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"War and Peace"
By Harold Stoddard

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between they seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15).

Satan’s first recorded encounter with the human race is recorded for us in Genesis 3:4 : “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:”. His attack was primarily against God’s Word. Just a simple revision and the meaning was exactly opposite to what God’s Word had stated in Genesis 2:17: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Satan, the ‘heel bruiser’, still uses the same system today, and though we know of his method, still men will accept Satan’s revisions rather than the “thus saith the Lord” of the Bible. His revision is more easily understood by the Old Nature: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: Neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Thus, Satan attacks God through the Word today, even as he did Eve in the Garden.

The most enjoyable study of verse 3:15 would be to recall the victories of Christ throughout the Bible; however we see a great need today to inform folks as to the antics of Satan, the Heel Bruiser. Satan, being warned of a “Seed” to come that would bruise his head (a fatal wound), he set about with various plans to hinder the promise of God. Satan’s first attack seems to work well for his evil purpose; however, the blood sacrifice defeated his seeming success. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21, although he had managed to instill in man a nature that would resist God and His purpose.

THE FLOOD

We’ll not try to list every attack Satan has made to bruise the Seed of the woman, but only bring to mind a few, in hopes we will learn to recognize his attacks when they come – and they do come.

By causing marriages between the righteous and unrighteous (Genesis 6), Satan almost managed to totally corrupt the earth: “The earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.” Genesis 6:11. However, God found one righteous man – “But Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord” Genesis 6:8, and he obeyed God’s commands (Gen. 6:22). Once again the heel of the Seed was bruised by Satan, and the war continued. Satan uses this same system of corruption today.

Even though we are warned (2 Corinthians 2:14), the practice of Satan’s system of attacking God’s Word is still commonly practiced, and the world suffers. But Noah followed God’s orders and when the flood –God’s judgment—came, eight souls were saved (1 Peter 3:20). Although the heel was bruised, the Line of the Seed continued.

TOWER OF BABEL

Noah’s family began to populate the earth. One son, Ham, had a son named Cush, who was the father of Nimrod (Gen. 10:8). Nimrod was notable as a great leader of men, and he led them out into the plain of Shinar where they began to build a new religion. Satan is religious, and he built a tower of worship and a city; but when God came to look things over, He scattered them abroad, thus ending the building of the tower and the city. However, the basic principle of Nimrod’s religion still continues today. Nimrod’s idea was that man could attain salvation through his works and need not honor God, The Almighty. So, today the same system is common as men honor and trust in their own works and feel they are good enough to qualify for a Blessed Eternity.

Satan’s system of Babel still bruises the heel of the Seed. Not only has this false belief “hatched out” more ‘new’ religions and revisions than we can name, but it has infiltrated many who believe they are saved by receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, yet feel they must hold on to that salvation by their good works. While many of these folks may be true born again Christians, Nimrod’s doctrine usually defeats any ministry they could, and should, have in this present evil world. The fact is that the One who saves by Grace through Faith today is well able to keep until “that day”. Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”.
Those of us who belong to Jesus Christ may rest in Him and be about His business of gathering from all over the world, a people for His Name, and spreading the gospel that Paul preached in whatever way your God-given talents may lead. “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures;” I Corinthians 15:3,4.

ABRAHAM

God called Abram out from Ur of the Chaldees and gave him a promise that Abram, whose name was later changed to Abraham, would become a great nation and bless the entire world: “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee’ and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 12:2,3. This scripture refers of course to the fact that through Abraham the Seed mentioned in Genesis 3:15 would come.

Satan, the Heel Bruiser, continued to nip at the heels of the Seed, and sometimes led Abraham to trust in himself rather than in God. Thus was he led into sin – Genesis 12:11-13 – but Abraham always returned to the altar (Genesis 12:8), and called on the Name of the Lord.

When God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, He also enlarged His promise to Abraham – “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.” Genesis 17:5.

Abraham’s life continued with many adventures – good, bad, and normal – but Satan was always there to attack him at every opportunity, attempting at every turn to bruise the heel of the Seed. Abraham’s wife Sarah (Sarai), was barren, so she, with the help of Satan, devised a plan whereby she would have a child by her handmaid, which she did. That was a bad bruise Satan made that time, as it is still felt today as Palestine fights against the Jews in Jerusalem. However, God in His Sovereign grace and mercy, gave Abraham and Sarah a son in their old age. Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 when Isaac, the promised son, was born. Thus, the bloodline of the woman’s Seed was continued in Isaac.

