In recent years subliminal messaging in various media has promoted the idea that Satan works for God as an executioner of God’s judgment rather than against God’s will. It’s even accepted by some that Satan is a misunderstood victim of God’s wrath rather than an enemy that will receive punishment on Judgment day. If that’s true then why was Jesus sent to defeat him?
In Matthew 12:22-28 the Sanhedrin Council accused Jesus of working with Satan. claiming that his power to cast out demons comes from “Beelzebub” a reference to spiritual evil (Satan). Jesus responds that it doesn’t make sense for him to fight against Satan if he were working with or for him.
Mat 12:25 (NLT) Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart. 26 And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is divided and fighting against himself. His own kingdom will not survive. 27 And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said. 28 But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.
Satan is just a rebel against God, he doesn’t punish bad people specifically, but rather he hates all of us because we are made in the image of God and were put in charge of the earth (Gen 1:26-28). Jesus never sinned and Satan still came after him, so his motives are biased against the righteous. He is the one who deceived humanity in the first place and continues to deceive in order to keep people from the redemption God purchased for them (2 Corinthians 4:4). His goal is to destroy humanity, which is God’s favorite creation because we are made in his image and were given authority over the earth. The strategy is to keep people from God and kill them off before they can be saved, or if they are already in covenant with God, killing them before they can bring more people under the covenant. He knows he can’t beat God, so the only thing he can do is destroy God’s beloved out of spite by drawing people to himself so that they will be punished with him in the Lake of Fire at the end (Rev 14:9-11, Rev 20:10, Rev 21:8).
In John 10:10 Jesus said it like this: the thief (Satan) comes to still kill and destroy but the good shepherd (Jesus) came so that we (the sheep) may have life. In John 10, Jesus calls himself the shepherd (which is a reference to Ezekiel 34, and even Psalms 23). Throughout the bible, Satan and the evil empires on earth are often analogous to predatory creatures in prophetic references. There are various creatures representing Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome in Daniel 7, and a chimera Beast made up of lions, bears, and leopards, representing the anti-christ in Rev 13. In 1 Peter 5:8 Peter says the devil prowls like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. So for a complete picture of the analogy, humans are the sheep, God/Jesus functions as the shepherd, and Satan leads the predators. The predators want all the sheep, and they don’t discriminate. However, from a strategic warfare point of view, he wants the domestic (righteous) sheep more because they want to rescue the wild (unrighteous) sheep. The domestic sheep belong to the shepherd but the wild ones are exposed. These predators cannot beat the shepherd but if they can get the domestic sheep to stray from the shepherd’s presence, then they are vulnerable in the wilderness. That is why Psalms 91 says, “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” That means people who are not in the covenant (wild sheep) or those that don’t stay in a covenant (lost sheep), are ripe for the picking. Both sides, the shepherd and the devoured want the sheep, but those who stay with the shepherd are already protected.
In Gen 3:15 it says there will be enmity between the women’s seed (the righteous) and the serpent’s seed (the wicked). This was spoken by God to humanity after Adam and Eve failed in the garden. God was explaining the long-term consequences of their actions. Cain and Abel (the sons of Eve) were both the women’s seeds (or descendants) but at one point when they brought sacrifices to God, Abel’s sacrifice was counted as righteous while Cain’s was rejected (Gen 4:1-5). Jesus compared Abel to a prophet (Matt 23:35) indicating he had a more righteous character than Cain. Cain was so angry, and at that moment God warned him that sin is “crouching at the door”, but he could master it if he chose (Gen 4:6-7). Cain did not master it, he was defeated by the crouching beast called sin and killed his brother (Gen 4:8). While Cain was originally born of the woman he became the firstborn seed of the serpent. Gen 3:15 is not talking about a war between humans and snakes. The woman gives birth to all of humanity from that point so her seed is in reference to her descendants. However, the serpent (spiritual rebel from heaven) is not producing biological children but rather corrupting the seed of the women. Think of how snake venom is injected into the snake’s target. The serpent “injects” lies and temptations (like venom) into humanity (the woman’s seed) because he is trying to destroy us.
This connection is hinted at in certain remarks in the new testament. In Matt 3:7-8 John the Baptist called the corrupt Sanhedrin council a “brood of snakes”, and Matt 23:33 says to the Pharisees “Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?”. In John 8:44 Jesus calls the rebellious people “children” of their father the devil. 1 John 3:7-10 distinguishes children of God from the children of the devil (serpent’s seed). In John 1:10-14, John says the word became flesh and came to his own people (the Israelites), but they didn’t recognize him. However, anyone that does believe him will be called children of God (seed of the woman) because they are reborn by the spirit.
1 John 3:7 Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. 9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life[his seed] is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers[his brothers] does not belong to God.
Seeds of the serpent will inherit the serpent’s punishment but the seed of the woman will be joint-heirs with Jesus and will inherit eternal life. The woman is God’s wife which is a reference to Israel in the old testament and the Church in the new, and her seed then, are the children of God. Only those who are believers living by God’s spirit are children of God and are joint heirs of the kingdom along with Jesus. They will inherit the blessings that God promises and share in Jesus’ glory, but they will also share in his persecution and suffering (John 1:10-13, 1 John 3:9-10, Rom 8:7-17). Paul sums this up in Galatians 6:7-8, by saying, those who sow into the spirit reap eternal life but those who sow into the flesh reap corruption. Rember the messiah came to attack and bruise the serpent’s head, not the serpent’s seed. Those who belong to the serpent can be rescued and reunited with their true father God. Seeds of the serpent are simply captives of the serpent and God wants to save them all that is why sent Jesus because he loves the world which includes both seeds (John 3:16). The bruising of the serpent loosened his grip on those who are his slaves, so they can be free. However, if they don’t choose to leave, they will inherit his punishment on judgment day. If they take pride in being his children then they will inherit his reward (John 3:18-21).