Readings: Genesis 3, Isa. 14:12:17
1. SYMBOLS / ICONS
Men of all nations use signs, symbols and icons to illustrate and convey ideas and messages. For example:
2. LEVIATHAN THE SERPENT
This morning I want to tell of the deadliest symbol of all, the serpent! The 'serpent' symbolises Satan the Devil. In ordinary warfare a general would win few battles if he didn't understand his enemy. Ignorance of the enemy's strengths and weaknesses could spell disaster. It is the same in spiritual warfare. Ignorance of the Devil, the constraints he works under, his strong points and the tactics he employs could all prove fatal. Notice what the Scriptures say about Satan's power to deceive.
|Rev.12:||9: And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent,
called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the
3. SATAN'S DECEPTION
Have you ever looked into the eyes of a snake? Next time you visit a Zoo do so and you will be surprised. Unlike a cow's, dog's or bird's eyes, the eyes of a snake tell of cold intelligence; just like the eyes of a criminal. A snake looks at you as though it were sizing you up; as though it knows exactly what you are thinking and that were it not for the cage, it could and would kill you in a moment. Satan is like that. He can size us up in an instant; and were it not for Yahweh's protection, Satan could kill us all in a flash. Satan's main weapons are blatant falsehood, innuendo, insinuation and doubt. His first attack on mankind was to plant a doubt in Eve's mind:
In other words: Is that what God really said? Are you sure
He is telling you all the facts?
How can you be certain that He's not keeping you in ignorance about something important? Perhaps He fears you will become like Him; or even overtake Him in knowledge and wisdom? And since knowledge is power, perhaps God is afraid that you will overtake Him in power? Have you considered that possibility?
Eve was taken in with Satan's reasoning; especially when
We all know what happened. From the very moment Eve began to doubt God's Word, she was on the slippery slope to death. It is exactly the same today. Those who begin to doubt the Word of God are on extremely dangerous ground.
Satan's greatest temptations concern the divinity of Jesus Christ and the real message of the Word of God? Is Jesus really God's Son, God Incarnate? God in human flesh?
And can we trust the Word of God when it says that He is?
|Matt.4:||1: Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness
to be tempted of the devil. |
2: And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3: And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4: But he answered and said, IT IS WRITTEN, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5: Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6: And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7: Jesus said unto him, IT IS WRITTEN again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8: Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9: And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10: Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for IT IS WRITTEN, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Here we have three temptations and in all three Jesus answered
with the Word of God:
'It is written.' 'It is written.' 'It is written.' Do you suppose that was a coincidence?
The subject concerning how Satan has twisted and misquoted the Real Word of God is answered in our article Bible Versions.
Satan is also a Master at camouflage. He has convinced billions of people that he doesn't even exist. He has even managed to remove the only reference to his real name 'Lucifer' from modern translations of the Bible.
|Isa:14:||12: 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!|
4. SATAN'S WAR WITH JESUS CHRIST
The result of Eve and Adam's doubt was enmity. Not just enmity between God and Satan, that already existed; but enmity:
This enmity will only cease when Satan is taken out of the way.
|Gen.3:||15: 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.|
This enmity separates those who believe the Word of God from those who doubt it. Satan's doubt will result in his expulsion from heaven. He will be driven out of heaven with the evil angelic host who have joined him in his doubt and rebellion. When that happens Satan will be confined to earth; and it will be here on earth that he will make his last stand against the written and living Word of God!
|Rev.12:|| 3: And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and
behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns,
and seven crowns upon his heads. |
4: And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
5: And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
6: And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
7: And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8: And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9: 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.
5. SATAN'S SINS / PRIDE & GREED
Satan is guilty of many sins; but the worst sin, his first and greatest sin, was and still is - pride!
But Satan is about to be humbled before the entire universe. Job chapter 41 is about Leviathan the crooked serpent. That chapter symbolically describes Satan the Devil. It ends with these words:
|Job 41:||34: He beholdeth all high things; he is a king over all the children of pride.|
Satan's pride drove him to think that he was better than the LORD God who created him. Satan used his position as one of the covering cherubim to amass great possessions, wealth and power. The vehicle Satan used to achieve his goal was merchandise, trade, commodities, money, stocks and shares! These are the tools of his trade. Note these verses:
|Eze.28:||11: Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
12: Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
13: Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created
14: Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15: Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
16: By the multitude of thy MECHANDISE they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
6. SATAN'S DOWNFALL & DEATH
Once an extremely handsome and exalted angel in heaven, Satan's pride overcame him. Once he was blessed. Now he is cursed and driven from the presence of the Almighty. Satan's day is almost ended and he knows it.
