The Prophecies of the Messiah: Prophecy 2
The Messiah shall bruise the head of satan, thereby destroying his works forever.
Old Testament Prediction:
Genesis 3:15b And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.
New Testament fulfillment:
1 John 3:8 …For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
In our look at the first prophecy of the Bible, we discovered in Genesis Chapter 3, verse 15, that God had promised a Savior to redeem all people, by bringing the Messiah who would be born of the seed of a woman. This Savior is referred to as He (who) shall bruise your head.
The Seed of a woman is a strange term since a woman does not have seed within her. Under normal circumstances, the seed must come from a man. In the case of this promised Savior, God would supernaturally impart Seed into the woman who would bear the Messiah, without the aid of a human father. It should therefore come as no surprise to us when we arrive at the New Testament book of Matthew, and learn that this Seed is imparted to Mary, a virgin—by the Holy Spirit.
In the Book of Hebrews, there is an interesting text describing a conversation between the Father and the Son—before Jesus took the body of a human being at Bethlehem:
Hebrews 10:5-7 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.” Then I said, “Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.”
The body that Jesus inhabited was imparted to Him by the Spirit of God. A body that was prepared for Him by the Father—before the foundation of the world.
In these three verses of Hebrews 10:5-7, we learn that the Old Testament sacrifices for sin were only shadows of the perfect sacrifice Jesus would make for all people, for all time. From the beginning, it was the Lord’s desire to put away sin forever. The animals that were brought to the priests for sins were a precursor of the one offering that Jesus would make to fully pay for all of our sins, forever. This one sacrifice would bring to an end the Old Testament need for perpetual sacrifices, and fulfill every requirement of God to forgive all sins.
A human body was prepared by the Father for His Son, so that He might be qualified to be the Savior of the World.
Any candidate for the Savior of the world, must meet the impossible requirements set forth by God.
First, the Messiah must be a human being like us.
Second, the Savior must be a perfect man, without sin. The method for executing judgment on man’s sin had to be by the substitutionary death of a man who was worthy to bear the sins of all other men. The problem with a normal man, is that he is a sinner—who also requires a Savior. This disqualifies all men born by conventional means, as the Savior of any other man.
Third, the life that would be offered for all men must be of such high value, that it was sufficient to pay for the sins of all people for all time.
Fourth, God could not simply ignore man’s sin because He had already stated that the soul that sins will die. In order for God to be just, He must punish sin by the death of the guilty.
Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.
Fifth, in order for the Savior to be able to complete the act of salvation for all mankind, He would have to be able to raise Himself from the dead, showing that He has power over death, able to also raise all those who trust in Him for their salvation.
Jesus is uniquely qualified under all these terms:
A human being.
A perfect man.
God, dwelling within the body of a man.
He died for all our sins.
He rose from the dead.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem by a virgin birth, and lived His entire life without sin. These two qualification enabled Him to be the Savior of the whole world.
Jesus is described as the Creator of everything that exists in the Universe (Colossians 1:16-17). As God, the value of Jesus’ life is infinite. If God could dwell in the body of a human being and experience all the temptations for sin that any other man would experience in his life, yet never sin, He could offer His life in exchange for all of our lives.
Jesus fulfilled these five requirements by living as God in the body of a man for 33 ½ years, without sin, dying for us, then raising Himself from the dead.
Jesus became the second Adam
The Bible describes all men as sinners, having inherited this flaw from Adam. In the same way, all men who place their trust in Jesus—as the second Adam, are made righteous by His Sacrifice.
1 Corinthians 15:21-22 For since by man (Adam) came death, by Man (Jesus) also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
Satan’s deception of Adam caused his fall and the presence of sin to enter the entire human race. It is his goal to bring destruction and eternal death to as many people as possible. Therefore, it was the purpose of Jesus sacrifice to destroy the works of satan and bring to an end all sin and the curse of death.
1 John 3:8 ...The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. (ESV)
When Adam sinned, he also lost his dominion over the earth that had been given to him by God. From the fall of Adam to the present day, satan has maintained his dominion over the earth. The purpose of Jesus’ death and resurrection was to redeem the earth back to God.
The chronicle for the dominion of the earth:
1. God creates the earth; it is His.
2. God gave dominion of the earth to Adam.
3. Adam loses dominion to satan at the fall.
4. Satan has dominion from the fall of Adam to the present day.
5. Jesus wins the right to redeem the earth back to God at the cross, but delays taking His dominion until His return (Revelation 5).
