Dr. Meredith Kline, Prologue, Lecture 21
© 2012, Dr. Meredith Kline and Ted Hildebrandt
Tree of Knowledge Prohibition
that particular tree, now what that’s telling him is, “Yes, you have an exalted
authority so that you are even in a position to judge an angelic beings, but
you’re not God. I am God and you are a servant. Therefore, here is a
commandment that’s going to make you recognize and to acknowledge that I am
indeed the ultimate Sovereign,” because there’s no other explanation that makes
any sense of this prohibition. Why shouldn’t they eat of this particular tree?
God had already identified, as we saw at the end of Genesis 1, all vegetation
had been identified by the word of God himself as for food. So it made no sense
now in general apart from the word of God itself, as to why not this one chunk
of food, this one specimen also be for food as the rest is. You just couldn’t
appeal to common sense. You couldn’t even appeal to the previous word of God.
The only thing to go on here was that God said, “Don’t do it.”
So this particular prohibition was very well designed to make the test of obedience very acute. The only thing facing him is, “Will I obey the authority, the absolute authority of the Word of God? Will I live by every word that is coming out of the mouth of God including this new strange, apparently self-contradictory word, or won’t I?” So this negative aspect of it was well calculated to put Adam in his place as a servant under the authority of God, at the same time that he was highly exalting him by giving him the authority to judge Satan. But in any case that’s how the tree of knowledge fits into this whole scheme of his cultic task of guarding the garden of Armageddon.
Probation Task: Slay the dragon, build the house of God
judgment, huh? If we’re thinking of this as the eschatology of the creation order
and that’s what we’re talking about here, here’s the created order, it didn’t happened
this way but this is the way it’s laid out in terms of the covenant. Here’s the
eschatological progress that’s going to lead up to the eschatological goal of
consummation. Look where final judgment takes place. Here would have been the
final judgment of the world. It would’ve taken place right at the beginning.
This would have been final judgment of Satan. Adam instead of inviting him and
welcoming him and accommodating his evil presence in the sanctuary would have
confronted him faced him down, damned him, condemned him, rejected him and
handed him over to God for final judgment. So the final judgment of Satan and
his hoards could take place then and there. There would have been no reprobate
men and that would have been the final judgment of the world. Slay the dragon,
Then move on to build the house of God. Those two moments in human history, even in the pagan creation picks up on this. Those are the two big moments that make the drama of mythology: the slaying of the dragon, the hero god does; then he builds the royal palace. But the true thing from the beginning was that that was the task of man. It was to slay the old dragon right from the beginning and then move on to that cultural task that we’re been talking about of producing mankind and producing the temple of God.
The conferral stage beyond probation
that was the probation phase and that was the probation task. Now if he had
passed it then the tree of life was there and waiting to be the sacramental
ceremonial seal that now, “Adam you have passed beyond probation into this new
state where the promised blessings will be conferred upon you.” This would
have been the conferral stage. The very first thing that they would have
enjoyed was the verdict of God. “You have passed the probation,” the word of
approval, the word of approbation. “You’re performance has been praiseworthy,
it is meritorious. It has earned the reward and the reward will proceed to be
bestowed upon you in the these two stages of confirmation and later on of
consummation. So you are now beyond probation. There’s no more testing you are
now secure you are now beyond probation.”
Need I underscore again, of course, that which Adam failed to achieve, Jesus does achieve? He receives the word of approbation and you receive it by faith by grace. He imparts/imputes to you that meritorious deed that receives the word of approbation and places you, believer in Jesus Christ, beyond probation so that you are now secure in Christ, confirmed in eternal life and bound for glorification. So there would be the forensic fruit of a successful probation expressed in God’s Word, “Well done good and faithful servant,”--the word of approbation.
Then secondly, there would have been the spiritual confirmation. The advance from his original states where he was yet under probation and where he might sin, but where he was able not to sin but also was able to sin. Now he would be confirmed in righteousness no longer able to sin. Beyond probation, beyond temptation, beyond a sinning he is confirmed spiritually in a state where he can no longer sin which is he is confirmed in eternal life. Who would do this? What a change, what a subjective spiritual change through the Holy Spirit. The glory-Spirit creates man in God’s image in the first place in that original good state. The same Holy Spirit of God would surely be the one who just as under the redemptive program would be this Holy Spirit who works this inward change and transformation in God’s people. He would be the one who would work this and then who would fill out the story. He was, of course, the same Holy Spirit in whose likeness man was created in the beginning, in royal dominion and moral excellence. It would be the same glory-Spirit who would complete the fashioning of man in his own image by reproducing his own visual glory in man at the end of the story.
