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Sermon No: 78379-Covenants - Part 7 - The seed of the woman



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SERMON TOPIC: Covenants - Part 7 - The seed of the woman

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 4 October 2020

Topic Groups: COVENANTS, GENESIS, SEED OF THE WOMAN

Sermon synopsis: With the demise of the Edenic covenant, God immediately establishes a new covenant with mankind, or more specifically with “the seed of the woman.”

There is hope for mankind! God promises a future redeemer who will crush the head of the serpent. Immediately after promising the seed, God speaks of the woman’s childbirth pains. From the context it indicates that the seed was referring to the woman’s offspring. As we have seen, it was not Eve - but Adam - who was held responsible for the Fall of the human race and our inherited (original) sin. Because of this God chose to bring redemption for all mankind through the “seed of the woman.”

Who is the seed of the woman and who is the seed of the serpent? What is the Serpent Seed doctrine and is it biblical?
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COVENANTS

PART 7: THE SEED OF THE WOMAN

THE PROTOEVANGELIUM

Genesis 3:15 is called the Protoevangelium (First Gospel), the first proclamation of the Good News.

Gen 3:14-15 (NASB) The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you … And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed [Hebrew: zera] and her seed [zera]; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

Strong's Concordance 2233 zera: a sowing, seed, offspring

ADAMIC COVENANT

With the demise of the Edenic covenant, God immediately establishes a new covenant with mankind, or more specifically with “the seed of the woman.”

There is hope for mankind! God promises a future redeemer who will crush the head of the serpent. Immediately after promising the seed, God speaks of the woman’s childbirth pains. From the context it indicates that the seed was referring to the woman’s offspring.

As we have seen, it was not Eve - but Adam - who was held responsible for the Fall of the human race and our inherited (original) sin. Because of this God chose to bring redemption for all mankind through the “seed of the woman.”

THE 4 PARTIES

There are four parties mentioned:

the woman

the seed of the woman

the serpent

the seed of the serpent

WHO IS THE SERPENT?

The serpent was either a vehicle of Satan, or Satan himself (the serpentine seraph).

Paul says that the “Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning,” and, in the same context, he argues that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Cor 11:3, 14). John’s references to Satan as “the ancient serpent” are clearly allusions to the Genesis account.

Rev 12:9 (ESV) And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world… [cf. Rev 20:2]

WHO IS THE SEED OF THE WOMAN?

Not surprisingly Eve seems to have regarded Abel as the Seed of the Woman. So did Satan because he instigates Cain to murder him.

1 John 3:12 (ESV) We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother.

ABEL OR SETH?

Eve’s comment upon the birth of Seth, appears to indicates that she understood Abel to be the promised seed – and Seth as the replacement seed.

Gen 4:25 (NKJV) And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, For God has appointed another seed [zera] for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.

JESUS IS THE SEED OF THE WOMAN

But ultimately Jesus is the seed of the woman. He was born by miraculous conception. Mary “was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.” (Matt 1:18) Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, which is why he was called the “Son of God” (Luke 1:34-35).

Gal 4:4 (NASB) But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman…

THE SUFFERING MESSIAH

Until modern times, Jewish commentators saw this verse as a prophecy of the coming Messiah. E.g., a rabbinic commentary on Genesis (circa 300 - 500 AD) states: “Eve had respect to that seed which is coming from another place. And who is this? This is Messiah the King.” *

Basically, this verse teaches that Messiah will suffer in the process of finally defeating Satan. The concept of a suffering Messiah, although unfamiliar to many Jewish people, can be traced back to this ancient promise. **

Isaiah further developed this theme with his teaching about the suffering servant. Consider Isaiah 53:5: “He was bruised for our iniquities,” and Isaiah 53:10: “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him.” **

WHO IS THE WOMAN?

While the woman is a reference to Eve generally as she would become “the mother of all living” (Gen 3:20) it is a specific reference to the virgin Mary, the mother of Christ.

