Posted in types/anti-types

Types, Anti-Types, and the Offspring (Seed) of David: Jesus Christ the last Adam

The Roles of the Different Types

I have taken a long time to get here, I know, but I have finally arrived at a point in my discussion where I can begin to offer a general compare and contrast between David and Jesus.

In my last post (read here), which I called a precursor to the offspring (seed) of David I laid out an explanation of sorts for the protoevangelium (the first peek at the gospel of God) as disclosed in Genesis 3:15. This verse offers a promised conflict and conclusion between the war that was first waged in the garden long ago.

Types and Anti-Types…

If you read my endnotes you will already have a general idea what “type” and “anti-type” means. However, not everyone reads them. So, I will give a quick explanation of them and their use in Scripture. A type is perhaps easiest to understand in the sense of a shadow or a reflection. This ought to sound familiar to us if we are aware of what it means to be created in God’s image. To be an image bearer means to reflect or to shadow the image being represented. Therefore, a biblical type is an example of something else—imperfectly so. Types reflect or shadow the image they represent to a certain degree without perfection. They can be objects, persons or things. What they reflect or shadow or the image they represent is called the “anti-type.”

Anti-type does not mean what you may think it does. As soon as we see the prefix “anti” in English we tend to assume something negative since the term can mean “oppose” or “against.”[i] That is understandable given words like anticoagulant (against-clotting), antiacademic (opposed to academics), antibug (against bugs), antiauthority (opposed to authority), etc.

That being said we derive our understanding of “anti” from the Greek which means “instead of, for, in behalf of.”[ii] In this way then the “anti-type” is seen as the actual replacement of the type which was portrayed earlier in revelation.

In Light of Adam and the Serpent…

Our earthly father Adam was a type of what was to come (see Rom 5.14), in that he represented his offspring after him. Adam the rebel brought forth rebels—in his image—because of the curse of sin and death he ushered in. From his seed he produced sinners. At first glance all seems lost, but in Genesis 3:15 God promises they are not.

The serpent in the garden narrative was also a type of what was to come; or rather, the type that was, but was not seen. Thus, the serpent (type) imaged Satan (anti-type), the “Father of lies” and “a murderer from the beginning” (John 8.44-45). The hostility it showed to the woman (Eve—the mother of all living) in deceiving her to eat the forbidden fruit in order to kill her would continue through the two representative types (offspring of the woman and serpent; Gen 3.15), until the end.

The final conflict would be fought between the two anti-types of whom the offspring of the serpent and the woman represented. Christ Jesus is the anti-type of the seed of the woman, of whom godly men and women, products of grace, essentially mirrored. Whereas, Satan is the anti-type of the seed of the serpent, of whom ungodly men and women, born of Adam’s corruption, essentially mirrored.

In Light of David and Jesus…

Of David it was said by the Lord God, “I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my own heart, who will do all my will” (Acts 13.22; cf. 1Sam 13.14; 15.28; 16.13). It was David the Psalmist[iii], the shepherd[iv], the warrior king[v], the prophet[vi] and priest[vii] that we find a type of Christ to come. To have a heart for God, to desire to do all that God commanded, this is what God singled out as pleasing to Him.

Perhaps it is unknown or believers do not give it much thought, but what is true of David here as a type of Christ in that he loved God and wanted to be obedient—i.e., a man after God’s own heart—is actually true of all believers.

Of the line of Judah, we find a comparison between the good and bad kings (leaders of the people). If a king was good, doing right in the eyes of the Lord he was compared to walking in the steps of David (e.g., Jehoshaphat—2Chr 17.3-6; Hezekiah—2Kgs 18.3-5; Josiah—2Kgs 23.25). If he was a bad king, the opposite was said of him (e.g. 1Kgs 15.3).

God promised through Moses that if a person “will seek the Lord your God…you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut 4.29; Also see: Isa 55.6-7). Bear in mind these are pleas from the Lord for the people who are covenanted to Him to abandon their whoredom. To stop chasing after false gods in rebellion against Him, refusing to obey what He has spoken. Some attempt to apply such passages to only Israel, and while we must admit contextually it most certainly applied to them first, it was not limited to them. The whole earth is the Lord’s, and His call has gone out to the ends of it seeking a people who will acknowledge and obey Him. This too we find in Solomon’s prayer of dedication, which includes the foreigner as well (cf. 1Kgs 8.41).