From Cultic priesthood focus to the cultural task
But before we come to that consummation: what would be the nature of the time between the probation and consummation? Now here he is, he has approbation. He’s spiritually confirmed in righteousness, in all of this, imputed to all of the company that would be coming from him. But now, there’s a long period from the successful probation to the consummation of all things. That whole cultural task that we talked about still remains to be accomplished: fill the earth and subdue it. There were only two of them there to do it and they were just in the Garden of Eden. That whole job remained to be done. So the first probation phase is characterized by a cultic focus now that priority of priesthood does continue but the thing now that becomes distinctive of this new phase would be the cultural task. It would be a movement out from the focus in the Garden of Eden, the mountain of God that cultic focus of all man’s developing life. But he wasn’t to stay there he was to expand from there and to move out from the cultic focus to the cultural fullness.
Fullness--one or two “l’s” I keep looking that up in the dictionary and I think every time I do it says two “l’s” are preferable and one “l” is acceptable. But aren’t there words like that that no matter how many times you use them and then you have to look them up in the dictionary every time anyways that you can never learn, that’s one of mine.
But in any case, the characteristic of this period would be to move on then from the garden to expand from the garden to the city of God all over the globe by process of population expansion, appropriation, occupation, taking over of the whole earth and its cultivation and so on. That whole thing that we tried to describe would have been what was going on. That whole thing we said could be described in terms of the function of building the city of God. From that small starting point where there was just one individual family until you have many families. They expand and the polis, or city, becomes big. So this is the period of achieving cultural fullness, there is a predestined pleroma, a predestined fullness, that God has in view of mankind and that has to be produced not just by the original human pair but by this huge globe spanning, globe covering family of Adam and Eve, the fullness--the predestined pleroma. God could decide when enough was enough. He would and by that time the city of God would be mega it would be a big city. So city, house of God, these are just alternative images for the same basic reality.
This city of God is the temple of God. It is the house of God and temple building, that’s what we said. The cultural task is that of building the temple so that all things ultimately come to the expression in the worship of and the glorification of the Lord. Temple building is always in the ancient world a task for kings so building, functioning within the temple. It is the priestly functioning building the temple that is everywhere a task of kings. That’s the cultural task as we said, the kingly function. However, it is subordinated to the ultimately function of the priestly use of the House of God.
Completion of the image of God in man—conferral of glorification
So let’s talk about the Christian philosophy of the culture. Here are some basic ingredients in it and that would have been the purpose of culture right from the beginning, producing at last a mega-polis. Now that’s not the last word on the subject. In fact, what we’re talking about in a Christian philosophy of culture what we should learn from this is that any human culture that we develop is simply a temporary substitute for the real culture. The real culture then comes with the next step. We pass beyond spiritual confirmation to physical glorification. That’s the last step in this process then. The conferral of the ultimate completion of the image of God in man in terms of this visual glorification that will take place at which point now, it will still be the city of God.
Heaven, in redemptive dialect, we speak about the new Jerusalem. Apart from the redemptive process, speaking in terms if an original dialect it’s just the city. Only it’s not just the big city, it’s the beyond city. So I coined the term using “meta,” in this sense of beyond. So just as a way of expressing what the ultimate goal was of human history from the outside: it is the beyond city its beyond anything that human effort even in this sinless state could have performed. We can take it only so far and build the big city. We couldn’t glorify ourselves. So “meta-polis” is when the Holy Spirit takes the big city that man has produced and he transforms it by transforming the people who make it by physically glorifying them. That is the glory, the heavenly Sabbath, the consummation city of God. That’s the beyond city, the meta-polis. God is there, as I say in the redemptive development, New Jerusalem becomes the name for this generic meta-polis.
As I say, meanwhile then, what is the purpose of our human culture? It is the temporary substitute until the real thing comes. You think of all our cultural developments then whatever our technology can achieve in terms of communication, transportation, and all these that are wonderful things that we are boggled with in our day. Yet they are only temporary expedients. If you take seriously the concept of physical glorification, then that obviates the need for all of our man made technology. You no longer need spaceships, marvelous as they are, to go to the moon or to Mars or whatever. I hope they don’t try that. They’re marvelous. But when you have a body such as Jesus who was sent to heaven on the clouds you don’t need that technology that’s only a temporary substitute for the real thing once physical glorification has been bestowed. Then you have all of the benefits, capacities and capabilities and far beyond anything that our technology will ever achieve. You have all of that just built in to the project of God’s transforming creative hand.