The Bible makes it clear that by virtue of the virgin birth, only Mary was a true genetic parent of Jesus. Luke refers to this by stating that Jesus “was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph” (Luke 3:23, NIV).

THE VIRGIN MARY

Luke is believed to have used Mary as one of the sources for his Gospel. In an account that would have been relayed to him by Mary, he confirms the virgin birth of Jesus:

Luke 1:26-35 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph … The virgin’s name was Mary ...

Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus …

THE VIRGIN WILL CONCEIVE

Isaiah had prophesied:

Isaiah 7:14 (NIV) Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

This was fulfilled when Jesus was born of the virgin Mary.

Matt 1:22-23 (NIV) All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” – which means, “God with us.”

THE VIEW FROM EARLY CHRISTIANITY

This view of Gen 3:15 was the understanding from early times, stemming from at least the 2nd century. Justin Martyr (100 – 165) writes:

But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy, when the angel Gabriel announced the good tidings to her that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her, and the power of the Highest would overshadow her: wherefore also the Holy Thing begotten of her is the Son of God; and she replied, 'Be it unto me according to your word.' And by her has He been born, to whom we have proved so many Scriptures refer, and by whom God destroys both the serpent and those angels and men who are like him; but works deliverance from death to those who repent of their wickedness and believe upon Him. *

IRENAEUS

Irenaeus (c. 130 – c. 202) wrote of Christ:

He has therefore, in His work of recapitulation, summed up all things, both waging war against our enemy, and crushing him who had at the beginning led us away captives in Adam, and trampled upon his head, as thou canst perceive in Genesis that God said to the serpent, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; He shall be on the watch for thy head, and thou on the watch for His heel.” For from that time, He who should be born of a woman, [namely] from the Virgin, after the likeness of Adam, was preached as keeping watch for the head of the serpent. *

THE “SEED” PAUL REFERS TO

Irenaeus interprets Galatians 3:19 in the light of Genesis 3:15.

This is the seed of which the apostle says in the Epistle to the Galatians, “that the law of works was established until the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” *

He does the same with Galatians 4:4.

This fact is exhibited in a still clearer light in the same Epistle, where he thus speaks: “But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman.” *

THE VIRGIN BIRTH

Do people still believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus? A survey by Pew Research in 2013 found that 73% of Americans believe in the virgin birth, but surprisingly, so do 32% of self-proclaimed non-Christians. *

Is a Virgin Birth possible?

Ever since invitro fertilization and embryonic transfer came on the scene in 1978 (not to mention artificial insemination), it is quite possible for a woman who has never experienced sexual intercourse to give birth. **

ASEXUAL REPRODUCTION

But this only occurs with medical intervention. Does it ever happen naturally? Yes – Asexual reproduction occurs in certain animals, but not mammals. There’s no male or sperm, only a female and an egg and eventually a baby. This is called parthenogenesis ... and it happens when an embryo develops by itself without fertilization of an ovum (egg cell). *

The resulting baby is called a parthenogen and a number of animals can reproduce this way. E.g. marmorkrebs, a type of crayfish, produce parthenogens that are genetically identical to their mother. Some researchers have figured out how to induce this in other animals while others have even tried to make it happen in humans. *

GENOMIC IMPRINTING

While there are no known cases of parthenogenesis occurring naturally in mammals in the wild, scientists have successfully induced it in rabbits, mice and monkeys. The resulting embryos ran into problems, however, because of biological phenomenon in mammals (and some flowering plants) known as genomic imprinting. During the formation of sperm and egg cells, certain genes necessary for embryo development are shut down by chemical marks, or imprints. Some of these imprints are in sperm, others are in the egg. All the key genes are there only when a sperm and an egg meet, so without paternally imprinted genes, a mammalian embryo created by parthenogenesis develops abnormally. *

NO VIABLE EMBRYO

Could a human naturally be produced by virgin birth? In theory, yes, if a number of biochemical events occur by chance or genetic defect in close succession and the egg doesn’t complete meiosis (when an egg does this, it loses half of its genetic material to make room for the paternal DNA in the sperm. But without the sperm, each half of the divided egg would come up short on genetic material). The chances of all that happening are almost zero. But even if nature found a way, we run into genomic imprinting again, so we wouldn’t wind up with a viable embryo. *

A MIRACLE

HOW then was a Virgin Birth possible?