6. Jesus will have final dominion over the earth at His second coming.
7. The Lord will share dominion of the earth with those whom He has redeemed from the earth upon His return.
The evidence that satan has dominion over the earth, even to the present time, is observed by Jesus’ conversation with the devil, in Luke Chapter 4. Satan tells Jesus that all authority has been delivered to him for this world. Jesus never disputes this fact, only that worship should be given only to God.
Luke 4:5-8 Then the devil, taking Jesus up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
See Prophecy 48 for details on satan’s dominion of the earth
The Reason for Suffering
The present dominion of the earth by satan (Luke 4:5-8) is one of the reasons that there is so much suffering and evil on the earth. We cannot blame God for the condition of the world since it is presently under the dominion of satan. This is what the earth is like without the Lord as our king. A secondary and equal cause of all suffering in the world is sin. From the moment that Adam disobeyed God and chose to live apart from His law, all men born after Adam became sinners. It is by this fatal flaw of sin that we can trace the entire history of human suffering.
See the chapter: The Reason for Suffering.
God is always sovereign over the universe, but He allows limited dominion to those who win the right to rule. Adam won the right to have dominion by his obedience and fellowship with God. He lost this right to satan, who deceived him, and took from Adam the right to rule. Jesus won back the right to rule the earth, having defeated satan at the Cross and His Resurrection. The Lord’s complete dominion over the earth has been delayed until His return to earth at the end of the seven-year Tribulation. When Jesus returns with His church, He will share dominion over the whole earth with all those who have believed in Him for Salvation and were watching for His return (Luke 19:17, Matthew 24:45-47).
See the chapter: Principles of Rulership.
It is also important to remember that although dominion may be won, the parameters for that dominion are set by God and controlled by His power, His will, and His sovereignty. An example of the limited power of satan is seen in the first two chapters of Job, where satan is given the right by God to afflict Job on a limited basis.
Job 1:8-12 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
Satan’s accusation against God was that Job only served Him for the benefits that he received. To prove the genuineness of Job’s love for God, the Lord allowed satan limited access to Job for a time. All the while that satan had access to Job, it was for the express purpose of displaying the truth of Job’s love and motivation for serving God.
Job was not aware of the charges levied against him by satan, nor that God had allowed satan limited access to his life. To Job, the plans and purposes of God must have seemed a mystery. Job may have considered that God did not care, or even perhaps that He did not have the ability to do anything about his circumstances. We may often observe evil as it is committed in the world and believe that God doesn’t care, refuses to help, or that He is not able to help. Like Job, we may not realize that there is much more occurring behind the scenes in our present circumstances than we are aware of. God is always working out His plan for our lives, even though we may be completely unaware of what He is doing. Our place is to believe in the goodness of God and to trust that He has a good outcome planned for us.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
This present world is in fact under the dominion of satan. This is the reason that there is so much suffering and evil in the world today. In spite of this truth, the Lord is working out all of His good plans that He has determined before the worlds were created. The Lord has revealed many of these plans by the Old Testament prophecies that are recorded in the Bible.
In this present age, satan has limited dominion over the earth. He could do nothing unless he had previously won this dominion from Adam at the fall. We should never confuse permission with sovereignty. God has permitted satan to be the ruler of this world (John 12:31) because he has won this right from Adam. The evil we observe today is the result of a world that is under satan’s limited power and influence. If God were to grant unrestrained control of the earth to satan, he would kill every human being on the planet and utterly destroy the earth.
Because God restrains satan and has total power over all of creation, including satan and his activities, our world is still inhabitable and we have the opportunity to love and trust God.
All over the earth, everyday, God allows people to decide for themselves, whether or not, they will believe in Jesus and be saved. Although the consequences for not believing is eternal death, many still reject Jesus and count as nothing the suffering and death that He endured to make our salvation possible. The Lord loves us, and He respects our right of self-determination—which He has given us. It is also true that the Lord will not force His love or salvation upon anyone. Though we may stubbornly refuse to receive the love of God, He relentlessly pursues us until our final breath.
One of the foundational principle of the universe, in which God operates, is in the area of the human will. Although God is sovereign and Lord over the entire cosmos, He permits every person to continue in their actions, whether they be good or evil—until their life comes to an end. God has set before us life and death. He sincerely hopes that we will choose life—which is found only in Jesus Christ, but we can also choose death by rejecting Jesus as our Savior. The decisions that we make while alive will determine what God does with us in eternity. He has testified of this truth in His word, and He holds each one of us accountable—not only to know these things but also to make the right decision.
In God’s own time, He will bring an end to the rulership of satan and the obstinance of men. When the Lord has given the full measure of time that He has determined for each one of us, He will bring to a conclusion this present world and begin a brand new world in which righteousness dwells.
This is the primary subject matter of the 365 prophecies of this book.
Why does God permit satan to continue?