Satan's is Cursed
|Gen.3:||14: And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field...|
Satan is Humiliated
|Gen.3:||14: ... Upon thy belly thou shalt go: and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.|
|Psa.72:||9:... and his enemies shall lick the dust.|
Satan has offspring. They are likened to serpents, vipers! Their main objective in life is to exercise authority and power over others and to gain advantage by making merchandise of spiritual things. They have turned religion into a money-making business, a racket! They are a generation of vipers!
|Matt.21:|| 12: And Jesus went into the temple of God, and
cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew
the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them
that sold doves, |
13: And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
|Matt:3:||7:But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?|
|Matt:23:||33: Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?|
A Short Time
|Rev:12:||12: Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.|
Satan's Imprisonment in the Bottomless Pit
When Jesus Christ returns to earth Satan will be imprisoned in the Bottomless Pit and held there during the millennium, the 1000 year Reign of Peace.
|Rev.20:||1: And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having
the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his
2: And he laid hold on the dragon that old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.
3: And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up and set a seal upon him that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed for a little season.
the Lake of Fire!
After the millennium Satan will be released from the bottomless pit. He will then go forth on his final spree of deception. He will then convince the unbelieving host (resurrected at that second resurrection) that he was the one who brought them back to life. Having believed Satan all their lives, they will again believe his word and join him in an all out battle against God and His people. This futile attempt will end with Satan and his followers being cast into the lake of fire!
|Rev.20:||7: And when the thousand years are expired, Satan
shall be loosed from his prison. |
8: And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9: And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.
10: And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
To be sure Satan has hurt the Son of God. He has bruised his heel. But in the final analysis it will Satan who will have suffered the death blow. The seed of the woman (Jesus Christ) will bruise Satan's head. This means that Christ will put Satan to death!
|Gen.3:||15: ... It (the seed of the woman, the Messiah) shall bruise thy (Satan's) head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.|
Yes Satan is scheduled for death, eternal death, death from which
he will never return!
The Bible tells us that Satan is to be burned to ashes! I can almost hear people say: 'Isn't Satan immortal?' 'How can he possible die? He's an angel and angels don't die.'
The fact is, Satan is not immortal. He is going to die a horrible death in the 'Lake of Fire' and he knows it. The Bible tells us that God only hath immortality (1 Tim.6:16). Let's find out what the Bible says about Satan's death.
|Eze.28:|| 17: Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty,
thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I
will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that
they may behold thee. |
18: Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I WILL BRING THEE TO ASHES upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
19: All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and NEVER SHALT THOU BE ANY MORE.
|Isa:27:||1: In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong
sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan
that crooked serpent; and he shall SLAY the dragon that is in
7. THE SERPENT'S STING & THE ANTIDOTE
The whole human race has been stung by the fiery Serpent Satan. It's a fatal sting; but there is one cure. If you fail to apply that cure, you will most certainly die. That cure is to look to the Saviour, Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah.
What this means is that the Lord Jesus Christ shouldered the sins of humanity as though they were His own sins! And though in Himself He was sinless, yet by the very act of shouldering man's sins He appeared to Almighty God His Father as a sinful serpent worthy of death! This almost incomprehensible spiritual transaction was dramatised in the following story.
|Numbers 21:||5: And the people spake against God, and against
Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in
the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water;
and our soul loatheth this light bread. |
6: And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
7: Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
8: And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
9: And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
|John 3:|| 14: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
even so must the Son of man be lifted up: |
15: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
What does this all mean to us living on the brink of the 21st century? It means this:
Once you put your faith in the Saviour, you need never fear the fiery serpent again; nor his offspring the 'brood of vipers,' that is, those who make merchandise of religion and who are described in Scripture as the 'children of the Devil.
|Luke.10:||19: Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.|
|James 4:||7: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.|
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