That’s why we call it a miracle – it doesn’t normally happen.

In response to Mary’s query, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” Gabriel replies “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”

The angel encourages Joseph to marry Mary by saying “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt 1:20, NASB).

WERE THE GOSPEL WRITERS GULLIBLE?

Matthew and Luke wrote the authoritative accounts. Neither was likely to be gullible in the least. Matthew was a former tax-collector. Luke was a doctor. True—medicine has come a long way in twenty centuries, but it isn’t a recent discovery that virgins don’t have babies. From the very beginning of Jesus’ human life, his eternal Father set him apart as exceptional. *

Why - if Christians were just making this up (as some modern liberals claim) - would they invent details that would have offended virtually everybody in the culture into which Jesus was born (i.e. that Mary conceived out of wedlock). The fact that it is offensive speaks to its authenticity.

THE SEED OF THE WOMAN

From these passages, it is certainly clear that Jesus’ birth was the result of the Holy Spirit working within Mary’s body. The immaterial (the Spirit) and the material (Mary’s womb) were both involved. Mary, of course, could not impregnate herself, and in that sense she was simply a “vessel.” Only God could perform the miracle of the Incarnation. *

Denying a physical connection between Mary and Jesus would imply that Jesus was not truly human. Scripture teaches that Jesus was fully human, with a physical body like ours. This He received from Mary. At the same time, Jesus was fully God, with an eternal, sinless nature. See John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; and Hebrews 2:14-17. *

WHY WAS THE VIRGIN BIRTH NECESSARY?

It highlights the supernatural. On one end of Jesus’ life lies his supernatural conception and birth; on the other, his supernatural resurrection and his ascension to God’s right hand. Jesus’ authenticity was attested to by the supernatural working of his Father. *

It shows that humanity needs redeeming that it can’t bring about for itself. The fact that the human race couldn’t produce its own redeemer implies that its sin and guilt are profound and that its saviour must come from outside.

A SINLESS SEED REQUIRED

The virgin birth and conception by the Holy Spirit was necessary for Jesus to be sinless. The sinful nature is passed down from generation to generation through the father.

Rom 5:12 (NASB) Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men

The Virgin Birth circumvented the transmission of the sinful nature. Conception by the Holy Spirit was necessary for Christ to be the Son of God – and thus be untainted by Adam’s sin. He was not born in sin i.e. he had no sinful nature.

Heb 7:26 (NIV) Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners…

FULLY HUMAN & FULLY DIVINE NATURES

The virgin birth and conception by the Holy Spirit was necessary for Jesus to be the Son of God – it allows the fully human and fully divine natures to be united in one person. Wayne Grudem writes:

God, in his wisdom, ordained a combination of human and divine influence in the birth of Christ, so that his full humanity would be evident to us from the fact of his ordinary human birth from a human mother, and his full deity would be evident from the fact of his conception in Mary’s womb by the powerful work of the Holy Spirit. *

CAIN - THE SEED OF THE SERPENT?

Most Christians understand the Seed of the Woman to be a reference to Jesus, who was born of the virgin. But who is the seed of the serpent?

One controversial idea is that Cain was the physical seed of the serpent through Eve. Known as the “Serpent seed” doctrine, it was popularised by the heretical William Branham. Others like Arnold Murray (1929–2014) and Daniel Parker (1781–1844) were also notable proponents.

This false doctrine often results in racism - believing that certain races are irredeemable, e.g. the belief is held by some adherents of the white supremacist theology known as Christian Identity, who claim that the Jews are descended from the serpent.