The question of satan’s continued presence can only be answered by God. It is hard to understand why an agent of so much suffering and death could be allowed to remain on the earth for so long. As we examine how the Lord works through all types of people throughout the Bible—good and bad—we understand that He has a purpose for those who know Him, as well as those who do not. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, was a pagan king who didn’t know God, but he became known in great detail, through the prophet Daniel. The Lord called Nebuchadnezzar for specific tasks in order to accomplish His will, even though this king did not love God or worship Him. Cyrus was described by God in the prophecies of Isaiah chapters 44 and 45, one hundred and fifty years before he was born. The Lord worked through this pagan king to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the Temple.
It appears that the purpose God has for satan is to offer us a choice. There are only two kingdoms in the universe—the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. We can serve the Lord, or we can serve satan, there is no neutral ground. A person might object to the limitation of only two choices, but this is nevertheless the only two options that God has given us. If a person will not serve Jesus, then he is automatically defaulted to serve in satan’s kingdom. Someone might claim that he does not serve God nor satan, but this is a settled point with God. Jesus said that those who are not with Him are against Him.
Luke 11:23 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
Giving someone the freedom to make his own choices is the greatest act of genuine love that a person can express. The unfortunate consequences of conveying a person this freedom is that he may use his liberty to make decisions that cause his suffering, as well as the suffering of many others. The continuing consequence of allowing all human beings the privilege of their free will is clear and obvious—all over the earth. It is a mistake to blame God for what people do to each other by their own choices.
We forget many times that our acts of sin and the suffering that people experience in this world—as a result of those sins, also cause the Lord to suffer.
Numbers 14:18 The LORD is longsuffering…
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
As the Lord sees the world in a condition that He never intended for us, He longs for the day when He will say “enough,” and the time of His patience with man’s sin will come to an end.
Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever…”
Parents, who observe their child making decisions that cause their hurt, suffer themselves as they see their sons or daughters experience the consequences of their actions. The Lord has been suffering for the decisions that Adam has made—as well as those who are his descendants, for six thousand years.
God cannot do anything that is evil. He will however, not prevent us from doing the evil that we choose to do by our own free will. It would be completely unloving for God to stop us from exercising the right of choice that He has given to us—to make our own decisions apart from Him, if that is our desire. God does, however, suffer greatly for the decisions that we make and constantly seeks to draw us into a close relationship with Him, so that He can someday remove us from this present world that is quickly coming to an end.
It was this compassion of God in all our suffering and His desire to end our pain that compelled Him to allow His only Son to die for us, by such great torture and misery.
This second Old Testament prophecy that Jesus fulfilled is found in the second part of Genesis 3:15:
Genesis 3:15 …He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.
At the Cross, Jesus not only paid for the sins of every person—for all time, He also bruised the head of satan. The meaning of this verse is clear— Jesus would destroy the works of satan, by removing man’s slavery to sin and the fear of death that all men have.
Hebrews 2:14-15 … that through death Jesus might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
The meaning of, He shall bruise your head, is clearly a reference to a fatal blow that was dealt to satan and his works by Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead.
1 John 3:8 …For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
The second part of Genesis 3:15, in this second Old Testament prophecy, describes Jesus as he would experience a bruising of His heel by satan. It was the intent of satan—at Jesus’ death, that He would be defeated and lose His ability to be our Savior. Satan clearly did not understand the ramifications of Jesus’ death, nor that His resurrection would mean the end of satan’s rulership over man. When Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, the reality of what His death had accomplished was revealed to all creation. As satan realized that he had been defeated forever and that his limited rulership over the earth for the past six thousand years was over, He knew that his remaining time was short. In these last days before Jesus returns, satan has drastically increased his level of evil and deception in seeking to destroy as many lives as possible, before the Lord returns.
1 Corinthians 2:7-8 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Jesus’ death on the Cross caused only a bruising of His heel. At the resurrection, Jesus lifted His foot and crushed the head of the serpent forever, who once defeated man in the garden and took away his eternal life.
The Fulfillment of this second prophecy of the Bible is found in these two New Testament Verses:
Hebrews 2:14-15 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
1 John 3:8 … For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
Today, because Jesus did not waiver or fail in His efforts to be the perfect second Adam, all people everywhere have the opportunity to have their sins removed and be flawless—forever in the eyes of God.
All those who come to Jesus Christ in true and sincere repentance for their sins, looking to His sacrifice on the Cross as the payment for their sins, have their record of wrong cleansed.
If you are trusting in Jesus today and believe that He died for you on the Cross and rose from the dead, your sins are no more, and you are clean and perfect before God. There is therefore NOW no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus… (Romans 8:1)