Today we will begin a series that will study Biblical prophecy from the beginning to the end. We will be starting in Genesis and concluding in Revelation, studying the most significant biblical prophecies in the order in which they were revealed in Scripture. The reason for this study this summer is that much like May 21, 2011 (Harold Camping’s last prediction of Christ’s return), September 2015 has been promoted as the Beginning of the Tribulation.

On a daily basis we read of current events that look a lot like the characteristics of the Tribulation period: War, Terrorism, Theological apostasy, Big Brother, the alignment of nations, the world’s focus on Israel… all these current events seem to align with Biblical prophesy. New books like “Blood Moons,” and “The Mystery of the Shmitah” tell people that the Tribulation will begin in September or October of 2015. So, it’s a good time for our Church to learn again the importance of proper interpretation of biblical prophecy.

This will be the MOST IN-DEPTH SERIES on prophecy I have preached!

The study prophesy as it unfolds throughout Scripture.

Most people who have an interest in prophesy start with REVELATION, but this leads to inaccurate interpretation. WE must start at the BEGINNING! That means examining the ver first prophecy found in Genesis 3:15.

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”” (Genesis 3:15, ESV)

In much the same way that John 3:16 summarizes salvation, Genesis 3:15 summarizes God’s plan of redemption and the scope of human history.

About this verse, Arthur Pink wrote,“Who but He who knoweth the end from the beginning could have given such an accurate outline of subsequent history, and packed it within the limits of this one verse?” Arthur Walkington Pink, Gleanings in Genesis (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2005), 43.

This is the first promise in the Bible!

There are four essential truth’s revealed in God’s FIRST LESSON in Prophesy

Truth #1. REDEMPTION is the Central Theme in Prophecy

Adam and Eve’s rejected FELLOWSHIP with GOD. They chose to be RULED by DESIRE rather than to be RULED by God. JESUS CHRIST would have to REDEEM his creation before he could RULE over it.

FOUR JUDGMENTS are given in relation to Adam’s sin:

SATAN (3:14-15)

the WOMAN (3:16)

the EARTH (3:17-18)

the MAN (3:17-19)

God provides more than just judgment. He also unveils the CONFLICT of the AGES and the HIS ULTIMATE GLORY.

RENEE SHOWERS has written a powerful book that examines God’s plan through the ages, beginning with Creation and man’s fall into sin, and concluding with God’s Eternal Kingdom. The book is “What on Earth is God Doing: Satan’s Conflict with God.” The following quote is from the opening pages of that book. It’s a lengthy quote, but very much worth reading.

The Bible’s philosophy of history begins with the eternal, personal God who existed as three distinct persons: Father, Son and Spirit. Prior to creation nothing else existed but God.

In eternity past, God determined to have a kingdom over which he could rule as sovereign Kin (1 Tim 1:17). Since it is impossible to have a kingdom without subjects, and since nothing else existed to serve Him, God created the subjects over which He was to rule.

The personal, created subjects were of two major kinds. First, God created angelic subjects. These angels were spirit beings, not possessing bodies of flesh and bone (Matt 22:30; Heb 1:13-14), but they did possess intellect (2 Sam 14:20) and the ability to communicate (Gen 10:1-2). They were more powerful than the other kind of created beings (2 Peter 2:11). Although made to dwell in the heavens, they were given access to earth after its creation (Gen 19:1; Mat 24:36). Certain angels were made superior in intelligence, power, and authority over others (Dan 10:13; Eph 1:21; Col 1:16). The Bible does not reveal exactly how many angels God created, but it does mention one hundred million plus thousands of thousands more (Dan 7:10; Heb 12:22; Rev 5:11).

The second manor kind of personal subject created for God’s kingdom was the human being. Inasmuch as God had created the earth to be part of his domain, he intended to have on it a kind of subject that would administer his rule over everything else on the planet. Just as some kings divide their kingdoms into provinces, place a subject as governor over each province, and hold each governor responsible to administer his province well on behalf of the king, so God created man, placed him as governor over the earth, and held him responsible to administer the earth well on behalf of God (Gen 1:26, 28; Psalm 8:3-9). In other words, God intended the government of the earth to be a theocracy….

Man had to be specially equipped in order to govern the earth for God. It was essential that he be able to understand his earthly, physical province, therefore, God formed for him a physical body from the dust of the earth (Gen 2:7). It also was necessary that he be able to receive and understand God’s direction; therefore, God created man in his own image (Gen 1:26-28) as a personal being possessing intellect and the ability to communicate.

With the creation of man, God’s work of bringing His kingdom into existence was completed. The universal kingdom of God was a reality, and everything in it was very good by God’s perfect standard of evaluation (Gen 1:31)

(end of quote)

BUT, man failed. Eve listened to the words of Satan and chose her own way rather than to the voice of God. Adam followed and they both sinned. God’s perfect world was now marred by sin which was introduced by Satan and embraced by the man and woman. However, God’s ultimate plan was not ruined. God would demonstrate his justice, love, mercy and grace by sending a redeemer to restore the fallen race and the corrupted world. This redeemer would ultimately establish complete victory over Satan.