BRANHAM’S SERPENT-SEED HERESY

According to Branham:

Here is what really happened in the Garden of Eden. The Word says that Eve was beguiled by the serpent. She was actually seduced by the serpent ... He was so close to being human that his seed could, and did mingle with that of the woman and cause her to conceive. When this happened, God cursed the serpent. *

William M. Branham (1909–1965)

THE “MOONIES” CULT

The Unification Church (the “Moonies”) also teaches that Eve committed adultery with the devil. Sun Myung Moon writes:

The fact that Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil means that she had an illicit love relationship with Satan, and the fact that Eve gave Adam the same fruit implies that she seduced Adam to fall in the same way. Consequently, the root of human sin is not that the first human ancestors picked and ate a literal fruit, but that they had an illicit love relationship with a spiritual being, who was symbolized by the serpent. *

Sun Myung Moon (1920–2012)

A 3RD-CENTURY GNOSTIC HERESY

But it is an old 3rd-century Gnostic heresy:

First adultery came into being, afterwards the murderer [Cain]. And he was begotten in adultery. For he was the son of the serpent. Because of this he became a murderer, as his father also. *

It is also found in medieval Jewish Kabbalistic literature, which identifies the serpent with the archangel Samael.

When they begat children, the first born was the son of the (serpent’s) slime. For two beings had intercourse with Eve and she conceived from both and bore two children. Each followed one of the male parents and their spirits parted one to this side and one to the other and similarly their characters. **

CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL

Proponents teach that Jesus’ description of “the sons of the evil one” in the parable of the Wheat and Tares is true in a biological sense.

Matt 13:38-39 (NASB) … as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil …

CAIN WAS ADAM’S SON

1 John 3:12 (which says that Cain “was of the evil one”) is used as proof that Cain was Satan’s literal offspring.

But the Bible explicitly says that Cain was the offspring of Adam and Eve and that his conception was after the Fall. After they have already been expelled from Eden we read:

Gen 4:1-2 (ESV) Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD. [Yahweh]” And again, she bore his brother Abel.

Furthermore Eve regards Cain’s birth as a blessing from the LORD.

FAITH, NOT ANCESTRY

Abel’s acceptance and Cain’s rejection was based on their faith – or lack thereof – not on ancestry.

Heb 11:4 (NIV) By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings.

If Cain was part of a cursed bloodline:

If Cain was part of a cursed bloodline:

Why does God admonish him to overcome the sin in his life and offer him acceptance?

Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it. [Gen 4:6-7]

Again why does God listen to Cain when he complains that his punishment is too great and guarantee him protection?

Again why does God listen to Cain when he complains that his punishment is too great and guarantee him protection?

Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over. [Gen 4:13-15, NIV]

My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.

CAIN’S LINE WAS DESTROYED AT THE FLOOD

Furthermore Genesis (which is used to support the doctrine) indicates that the line of Cain was destroyed at the Flood. Only Noah’s family (descendants of Cain’s brother, Seth) survived. So there is no line of Cain alive since over 4 millennia ago.

1 Pet 3:20 (NIV) who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water

The 8 people saved were Noah, his 3 sons and their wives.

The only possibility that Cain’s offspring survived the Flood would be if one of Cain’s female descendants, like Naamah (Gen 4:22) survived the Flood.

Adam

Cain

Enoch

Irad

Mehujael

Methushael

Lamech

Tubal-cain

Naamah

Abel

Seth

Enosh

Kenan

Mahalalel

Jared

Enoch

Methuselah

Lamech

Noah

Shem

Ham

Japheth

The only possibility that Cain’s offspring survived the Flood would be if one of Cain’s female descendants, like Naamah (Gen 4:22) survived the Flood.

FLOOD

DESTROYED IN FLOOD

NAAMAH

Naamah was descendant of Cain, the sister of Tubal-cain and the only mentioned daughter of Lamech and Zillah.