So much for our present culture, we won’t be able to take that with us. That raises some other interesting questions that I suppose we could get into. Any of the music we know would be part of the heavenly, all the artistic achievements find a place in heaven. Now of course, redemptively this point involves the judgment of the world, the post-fall history, the coming of meta-polis, the coming of New Jerusalem accompanies the passing away of the earth and all the works that are in that verse. Peter is saying that every visible vestige of human culture and achievement disappears. Becoming virtual darkness when the son of consummation arrives. Is there any carry over we could speculate over that. It is especially the area of music that you wonder if the elements of music and harmony and beauty that are there when essentially these always are the same ones. Then at last I could pick up that violin I used to play when I was a kid and hardly screech on anymore and do better than Itzah Proman. That would be great. Okay, that’s speculation. Now do we get here any comments on any of this roaming around the cosmos?
Interaction with student questions
Well, coming back to, yes, Sir.
[Student] What’s the cultural mandate since the fall?
[Kline’s response] Yes that we will certainly want to be dealing with that and the main point I’ll try to be bringing out is that we no longer have the cultural mandate as we had just one cultural mandate back before the fall. It continues because there is distinctive, indispensible point of this cultural mandate was that you were building the holy city of God. Now there is a cultural mandate after the fall but it comes through the context of common grace. Common grace is not involved in building the city of God. So there is in a formal sense some continuity. There is still procreation. It is still a function of a mankind to fill the earth. There is still to some extent, at least, an exercise of dominion over the world that comes on through the technology we were just talking about. When all of this is said and done, however, the big city that we are building is not the holy city of God. It is the perverted thing that we see in all of our cities that we see around the world about us now. So there is a cultural task, it is a horrendous mistake to speak of that as the cultural mandate that was given at the beginning. Because then you begin to reject the thought that the kingdom of God comes only through the supernatural grace of God in Christ and you assume the social gospel type thing that everyone is involved in building the kingdom of God out there apart from Christ. That is simply not the case under our discussion of common grace.
[Student] Going back to the probation period, had Adam done what he was supposed to do would there then be a confirmation period, would that be right? So the real thing could have occurred right there, right?
[Kline’s response] Well in terms of assuring the blessing, but meanwhile here is this mandate that God has already given to them to fill the earth and subdue it. They wouldn’t have hardly begun that yet. God purposes were that the meta-polis would be made not just by Adam and Eve but a whole multitude. So there is this, as I said, now redemptively we speak about that multitude elect in Christ. I was trying to use some analogous language so I spoke about a predestined pleroma. But in any case God would have in full company that he had in view that would constitute this living temple. The first step in the production of that was that they would be produced in the normal process so you would be getting that. It wasn’t that God would be creating them himself in a moment, this multitude of descendants who weren’t related.
[Student] What about the confirmation period?
[Kline’s response] History would have been completely different than we know it now in our pursuit of culture. Just imagine a history in which you are not dealing with the problem of sin and its effects. So much of our culture now is devoted to the remedial aspects of correcting the effects of sin and the expression of sin in society. So that’s so much a part of our culture it comes to expression in dentists and surgeons and policemen and all of this stuff. They are correcting the effects of the fall. If we didn’t have to consume all of our cultural energies in that direction, it’s hard to imagine what kind of progress would have been made much sooner than we have.
[Student] What makes the distinction about that which is from here to eternity even after probation they had already begun to fill the earth. Were they proving that just because of the fall that Jesus, as Paul expressed in I Corinthians 15, that flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of God?
[Kline’s response] Yes, even there, there would have been needed this additional act. The I Corinthians passage it says we have shared in the first Adam, we have the earthly body, but now there is still the necessity to enter into heaven, to share in the likeness of the Lord from heaven. That kind of transformation would have been just as necessary for Adam even apart from sin. Of course, the one difference then is that transformation for us now involves not just glorification, but resurrection because we have, as a result of the fall experienced death. Whereas in the case of Adam, it would have been pure and simple, not so simple, a supernatural act of glorification. So there would have been resurrection. It would have been part of that experience. But transformation, metamorphosis, from an earthly body to a heavenly body would still have been necessary to equip him for heaven. Until that time the heavenly dimensions of the cosmos would still have been invisible and beyond his perception. It would have taken glorification to open up the whole cosmos so that he sees it in all of its glory dimensions. Thus the whole thing becomes for him a new heavens and a new earth.
