In this twentieth century the world has seen two so-called world wars. Men fought in these wars, it was claimed, “to make the world safe for democracy.”
Today, as a result of this failure, we have an armament race that has produced some exceedingly devastating weapons, for a war that in its awful reality will be a world war, with battles on every continent, and with bombs falling in every quarter of the earth. And the enemies of democracy are today more numerous, but also militarily more powerful, than they were before either of the two so-called world wars. Men, therefore, have turned to diplomacy, to treaties and alliances, and to negotiations, and to try to realize a lasting peace.
They will fail!
The reason why they will fail is that the world in its attempt to create lasting peace is not simply ignoring but fighting the Prince of Peace. Did Jesus not declare? “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” Matthew 12:30
We wish not only to warn our readers, but also to point out to them the right direction in regard to true and lasting peace, by presenting what the Word of God says already in the early days of the shadows.
In February of this year a sleek jet plane landed in China, bringing a group of men who undoubtedly were serious in their desires for peace in our generation. And who would not be serious about it in the world situation in which we find ourselves today? Now the name of that sleek jet was “The Spirit of ’76.” Tragically enough, the Spirit of Christ, the Prince of Peace did not travel to China for those meetings. From all we have heard or seen of the whole visit, the Prince of Peace was not asked to go along on that diplomatic mission. A prayer may have been uttered in the White House before departure. It was not made known. Nor was the Prince of Peace ever mentioned as the one Who alone could make the mission a success. No dependency upon Him was ever mentioned. In no communique was His name used. No prayers were made known as being offered to Him at the many banquets. Our coins may still declare, “In God we trust,” but that did not come out for one minute in China, or from anything we have read or heard of the whole mission. Were this the case, that our trust as a nation is in God, would this whole journey have been found necessary? Would there not also have been a witness given in that godless nation of our God and His Son, Whom He sent as the Prince of Peace?
Of course, they did not go there as missionaries. But are missionaries the only ones who pray to God? Are they the only ones who declare faith in God? Are they the only ones who can and do say with the psalmist: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, come upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host (of communists, too) should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this (war) will I be confident.” Psalm 27:1-3
Man has found that there will be no peace through the shedding of man’s blood. Swords and guns, bombs and hand grenades do not create peace. Words of men in conference, whether in private or in open session, may produce a deceptive, yea, will produce the deceptive, temporary peace of the reign of the Antichrist over all the nations of the earth. This will, however, only serve to realize that dreadful Battle of Armageddon, when Gog and Magog shall come up against the camp of the saints. Revelation 20:7-9 and Revelation 16:13-16.
But the very day that man declared war on God in paradise, God spelled out clearly the only hope of peace and reconciliation. By the shedding of the blood of His Son on the Cross, and by His Spirit, peace will come to man. Not by “The Spirit of ’76,” but by the Spirit of Christ in the heart, as He fills it with the love of God, will reconciliation between God and man be realized, and between man and his neighbor.
On the day that man declared war on God, the Almighty spoke of a war that would end all war. In what has come to be known as “the mother promise” of Genesis 3:15 God spoke of and predicted a spiritual war that would end all war. “I will,” He declared, “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.” Here, in unmistakable language, God announces not only spiritual warfare on this earth, but also a victory that will bring lasting peace to the seed of the woman.
The individual to whom these words were addressed was Satan, who was still inside the serpent. We do not have here a mere prediction of aversion on man’s part to snakes, with the desire to crush their heads. (The Hebrew word means crush rather than bruise) That is not in every instance true. Some men collect and protect them. Some run from them, instead of at them to crush their heads. Some in cold climes have never seen a serpent and can have no enmity against them. Besides, God is speaking of what He will do, not of what has already happened. When Eve gave her bold reply to God, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat,” she expressed an enmity against the serpent that was already in her soul.
This does not take away God’s sovereign right to humiliate and change the serpent, that Satan used, to become lower than any other beast of the field (for the serpent was a beast of the field). Hath not the divine Potter the right to do with His clay as He pleases? Nor is the serpent the only creature to suffer because of man’s sin. Paul tells us in Romans 8:19-22 that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth, waiting for the day of the deliverance of the sons of God. The sovereign God may do that with His creation.