As the mention of females in genealogies is relatively rare some claim that her significance is due to her marrying Noah or one of his sons. While the reason she is mentioned remains obscure, you cannot make such a bold argument from Biblical silence.

Also, Cain moved away from Adam and his later descendants (the Sethites) – hence his complaint that he was a fugitive. Intermarriage was thus unlikely.

If it were true, all mankind would be of the seed of Cain and hence cursed according to the Serpent-Seed doctrine.

OTHER NON-BIBLICAL SOURCES

The “Book of Jasher” (Sefer haYashar) claims that Noah married Naamah. However, this is one of several texts considered to be recent works and not the same as the book mentioned in Scripture (cf. Joshua 10:13, 2 Samuel 1:18). In any event it refers to a different woman - “Naamah the daughter of Enoch.”

The Jewish midrash Genesis Rabba (c. 5th-century AD) claimed that “Naamah, daughter of Lemech and sister to Tubalcain, was Noah’s wife.” *

But the older deuterocanonical Book of Tobit (c. 225–175 BC) says that Noah's wife was one of his “own kindred.” **

MORE CREDIBLE SOURCES

The Jewish work known as the Book of Jubilees (c. 2nd-century BC), found with the Dead Sea scrolls, states that “Noah took to himself a wife, and her name was Emzara, the daughter of Rake’el, the daughter of his father’s brother.” *

The ark landed in Armenia and Armenian tradition gives the name of Noah's wife as Nemzar, Noyemzar or Noyanzar (linguistically similar to Emzara).

Jubilees lists the wives of Noah’s sons as Sedeqetelebab (Shem’s wife), Na'eltama’uk (Ham’s wife) and 'Adataneses (Japheth’s wife).

IS “BEGUILED” SEXUAL SEDUCTION?

Some proponents of the serpent-seed point to the word in Genesis 3:13 rendered in the KJV as “beguiled” as evidence of Eve being sexually seduced by the serpent. This requires us to believe that “beguiled” in this context actually means sexually seduced.

However, in contemporary translations, the Hebrew word (nasha, Strong’s 5377) that the KJV renders as “beguiled” is often translated as “deceived” (ESV, NIV, HCSB, NLT) or “tricked” (NRSV, NET), while none of these translations render the word as “seduced” or imply sexual seduction. Permutations of the Hebrew word occur 15 times in Scripture and it is never carries any sexual connotation.

BEGUILED MEANS A CORRUPTED MIND

Paul refers to the Edenic incident in 2 Cor 11:3 in the Greek NT using the word exēpatēsen (root exapataó, Strong’s 1818):

(KJV) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled (exēpatēsen) Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

(NASB) But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

Paul compares the “beguilement” of Eve to our MINDS being “corrupted” or “led astray”.

BEGUILED MEANS TO TRICK OR DECEIVE

The same Greek root (exapataó) is used in 1 Tim 2:14 where the KJV now also renders it as “deceived”.

(KJV) And Adam was not deceived (apataó), but the woman being deceived (exapatētheisa) was in the transgression.

Note how above it is used as a synonym for the word apataó which has the connotation “deceive, lead into error” (Strong’s 538).

In short, “beguiled” means to charm, enchant, deceive, or trick. In context, Eve is blaming the serpent for tricking her into eating the forbidden fruit. She is not stating that the serpent seduced her sexually.

JESUS – THE TREE OF LIFE?

Another approach to arriving at the serpent seed interpretation is Branham’s view that the Tree of Life in Genesis refers to Jesus.

Branham exposits, “If the Tree Of Life is a person, then the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is a person ALSO. It can’t be otherwise. Thus the Righteous One and the Wicked One stood side by side there in the midst of the Garden of Eden”.

By arguing that Jesus is the Tree of Life, Branham then concludes that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is Satan (the serpent). This leads Branham to conclude that the sin in the Garden of Eden involved sexual relations between Eve and Satan.

