THE OLD SERPENT – a devotion for 7 October 2016 Anno Domini
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Rev 12:7-9 (KJV)
Mankind generally bears an innate disdain for the serpent from the old days of Eden, and the deception of the serpent to which Eve fell into temptation and transgression. In fact, Eve said that the Serpent ‘beguiled’ her – another term for ‘seduced.’ Just what the nature of that seduction was, we may not know until the return of the Lord. The serpent, or snake, is a devious and deceptive creature. It lies in hiding for its victim and often strikes without warning or provocation. But man can avoid the serpent’s bite by taking due precaution in avoiding those places commonly frequented by snakes. That, indeed, was Eve’s grave mistake.
It is apparent that Adam had counselled Eve on God’s commandment against partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil because she accurately related that counsel to the Serpent in the Tree. Before Eve was formed, God warned Adam: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Gen 2:16-17 (KJV) When tempted of the Serpent, Eve repeated this counsel: “And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” Gen 3:2-3 (KJV) It is abundantly clear from these texts that Eve had heard the words of God concerning the ill-winded Tree. This may bear out the truth that truths learned directly from the Lord (Bible Study) can be more convincing than those that are merely heard repeated by another.
But Eve made many missteps in partaking of the forbidden fruit: 1) She walked where she should not have walked. If youth avoid the bars and saloons of life, they will be less likely to fall for the addiction of alcohol. If lewd and pornographic magazine are not gleaned, the addiction to porn is less likely. But Eve walked her way into the direct path of temptation by going to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. 2) She stopped where she should not have stopped. Perchance our journey is forced to enter into paths that offer temptation and evil, it is best to keep walking and avoid contact with the evil eye. 3) She listened to a voice she should not have heard. “…Andhe said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Gen 3:1 (KJV) 4) Eve responded to a voice that she should not have listened to: “And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” Gen 3:2-3 (KJV) 5) Eve communed with that Serpent in the Tree: “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Gen 3:4-5 (KJV)
6) Eve allowed herself to be deceived by the voice and the temptation of the Tree: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Gen 3:6 (KJV) Modern evangelistic schemes prove that pride is the best tool of the false-prophet charlatans that are leading silly women astray. “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Tim 3:2-7 (KJV) If this last text does not precisely describe the modern church, I do not know where we would find more accurate ones.
Eve was deceived, and Adam was NOT deceived. “ For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” 1 Tim 2:13-14 (KJV) Trust is a strong characteristic as long as that trust is invested in truth and righteousness’ but Eve trusted a voice contrary to that of God. That kind of trust is wrong-minded. The heart of a woman is generally more trusting of all voices than that of stubborn man. This is usually a good quality, but it can be devastating as in the case of Eve. This is one reason, I believe, that Jesus did not choose women among the disciples as Apostles. It is a reason that we do not ordain women to the ministry. Neither, apparently, did Paul. He prefaced the above text with his justification for not allowing the woman to preach or exercise authority over the male ministry: “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” 1 Tim 2:12 (KJV)
As we will all readily admit, Adam was a type and shadow of Christ. He is the progenitor of all mortal mankind. Christ is the progenitor of all spiritually reborn mankind who are the elect of God. “ And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” 1 Cor 15:45 (KJV) Adam is also an anti-type of Christ because in Adam, we inherit sin and death; but in Christ, we receive eternal life and imputed righteousness.
By the way, if Adam was not deceived, why did he follow Eve in partaking of the forbidden fruit? Any ideas? I believe that, since Adam is a type of Christ, that he loved his wife enough to share her fate in death. Of course, Jesus bore our sins and redeemed His bride, the Church, from death so that she could share in His resurrection.
Well, that old Serpent of Eden has been crawling about in the dust and dirt of the earth ever since Adam’s fall. He ruled in the heart of the multitudes that perished before Noah’s Day. He ruled in the heart of Pharaoh of Egypt. He has engineered wars and all sorts of social evils such as drug abuse, slavery of all forms, murder, rape, abortion, and the reprobate notion that homosexual marriage can be justified before God. He is very active today in the Middle East where young children are mercilessly beheaded, some little girls raped even before that beheading. How evil can Allah be! Of course, since he is the personification of the Serpent (Devil), he does that which is his natural inclination. That Serpent ruled in Babylon, in Rome, in Paris, in Berlin, in Moscow, and finally has reared his scepter in Washington, D.C.
The Serpent, being the personification of abject sin, was a symbol to be lifted up on a pole in the Wilderness so that the Children of Israel could look to their sins crucified and be healed of the fiery serpent’s bite. Jesus, having taken upon Himself all of the sins of the world at His crucifixion, was the full realization of that brazen serpent in the wilderness: “ And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:14-15 (KJV)
Precisely when Lucifer was exiled from Heaven is a matter of deep speculation on the part of erudite theologians (whatever that is), but to us, it is not a matter of grave concern. It is enough to know that he is among and has been among us from Eden till today. His demonic angels are among us as well and report to their field commander, Satan. “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Rev 12:7-9 (KJV)
The Devil is an enemy of God, and therefore, an enemy to all humanity that was created by God. His all-consuming desire is to destroy all that God has created. He takes many subtle approaches to that objective. Unjust wars are tools he uses; disease (especially sexually transmitted disease) is a toll of the Devil. Abortion is a growing tool he uses to diminish the human race that God perpetuated through families. More innocent babies have been murdered in the mother’s womb since 1973 than all of the wars (on both sides) in which America has participated. Homosexuality is another prime tool he uses to diminish the human race. Adam and Steve cannot go forth and multiply consistent to the very first commandment given to Man by God Almighty. Having created them male and female, God issued His first order: “God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Gen 1:28 (KJV) Homosexuality is an abominable sin that flies in the face of the Creation Model of God for Marriage.
Ministers and evangelists take vacations, but the Old Serpent never takes a vacation and never sleeps. He is constantly on the prowl to destroy the youthful innocent, the aged bard, and the virtuous mother. Take to heart the counsel of God in 1 Peter 5: 8-9 “ Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9 (KJV) Had Eve resisted instead of acceding to the devil, she would not bear the responsibility of her transgression.