Ellet J. Waggoner
The Signs of the Times : July 29, 1886
“Till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made.” Galatians 3:19. There is no question of course but that the “Seed” is Christ. The sixteenth verse plainly says so. Then what is the coming of the Seed? Some have supposed it to be Christ’s first advent, but a little study will show that the Second Advent is here spoken of. The “Seed” is never mentioned except in connection with the promise, and the promise is fulfilled only at the second coming of Christ. The following texts and argument will make this appear: —
In Genesis 3:15, the Lord, in pronouncing the curse upon the serpent (Satan), said, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; it [the Seed] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Paul, in his letter to the Romans, many years after Christ had come and had ascended to Heaven, said, “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” Romans 16:20. The bruising of a serpent’s head is its destruction; but this was not accomplished at Christ’s first advent, but was something still future. The destruction of Satan begins only at Christ’s second coming. See Revelation 20.
Again, in the promise to Abraham it was said, “And thy Seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.” Genesis 22:17. This was not fulfilled at the first advent of Christ. On the contrary he was then delivered into the hands of his enemies, and they did to him whatsoever they would. He will possess the gate of his enemies only when the following promise is fulfilled: “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psalm 2:8, 9. And this is fulfilled at Christ’s second advent, when he takes vengeance “on them that know not God and that obey not the gospel,” as is described by the revelator: —
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in Heaven, followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations; and He shall rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on his robe and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. . . . And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” Revelation 19:11-21. Thus He possesses the gate of His enemies.
Again, another part of the promise to the Seed was that he should possess the whole earth. See Psalm 2:8, 9, where the uttermost parts of the earth are promised to Christ for a possession; also see Genesis 13:14-17, and Romans 4:13. But when Christ was on earth, he possessed not so much as a place where he could lay his head. Matthew 8:20. When, however, the seventh angel sounds, then it will be said: “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ.” Revelation 11:15. The eighteenth verse says that this is at “the time of the dead, that they should be judged,” showing conclusively that it is at the second coming of Christ. Compare 2 Timothy 4:1
Still further, in the prophecy of Ezekiel the promise of the earth to Christ is directly associated with his second coming. The prophet foretells the captivity of the Jews, the succession of the four universal monarchies, and the setting up of the kingdom of God, as follows: —
“And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown; this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.” Ezekiel 21:25-27
The diadem was taken from the king of Israel when he and his people were carried away to Babylon. At that time Babylon was a universal monarchy. Then three “overturnings” are mentioned, which reach to the second coming of Christ. Thus: The first overturning made Medo-Persia a universal dominion; the second gave the dominion of the world to Grecia; and the third overturning made the empire of Rome fill the world. This was the state of things at Christ’s first advent, four hundred years later, and the prophet declared that there should be no more general revolution “until He come whose right it is.” Note the parallel between this and the clause in Galatians 3:19, which says, “Till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made.” In the light of Ezekiel 21:25-27 we think there can be no question but that in the latter passage the second coming of Christ is referred to.
Once more: The promise to the Seed was that in him all the families of the earth should be blessed. This of course could not be fulfilled as long as any wicked are in existence. But when Christ comes, sitting on the throne of His glory, to destroy sinners out of the earth, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34
From the above quotations and references it will be seen that the promises to “the Seed” are not fulfilled until the second coming of Christ; they all culminate at His second advent. It was willful forgetfulness of this fact that caused the Jews to reject Christ. They read the promises to the Seed, —promises of glorious triumph, —and applied them to the coming of the Messiah; and when they saw none of those promises fulfilled in Him, they rejected Him. Let us not, like them, fall into grievous error by referring to His first advent those promises to be fulfilled only at His second glorious coming. That was the time of His humiliation, not of His triumph. Christ then came as an offering for sin, and not as the Seed to whom the promise was made. When He comes the second time He comes as King of kings and Lord of lords; He comes to take possession of the gates of His enemies, whom He will dash in pieces as a potter’s vessel; He comes to take possession of His inheritance, even “the uttermost parts of the earth,” and to receive as His own a great multitude whom no man can number. Compare Revelation 7:9 and Genesis 13:16. In short, He comes as “the Seed to whom the promise was made.”