ADAM WAS PRESENT WHEN EVE SINNED

If eating from the tree was a sexual act, then what do we make of Genesis 3:6 which says that Adam was with Eve when she ate the fruit and that he also ate?

(NIV) When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food … she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Lastly, if the sin in Eden was a sexual act between Satan and Eve, then what was Adam’s sin – because he too was judged. We have already noted that the Bible holds Adam solely accountable for sin in the human race, not Eve. (Rom 5:12)

WOMEN CAN STILL PRODUCE SERPENT SEED?

Branham also taught that women still have the potential to bring forth either the serpent seed or the seed of Adam.

But modern DNA research has proven that we had a single male ancestor. Women have two X chromosomes, while men have an X and a Y. The Y chromosome is what makes a man a man - and it's passed from father to son. Studies of variation in Y-chromosome DNA point to a common male ancestor - even dubbed “Y-chromosomal Adam" by scientists.

BRANHAM’S SAD LEGACY

Branham’s later teachings were deemed increasingly controversial by his Charismatic and Pentecostal contemporaries.

Besides the serpent’s seed doctrine, he believed in annihilationism, oneness of the Godhead, predestination and eternal security.

In 1963, he preached a sermon stating that he was a prophet with the anointing of Elijah, who had come to herald the Second Coming.

Following his death in a car crash in 1965, there were expectations among some of his followers that he would rise from the dead.

SALVATION BY FAITH, NOT BLOODLINE

The biggest problem with the serpent-seed doctrine is that it implies that people are saved based upon their ancestry (whether they are the seed of the serpent or not). So salvation would be based on your physical bloodline (i.e. predetermined), rather than being a matter of personal faith in Christ who taught that unregenerate men can be “born again” into a new family of God.

John 1:12 (NIV) Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

A SPIRITUAL FULFILMENT

Hence becoming “children of God” has nothing to do with “natural descent”. The Bible repeatedly speaks of us being children of God in a spiritual sense.

The Seed of the Woman has a fulfilment that is more spiritual than physical. It has its ultimate fulfilment in Christ but also refers to redeemed humanity (not humans in general). Paul writes to believers:

Rom 16:20 (ESV) The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet …

A SPIRITUAL FULFILMENT

The “seed of the serpent” also has a spiritual fulfilment. While some see in it allusions to the Nephilim or the Antichrist, it is primarily a reference to unregenerate men who are the spiritual seed of Satan as contrasted with being the seed of God.

1 John 3:9-10 (ESV) No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

ELYMAS – A CHILD OF THE DEVIL

Only in this sense was Cain the seed of the serpent – like all other unbelievers after him.

Paul says to Elymas the Jewish sorcerer who opposed him and Barnabas when they were presenting the gospel to the proconsul in Crete:

You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! [Acts 13:10, NIV]

THE PHARISEES HAD A FATHER – THE DEVIL

Those who “do not belong to God” are the devil’s seed. Speaking to the Pharisees, Jesus said, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning …” (John 8:44-45, NIV)

Did Jesus mean that the devil had literally impregnated their mothers? Of course not! They were the spiritual seed of Satan as evidenced by their actions – they were enemies of the Seed of the Woman and wanted to murder him.

SONS OF BELIAL

“Belial,” a Hebrew term which means “worthless” or “the one who has thrown off the yoke (of heaven),” * became personified as the devil.

2 Cor 6:15 (NIV) What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

The idiom “sons of Belial” appears 15 times in the KJV to indicate sinful people. The term is normally rendered as “worthless people” (or something similar) in most versions. These “sons of Belial” were simply wicked men. The list includes idolaters (Deut 13:13), the sexually deviant and murderous men of Gibeah (Judg 19:22, 20:13), the adulterous sons of Eli (1 Sam 2:12) and the stingy Nabal (1 Sam 25:17).

