The Promise of the Seed
In order to understand the severity of what happened in the Garden of Eden, we must examine the pre-fall relationship of God with man, the effects of the subsequent tragedy – the “fall” – on this relationship, and the necessity of the promise of the Seed of God to fallen man.
God created man for a specific reason. Genesis 1:26 states, “God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image according to Our likeness; let them have dominion…’”. As we can see, man was not created just because one day, God discovered that He was alone and bored and needed fellowship. God had a universal problem on His hand, and that problem was a massive evil rebellion which had threatened the sovereign rule of God in His created world. Satan, formerly known as Lucifer, had managed to draw one third of the angelic hosts under his evil command and oppose God. Many people ask why God did not, or does not, destroy Satan since He is obviously much more powerful than this creature?
The answer is very clear. God will be destroying Satan but not according to our wishes and strategies, but according to His own. In His Sovereign will and in accordance with His absolutely righteous dealings, God has left the task of the destruction of evil and its federal head, Satan, to man! The destruction of any creature by the creator is never difficult, and in God’s economy, this is not the right approach. Rather, God chooses to destroy His adversary through and by another creature.
Thus, we understand from the Genesis account that God’s principle reason for creating man was to express and manifest His sovereign will through and by man, and therefore, end the rebellion of Satan in a fair and righteous manner. Man in his creational design, capacity, development, and destiny was the most unique creation of God; after all, he was created in the image and likeness of God, [possessing the ability to establish God’s kingdom on earth once again. Here, we encounter another very important and foundational word: “Kingdom”. If you study the Bible from beginning to end, one central theme becomes the evident and main vein of God’s mind, upon which every other thought and act of God is based: The Kingdom of God.
God has been ruling the universe and everything beyond it from eternity past, and will rule forever as King and the Almighty God. During this particular era in universal history, God’s Sovereign rule has been challenged and defied by an archenemy, who is attempting to establish his rule and sovereignty forever. Both of these parties have made “man” the chosen instrument and the deciding element that will determine the outcome of this cosmic conflict.
God, out of His wonderful and amazing grace and love, created man with free will in order for man to freely choose sides and determine his destiny. God does not need robots to worship Him and to act on His behalf. He wants men who, through their own free will, have chosen to express, represent and manifest Him in His creation. Thus man was created free within the scope of the choices that were available to him: life or death, fellowship or separation, reigning with God or suffering the consequences of rebellion.
Therefore, God placed man in an environment of bliss with two trees, representing two principles: Divine life or lifeless knowledge void of His blessing and input. Man could have taken from the tree of Life and thus immediately identified himself with His creator and life-giver, and overcome the enemy by the divine life of God and achieve true “sonship” by acting as a true heir; or he could have taken from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and identified himself with a creature of extremely high knowledge who had become void of life and void of purpose for which he was initially created, and face judgment. Man chose the latter. How tragic! This has always been the tendency of mankind. In the face of such choices, man has always sided with the enemy of God by choosing knowledge over life. Man does not realize that knowledge is death whereas life will invariably lead to knowledge. Man is more curious and less in search of the life that would set him free and make him live forever. (John 5:39-40).
The fall of man was something that God, in His infinite wisdom and fore-knowledge had predicted and seen happen. God knew that man in his innocent and inexperienced state could and would succumb to temptation, but this possibility and the eventuality of it was necessary for man to gain insight into his true destiny and the love of God and His call.
Thus man fell from the original calling and design for which he was created. We see that immediately after the fall and progressively afterward, man lost his sense of communing, understanding, and executing the divine will. God had designed man with His own image in mind. What were the characteristics of that image? By carefully examining the ministry and mission of Jesus Christ who was and is the perfect image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15), we gain insight into what Adam could have possessed and exercised had he remained in God’s care and fellowship. Jesus demonstrated three major aspects of the image of God: Prophet, Priest, and King. Each of these functions was originally bestowed upon Adam as capacities to exercise. Subsequent to the fall, they were progressively lost. Adam had a prophetic relationship with God and his environment in that he was to be the carrier of the divine word and message on this planet. He was to speak the mind of God to the creation as he understood the mind of God. The naming of all the animals with such ease and as a natural assignment proves his prophetic abilities. Adam was also to act as the priest of God on this planet, representing the heart of God for His creation. God’s love and care had to be expressed by someone who was capable of feeling what God felt for His creation. Thus man was given the task of caring for the Garden of Eden. In that caring and nurturing, Adam would learn to love God’s creation and have an emotional relationship with God and His creation. Lastly, as king, Adam was to exercise the divine will and establish God’s sovereignty on the planet and rule on behalf of God over all creation. This would be accomplished through the act of union with Eve and producing offspring who would all, in a corporate manner, represent God’s absolute rule in their lives and over creation. In the fall, all three faculties were lost, either immediately or over time. We can see that the “king” office was lost immediately, as soon as Adam handed over his created (birth) right to the enemy. Next, he lost the office of priest, no longer being able to relate to God with his heart, and thus not being able to represent God’s love and care for the creation. The murder of Cain was a prime example of how the heart of man had so quickly become evil and hardened. Cain asked God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” indicating that he was no longer able or interested in caring or loving anyone but himself. Lastly, man lost his prophetic abilities, no longer able to hear and understand God’s mind for his life. He was not only void of will power to do God’s will, but he was also a heartless and deaf creature no longer able to discern good from evil. Isn’t that ironic that the very thing that attracted man to itself, knowledge of good and evil, caused him to lose the ability to gain and exercise that knowledge. Instead as Paul says, “Their foolish hearts were darkened …” (Romans 1:21) – a perfect description of what the fall did to man. On the surface, everything looked as before, yet internally, something horrible had occurred. Praise the Lord that Jesus appeared to rectify, reverse, and restore this tragic condition.