The point being, that God’s people demonstrate a heart for God, and a love for His Word. God promises the repentant that He will, “give…shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jer 3.15). David was surely such a man, who though like the rest of Adam’s race was tormented by sin knew that God’s grace sufficiently covered all iniquity. This David desired to teach others:

“Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise” (Psa 51.14-15).

And while some may deny that these words are David’s, the heartfelt sentiments are surely his:

“I will speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame, for I find my delight in your commandments which I love” (Psa 119.46-47).

What David desired as an image bearer of God (the true meaning of having a heart after God’s own) was to obey His voice, which is better than sacrifice (1Sam 15.22; Eccl 5.1).  The folly of Cain, a son of Adam, is that his heart desired the exact opposite; which is what set him apart from his brother Abel.

And yet, in Christ Jesus we are told of a blood more precious than Abel’s sacrifice of devotion (Heb 12.24). Peter explains that “Christ also suffered…leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps” (1Pet 2.21). He loved God the Father and His Word so much that He too declared the truth before sinners and kings, and sent out His disciples to continue the work.

How Does Jesus compare with David?

David as King was chosen to lead God’s people in God’s ways. The responsibility of leadership is to lead in truth, down the correct path, in order to teach people to live righteously. Now Jesus made the claim, audacious to some, that He is “the way, the truth, and the Life” (John 14.6). He swore that if anyone wanted to see life, to walk in the right steps, to know the truth correctly then they must come through Him. He alone is access to God.

David, though his desire and motivations were sincere, they were divided. What Paul speaks of in Romans 7 of a divided nature is true for every genuine believer: past, present, and future. Bear in mind, it is not natural to want to seek God and serve Him. What is natural is to walk in the steps of Cain, the offspring of the serpent. There is a reason why the Holy Spirit says that “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1John 5.19). Thus, the need for grace in every age.

Where David failed Jesus of Nazareth, his offspring, did not. Of the seed of David, it is said that His enemies shall be a footstool for his feet (Psa 110.1). In order to be a footstool, something must be above you, therefore David’s offspring is above His enemies. Which also means, he possesses or exercises dominion over them (Gen 22.17; Gen 1.26-28; Psa 2.8; Matt 28.18). In a word He crushes the heads of His enemies under His feet (Gen 3.15).

When God compared David to Saul, He said that David was the better man (1Sam 15.28). Contextually, this statement by God was in reference to obedience, something Saul failed (refused) to do. Jesus made a similar claim in Matthew 5 when he said, “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5.20). What sort of righteous standard was Jesus speaking of? Perfect obedience.

“You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect” (Matt 5.48).

This was not a new standard but an old one. To be perfect like God means to be holy like God (Lev 20.26). This is our charge from the very beginning. Adam was created for obedience. True obedience is an act of faith where you take God at His Word and act faithfully regarding it. Without this faith, you cannot please God. What is the measure of this faithfulness, this holy perfection you may ask? Obedience to the Torah (Law; instruction) of our Creator, which is the foundation from which Jesus makes the claims in Matthew 5 that I have already cited above (see Matt 5:17-19).

The Seriousness of Christ

How serious was Jesus about obeying God the Father? For starters, He treated it as a chief and necessary desire (by comparing it to food):

“My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (John 4.34). When the old serpent Satan tried to tempt him from this standard in a weakened state the Lord replied, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matt 4.4; cf. Deut 8.1-3). In other words, it is impossible to live apart from the Word of God. In His word we find truth, life and the way that we should go.

John 5…

To draw this discussion to a close I turn the reader’s attention to one last portion of Scripture, the 5th chapter of John’s Gospel.

Jesus’ desire was to be perfect as His heavenly Father is. He explained several times during His ministry that He came to speak and act on the Father’s behalf (see John 6.39; 8.28; 10.30-33; 12.49). These things that He did and said bothered many, for they found in them clear claims of deity: “Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God” (John 5.18).

Now it’s possible you’ve heard it said that Jesus never identified himself as God. The statement is inaccurate. It is true Jesus did not say, “I am God!” to the gathered crowds. However, this does not mean He never identified himself as such.

Why were the Jews angry with Him? Well, for starters He refused to follow their traditions. He worked on the Sabbath, healing and doing good. If that wasn’t bad enough, He called God His Father.