After Sarah died at the age of 127 years, Abraham took another wife and he became the father of several sons, thus becoming the father of many nations as God had promised in Genesis 17:5.

The genuineness of Abraham’s faith is illustrated in Genesis 22, when he offered his promised son, Isaac, for a sacrifice, trusting God to raise him up again. God prevented the death of Isaac by providing a substitute, however. It is an interesting fact that the only human sacrifice God ever approved, as stated in Genesis 22:8: “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt-offering: so they went both of them together.”, was the sacrifice of Himself on the Cross. How Satan must hate that verse (Genesis 22:8), as in many revisions of the Bible, verse 8 is changed to deny that God provided HIMSELF as the Lamb on the Cross. This fact, that on the Cross of Calvary hung GOD HIMSELF is verified in Hebrews 9:26b, “…but now in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Jesus Christ is God, Almighty, Eternal, the Sovereign Potentate of the universe.

Genesis 25:7-10 records the death of Abraham at the age of 175 years, and that he was buried in the field he had purchased in which to bury his wife, Sarah.

ISAAC

Abraham had been hounded by that old Heel Bruiser, yet died in faith, leaving Isaac to carry on the line through which the Seed would come. Isaac led much the same life as Abraham, hounded by that old heel nipper, yet always turning back to the God of his father Abraham, and finding grace to carry on in faith. In the Valley of Gerar, he dug out the wells of water that Abraham had dug before, which had been stopped by the Philistines, and called the wells by the name his father had given them (Genesis 26:18)

Isaac had twin sons. The eldest, Esau, despised his birthright which belonged to him as the oldest son (Genesis 25:34), and so the birthright went to Jacob through a deceitful maneuver by Rachel and Jacob, but God met Jacob at Bethel and gave him the promise of the Lord for his descendents (Genesis 25:15). Later, God met him again at Peniel and changed his name to Israel, and changed his character as well, so the Line is passed on to Israel (Jacob).

JACOB

Jacob became the father of twelve sons who became the Patriarchs of the nation of Israel. Still hounded by the Heel Bruiser (Satan), but always delivered by Him who would some day bruise the head of Satan, he was driven from the land of Canaan by a famine, into Egypt where they lived for 430 years.

Satan was again seeking to destroy the Line of the Seed, but God had already sent ahead a man, Joseph, into Egypt to protect Jacob and his family; and to provide for the growth of the nation that would produce the promised Seed (Genesis 3:15). Although the nation continued to grow, Satan never ceased his war on the promised Seed. Satan caused Pharaoh to give orders to kill all the Jewish boy babies. This
plan was defeated by God, and Moses, the one who would lead the Jews out of Egypt, was saved. Satan’s plans continued to bruise the heel of the Seed. Some of the Jews began to worship the Egyptian idols, etc., but Satan’s plans never accomplished what he desired most – the destruction of the line through which the promised Seed would come.

MOSES

Moses, born in Egypt, by a mighty miracle was raised to manhood in Pharaoh’s house. Hounded by the satanic efforts designed to destroy the Seed, he fled to the desert where he was kept for 40 years – until it was time to deliver Israel from Egypt. After being brought back to Egypt he, in obedience to God, led the Jews out of Egypt. God sent many plagues to cause Pharaoh to loose his slaves (Israel), and let them go. Read all about that in Exodus 7 - 12 – the serpents, the blood, the frogs, the lice, flies, death of cattle and finally the death of the firstborn. “And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the first born of cattle.”

Such was the zeal of Satan to destroy this nation which would produce the Seed that he caused Pharaoh to change his mind, and after the people left Egypt, Pharaoh pursued them even to the ‘Red Sea where they were trapped --- but God divided the sea and took them across on dry land. As Pharaoh’s army sought to follow, the sea came returned to its place and the Egyptians were drowned in the sea.

The Wilderness was the home of the Jews for 40 years, because they still refused to believe God, but finally a new generation was led into the Promised Land by Joshua the son of Nun.

ATHALIAH

While we make no effort to list all of Satan’s attacks against the Seed, we list a few that will hopefully help folks realize the awful power of evil that Satan has in the world today, and that all who hear and believe will seek refuge in Jesus Christ who will one day destroy him who seeks always to steal, and to kill and to destroy. (John 10:10a).

When Ahaziah, King of Judah, was killed, his mother, Athaliah, who had a desire for the throne arose and destroyed all the seed royal. “And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.” II Kings 11:1.

