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Mark Miller
May 7, 2021
This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Two Manners of Life
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In this series, we go chapter-by-chapter through Two Manners of Life by Titus Chu. You can purchase a copy or get the PDF of this book from its Book page

Chapter 1: The Origin of the Two Manners of Life

Chapter 1 opens up the matter of there being two lines, or manners, of life. These two lines come from Cain and Abel/Seth, and so they are defined largely by these sources. What is interesting is that these lines are not “good” (Abel) and “evil” (Cain). Actually, Cain did not start with murder (evil) in his heart. Both lines began with a sincere desire to please God. The difference was that Cain attempted to do this by objectively following God’s command. Abel, however, offered according to what he saw of God’s heart. To live according to God’s commandment does not produce something pleasing to God, while living according to His heart as expressed in Jesus Christ will produce something regarded by Him. We may think we have many options in our lives and many potential results, but in God’s eyes, we live in one of these two lines and produce something accordingly. Thus, we should pray for vision according to God’s heart in Jesus Christ.

Chapter 2: Cain and Abel–Acquisition and Vanity

It is incredible how many sets of brothers appear in Genesis. Not only are there Cain and Abel, but also Isaac and Ismael, and Jacob and Esau. All these sets represent two lines or manners of life. This goes back to the Garden of Eden, when God placed two trees in the midst. These two represented the two lives, and just as man had a choice in the Garden, it is for us to choose today what line we are on.

Cain and Abel were the beginning of the two lines. Their names and lives thus bear special meanings for what these two lines mean. Cain (meaning “acquisition”) was born into excitement and high expectations, and his living showed fruit (produce) according to what God had commanded. Abel (meaning “vanity”), on the other hand,represented the disappointment of his parents, and his life did not produce anything the world could look at and feel was meaningful. Abel’s life seemed vain, yet he could say: “I don’t chase after all the outward attainments. I only want God.” Abel’s life was regulated by what he saw of what satisfied God (a dead lamb), and his stand eventually led to him being killed by his brother, who God had no regard for. Yet if we are Abels today, God will bring us through death into resurrection–Seth (appointed by God)–who is ready to carry out the will of God.

We could say that “Seth” is not our decision. It is the work of God and death. But we can decide to live as Abel–by vision, desiring only God.

Chapter 3: Cain and His Descendants

This chapter follows the progression of Cain’s line, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Two striking things are where this line begins and where it ended. It began with Cain, in his good intentions wanting to please God, yet wandering without the presence of God in his life. Through many generations, the line ended with a murderer who boasted without repentance and with the development of the three pillars of human culture. Of note here is that all human beings, apart from God, are today bound unto these three pillars–living, entertainment, and fighting. For those who desire God and to please Him, this snapshot gives a warning of how our lives are shaped, developed, and degraded the more we continue on the line of knowledge of good and evil, living by what we’ve heard and with good intentions toward God, yet without inward vision of God’s heart. The prayer at the bottom of page 24 is quite appropriate–”…Lord, only You can save me. I want to live by You. Please keep me on the line of life!”

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