The Scriptures teach that God created six days and rested on the seventh. The seventh day He made holy. That is to say, He set it apart as a day of rest (refreshment, enjoyment and worship). God didn’t need to rest, but He set one day aside during the week for His creatures so that they might rest. The Sabbath was a gift given to mankind. It is true that God commanded no work on the Sabbath, and when He called out Israel from Egypt, He instituted punishments for violating it but that was to train the people in the way they ought to go. Since sinners do not appreciate, respect, or listen to things they ought to do, unless they are disciplined to do so.

Jesus is working on the Sabbath, and the Jews are like “What do you think you are doing? Do you not know what is written? Don’t know you know what today is? Who do you think you are, to do whatever you wish?”

Jesus’ response is that what He is doing is exactly what the Father is doing. “My father is working until now, and I am working” (John 5.17). This infuriates His audience. And so, Jesus continues,

“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise” (John 5.19).

**Let’s do a little observational reading here and breakdown the Lord’s words above.

“I can do nothing on my own.” In other words, I am not acting solo here. I’m not acting on my own authority independently, but on the authority of another dependently.

“The Son [of God] …does…only what he sees the Father doing.” In other words, it is not my will being enacted, but the will of the Father. I am mirroring God. I am doing God’s will. I am witnessing what He would have me do, and I do it.

“For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” Which means what precisely? That the Son is perfect like His Heavenly Father is perfect. That the Son images the Father without fault. There is no error in Him. What God does, Jesus does. What Jesus does, God does. What the Father wills, the Son wills. What the Son wills, the Father wills.

Jesus tells the Jews that they marvel because of what He is now doing and saying. He heals a lame man on the Sabbath (John 5.11, 14), and says He does exactly what He sees the Father doing, and if that is not enough: “greater works than these will [the Father] show [the Son], so that you may marvel” (John 5.20; italics added).

The Father raises the dead, so too the Son for the life that God the Father has, the Son has as well (John 5.21, 24-26, 28). The Father is the Judge, and yet has deferred judgment to the Son (John 5.22, 27, 29-30). Why? So, “that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father” (John 5.23). Who shares equal honor with God? Who retains the right to enjoy honor supposed to be given to the Father? The Son—Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.

Why Jesus is the Anti-Type

This is why Jesus is rightly called the anti-type, the seed of the woman, the seed of Abraham, the seed of David. He is the perfect image of God, being God manifested in flesh. He demonstrated dominion over all aspects of creation (in heaven and earth) through various signs, but the greatest of which is His victory over death and sin and the Devil who bred them.

The place of the crucifixion has a fitting name, it is called Golgotha. Which, means “the place of the skull” (Matt 27.33; Mark 15.22; John 19.17). The protoevangelium states that the promised seed of the woman would crush the serpents head. Obviously, the language is figurative but has a real-life application.

In the garden, Satan (the serpent) murdered the first man by deceiving his wife getting him to doubt God’s Word. The second (or last) Adam first entered the wilderness where the enemy had encamped. He fought the first battle and was victorious, and for the next three and a half years He continued winning ground. He did this because He was a man after God’s own heart, and He is better than all other men because He was in all things obedient to the Word of God. He proved this in the garden where He prayed:

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22.42).

“What was Jesus attempting to accomplish at that moment?” you may wonder.

“Now is the judgment of this world…” Jesus says, “now will the ruler of this world be cast out…because the ruler of this world is judged” (John 12.31; 16.11).

The writing on the wall appeared, so to speak, when Jesus in His last breath exclaimed, “It is finished!” (John 19.30). What was finished? The crushing of the serpent’s head. The victory promised in the beginning was accomplished over 2,000 years ago. But you say, “What about all this evil? That cannot be! How can Christ have defeated Satan, the seed of the woman triumphing over the seed of the serpent, if there is still all this wickedness?”

You ever smashed a snake’s head? Perhaps, you’ve gone the other route and cut it off. Either way you know that even though a death blow has been delivered the serpent still squirms, still opens its mouth as it is in its death throes. Satan, for all his movement in this world is in his death throes. He’s been defeated. He’s lost the war. Since he is the father of lies, it makes sense that he deceives himself into believing it’s not over yet. The problem we face is whether or not we are going to take him at his word, or believe what God has already spoken:

“But thanks be to God who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ…lead[ing] us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere…For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” (1Cor 15.57; 2Cor 2.14; 1John 5.4).[viii]


[i] “Anti,” s.v. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition.

[ii] Warren C. Trenchard, Complete Vocabulary Guide to the Greek New Testament, Rev. Ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), 14. Also see: Friedrich Bushel, “anti,” in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 10 vols., ed. Gerhard Kittle and trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964), 1:372.

