The Serpent

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 6, 2018 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

In most any culture, the serpent is a symbol of lying, cunning, deceit, and wickedness. To those raised in a Christian background, the image of a serpent will immediately invoke images of Genesis 3 and the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. The idea of an actual talking snake seems ludicrous to many, but the ironic thing is that such a notion is precisely what a lying, deceiving, cunning creature would want believed about him: that he's just a myth or a fable. This post is about who the Great Enemy, the Serpent, or Satan is.

There are two major fallacies regarding Satan going on, which C.S. Lewis articulated well. One I just mentioned, to treat him as a mythical entity. The other is the reverse: instead of treating him like a myth, you treat him with so much attention that you see him behind every bush. Both sides are dangerous. Satan is not behind every evil thing that happens; he often lets man do his own thing. If anything at all, he usually just needs to plan a trigger to let sin take its course. At the same time, he is a very active being, looking for any way or means to deceive each society so they do not seek the Lord. It is never wise to neglect the devil, nor is it wise to take him lightly. While Satan is out to deceive mankind, he actually has numerous roles to play in this world.

The most notable role he is known for is the Accuser. Satan actually has a formal job for the King of Kings as an Accuser. That's what his name means. Many have described him as a prosecuting attorney. In Job, Satan accused Job for only following God when things went well, and he accused God of having to bribe his people for following him. Satan spends much time before the throne of Heaven accusing the saints to him for all the sins we have done. When he's not accusing us of our sins to God, he's accusing us to our face through thoughts, others, and our emotions. To God, he is very specific about his accusations, but to us, he rarely if ever is specific. He wants us to feel guilty, but never with knowledge of what to do about it.

Satan has more roles than just as an accuser. He is a deceiver. When he spoke to Eve, he offered something: "I know things that God is withholding from you." He didn't say that directly, but he said, "your eyes will be open and you will be like God." He gives special knowledge - false knowledge. His other popular name is the ex-angel of light, Lucifer (which is the Latin translation from the original Hebrew). Hebrew names are interesting because they are often given to reflect the situation they were born in or to be a picture of the kind of life they would have. Joshua is the "man of salvation," the same name as Jesus. Jacob means "deceiver, hell-grabber, and supplanter." That's exactly what kind of life he lived for at least 91 years before he wrestled with God.

But sometimes, Hebrew names are the opposite of what their lives were to reveal. Absalom means "father of peace" and he was anything but peaceful. The same is true with Lucifer. The name is 'angel of light,' but it is not true light but false light. It is not light at all. Satan always promises knowledge that "God withholds from us" yet it is anything but. In Revelation 2, Jesus gave a message to Thyatira and praised the remnant who did not listen to the doctrine of Jezebel nor heeded the "depths of Satan."

Satan uses this false knowledge to deceive. He is a murderer from the beginning and is the father of lies. Every lie originates from him. A lie is not merely the complete opposite of truth; it is often a partial truth. The best deceptions are actually mostly true, with just a little lie mixed in there. The best lies speak the language of the truth. Deceivers will use the same terminology, use the same key phrases, make the same proclamations, and do everything they can to say they agree to the same tenants as the truth. Yet, there is something deadly wrong with it. Often it is a focus on man and what he gets out of it. There are others but that is for another time.

Satan is a master psychologist, an expert observer. He has watched mankind for 6000 years and pays very close attention to every action we take. He does not know our thoughts, but he very well knows how one thought leads to another and eventually to action. He knows how to get ideas planted into heads and getting people to believe them enough to take action. He knows how to push buttons and he knows how to get people to fight each other, all the while presenting a solution which he intended to get people to believe all along. He knows how to manipulate group discussions to turn against anyone who dares to stand and speak for truth. You will never be able to outsmart him. He knows you and he knows Scripture better than any of us could dream of knowing. However, all his knowledge and "wisdom" is nothing when put against the knowledge of God. We have access to the mind of Christ and as long as we tap into his mind, wielding the sword of the Spirit as Christ did when tempted in the wilderness, we can silence any lie he makes. We who stand upon the truth, agree with it, and let God do our fighting for us, can defeat any attack of Satan to brainwash us (and yes, I mean that).

Satan has one more role I'll address and this shows what kind of knowledge and power he actually has. He is God's messenger boy. Satan, in all his planning, plotting, and strategizing to trip us up and stop God's work, ends up being the catalyst and the bringing out of that work. Little illustrates this better than the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus. In all Satan's planning to kill Jesus and getting Judas to betray him, all he ended up doing was fulfilling the Scripture of how Jesus was to die. Then to top it off, he sought to cut off any attempt for anyone to claim Jesus rose from the dead, so he set it all up so any fraudulent claim could be falsified. He ordered the tomb guarded and sealed and shot himself in the foot while doing so. All his plans to stop the Resurrection from being claimed did was validate the claim of the Resurrection for 2000 years and counting. He has tried to dismiss it with all these hoax claims, yet he himself prevented them from being plausible. If Satan truly understood what he was doing, he never would have crucified Jesus. He is plotting his final rebellion against God and all he will do in that process is fulfill Scripture and pave the way for Jesus' glorious return.

Satan is a very real enemy. He is a defeated foe who does not yet recognize nor acknowledge his defeat. But he is still defeated nonetheless. We need to remind him of that. We cannot go and fight him in our own strength and power, but if we turn to the shepherd, Jesus Christ, and hide in his shadow at his ankle, we cannot be touched. Do not fear him, yet do not take him lightly either. He will receive his just due when all comes to an end. Do not listen to his voice but heed only the True Voice, the voice of God.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.