God PROMISES to RESTORE his world to its intended purpose. HE didn’t choose to DESTROY it and start again. Instead, he choose to demonstrate his GLORY by redeeming his creation.

The SEED of the WOMAN would battle the SEED of Satan

Satan’s attempt to CORRUPT the WOMAN’S SEED BEGINS with CAIN. Gen 4

It Continues throughout Scripture.

Noah’s generation almost lost

400 years of slavery in Egypt

Captives in Assyria

Captives of Babylon

Escaped Hamaan’s treachery

Near annihilation by ANTIOCHUS

Near annihilation by the ROMANS in 70 AD

Near annihilation by HITLER in the HOLOCAUST

The plan that God announced in Genesis 3:15 is still marching on today, and will ultimately conclude when Jesus – the Seed of the woman, rules and reigns on planet earth!

The SECOND TRUTH in Genesis 3:15 is that JESUS is the CENTRAL FIGURE

All glory is given to him. Jesus is the focal point of prophecy.

Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.(Revelation 19:10, ESV)

Not only prophecy – Jesus is the focal point of all creation!

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:15–16, ESV)

The THIRD TRUTH is that Genesis 3:15 Establishes the MEANS by which Redemption would take place. Redemption would take place through sacrifice. “He will (Satan – the Serpent) will bruise his (Jesus’ – the Seed of the Woman’s) heel.” This refers to the non-mortal, yet painful injury that Satan would inflict in Jesus on the Cross.

Gen 3:15 “he will crush your head. Satan would receive a CRITICAL BLOW from the CHILD born of WOMAN, but the CHILD would be bruised in the heel – a painful, but not mortal blow.

The NEXT PROPHESY in the Bible also emphasizes this point. The prophecy was given by ENOCH. It isn’t recorded in Genesis, but we read of it in the 2nd to last book of the Bible – Jude. It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”” (Jude 14–15, ESV)

Romans 16:20 “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. “

This conflict between Jesus, the Seed of the Woman, and Satan is reflected in Martin Luther’s : “A Mighty Fortress is our God.”

And though this world with Devils filled, should threaten to undo us. We will not fear for God hath willed, His truth to triumph through us. The prince of darkness grim. We tremble not for him. His rage we can endure. For lo, his doom is sure. One little word shall fell him. THAT WORD above all earthly power, no thanks to them abideth. The Spirit and the gifts are ours. Through Him who with us sideth. Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also. The body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still. His Kingdom is forever.

A new song by Hillsong reflects the same battle and the victory in Christ.

STRONGER.

You are stronger

You are stronger

Sin is broken

You have saved me

It is written

Christ is risen

Jesus You are Lord of all

There is Love that came for us

Humbled to a sinner’s cross

You broke my shame and sinfulness

You rose again victorious

3:15 “you will bruise his heel”

Jesus was wounded, but not destroyed.

Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon him; And with his stripes we are healed. “

Finally, Genesis 3:15 establishes the GRAND STORY of Scripture

There is a GRAND STORY that explains every question

Who am I?

Why am I here?

What is the meaning of life?

How should I live?

What is beautiful?

What is right?

Why is there suffering?

Is there more than this physical world (Am I alone?)

These are the essential questions of philosophy.

According to our Post-modern society, there is no grand story. We all create our own story of life.

This philosophy is expressed in the film, “The Life of Pi.” The film begins when a writer meets up with an Indian man who has a story to tell. The man tells that writer that he has a story that will “make him believe in God.” He then begins to tell his life story. He tells how as a child he embraced several different religious practices (Islam, Christianity, Hinduism). He tells of a shipwreck in which his family died. He survives on a lifeboat alone with a tiger and other animals. All of this is done in first person as the audience watches this dramatic story unfold.

At the end of the film, Pi is in a hospital bed recovering from his shipwreck injuries. He is telling his fanciful story to the investigators inquiring about the cause of the shipwreck. They are unconvinced about the truth of the story and press Pi, who admits that he made up the animals. He was really on the lifeboat with his mother, a horribly injured man and an evil cook who murdered the injured man for fishing bait and then murdered his mother.

The real theme of the film is then revealed. Pi tells the writer that both stories share the same set of circumstances. In both stories his mother dies, an evil cook commits murder, and Pi suffers greatly. He asks the writer, “Which story do you prefer,” to which the writer says, “The story with the tiger – that’s the better story.”

Pi replies: “And so it is with God.”

This film is reflecting the ideas of post-modern society about God and religion: Religion is something that we make up to help make sense of life.

In other words, there is no Great Story, we all make up whatever we need to get through.

But that’s NOT HOW IT IS WITH GOD!

God sent a redeemer into the world to fix a broken world That fixing is still in progress and will ultimately be a perfect world. Right now, in the middle of the progress, it is hard for us to see the end result, but we have been informed about it through prophecy!

In Genesis 3:15 an overarching prophesy that explains God’s purposes with this creation. It focuses on a Redeemer who would crush the head of Satan. That redeemer is Jesus Christ. He will redeem you if you call on him.

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18, ESV)