[iii] 2Sam 23:1. Not to mention the many psalms attributed to him in the book of Psalms. E.g. Psa 19.

[iv] 1Sam 16.19; 17.15. “He chose David his servant and took him from the sheepfolds” (Psa 78.70).

[v] 1Sam 18.5-7; 2Sam 8.10; 19.9. “Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle” (Psa 144.1).

[vi] Acts 2:25-31.

[vii] 1Chron 21.19-28. This does not mean that David took on the priestly role in a formal setting. There was a separation between ecclesiastical offices and civil. The Levitical priesthood occupied the former and the line of Judah the other. However, David take on a priestly role in intervening for the people, building and altar unto the Lord and offering sacrifices there. Whether or not those how accomplished the proceedings were Levitical priests at the time is not my point, it is the role of intercessor that David makes on behalf of the people and on behalf of his own sin that I am referring to. In the same sense then, Solomon’s dedication prayer for the temple, while done as king was performed in the role of intercession on behalf of God’s people domestic and foreign in a priestly manner.

[viii] I understand and am fully aware of the different contexts in which these texts are used, but the points in them are sound in illustrating the truth as it stands in the finished work of Christ Jesus.

Posted in offspring/seed

Offspring (Seed) of the Woman: Protoevangelium, a Precursor to Offspring (Seed) of David

The gospel (good-news) of God first spoken is found in Genesis 3:15, often identified as the protoevangelium, finds its fulfillment in Jesus of Nazareth:

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring [seed] and her offspring [seed]; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen 3.15).

A couple of important points are embedded in this one verse. Let’s take a moment to look at them and their significance before we move on.  First observe who the prophetic utterance of God is being given to… the serpent and the woman, the man is purposely left out. Secondly, the emphasis is placed upon their offspring. Thirdly, the vision speaks of hostility, hatred and violence (i.e., enmity), which is demonstrated in a conflict between the future children of the two.

The nature of this revelation…

What is the precise nature of this revelation? It is spiritual and physical. Now, I could spend a lot of time defending this position—the dualistic[i] nature in which Scripture deals with us created things—but I won’t. We are not merely natural products of the earth, but supernatural creations of the Creator. There is a spiritual (immaterial) and physical (material) aspect to mankind, we are body and spirit.

Take for example, the Law of God. (I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating). Obedience, true obedience, requires a two-fold response. We must physically carry out what the Law of God requires, but we must also do so spiritually with a heart that loves God and neighbor. True love is the fulfillment of the Law, but true love is not outwardly only but inward as well.

Therefore, it is a correct understanding of Genesis 3 to see this in more than a physical light. When you fail to account for this, you will stumble into serious blunders in drawing the intent of the passage out.

Spiritual and Physical Elements Existent…

The disobedience at the beginning of the chapter was more than a physical act. Both Adam and Eve coveted what God said was off limits to them. A clear violation of the 10th commandment. In that moment they also chose another god (i.e., themselves), blasphemed (i.e. treating lightly the Name of God), by creating an idol to worship (i.e., the fruit). All violations of the first 3 commandments. They also attempted to steal from the Lord, it was His tree not theirs. They refused to honor their Father who gave them life. They bore false witness against their neighbor when confronted in their sin. They demonstrated hate, not love for God when the moment presented itself. They preferred to play the harlot, rather than being committed to their relationship with the Lord God. And since we do not know the day when they sinned against God it is just as likely they did this act near the close of the seventh day; a day God declared holy. Breaking not just one of the commandments, but violating each and every one:

“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it” (James 2.10; comp. Matt 22.40).

So, when God comes into the garden and makes His presence known to His creatures; when He confronts them in their sin, holding them accountable; and, when He delves out a just judgment for the crimes committed we—the reader—would do well to note that there is both a physical and spiritual aspect of the events and decree being given.

Genesis 3:15 as a promise is negative and positive; good and bad. On the one had death and suffering will follow in its wake, on the other hand life and victory.

Snakes and Men

The enmity between offspring…

You hate snakes. They disgust you. You run and scream, you may have even taken the head off one or two with a hoe or a spade shovel. That is all well and good, but that is not a fulfillment of what God has promised here.

In Genesis 3:15 we find this “enmity between [the serpent] and the woman…between [his] offspring and her offspring….” This promise from God is given as a lynchpin between two verdicts. One given to the serpent, the other to the woman (Gen 3.16). To the serpent God promised, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life” (Gen 3.14). This judgment is both physical and spiritual.

