It is very apparent to any one who has read thoughtfully through the Old Testament that the First Advent of our Lord did not exhaust the burden and scope of the numerous predictions which had been made concerning Him. Many of the things foretold of Israel's Messiah were not accomplished during the days when He tabernacled among men. Many of the promises found in God's Word connected with the Person of Christ, still await their ratification. While it is true that the First Advent of the Lord Jesus literally and remarkable fulfilled many of the Old Testament prophecies concerning Him, yet, it is also true that many others were not then fulfilled. To several of these we shall now call our readers attention.
|And I will put enmity between thee (the |serpent|) and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel| (Gen.3:15). There is much in this remarkable verse which we cannot now consider in detail, yet we will endeavor to present an outline of its contents. This is not a single prophecy but a compound one and at least seven separate predictions are included in it: --
First, the woman is to have a seed: as we know, this pointed forward to our Lord's humanity. Second, He was to be peculiarly the woman's |seed,| not the man's, hence we read, |When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman| (Gal.4:4, Greek). Third, the woman's |Seed| was to bruise the Serpent: in other words, Satan was to be His particular antagonist. Fourth, He was to bruise the Serpent's head. Fifth, He Himself was to be bruised in the |heel| by the Serpent; and hence it is written, He was |bruised for our iniquities| (Is.53:5). Sixth, there was to be |enmity| between the Serpent and the one who gave birth to the |Seed,| namely Israel (cf. Rev.12:1-6). And then, after making mention of the enmity between the Serpent and the woman, we read, Seventh, |And between thy seed -- the Serpent's |seed,| i.e., the Son of Perdition -- and her |Seed.| In other words, this agelong |enmity| was to head up in a conflict between the Antichrist and the true Christ. For our present purpose it is sufficient to single out the fourth and fifth of the above items, which, in their historical order, have been reversed.
|Thou shalt bruise His heel.| That old Serpent the Devil was to be permitted to attack the wound the only vulnerable part of our Lord's person -- His humanity, here intimated by the word |heel.| How this portion of the prophecy was fulfilled our readers will know. No sooner was the Lord Jesus born in Bethlehem of Judaea than the |Dragon| sought to encompass His destruction (Rev.12:4). Immediately following His baptism, which was the inauguration of His public ministry, He was tempted or |tried| by the Devil for forty days (Mark 1:13). On the eve of His crucifixion our Lord expressly declared, |This is your hour, and the Power of Darkness: (Luke 22:53). Thus was Satan allowed to bruise the |heel| of the woman's Seed.
But we also read, |It shall bruise thy head,| that is, Christ shall bruise Satan's |head.| The head is the seat and source of power, and in the Scripture we are now considering is placed in sharp antithesis with the |heel| of the woman's Seed. Stripped of its prophetic symbolism, it can only mean that Christ is to depose Satan and reduce him to a state of impotency. This interpretation is fully confirmed in Rev.20 where we learn that a day is coming when the Devil shall be bound and cast into the Bottomless Pit to remain there securely confined throughout the Millennial Era. What we now desire to emphasize particularly is, that, this part of the Edenic prophecy was not fulfilled when our Lord was upon earth before, and has not yet been fulfilled. Therefore, if this prediction is be realized our Lord must return to this earth and deprive the Devil of his power, for He alone is competent for such a task.
Again; we read in Is.9:6, 7, |For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.| Here again we meet with a prophecy which has already received a partial fulfillment, but which has not yet been completely realized. Unto Israel a Child was |born,| unto Israel a Son was |given;| but, during the days of His First Advent the |government| for He is not yet seated upon His own|throne: (see Rev.3:21). Observe particularly that, above, it is repeated |of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.| His |government| and |peace| are inseparably connected. The latter part of this prophecy therefore looks forward to the time of His Second Advent, for |When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory| (Matt.25:31). Then will it be that He shall inaugurate a Reign of Peace, for then it shall be (and not till then) that |He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more| (Micah 4:3). Thus we see that the declarations of the Prophetic Word require and necessitate the personal return of Christ to this earth, for only thus and only then will they be literally and completely fulfilled. Many other Old Testament predictions could be cited to the same effect, but one more must suffice.
|Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, the Lord our Righteousness. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, the Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, the Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the North country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land| (Jer.23:5-8). In the first place, observe, here, that unto David (Israel) God promised to raise up a King who should reign and prosper. Without a doubt this prophecy refers to our Lord Jesus Christ who was born |King of the Jews| (Matt.2:2), for it was uttered shortly after the Jews were carried down into Babylon, since which they have had no human King. It needs no argument to prove that the terms of this prophecy were certainly not fulfilled at the time of our Lord's First Advent, for then, the Jews would not own Him, but demanded His death, and when Pilate inquired of them, |Shall I crucify your King?| (John 19:15), the leaders of the nation answered, |We have no king but Caesar.| Furthermore, this prophecy was not fulfilled when our Lord took His seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high, for note, it says that Israel's King shall |execute judgment and justice in the earth,| not |from the heavens.| Again; we observe that it declares, |In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel (the ten tribes) shall dwell safely| which certainly did not come to pass during the days of our Lord's humiliation. No; this prophecy, like scores of other Messianic predictions recorded in the Old Testament, looks forward to the time of our Lord's Second Advent to the earth, which Advent is imperative if the terms of this prophecy are to be realized.