Volume 48 | Number 6 | November–December 2020

Inglés Español

Satan’s Deadly Edict (2020 Reprint)

By Dr. H. T. Spence

In Genesis 1:11, 12, there is a divinely-ordained law declaring that everything which possessed life should bring forth after its kind: Like is to bring forth like. Within that law, the power of reproduction is ordained in the seed, a “seeding yielding seed.” This principle was not altered at the fall of man; life within the seed is to bring forth after its kind.

This law of a seeding seed (Hebrew) truly adds light to the pronouncement of Genesis 3:15: “And 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.” This declaration came as the first pronouncement of judgment from God: the first word was to the serpent, the second to the woman, the third to the man, and the fourth to the ground.

In Genesis 3:15, God was addressing Satan through the serpent. Other instances of this approach include God’s address to Satan through the King of Babylon (Isa. 14), through the king of Tyre (Ezek. 28), as well as through the disciple Peter (Matt. 16:23). In all of these incidents, God spoke to the power behind the individuals; that power was Satan.

An insight was revealed in Genesis 3:15 when it was made clear that the Lord God entered into the battle against Satan. These two heads would be the heads of two classes of people in history. Four of the eight pronouns given in this verse include I, her (seed), it, and his. These four pronouns represent God, His Son, and His spiritual progeny. The other four pronouns include thee, thy (seed), thy and thou and stand for Satan and his spiritual progeny. In viewing the entire perspective of this verse, we see there are descendants of Adam and Eve who sin willfully and do not believe God. They willingly retain the spirit of Satan by obeying his rule. We must also understand that the Lord God said, “I will put enmity” (emphasis added), or He would be the one to bring the hatred between the two seeds. He is the One Who started the divine conflict of the ages, this battle of truth and righteousness in the Garden. This conflict is still going on, and the enmity will continue until the One who started it ends it in glorious victory and peace. Genesis 3:15 was God’s deadly edict against Satan.

What God Knew That Satan Did Not

If Genesis 3 were isolated from the rest of Scripture, it would be a sad chapter. In this verse it appears that Satan became the victor and triumphed over God in defeating man. Satan could now claim man and his possessions after man was driven from the Garden. Satan truly took a diabolical step in tempting, deceiving, and overthrowing man that day through the influence of the serpent.

This led to the divine stratagem of God’s trapping, capturing, and overcoming this enemy of darkness. In Acts 15:18 we are told, “known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” He knew the end from the beginning. It truly is inspiring to consider what God knew and what Satan did not know. For the course of historic events that followed did not go as Satan planned or thought it would go after he accomplished the fall of man. He may have believed that man would be hopelessly lost, that the earth again would become a total mass of wreckage and chaos, and that God could not do anything concerning it but be eternally defeated in His purpose for the human race.

Yet there are two great realities that must be considered. First, it is only God Who is omniscient; He is all knowing, all wise. God is never surprised, neither caught unaware, nor unprepared for any emergency. Satan did not spring any surprise on God. Yes, God knew it all even before the beginning. Secondly, although Satan is truly wise, he is not all wise. He may be wiser than man, individually or collectively. He can do a lot of things, but he is neither omnipotent nor omniscient.

There are eight major things that God knew positively that Satan did not know. (1) God knew that He would renew the probation of man. Probation was not renewed to the angels who fell; there was no second chance, no redemption, and no salvation given to them and Satan. Therefore Satan may have thought man would be hopelessly lost. (2) God knew that He would offer grace to sinful man. Satan did not know the great truth concerning the grace of God. (3) God knew that He would become a man to be the redeemer of men. Man was created in God’s own image. God could take this image to Himself without marring the Godhead; He could become a man and be God at the same time. He would take man’s place in fighting man’s battles, and die in man’s place to pay the penalty of man’s sin. (4) God knew that He would start a holy conflict in opposition to sin and Satan; furthermore, He knew that this conflict would result in a glorious triumph for the glory of God. (5) God knew that in this holy conflict Satan would bruise Christ’s heel (his footstool identification), and Christ would crush Satan’s head. A bruised heel is painful but not fatal. This conflict would result in the serpent’s head being bruised (Heb. “crushed”); a bruised head is both painful and fatal. (6) God knew that a new race of many sons of God would arise as overcomers. All would bear His image and likeness; they would love righteousness and hate iniquity. They would choose to suffer wrongfully rather than do wrong, even to the extent of laying down their lives as martyrs. (7) God knew that Christ His Son and the saints would triumph over Satan, bring His eternal defeat, and usher in everlasting righteousness. And (8) God knew that Satan would be incarcerated in the lake of fire to be tormented forever! God would do all that was needed in such a way that forever throughout eternity neither Satan, angel, demon, nor man could dispute God’s justice or validity!