On the one hand there is a physical punishment that the serpent faces in God’s judgment. This springs forth from the way in which the Lord God refers to this cunning creature. He identifies it in contrast with livestock and beasts of the field. He does not say “creeping things” or that which is near the ground. So whatever form the first serpent kind was like then, it was different than what we might scientifically catalog today. The serpent is brought low (did it have legs? Did it fly?) and is commanded to move along on its belly and eat dust all the days of its life.

Snakes do not eat dust, so the curse is not to be taken in a wooden literal fashion. The point is that the serpent will be brought low even though it sought to exalt itself. The deceit in which the serpent entrapped Eve (Gen 3.1-4) was an assault against the image bearers of God, and therefore an attack against God whom they were created to represent. God had given mankind dominion over the earth and the creatures therein. Something malevolent drove this creature to attempt to rise above its station, but the Lord drove it to the ground.

The second half of God’s punishment against the serpent (Gen 3.15) addresses that malevolent force, whom we know to be Satan (symbolically). We are told that a continuation of the initial attack would be ongoing. “he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen 3.15c).  A result of the constant hatred and violence (Gen 3.15a), between the two types[ii] of offspring (Gen 3.15b).

**A serpent strikes on the heel, and the man who is above it strikes the head of the serpent. Both parties are attempting to kill the other; although, their methodologies do differ. Only the seed of the woman will be successful.[iii]

This would continue until their chief representatives battled it out. This is the reason for suffering, persecution and various trials that godly men and women face in this world.

The Offspring…

Note the concern is on their children. The Hebrew word (zera’; זֶרַע) translated offspring or seed can be taken literally or figuratively, plural or singular depending upon its surrounding context and usage (cf. Gen 12.3, 7; 15.5, 18; 17.7; 22.18; Deut 31.21; Gal 3.16).

If we look a little bit closer at the enmity being discussed in Gen 3:15 we see the announcement of two different “heads” having been established in the rebellion. From one fount you would have the seed or “offspring” (i.e., children) of the serpent, and from the other you would have the seed or “offspring” (i.e., children) of the woman.

Two questions immediately come forth: 1) How do we know this? 2) Why is this important?

  1. In a technical sense the seed usually comes from the man, not the woman. Adam was designated as the head over the woman in function, but not in equality. He was the one given instruction on how to live having been formed first, and this knowledge was to be passed down to his wife (cf. Gen 2.16-17). Adam was given the charge “to work…and keep” (Gen 2.15) what had been given under his dominion. It is interesting to note that this charge of “working” is in line with the command to “subdue” in Gen 1:28, and the type of godly rule (dominion) the Lord expected him to “keep” what had been given him (Gen 1.26)—i.e., protect, build a hedge around. Rather than exercising godly rule in the garden, rather than protect what had been given to him, Adam rebelled. In seeking to throw off one Master, he became enslaved to another. Therefore, it makes sense that God would put the stress on the enmity between the seed of the woman rather than the seed of the man. Anything that came from Adam would be corrupted, for his offspring were to be slaves by nature. Only an act of grace changes the outcome.
  2. There are two ways in which one might enter the world. The first is by natural means. We who are born today have entered the world in this way. There are only two in the history of creation that have come a different way; in other words, supernaturally. As I said in my last post (Offspring (Seed) of David: Part III, Luke’s Genealogy) Jesus and Adam shared a commonality in that they both entered the world by supernatural means.

“Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli [his father-in-law]…the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God” (Luke 3.23, 38b; italics added).

Through the virgin birth, Jesus bypassed being a natural product of Adam. His share in humanity was through His mother, not through our earthly father Adam. Pseudo-Christian theologians can debate the intricacies of this all day long, as they attempt to downplay the distinction given to Jesus through the virgin birth, but orthodox belief demands it. Sinners are born through Adam (Rom 5.12-21), and Jesus came about by other means. Thus, he could rightly claim later Satan “hath nothing in me” (John 14.30).[iv]

The reason that this is important is that the “seed of the woman” is the one who will crush the serpents head. Something only one in perfect union with the heavenly Father could do (John 10.30).

Again, we see a dualistic approach used here in the text. Both physical and spiritual aspects are stressed. All of life is spiritual. Humanity has spiritual value in their acts and state of being; either positively or negatively.