[Student] I wonder if you could comment or repeat for me the second passage that you said about the threat of death before the fall. If I could stroke your memory that it isn’t what it used to be what you said about after the fall and what you said about before the fall, there was a couple of key points that I missed.
[Kline’s response] All I tried to say was that before the fall, there would be no need if all there was that had Adam sinned then God would have judged him then that would have been the end of history. That would have meant then being consigned to hell itself with the devil and his angels. Then I was trying to make the point that hell does not involve physical death, but rather it is certainly spiritual death. It doesn’t involve bodily death in the sense of separation of body and soul or whatever because it takes physical resurrection for the wicked to be readied for hell. So I was just saying then that there would be no rationale for physical death then to have Adam sin, there would be no point in God killing him and then raising him up. There’s just no place in the scheme. That’s all I was trying to say there. But then once the fall does take place and within the context where now God is working out a redemptive program which goes on for generations and so on, there we can begin to see something of God’s purposes in introducing the phenomenon of physical death as a step prior to, or less then hell itself as a second death.
Let’s see, twenty after eight, what else did I want to cover in this area? Why don’t we just try to finish up what we want to say here for the most part about the Covenant of Creation. What page are we on? Yeah, eschatological sanctions. The threatened curse…okay, page 65. This is the material then that we have already covered so just to keep moving through Kingdom Prologue let’s just see where we are.
The probation tree
On page 65 then I have the subject of the probation tree, alright. In this chart we then went into that. Here was the tree of the knowing of good and evil, the probation tree, and so I was just trying to condense a little bit those pages for you. Then page 67 and following is the analysis of this whole arrangement of this covenant of works and we spent a good deal of time earlier with our overview of the covenants and making this point that this was a covenant of works and there was no grace element found in the thing whatsoever. It’s a straight covenant of works. It’s the law/gospel contrast that we encounter. So there’s no need at this point to rehearse that again.
That would take us then and that’s as important then as anything we are going to be dealing within the whole term so that if you have questions I hope we can find an occasion to talk about it. Several of the articles that we distributed here deal with it. Having dealt with it at length, I think, we need not right at this point deal with it.
Which will bring us then to chapter five. We’ve analyzed how it worked out. We all know that it ended with the tragic fall of man. As far as that goes again, this whole attempt to give an exegetical analysis of the process of the fall I’ve tried to work it out on these pages. I would suggest that you read there and again I think this is something that in the interest of keeping this thing moving that I can pass over at the present unless you have been reading ahead and have some particular question that you wanted to raise already about this.
The opening thing of how God appeared in Genesis 3:8, we discussed that text and said that the usual translation is that Adam and Eve heard the sound of God walking through the garden and the “cool of the day” is not at all the text is talking about. There is no cool of the day there. The text is talking about God came as the Spirit of the judgment phase.
a picture of the theophany, there of the judgment theophany.
Human failures of the Creation Covenant
Then he engages in this interrogation. Satan in the process of the fall has achieved his ends. By the way, in the process of the temptation and the fall before the final overt act of eating of the forbidden fruit, Eve then playing the missionary to get her husband to also participate in the devil’s sacrament of death with her. Before they ever get to that point, all of the major obligations of the Covenant of Creation have been really trampled on. The covenant involved had a community structure, a family structure the authority of the husband over the wife. They have sinned by omission in that respect. Satan has contrived the thing so as to contradict the divine order by approaching the women first. Both Adam and Eve are condemned by this subversion of God’s authority structure that was going on there. So they had failed in terms of community obligations, the community of authority structure, the family authority structure the husband-wife structure. So they have failed there already by their sin of omission. They didn’t challenge that Eve has put the primary place of responsibility.
Then they had this cultural responsibility of exercising dominion over the whole world including the animals. Here comes one of those animals acting like he was the peer, the equal or even the superior to man yet aren’t concerned with it. They don’t challenge that. They accept this contradiction of the divine order. So they have failed in terms of their community responsibilities. They failed in terms of their cultural positions of having dominion over the animals. Then third, and worst, they have failed in terms of their cultic responsibilities and this brings us back to they had been placed there as the guardians of the cultic center. They were to keep the unholy out and here they have already lost the battle of Armageddon because they have accepted, rather than slaying the dragon they come and patted his little head and made a covenant with him. So they have, by sins omission, failed. It’s just an anti-climax then when they go on overtly to take the tree and the fruit of the tree and eat it and so forth. So that’s the process of the fall.