SUMMARY

Hence in summary those referred to in Genesis 3:15 are:

The woman: Eve generally, but Mary specifically.

The seed of the woman:

generally - the righteous humans who follow Christ.

specifically - Christ (the seed of Mary)

The serpent: Satan.

The seed of the serpent:

generally - wicked humans who follow Satan.

specifically - the Antichrist (the son of perdition * – 2 Thess 2:3)

ENMITY BETWEEN THE 2 SEEDS

Gen 3:15 (NASB) And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed …

Hence we should not be surprised when the world hates Christ (the seed of the woman) and Christians.

1 John 3:13 (ESV) Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. [John 15:18, NIV]

THE SERPENT BRUISES THE HEEL OF THE SEED

Gen 3:15 (NASB) And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; (2) He shall bruise you on the head, (1) And you shall bruise him on the heel.

Both aspects of this prophecy were fulfilled at the cross.

The serpent (Satan) shall bruise the heel of the seed of the woman (Christ).

The ‘bruise’ Jesus received was the crucifixion.

THE SEED BRUISES SATAN’S HEAD

The seed of the woman (Christ) shall bruise the serpent’s (Satan’s) head.

Now, while a bruise on the heel is a relatively minor wound, a bruise on the head is a fatal wound. Scripture makes it clear that by his bruised heel (i.e. his death on the cross) Jesus defeated the powers of darkness (a fatal blow) and brought about man’s awaited redemption by God.

1 John 3:8 (ESV) … The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

Col 2:15 (NIV) And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

SATAN USES JUDAS TO INFLICT THE BRUISE

Judas (the son of perdition – John 17:12) was the instrument used by Satan himself, who prompted him to betray Jesus to death:

John 13:27 (NIV) As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him.

Luke 22:3-4 (NIV) Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot … And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.

SATAN HELPS ENGINEER HIS OWN DOWNFALL

We are also told the dark rulers of our age, including Satan and his fallen angels, did not understand the significance of the cross as God’s means of salvation - or that they were unwittingly assisting in bringing about man’s redemption.

1 Cor 2:8 (NIV) None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

By the wounds sustained by the Seed of the Woman, we have our redemption.

1 Pet 2:24 (NIV) He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

THE DEVIL’S POWER OVER MAN IS BROKEN

As the Seed of the Woman, Jesus shared in our humanity so that by his death (his heel being bruised) he would inflict a mortal blow to the head of the serpent (the devil) and deliver mankind from the consequences of the Fall (death).

Heb 2:14-15 (NIV) Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

THE SERPENT HALF-QUOTES SCRIPTURE

When Satan tempts Christ to jump off the pinnacle of the Temple, he appeals to the 91st Psalm.

If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,” and “On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” [Luke 4:9-11, ESV]

THE SERPENT YOU WILL TRAMPLE UNDERFOOT

But interestingly, Satan—the ancient serpent—cuts off his quote at verse 12, leaving out the following verse.

Ps 91:13 (ESV) You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

Might Satan have left that verse out because it touched a nerve? He was the very serpent that Christ—the Seed of the Woman—would “trample underfoot.”

IRENAEUS

Irenaeus also believed Ps 91:13 was an allusion to Gen 3:15, the serpent (asp) being Satan and the Seed of the Woman being Christ.

For this end did He put enmity between the serpent and the woman and her seed, they keeping it up mutually: He, the sole of whose foot should be bitten, having power also to tread upon the enemy’s head; but the other biting, killing, and impeding the steps of man, until the seed did come appointed to tread down his head which was born of Mary, of whom the prophet speaks: “Thou shalt tread upon the asp and the basilisk; thou shalt trample down the lion and the dragon;” -indicating that sin, which was set up and spread out against man, and which rendered him subject to death, should be deprived of its power, along with death, which rules [over men]... *

THE CONQUEROR AND THE VANQUISHED

Similar language in terms of the underfoot- subjugation metaphor is used elsewhere of the conqueror and the vanquished.