Genesis 4: Cain and Abel

Different Types…

We find this understanding not long after the decree of God in Genesis 3. Two offspring came by “the help of the Lord” (Gen 4.1). The first was Cain, the second was Abel. At first glance both children of Adam and Eve were indistinguishable.  What defined the two offspring was their dealing with God. One acted in faith towards the Lord, the other did not. One loved the Lord God, the other did not. One was found in the Lord, the other was not.

The result? Cain slew his brother Abel. In a sense, he struck at the heel of his brother with sinful venom that poured from his own wicked heart. In this act Cain revealed who he was truly an offspring of, as did Abel. But Abel was the true victor for he triumphed even in death (Gen 4.10; Heb 11.4); which, is a figurative strike to the serpent’s head. For thinking he won, he truly lost.

Perhaps you are wondering, “What sort of offspring is Abel? For you said that through Adam we are born of corruption being sinners, so how then is Abel revealed as anything different?”

Abel was a true offspring of the woman; whereas Cain was an offspring of the serpent. Bear in mind we are speaking of spiritual quality here, not physical.  Eve recognizing this to some decree rejoiced over her son Seth of whom she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring [Seth] instead of Abel, for Cain killed him” (Gen 4.25; cf. Luke 3.38).

This is not the first time that those who have opposed the will of God have been identified as children of snakes. One of the early themes in the gospel is that those who hate repentance, who hate obeying God, and refuse to honor His Name is that they are a “brood of vipers” (Matt 3.7; Luke 3.7). That is, children or offspring of serpents or Satan.

Jesus had the following to say to such individuals:

“Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8.43-44).

Those who are offspring of the serpent speak from “…the abundance of [their] heart” (Matt 12.34), and for them is promised an eternal “sentence to hell” (Matt 23.33).

The Cause of Different Types…

What is the cause of the different types? The short answer is natural versus supernatural birth. Or, if you prefer divine grace. The promise in Genesis 3:15 is that the offspring of the serpent would have enmity (hostility, hatred) towards the offspring of the woman, which wisdom reveals is Christ Jesus.

Grace is what enables the natural born children of Adam to be considered “types” of the seed of the woman, and only this is possible because of God’s grace in giving us the “anti-type” Jesus of whom it is said:

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoptions as sons” (Gal 4.4-5)

Apart from God’s grace we remain “types” of the seed of the serpent, and are by nature children of wrath (Eph 2.3), enemies of God (Rom 5.10), hostile to His Word (Col 1.21). By grace, we become children of God (John 1.12-13), being reconciled through the Son (Eph 2.13-16), and knowing the mind of God through the Spirit, love His commandments (1Cor 2.9-13; 1John 5.2).


[i] I am not speaking of an unbiblical form of dualism that sometimes pervades Christian thought (e.g. secular vs. spiritual categories; laymen vs. ministerial categories), but specifically the spiritual and physical aspects of reality we experience as God’s created beings, and in reading and interpreting His Word. For a discussion on this subject see: H. B. Kuhn, “Dualism” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 2nd edition, Walter A. Elwell, ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001), 357.

[ii] I cannot stress the importance of understanding biblical types and anti-types enough at this point. A type is a shadow, a symbolic representation of another; whereas, the anti-type is the image that the type is meant to reflect. This hermeneutical tool is vital to the biblical exegete if they want to draw deeper meaning from the text. Those that fail to notice them, often struggle with identifying categories and a proper understanding of the symbolic/figurative nature of God’s Word in key areas. E.g. Passover Lamb in Exodus 12 is a type of covering found in the anti-type Jesus of Nazareth identified as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1.29, 36) in relation to his crucifixion and the institution of the Last Supper rite (Matt 26.17-29).

[iii] I am merely speaking from the vantage point of Gen 3:15. That is the reason for my future tense. However, the fact is this event has already past, since Christ was victorious on the cross at driving the death blow against the vile serpent of old (cf. John 12.31).

[iv] Merrill G. Tenney admits that the KJV’s reading is the stronger reading that gets closest to the original of the NIV and other texts like the ESV whose reading emphasis “on me” instead of “in me.” The Greek en can be translated “on” rather than “in,” but the reason Satan “has no claim” (ESV) or “has no hold” (NIV) “on Jesus” is because unlike the rest of humanity Jesus was born without sin. The Living Word who put on flesh like the rest of us was/is distinct from us as He had no inner propensity/desire to sin. See: Merrill C. Tenney, “John,” in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary with New International Version: John and Acts, Vol 9, Frank E. Gaebelein, ed., (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1981), 149, ft.note 30.

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