Proto-Evangelium means “First Gospel” and it refers to Genesis 3:15 which is the first hint of the gospel we find in our Bibles. In our last post on the Proto-Evangelium, we discovered that in the midst of pronouncing a curse on Satan for his role in the fall of man, we find that God has a plan to crush Satan and foil his rebellion.
I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Gen 3:15)
In Genesis 3:15, “God assures the devil that a son of Eve will do battle with him, defeat him, and destroy him, even though the devil will wound him in this conflict” [Covenant Theology, Greg Nichols, pg 125].
But before the final climax, in which Satan and his works are destroyed, God has ordained that there will be a period of “enmity” between “thy seed” (Satan’s offspring) and “her seed” (Eve’s offspring). According to Strongs and Eastons Dictionaries, the Hebrew root that underlies this word “enmity” means: deep-rooted hatred.
Is it any wonder the Christian faith is under attack from every quarter. The Scripture teaches that the offspring of Satan will have a “deep-rooted hatred” for the children of God.
Christ is the Seed of the Woman
The seed of the woman is ultimately Christ, who alone destroys the devil and his work – in his work on the cross and finally at his return. But we, also, are the chosen seed in that we are “in Christ” and share in his sonship and position. This is why the Apostle Paul can conlude the letter to Romans this way – “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Rom 16:20).
So what distinguishes those who are the chosen to be in and with Christ as the elect seed?
Who Are the Seed of the Woman and the Seed of Satan?
We see the two seeds principle (good vs. evil) immediately at work in the first family – “Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him” (Gen 4:8). Righteous Able (Gen 4:4) was hated by his (evil) brother Cain.
Cain and Able were of the same family and had the same physical descent. What distinguished them?
In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
(1 John 3:10-13)
According to the Apostle John, we distinguish the seed of God and the seed of Satan by their works of righteousness. Murderous Cain went on to have sons who built cities names after themselves and commit polygamy and murder (Gen 4:17-24). Eve bore another son, Seth (“…For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel in the place of Abel…”) who would raise godly sons who would “call on the name of the Lord” (vs 26). According to the Apostle Paul, “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Ro 10:13). True faith (a faith which leads to a life of righteousness) in the heart, confessed with the mouth (Rom 10:9), distinguishes Eve’s spiritual seed.
And how are the seed of Satan known? They are known as those who do not love Christ and do not recognize him as the Son of God.
I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father.
Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father.
Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.