Josh 10:24–25 (ESV) ... Then they came near and put their feet on their necks. And Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dis- mayed; be strong and courageous. For thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight”.

UNDER HIS FEET

The NT depicts the victory of Christ and the church over Satan in similar terms. Although Satan’s power was broken at the cross, his ultimate complete defeat and incarceration is spoken of by Paul as in the future.

Rom 16:20 (KJV) And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.

1 Cor 15:25 (ESV) For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

REVERSE THE CURSE

He therefore reversed the judgement of Eden, which was spiritual death or estrangement from God.

1 Cor 15:22 (NIV) For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

Eph 2:13-18 (NIV) But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility… For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

DEATH IS DEFEATED

He also overcame physical death.

Rev 1:18 (NIV) I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

He will ultimately destroy the power of physical death.

John 5:26 (ESV) For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.

1 Cor 15:26-27 (NIV) The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet.”

THE SON OF MAN

The “son of man” has all things put under his feet.

Ps 8:4-6 (ESV) what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honour. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet.

This will reach complete fulfilment in the Millennial reign of Christ.

Ps 110:1 (ESV) The LORD [Yahweh] says to my Lord [Adonai]: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”

THE ROYAL GRANT

There are no conditions attached to this covenant (known as the Adamic Covenant) so it is most like a royal grant.

But isn’t a royal grant based on faithfulness?

This was not earned through the faithfulness of Adam, but rather granted through the future faithfulness of the promised seed (the last Adam).

Matt 12:18 (ESV) “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.”

PROMISE MADE BY THE DELIVERER

It is interesting that this promise of the “seed of the woman” was made by the one who would later fulfil it, because all incarnations of God in the Old Testament were Jesus.

John 1:18 (ESV) No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

OUR REDEEMER

Puritan commentator, Matthew Henry (1662-1714) notes “how admirably the satisfaction of our Lord Jesus, by his death and sufferings, answered the sentence passed on our first parents.”

Did the curse come in with sin? Christ was made a curse for us, he died a cursed death, Ga 3:13. Did thorns come in with sin? He was crowned with thorns for us. Did sweat come in with sin? He sweat for us, as it had been great drops of blood. Did sorrow come in with sin? He was a man of sorrows; his soul was, in his agony, exceeding sorrowful. Did death come in with sin? He became obedient unto death. Thus is the plaster as wide as the wound. Blessed be God for his Son our Lord Jesus Christ. *

E A E B E ROCK OF AGES, CLEFT FOR ME - LET ME HIDE MYSELF IN THEE; B E LET THE WATER AND THE BLOOD, B E FROM THY WOUNDED SIDE WHICH FLOWED, A E BE OF SIN THE DOUBLE CURE, B E SAVE FROM WRATH AND MAKE ME PURE.

NOTHING IN MY HAND I BRING, SIMPLY TO THY CROSS I CLING; NAKED, COME TO THEE FOR DRESS; HELPLESS, LOOK TO THEE FOR GRACE; FOUL, I TO THE FOUNTAIN FLY; WASH ME, SAVIOUR, OR I DIE.

WHILE I DRAW THIS FLEETING BREATH, WHEN MY EYES SHALL CLOSE IN DEATH, WHEN I RISE TO WORLDS UNKNOWN, AND BEHOLD THEE ON THY THRONE, ROCK OF AGES, CLEFT FOR ME, LET ME HIDE MYSELF IN THEE.

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

AUTHOR: Gavin Paynter

For more sermon downloads: https:// agfbrakpan.com

For more sermon downloads by Gavin Paynter: https:// agfbrakpan.com/free-sermon-downloads-by-speaker/Gavin%20Paynter

Illustrations from:

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Jim Padgett, courtesy of https:// commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ Bible_Illustrations_contributed_by_Sweet_Publishing

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from:

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Other Scripture quotations taken from:

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

The New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.




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