Gnostic Doctrine

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

The word “Serpent” its symbolic meaning

The word “Serpent” its symbolic meaning



God used the word “Serpent” to symbolize disobedience and sin of man (human flesh) resulting from the desire (lust) of man’s heart (thoughts - imaginations).

Again we appeal to the Bible, for by the Word of God truth is established.

It is recorded at John 3:14-15 the words of Jesus: “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.”

Here we have a parallel drawn by Jesus, thus indicating the symbolism of the serpent. Because it was God who instructed Moses to make a “fiery serpent” and mount it on a pole, so Moses mounted a “serpent of brass” (Numbers 21:6-9). Thus signifying the method by which the serpent would be put to death (his head crushed) by the Seed of the woman (as prophesied in Genesis 3:15) brass signifying the flesh and serpent signifying the desires (lusts) of the flesh. So we see in the corpse of Jesus hanging on a tree (cross) the death of the devil (serpent) (Hebrews 3:14).

The actual putting to death “him who had power over death, the devil” was the life Jesus devoted to obedience to his Father, even to the death on the cross. This constituted the process of crushing the serpent’s head. Jesus accomplished this within himself, by his own choice, because it was his meat (desire) to perform the Father’s will (John 4:34).

When Jesus established the memorial table (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22;
Luke 22:19) he spoke only of his “body given” and his “blood shed”, in commemoration of his “death.” Paul in writing to the Corinthians, stated that this communion table is for the express purpose of “proclaiming the Lord’s DEATH until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:23-28). And Peter calls to mind the price paid for our redemption (1 Peter 1:18-19) is the DEATH of Jesus by his blood poured out.

So, in accordance with the Lord’s style of expressing his truth hid in a mystery, here we have an allegory. The Children of Israel, when wandering through the wilderness, were bitten by the little “fiery serpents” (because of disobedience and sins) which would result in death, unless and except they would (by faith) turn and look upon the “brazen serpent” hanging on a tree in order to be cured.

 So, likewise, the saints (Spiritual Israel) who are confronted daily by sins - “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8) - as they wander through the wilderness of mortal life, will reap death unless they turn by faith and behold the man hanging on the cross, where the devil (serpent) has been put to death. And so are they healed (see 1 Peter 2:21-25).


Although Jesus put to death the ‘diabolos’ within himself by the life that he lived and the death that he died, the influence of sin is still at work. However, the saints will be justified in due time by the grace of God because of Jesus’ obedience.

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