The Conditionalist Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 1


III. Promised Seed Is Master Key to Atonement Mysteries

The promised Seed of Genesis 3:15 is the master key that unlocks the divine revelation of redemption of the race. Everything centers in and around this assurance of the Seed (Genesis 3:15; Genesis 12:7; Genesis 22:18; Psalm 89:3, 4; 2 Samuel 7:12). And the promised Seed was Christ, to come in the flesh 2: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ” (Galatians 3:16). CFF1 61.3


This initial promise of the Seed, the Redeemer, involves the deepest mysteries of the atonement—Christ “made” to be “sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21), vicariously bearing our judgment, typified by the uplifted brazen serpent, made in the symbolic likeness of the fiery serpents that had brought death to Israel (Numbers 21:5-9; John 3:14, 15), just like the serpent in Eden. Even so was Christ to be lifted up. And here begins what has aptly been called the “Highway of the Seed,” 3 stretching magnificently across the centuries—a chain of promises and prophecies concerning Christ, fulfilled through Abel, Seth, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, David—and reaching to Immanuel-Christ. 4 CFF1 62.1


The Seed of the woman, in the prediction, would bruise, or crush, the serpent’s head—head in Hebrew symbolism signifying the essence of the being. This was a promise of the ultimate destruction of Satan, a prediction that the very root of all evil would finally be destroyed by Christ. There, back in Eden, began the grim conflict of the ages between Christ and Satan—Satan being the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), at the head of a host of fallen angels (Matthew 25:41)—evil spirits seeking possession of living men, and simulating the dead through impersonating people who have died. This last feature will be noted later. CFF1 62.2


But that which is of paramount importance to us today is the actual, incontestable, and universal fact of sin. And the paralleling fact that until and unless one is “born again,” or regenerated spiritually, he is today in a state of enmity and rebellion against God. As a consequence, everlasting life is forfeit to us as verily as to Adam. Likewise excluded from Paradise, we are born into a world smitten with a curse, born of fallen progenitors, born under the sentence of death. CFF1 62.3

But from this bleak prospect the gates of eternal glory open to repenting sinners today because of the promised “seed.” It was this gracious grant of probationary time and opportunity that opened the way to eternal life restored, to be received through Christ (John 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:10). CFF1 63.1