Two Seeds

Galatians 3:16 reveals that Christ is the fulfillment of that promised seed. And God, in accordance with His own law, which He ordained as the Creator, would give the evidence of the power of reproduction in the seed, the seeding seed, the yielding seed. Like would bring forth like. Thus to this end Christ died: “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24). Christ died, and as a result of His death and resurrection, there will be a mighty harvest of many sons of God who will be like Him. It is a new and holy creation, begotten in the image and likeness of God. He was the seed of the woman!

However, there is another head, another seed as seen in John 8:44:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

In Matthew 13:25 we read of this “father” the devil, the progenitor of his own seed: “But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.” In Matthew 13:39 we read, “The enemy that sowed them is the devil.” In verse 38 we are told, “the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one.”

Wheat reproduces and tares reproduce. Like will beget like. Wheat begets not tares; tares beget not wheat. These are two separate kingdoms with two separate fathers. There is no neutral ground; everybody is either a child of God or a child of the devil.

Attacks Against the Godly Seed

For six thousand years Satan has tried to destroy the seed of the godly. Concerning the first two children born, we are told in 1 John 3:12 that Cain was “of that wicked one.” The Devil through Cain tried to stop the godly seed of his brother Abel. Nevertheless, God raised up another seed through Seth continuing and preserving the godly line. Following Abel’s murder, the ungodly line moved away to the land of Nod to birth its progeny (Gen. 4:16).

Approximately two thousand years later, Satan begins using the worldliness and attractiveness of women from the ungodly seed to draw the attention of the men of the godly line (Gen. 6). Satan was seeking to hinder the prophesied coming seed of Genesis 3:15 by corrupting the whole race in a moral degeneration by intermarriage of the seeds. To pollute the godly line has been an age-old pursuit of Satan. If he can’t destroy the man (Abel or Seth), then he will pollute the seed, seeking for the women of the serpent’s line to destroy the men of the godly line. Providentially, God sent the Flood to purge and preserve the appointed line.

When Satan tried to pollute the seed religiously at Babel (Gen. 11), God sent confusion of tongue and language, and eventually called Abram out of idolatry. Then God speaks in Genesis 15:13:

Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them: and they shall afflict them four hundred years.

When the family of Jacob went down into Egypt, a pharaoh that knew not Joseph began to abuse this promised line. Egypt tried three approaches to destroy their seed: (1) increase their labor with affliction, (2) kill all male children at birth, and finally (3) throw all young male children into the Nile River. No doubt many children died in this persecution, but God even used this for His glory by moving the daughter of Pharaoh with compassion to take Moses into her home. Through Moses God brought deliverance to His people. The bruising of the heel continued.

The coming of the seed through the course of history climaxed with the Christ Himself. Immediately, the Devil through Herod the Great attempted to destroy “the seed” when Christ was but a child (Matt. 2). There were a number of times during His earthly ministry that the people sought to kill Jesus. Finally His death on the cross became the greatest attack of Satan’s edict against the seed. Nevertheless, Christ arose from the dead and ascended into heaven.

Following the Resurrection of Christ, Satan knew he could no longer touch Christ. Consequently his attack turned against the seed of “the seed.” Immediately into the early church the Book of Acts records seven major persecutions against God’s people. Then during the ten imperial persecutions between Nero and Diocletian, hundreds of thousands were killed for the testimony of Christ. As a result, “the blood of the martyrs became the seed of the Church” (the apologist Tertullian). Jesus had warned His disciples in Matthew 10:16,

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

The apostle Paul declared in Romans 8:36,

As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long: we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

It is impossible to describe the affliction and sufferings of Christians in the East; it is impossible to conceive of the hundreds of concentration camps scattered across the world where thousands have found themselves suffering for the cause of Christ simply because they are identified with “the seed.” Even throughout the inquisitions of the Roman Catholic Church, there have been an estimated 68 million people put to death by this oldest Christian apostasy. Although a number were Jews, the majority of these were God’s people, the seed of Christ.

