Satan declared war on God when he attempted to overthrow God long before Adam and Eve were here. We believe Satan whose name was Lucifer lived on the planet Earth ruling over all of God’s angels. There was plant and animal life plus all of God’s angels. Lucifer planned an invasion of heaven taking a third of God’s angels with him.
Isaiah the prophet tells us, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High (Isaiah 14:12-14).”
Satan aspired to be like unto God. He rebelled against his Creator, and left the earth waste and void and without form as we find it in Genesis 1:2. But God restored this ruined earth and placed another (Adam) over His creation and gave Adam the dominion that Lucifer once held. This man who now held sway over god’s earth became the target of Satan’s vicious attack and Satan succeeded. Man came under the curse of the Almighty God when he sinned in the Garden of Eden. But God thwarted the ultimate victory of Satan, and revealed a plan of redemption whereby Satan would be ultimately defeated.
God made His declaration in Genesis 3:15. God spoke to Satan and said, “And I will 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.”
War is declared on Satan. We are told that the head of the serpent would be crushed and complete victory for the seed of the woman would follow. War is declared and Satan now learns how he will be defeated. The seed of the woman is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. This phrase “the seed of the woman” indicated unmistakably the fact that this coming Redeemer and this coming seed would have a human mother, but not a human father. The reference is to the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Satan’s only hope of victory lay in the prevention of this “seed of the woman” from being born, or to destroy it after it did come. If Satan could only interrupt the line of this coming promised seed, who is Christ, and prevent His coming, he would gain the victory without even a battle.
So now Satan concentrates on the birth of the children in the line of the seed of this coming Redeemer. Satan’s first attempt was when Eve gave birth to her first two sons, Cain and Abel. In Genesis 4:1 we read, “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and saith, I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Literally Eve says, “I have gotten the man, even Jehovah.” Eve evidently believed that Cain, her first-born, was already the promised seed. But Satan knew that Abel was to be in the line of the seed, and so he uses Cain to destroy Abel, the supposed promised seed, believing that in this way he could defeat God’s promise of Genesis 3:15.
We know that the murder of Abel was Satan inspired because we read in I John 3:12, “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother.” God gives Eve another child Seth through whom the Messiah would come. He also banishes Cain to the land of Nod. This is just one in a whole series of attempts by Satan to thwart God’s plan.
In Genesis chapter six we learn how Satan caused the whole human race to become corrupt except for one man and his family. This was through the systematic breakdown of the home using marriages of believers with unbelievers. The whole human race had to be destroyed except for Noah and his family. They were the only believers left on the earth.
Next at the Tower of Babel in Genesis chapter eleven, again the human race is corrupted through a political religious system that God thwarted by the confusion of tongues that caused them to scatter abroad. Again one man is singled out as the one through whom the Messiah would come. Abraham was told that he would be the one.
Christ was to come through Abraham. “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).” But Sarah was unable to have a child. We believe that Satan had shut up her womb. God miraculously intervened and Sarah conceived and bore Isaac.
Isaac married Rebecca and she was also barren. Genesis 25:21 says, “And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebecca his wife conceived.” Satan again attempted to prevent this child from being born and God overruled.
Jacob and Esau were born to Rebecca and Isaac. Jacob was the one through whom the Messiah would come. Later we see Esau attempt to kill Jacob. Again Satan wants to prevent the Messiah from being born.
Satan tries to destroy the whole nation of Israel in Egypt. Pharaoh, a type of antichrist, orders all males to be killed. Again God intervenes and raised up Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.
At one point in Israel’s history, Satan was successful in killing “all the seed royal of the house of Judah.” One boy was hidden in the temple for six years during this awful threat. II Chronicles 22:10-12 tells us that Joash was spared. He was the only person on the earth through whom the Messiah could come.
Later in history during the time of Esther, Satan uses a man named Haman to make a decree to kill all Jews young and old, including women and children in one day. Read Esther chapter three. God used the woman Esther and Mordecai to spare the nation.
Satan is the prince of the power of the air. I am sure that he was well aware of Gabriel’s visit from heaven to Nazareth. The devil’s search had ended for Mary was the one who would bare the Messiah. Perhaps Satan inspired Caesar Augustus to make a decree for the entire world to be taxed in their own city where they were born. Mary as a result had to make a very difficult and dangerous journey through mountainous country for over one hundred miles to reach Bethlehem. She was great with child and so we believe that this was another attempt of Satan to prevent the birth of the Messiah–the seed of the woman. There were robbers and thieves along the highways in those days that would often kill or leave for dead their victims.
One of the most ruthless attempts of Satan was the edict of Herod to kill all of the babies two years old and younger in Bethlehem and in all the coasts thereof. Revelation 12:4 tells us, “…and the dragon (Satan) stood before the woman (Israel) which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child (Jesus Christ) as soon as it was born.”
There were also numerous attempts to kill Christ during His earthly ministry. Finally Satan used Judas Iscariot to betray Christ which led to the cross. Satan must have thought he had the victory over his enemy the Lord Jesus Christ. Little did Satan realize that Christ’s death set the whole human race free from the penalty of sin and death. Also, that death could not hold Christ in the grave.
Jesus is the One who said, “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive forevermore (Revelation 1:18).” Also, “Verily, verily, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life (John 6:47).”