1 John 3:11-12 (NKJV) states: “For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.”
Since Cain was born from Adam, does this mean that Adam was wicked?
Answer by John Mackay
The wicked one being referred to here is actually Satan, aka the Devil, aka Lucifer. The verse prior makes this very clear i.e. 1 John 3:10 states: “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.”
Now Adam was indeed the first created man, and his first-born son was Cain. But history records that Cain chose to not love his brother Abel, and in so doing chose to be a servant of Satan, and this resulted in Cain killing Abel. (see Genesis 4:1-14) Thus Cain became the first human murderer recorded in history, and in doing so he proved himself a follower of the Satan, whom Jesus declared ‘was a murderer from the beginning’ (John 8:44).
The context of Jesus’ declaration makes all murderers’ family trees very clear, because Jesus was talking to the Jews who wanted to kill Him. His exact words to them: “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.”
Cain, the first human murderer, is in that family also whose father is Satan aka the Devil aka Lucifer.
Therefore 1 John 3 is not a reference to the first created man Adam at all, for Adam is never described by God or man as a murderer from the beginning.
It helps to read 1 John 3:8-12 to find mention of the devil as ‘the evil one’ in this context.