Martyrdom Is Returning

Martyrdom that is still found in many countries today is coming to America. We must prepare for this intensified persecution against God’s saints. America must be included in the scripture, “and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9). The Antichrist will be given authority to “make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power [will be] given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” (Rev. 13:7). Nevertheless, this period of persecution will also be for a witness in the earth. God through His Son will consummate the end of this enmity: the Seed and the Seed’s seed will be victorious! Isaiah 54:10 declares, “He shall see his seed,” and in Psalm 22:30 we read, “A seed shall serve him: it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.”


The End Time gives clear evidence that Satan is aggressively working on the destruction of the remnant seed through two attacks: (1) the literal killing of the true Christians around the world and (2) the polluting and mongrelizing of the godly seed. We are witnessing the first attack in China, the Arab countries, the communist world, and parts of South America as hatred of Christianity ever increases.

The second attack is the most subtle and fearful, for it tries to destroy the “power” of the seed, the Gospel of Christ within the heart. This approach is seen through efforts to pollute the true Gospel with a false one. The accommodation of the flesh and gradual acceptance of the world’s business and philosophical standards is greatly affecting the Gospel message of the church. Such fleshly pollution is drawn into the Christian seed through means such as Contemporary Christian Music. This mongrelization of the seed is evident through subtle changes of the message of the Bible creating a broader base for the invitation of the world. We see this in the growing acceptance of Mel Gibson’s The Passion, Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code, the recent so-called finding of the Gospel of Judas, the recent emphasis of the Gnostic writings, the rising influence of the theology of Romanism, and the “Neo” movements found in Christianity today. These influences are affecting the conservative spectrum of Christianity.

Even Fundamentalism is slowly but surely blending into the fabric of Neo-Evangelicalism. As a last bastion to withstand the end-time global apostasy, Fundamentalism is now well on its way to reuniting with the movement that left its ranks for a more hopeful position of dialoging and fellowshipping the Liberals, Moderates, and Neo-Evangelicals. We are now witnessing Fundamentalism laying hold of and delighting in the same non-separatist positions that the Neo-Evangelicals embraced in the 1940s. The very carnal rhetoric Neo-Evangelicals used at their inception to explain their positions (which Fundamentalists then condemned) has now become the very rhetoric of present Fundamentalism. What Neo-Evangelicals craftily sought to exclude in their preaching has become the same failure in mainstream Fundamentalism. Similarly, our periodicals also are being written for greater acceptance by a broader base of readers. The increasing shift toward Reformed Theology has become a popular means of leaving the church’s problems to sovereignty rather than of taking a stand against the encroachment of the apostasy within our ranks.

When the Charismatics introduced “Praise and Worship” music in the 1970s, Fundamentalist music leaders believed we needed to pursue a similar style of music because it was the “in thing” in worship. Now even traditional congregational hymn singing has followed the path of our weaker, more contemporary special music.

Satan is also trying to mongrelize the seed by the broader spectrum of the English versions of the Bible. The battle now is over “what is the text?” If we are saved by an incorruptible seed (1 Pet. 1:23), what is the seed of the Word of God?

Similarly, any dress standard of dignity is being subtly intimidated; the pressure now is placed on the pursuit and acceptance of the casual look already embraced by the Neo crowd. One needs only to consider the casual, non-offensive dress of various musicians appearing on Fundamentalist recordings. Are they clean-cut secular artists or Christian artists?—does the world know?

So much of Fundamentalism has entered into gray areas. It will only be a matter of time before we will witness and hear the open contemporary sounds of Neo-Christianity. Although the child of God is to be of the light and delivered from the darkness, most churches today choose to live in the gray, twilight zone where the light and darkness meet.

In spite of the reasoning of leaders that there is still some gospel in all of this, we must clearly realize that there is no power in a corrupt Gospel. This is why the churches have become impotent against worldliness and the flesh. This is why the sodomites are becoming publicly bold in their views, and violence is filling the earth. There are very few of the true seed of Christ, and very few have the incorruptible seed of the Word of God within. May the Lord help us to make it to the end of our days as a part of the true seed of Christ and with the true Gospel seed in our hearts.