God comes and he honors his own authority structure where Satan had subverted it because God goes to the man first and interrogates him and then the woman and then the serpent. Now pronouncing the judgment, he pronounces judgment in order that the sin arose. The sin arose first in Satan and so God’s word of judgment there in Genesis 3:14 and 15 begins with the judgment on Satan. Then it had moved on to the woman then there is God’s word of judgment to the woman and then on to the man.
God’s pronouncing of judgment after the fall
So that is the way that it unfolds but then the process that we do want to stop and pause over now is especially is this word of judgment that God pronounces. This is a classic text that Genesis 3:14 and 15 pronounces, because it is something then which is an ultimate word on this history of the covenant of creation but at the same time it is an inaugurating word with respect to the new order of the covenant of redemption. So we’ll be looking at that, then the word of judgment on Adam and Eve which then takes the form of a covenant curse and their expulsion from the garden. Then we’ll be ready to move into the Covenant of Grace. So let’s take our five minute break here. I would suggest and come back for our discussion of Genesis 3:14 and 15.
Genesis 3:14-15: a judgment curse on Satan
we’re winding down the story of the history of the Covenant of Creation and the
tragedy of the fall and the judgment of God. Now Adam was called to judge the
serpent and he had failed and God himself now enters into the picture as the
heavenly judge. He is going to pronounce the judgment on Satan. Now wherever it
is necessary as well to pronounce the judgment on the man and the women as well
as Satan because they have failed. It’s also the case that whereas, as I said,
if Adam had done what he was supposed to have done the final judgment of Satan
would have presumably transpired then and there.
Now, in terms of redemptive history Satan, of course, is to be finally disposed of by the Lord but not until the end of a long history. Meanwhile, however, God does pronounce that ultimate doom and that is what we have primarily in Genesis 3:14 and 15. Now remarkably this word which is the word of the curse on Satan, as you all very well know, it has entailed in it the promise of a Messiah and salvation at the same time. So the gospel comes to its earliest statement in this word of cursing on Satan.
You’re familiar with the classic understanding of this as the Messianic prophecy and that’s certainly, in my judgment, the right approach to the understanding of this passage. If we have time we can flip over to what is in effect an inspired interpretation of Genesis 3 and the book of Revelation chapter 12. We shouldn’t be at all hesitant or ashamed then of seeing in Genesis 3:15 precisely what the church has always seen there. It is a prophecy of Messianic seed of the women who should win the victory over the Satanic serpent and who would slay the dragon ultimately.
So there was a real serpent there. This is an account of historical events. There was a real garden, there were real trees, Adam and Eve were historical individuals. There is a real speaking serpent, of course, there is something more involved than just a speaking serpent. There is the Satanic person who uses the speaking serpent as his agent, as his vehicle. Satan’s approach is subtle, it’s camouflaged, it’s sinuous. Now for whatever reason that he is not allowed or whatever by God, to make a spectacular appearance in the garden but, whatever the reason, this is the particular form that he selects to approach the man and the woman. He sees in that sinuous, subtle, locomotion of the serpent something which provides an act of physical representation of his own subtly. In the sense of his psychological tempting approach. So he selects this agent for himself.
God then picks up on this imagery. That’s the image you want for yourself, fine. Now, however, God sees some other creatures of the serpent not just its sinuous movement, but its lowly position there crawling in the dust virtually eating the dust and God seizes that upon those aspects of the serpent in order, figuratively now, to describe the fate and the doom of the devil, Satan himself.
So in verse 14 the Lord says, by way of judgment on the serpent, “Because you have done this…” Now he doesn’t pause to interrogate him or to give him a chance to make any excuses. He’s done this and God pronounces that “because you’ve done this therefore” the Hebrew reads ‘aror attah, “cursed are you.” So this passage is basically a word of curse on which the blessing comes in sort of silently in ways before you’re through but primarily it’s a curse. Then you’ve got the language which in the Hebrew can be the thought of as separation or a comparative. The preposition min could either mean that you are cursed in either the sense that you are separated from all others or comparatively that you are cursed beyond all others. So it would be the intense measure of the curse that is being pronounced on him in terms of this figurative imagery of the serpent. “Above all livestock and wild animals, you will crawl on your belly and eat dust of the earth all the days of your life.”
What I say there is that there are these features of literal serpents that God uses to depict the fate of this super-human and fallen angel figure. He is doomed to death, to experience death at the level that such a being can experience death. Then the Lord goes on in verse 15 having stated in figurative terms the basic and ultimate thought that God is declaring Holy war against Satan. He’s pronouncing Satan’s ultimate doom that’s plain and simple. Satan will be destroyed, he will fail, God will judge him. That’s already been stated.