In brief, we might say she killed all her grandkids and others who might lay claim to the throne. Thus, the Heel Bruiser continued his attack against the Seed.
However, God, being one step ahead as always, had Aunt Jehosheba hide Joash, the little son of Ahaziah, from the attack of Grandma and she hid Joash in the house of the Lord for six years. Thus, the Line of the Seed was yet preserved (II Kings 11:2,3). Six years later Joash was made king and Athaliah was killed.

ARRIVAL OF THE KING

In due time – God’s time – the Seed arrived, born in a manger in Bethlehem. Again Satan’s attack was to murder all of the little boys. “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.” Matthew 2:16. , but God had sent His Son – the Seed – away into Egypt. Although Satan had many babies killed by Herod, yet the Seed did escape.

When Jesus was grown to manhood Satan still sought to slay Him, and he did bruise His heel as he devised means to fit his plan. One almost worked, or at least Satan thought that it had -- for awhile. Satan instilled in the religious leaders of Israel an intensive hatred for Jesus, a jealous rage saturated the souls of the scribes and Pharisees, and they sought always a way to trick Him, etc. The religious leaders of Israel led the people until finally, after an illegal trial with paid witnesses, the people would shout, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” “When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.” John 19:6.

As He hung there on the Cross, Jesus cried, “IT IS FINISHED!”. The war was over. Salvation had been accomplished; the royal blood had been shed. Satan’s religious followers sealed the tomb to clinch their victory – So they thought, but God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day as Paul so aptly says in I Corinthians 15:3,4 – “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

As we have seen in every war, the was over but there were still battles to be fought, for Satan will not admit defeat until his final end…so Satan set out to kill the apostles and destroy those left behind – Acts 7:57-60.

We are warned even today that Satan’s people infiltrate every “called out” group who worship God in truth, and seek by false doctrine, etc. to destroy that assembly. He has more success in these battles than we might think, and faithful assemblies become only social organizations, deceiving the people.

However, God’s program to save that which is lost continues on as the Word does go out today and many turn to Jesus Christ for salvation.

Soon perhaps, the Body of Christ, the True Church, will be caught away – I Thessalonians 4:15-18). “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven” and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” Revelation 4:1.

Satan will make his last attack against Israel, to bruise the heel of the Seed one more time. He will remain for 1,000 years – “And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” –Revelation 20:3. He will be loosed to make a last stand against ‘the Seed’. Then he will be cast into the eternal Lake of Fire – “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” – Revelation 20:10. His head will be bruised and he will suffer there along with all who have rejected God’s Salvation in all the ages. Jesus Christ then will take His proper position as King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:16).

THE CHOICE IS YOURS

“He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” – Matthew 12:30.

There are only two sides to this war. Some folks see it as a war between Good and Evil. The more accurate title would be “a war between God and Satan”. Our first view of this war is the case of Adam and Eve in the Garden; however, it began way back before time, and raged before man was created. Before the death of Joshua, who led Israel into the Promised Land, his admonition was to them “Choose you this day who you will serve…” That same choice is given to us in this day. God has given man a free will. Man can do as he pleases. Those who choose to go their own way avoiding the claims of God on their life, will reap the benefits of that choice and the end of that life will be with those servants of Satan in the Lake of Fire –Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”.

On the other hand, those who recognize their need before God and receive His Son Jesus Christ, as Savior and Lord will be listed with those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life…written, I believe, with the blood of Jesus Christ who shed His blood on Calvary for all who would believe. God has made salvation so simple for those who are concerned.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Believe is the key word for salvation, not belief in man’s tradition but in God’s Word. There you will find, not religion (man’s systems), but eternal Salvation, stated in so many ways so that all can understand. (Ephesians 2:8,9), (John 3:16), Matthew 11:28 – “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

The gospel the Apostle Paul preached is recorded in I Corinthians 15:1-4). Perhaps the greatest of all invitations is given in the Bible, as well as the last invitation for salvation -- “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” –Revelations 22:17.

“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly, Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” –Revelation 22:20. These words of Jesus should make us see the urgency of our time to consider His claims on our life. The Love of Jesus Christ never fails. He will save all who will come to Him and never lose a soul.

Our final admonition to those who have not yet come to Jesus Christ for salvation is this: Read carefully the Gospel of John. Herein, I believe, is revealed the character and love of Jesus Christ for His creation.

 

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