with Jeremy Westcott –
When Satan fell, he was seeking to overturn God’s eternal plan that Man should inherit the heavens. He wanted that place of rulership for himself.
Here is a diagram I used when I taught about spiritual warfare in Freedom Church:
I realise that some of the writing is quite small to read, so you can click on the image above to view or download it as a PDF file, if that helps.
Time and Eternity
On the left you see eternity, the setting for Genesis 1:1. Before time, if you like. God created the earth to be inhabited, but then Lucifer rebelled, as we saw last time, and was cast down to the earth, where he brought down God’s judgment upon it in the first flood.
Moving to the right, you find Genesis 1:2. Inside the bracket of time, now. The earth is without form, and void (that’s really just another word for ’empty’). God begins again, He recreates the earth. How long is the time between verse 1 and verse 2? We have no idea. Nor do we know how long a time elapsed between verses 2 and 3. It could have been microseconds; it could have been 14 billion years. We don’t know.
The Fall of Man
Then comes the week of (re-)creation followed by the story of Adam’s fall, as Satan now engages with Adam and Eve. And what he is offering them is the only thing he has to trade with: information. He offers them the opportunity to become like God, but without God. The opportunity to know, without God. To rule, without God (he would later try the same thing on Jesus in the wilderness). This is the root of humanism.
Trading for Seed
He offers to give them information in return for something. They did not trade by eating a piece of fruit from a tree – that is very symbolic language when you go back into the original Aramaic. Satan overshadowed them, and took their DNA. He knew that DNA was the only thing that could inherit the heavens.
Now that he has DNA, he produces a seed. That may be an unfamiliar idea, but it is right there in scripture. In Genesis 3:14-15 we find the first prophecy of the coming of a Messiah, a Redeemer, and in verse 15 we read about Satan’s seed: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel”. God is talking to Satan, and says, “Your seed and her seed”. It is made really clear that Satan has seed.
This is how he came to get that seed. Cain and Abel, who were twins, had different fathers. Abel’s father was Adam, and his DNA was to produce what is called ‘the seed of woman’. Except that Cain killed him, and God had to reinstitute that line through Seth. Cain’s father was Satan. Cain was the seed of Satan. So you can view this whole period as one of seed wars, during which Cain’s seed seek to rule.
Polluting the Seed
Then, in Noah’s time, we have fallen watcher angels – Ben Elohim (sons of God) – falling to earth, leaving their proper place (Jude 1:6). They do a similar thing with human women, overshadowing them (this is not sex as we know it, but overshadowing of their DNA) to produce the race of giants called the Nephilim. Spiritual warfare becomes intense, fighting for the purity of the seed. Judgment comes again in the flood, but God preserves the seed of woman.
Jesus the Seed
We know that Jesus was the prophesied seed who was coming, who was to crush Satan’s head (though he would bruise His heel). Satan did not know that, but every scheme and intention of his was to prevent the fulfilment of that prophecy by eliminating or corrupting the seed line before it could happen.
Abraham and his Seed
Remember the covenant God made with Abraham. It was a covenant with Abraham ‘and his seed’ (Gal 3:16). And throughout the Old Testament period, Satan threw everything he had at frustrating God’s plan. From genocide under Pharoah to the massacre of the innocents under Herod, he tried everything to prevent the fulfilment of God’s words in Genesis 3:15. Even when Jesus was ready to enter His ministry, as I mentioned earlier, he attempted to derail His destiny in the wilderness.
The Prophecy Fulfilled
The cross, he thought, was his moment of crowning triumph. Only to find that, despite his best efforts, all he had done was fall in with the eternal purpose of God, and co-operated in bringing down that promised crushing blow upon his own head.