Genesis 3:15: curse on Serpent/Satan and holy war
Now verse 15 simply spells out a little bit, it’s short, it’s cryptic, but nevertheless verse 15 is spelling out a little bit of the course of this Holy War. God declares this Holy War against Satan which will end with his destruction. Now verse 15 describes the two or three stages along the way that God’s going to win and conduct this Holy war first, by reversing the victory that Satan seems to have won. God instituted in creation a good covenant relationship between himself and the man and the woman. Satan has been successful in reversing that allegiance so that Adam and Eve in effect have thrown off their allegiance to Yahweh Elohim, the creator. They’ve made a pact of death with Satan.
Now there will be a second reversal, a redemptive reversal that will put things back the way they were at the beginning and ultimately even better. So Satan had begun with the woman and the Lord now says, “I will put enmity between you and the woman. You made a covenant of peace with her and she with you; I’m going to reverse that. Your defeat will take the form that you’re going to lose this convert. Instead of peace between you there will be hostility.” Now isn’t that just a negative way of saying that, “I’m going to restore the woman to covenant fellowship with me?” There’s two masters, there’s God and Satan and to be the enemy of one is to be the friend of the other. So if there’s enmity now between the woman and Satan, it means that she is once again the friend of God.
So this is, as we said, a curse on Satan, and at the same time if the ear of faith is listening there, you can hear the message of the gospel. The promise of reconciliation with the Lord is here. So the commencement of this process of Holy War is with the woman. Mother Eve is going to stand there, she’s going to be the center of the army of the Lord. She’s going to hold the banner of the Lord’s army there and fight the war against Satan.
[Student] Do you think that Adam was excluded from this promise?
[Kline’s response] From this promise? No, as we’ll see in Genesis 3:20 that Adam as I was just saying, if you’re listening there with the ear of faith, you can hear the gospel I was thinking precisely of Adam standing there and hearing that. In verse 20 he virtually says “Amen” to it in the way that he now renames Eve. So I think the evidence is to the effect that not only Eve, according to this explicit word, is elect in Christ, if you will, but Adam also in verse 20 as we’ll see, gives evidence in faith. Then in verses 22, 21 God sort of seals this arrangement. We’ll come to it. But yes, I think the evidence is that Adam as well as Eve is elect in Christ so that by the time they leave the garden, they are expelled. They are elect in Christ but they have to be expelled meanwhile.
The seed of Satan and seed of the woman
So it’s going to be with the woman but it won’t stop there. Then it goes on to speak about the seed, the offspring. Satan will have his offspring in the world and Eve will have her offspring and the biblical evidence, certainly as Jesus echoes this kind of terminology of this in I John 3, isn’t it?--this language of the seed of the serpent and the seed of God. It refers to the elect and the reprobate very clearly.
So the thought now is that in the world of Adam’s descendants and Eve’s descendants after the fall, there will be such descendants. That is just taken for granted. They will follow a cultural mandate there. There will be the populating of the earth but there will also be this cleavage, this antithesis between/among the descendants of Adam and Eve so that, on the one hand, there will be those that continue to be like their new father, the devil. That in effect is what happened in the course of the fall. Those made in the image of God got their heavenly father, have taken on a likeness of the devil. He is their new father; they have been remade in his image. He’s a liar from the beginning and the deceitful one. You read their responses to God when he interrogates them and you can see that they’re deceptive liars just like their new father the devil. There will be those, the reprobate, who continue to exhibit the likeness of their father the devil, they are the seed of the serpent. But there are others with whom God will put enmity with the serpent. He will recreate them in his own image, they will be his kids again. They will be his children once again. So there will be this division in mankind. The woman against Satan and a whole company of others will rally to the banner that Eve is raising in the name of the Lord over against those who are the hordes of Satan. So the battle that has commenced will continue through history.
The verse brings us then to a climax of this Holy War. When out of the corporate seed of the woman there emerges the individual seed of the woman. Out of the corporate army which is called the seed of the serpent, Satan himself steps forward to be his own champion of his own army. Who is being addressed here? “Enmity I will put between you and the woman.” God isn’t talking to the snake, he’s talking obviously to the serpent behind the snake. You, Satan, in the second person singular, it’s not a possibility that it’s a corporate plural. It’s singular: “you,” which means then Satan himself.
Transcribed by Katie
Rough edited by Ted Hildebrandt