But to return to the subject, man declared war on God, and that which is behind that declaration of war against God is made plain in the text. Man had enmity in his heart against God. This is confirmed by Romans 8:7 where Paul declares that the minds which men receive as descendants of fallen Adam are full of enmity against God. Satan succeeded by his lie to cause man to hate God. And God’s word here in Genesis 3:15 is that He is going to put His love back into the hearts of some, so that they will have enmity against Satan and his whole kingdom to wage spiritual warfare against him and his seed.
Now hatred against God means hatred against the neighbor. Jesus taught that clearly in Matthew 22:37-40. The principle of the law is love to God; and when one loves God, that one loves His creatures and bows before God’s will in regard to them. John writes in I John 4:20 as well, “If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God Whom he hath not seen?” Thus when the promise of Genesis 3:15 is, from a positive point of view, that God will put love towards Himself into the hearts of some, then He will thereby also put in them love towards their neighbors.
To realize this peace God declares war on Satan and his whole kingdom here in Genesis 3:15. God speaks of the war that will end all war, because exactly here in this beautiful text God speaks of the coming of His Son, Whose heel Satan will crush at the Cross, but Who by that very Cross will crush Satan’s head. And that is a fatal wound! Yes, Christ The Seed of the woman (and note the singular inGenesis 3:15, “. . . thou shalt bruise his heel”) also dies. He does this by laying down His life when the servants of Satan “crushed” His heel by nailing Him to the tree. Satan did not in actuality kill him. The Jews did not in fact take His life. In their hearts they did. But he declares Himself in John 10:17, 18, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it up again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” And by laying down His life on that cross, He, according, to Paul in Colossians 2:15, spoiled principalities and powers, made a shew of them and triumphed over them.
There are, then, two elements here. The Seed of the woman will fight for our justification; and He will realize it when the seed of the serpent nails Him to the tree of the Cross, thus crushing His heel. But this Seed of the woman will also thereby merit the right to send His Spirit into our hearts, to put into them the love of God and enmity against Satan and his kingdom. This Seed of the woman triumphed over the Serpent on His cross exactly because there He earned the right to deliver His people from Satan’s slavery of sin by giving them a new birth and by instilling that love of God by His Spirit.
And in this way peace is brought back to the human race. The seed of the serpent shall be crushed and cast off this earth into the lake of tire. They will no longer fight us physically, or spiritually. And we will be filled with the love of God in body and soul when Christ returns to raise us up from the dead. A new creation appears in which all men on earth love God from the bottom of their hearts; and loving Him love each other, so that all war is forever at an end. That is why in Revelation 4:6 before the throne of God there is a sea of glass like unto crystal. No ripple of discontent is there to mar that peace and beauty. The sea is as calm as though it were of glass that does not form waves when the wind blows upon it. In fact there will be no wind in all that creation. The love of God shall issue forth from the throne, and not the wind of His wrath.
With all this the world does not reckon and does not want to reckon. With hearts that have only enmity against God as seed of the serpent, they cannot even see this kingdom, cannot imagine such a peace. They; leave God out of the picture. They leave the Seed of the woman out of the picture. They speak of love, love, love but only of a carnal love for man, without thought of God. They continue to declare war on God, and think that in that way they can still achieve peace among men. It is all so foolish.
And many in the church of today speak so glibly and flippantly of peace by a social gospel, which is no gospel. Let the church go back to fundamentals. Let the church reckon with sin and the enmity of the natural mind against God. Let the church then direct, men to this peace that God realizes through the cross and Spirit of Christ in the way of a rebirth, confession of sin and hatred towards it.
The cross and the Spirit of Christ reconcile men to God, and thus reconcile men with each other. Men’s wars and men’s words add to the flame; and riots are in our streets and cities even while and because while we fly halfway around the world to seek peace with a distant power. We do not see the enmity of God in the heart of our neighbor, nor even in our own hearts; and then we seek a peace that cannot be and will not be.
Listen to the God of all peace, as Paul calls Him inRomans 16:20, Who there promises shortly to bruise Satan under our feet, when He says, “I will put enmity.” Here is the declaration of a spiritual war against the devil and his host that will end all war for God’s Church and bring her to perfect, everlasting peace.