a new chapter of His providence by raising Seth in Abel’s place. This shows us that God has absolutely predestined that His Will shall one day be fulfilled, even though His predestination concerning individual human beings is conditional. God foreordained that Abel succeed as the central figure of the substantial offering contingent upon fulfilling his own portion of responsibility. Therefore, when Abel could not complete his responsibility, God chose Seth in his place and carried on His efforts to accomplish the Will, which is predestined to be fulfilled without fail.
Third, through the offerings of Cain and Abel, God teaches us that fallen people must constantly seek for an Abel-type person. By honoring, obeying and following him, we can accomplish God’s Will even without understanding every aspect of it.
The providence which God worked to accomplish through Adam’s family has been repeated over and over again due to the faithlessness of human beings. Consequently, this course remains as the indemnity course which we ourselves must walk. The providence of restoration in Adam’s family thus provides us with many valuable lessons for our own path of faith.