Jesus, in His appearance on this planet 2000 years ago, began to set in motion a complete reversal and restoration of whatever man had lost. First He restored the prophetic office to man by coming as a “prophet” or “Apostle”, bearing the Gospel or the Good News of God to man so that man would finally be able to regain his position, call, and destiny through repentance and return to God through Christ who would liberate him from the bondage of sin and death through His own perfect sacrifice and atonement.
Now, our Lord, as the High Priest of our confession, is slowly but progressively restoring to us the heart of God, the kind of heart that intercedes and stands in the gap for humanity and is willing to give himself for the redemption of God’s creation. We are now, as believers in the Lord Jesus being conformed to His image, in particular to the gaining of a heart based on the pattern of the heart of our Lord – a heart full of compassion, love, mercy, gratitude, and intercession, just to mention a few.
And finally, God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, upon His return to this planet, will restore the office of ruling and reigning, as He glorifies His overcoming church in resurrection (or Rapture) and installs her to the right hand of the Son in the Millennial kingdom.
I hope you can appreciate the enormity of man’s creation, call, and destiny; something that Satan was very well aware of and knew to be the beginning of the end of his usurped power and authority. This is why Satan, with all his power and slyness, had to devise a plan to derail God’s plan for man, because man’s success meant his defeat. When man (generic) becomes what God wants him to become, Satan is undone and destroyed!
Satan’s strategy was very clever. He thought that by getting man to sell his birthright to him and taking him captive through deception, God would be defeated and would even repent from creating man. But how wrong he was! God already knew the outcome of every move from beginning to end, and had already made provision for man’s restoration.
With this long, but necessary introduction, we now come to Genesis chapter 3.
Satan entices Eve. Adam also joins the act of rebellion and “the fall” becomes final. How does God address the problem of the fall of man? Simply by promising that man (woman) would bring forth a “Seed” who would ultimately destroy Satan. Of course, Satan would also bring forth his seed to counter this attempt, but to no avail. God’s Seed would triumph and restore to Adam all he had lost and more, thus putting man back on track to be the expression, manifestation, and representation of God’s glory in all the universe. The Seed becomes the deciding factor in the victory of God over Satan. Notice that God was still going to defeat Satan through a human Seed, and not by His supernatural and invisible powers. God would empower a certain Seed from human race and through His divine operation, exalt the Seed to glory and honor, one worthy of none other than God Himself.
The dialog in Genesis chapter three is very crucial, because through the promise made to Eve, Satan realized the enormity of the problem he was facing. God was challenging Satan to try to stop His Seed from appearing. Satan had to try to find out who the promised Seed was and when he would appear. Confusion must have reigned in Satan’s mind as he now faced not just a couple of humans, but potentially millions of humans who would be born on this planet from among whom one would be the Seed. Who is this Seed, asked Satan from himself? When will he appear? How will I be able to recognize him? How can I stop his appearance? How can I destroy him? Many sleepless nights were awaiting the chief of all that is evil!
In this cosmic chess game, Satan thought he had won by checkmating God in the Garden of Eden, and by dragging man into sin and death. How wrong he was in his premature conclusion and celebration! God made the next move by offering to redeem His beloved man by and through the Seed. So what was Satan’s next move going to be?
The best move that could possibly be devised by Satan was to prevent the Seed from ever becoming a reality. So the next step was to carefully assess each offspring of Adam and make his move. We read that after the fall of man and the promise of the Seed, God clothed Adam and Eve with skins (a reminder and type of the redemptive act of God to cover and forgive sins through blood, pointing to the redemption that would be made available through the blood of the Seed), and removed them from the garden. In Genesis chapter 4 we begin to see the history of the conflict between Satan and man, beginning and escalating until the coming of the Son of God back to earth, which climaxes in the book of Revelation.
Thus in Genesis chapters 1 and 2, we see the principles guiding and governing the concept and reality of the Seed; in chapter 3 the promise of the Seed as the result of the fall of man from his call and destiny. Now in the next chapter, we shall examine the preservation of the Seed and the conflict that ensued as a result of this attempt and mission. This duty and mission is very much the principle and main theme of the Old Testament. Everything in the Old Testament whether events, persons, thoughts, laws, conflicts, or anything else work along this line by either supporting the preservation of the Seed or his destruction.
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