Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 17

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The theme of a serpent is foundational in our understanding of God’s works in ‘the book of the generations’ of the first Adam (Gen 1:1, 2:4, 5:1). The first time this theme is directly addressed is in Genesis 3:

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent [Hebrew: nachash] was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

The Hebrew word for serpent here is nachash, and this word connects to other things in the scriptures like dust (earth), rods, poison, a rock, a broken hedge, a wall, and the sea (Gen 3:14, Exo 4:2-3, Psa 58:4, Pro 30:19, Ecc 10:8, Amo 5:19, Amo 9:3). The only metal connected to the word nachash aids our understanding of God’s purpose with this creature:

Num 21:6 And the LORD sent fiery [Hebrew: saraph] serpents [Hebrew: nachash] among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

Num 21:8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent [Hebrew: saraph], 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.
Num 21:9 And Moses made a serpent [Hebrew: nachash] 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.

God told Moses to make a ‘fiery serpent’ or ‘saraph‘ to which ‘the [complaining and impatient] church in the wilderness’ could look for their healing or life when the poisonous snakes, which God sent, bit them (Num 21:4-9, Act 7:38). Moses made a nachash of brass which also tells us how these two Hebrew words (saraph and nachash) are connected. Jesus explained that this event ultimately points to Him dying to His own flesh (represented by the nachash of brass) to be risen up as the ‘firstfruit’ and showing or giving us the way to spirit life (Joh 3:13-17, 1Co 15:20, Gal 3:13). The link with brass is very significant in the way this serpent appeared to Adam and Eve in the garden. Shining brass has the appearance of gold, and spiritually it represents the spiritual delusions which appeal to the flesh – the heart of our problem. This serpent appeared as a shining light to impress “the children of the night” (those who live according to the principles which rule ‘flesh and blood’). The “children of the night” are open to his false enlightenment (Psa 10:9-10, Pro 12:12 a). This serpent is always properly discerned by ‘the children of the [true] light’ of Christ who are the ‘seraphims… in and around the throne’ of God who can handle the “live coals” of God (Isa 6:1-6, Rev 4:6, 1Th 5:5, Joh 1:9, Eph 1:18, 1Jn 2:8). It was indeed the “lesser light” which God appointed “to rule the night” or darkness (Gen 1:16, 3:1-5, Act 26:18, Isa 45:7):

2Co 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

The lesser light, which is represented by the moon, has no light at all. This subtle and evil serpent never had the true light or the spirit life of God, but was an evil murderer and liar from the beginning (Joh 8:44, 1Jn 3:8). The rule or guidance of the “lesser light” over all flesh is also temporary as King Hezekiah also demonstrated when he destroyed this ‘serpent of brass’ which Moses made:

2Ki 18:3 And he [Hezekiah] did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did.
2Ki 18:4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he [Hezekiah] called it Nehushtan [‘a thing of brass’ = worthless].

The scriptures cannot contradict itself as they cannot be broken (Joh 10:35). This serpent was never, as many propagate, a good spiritual creature that fell in sin by his own unscriptural ‘free’ will. Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, for example, are used by many to ‘prove’ this lie. These chapters are addressed to the kings of Babylon and Tyre respectively, who are used as symbols for our own natural high-mindedness which will eventually lead to dethronement and the grave (Eze 28:3-10, Isa 14:13-15). All symbols in those two chapters are spiritually referring to the first Adam and all those who were given carnal minds by God, including this serpent. The natural Eden symbolizes carnal ‘pleasure’, or pleasing of oneself, where all carnality takes its first steps in the process of becoming like God (Gen 2:8, Gen 4:16, Eze 28:13, Eze 31:1-9). God made everything “good” or ‘perfect’ for the purpose He wants to use it (Gen 1:4,10,12,18,21,25,31; Eze 28:12,15). However, we know the very best of the physical world, including flesh and blood, can never be ‘perfect’ or enter God’s spiritual kingdom – they are all dung and burned “without the camp” (1Co 1:29, 1Co 15:50, Exo 29:14, Php 3:8). Although physical or carnal things are in essence representing evil, mankind also serves as a ‘messenger’ of God, albeit an evil angel/cherub/seraph. God is the “Father of spirits” and all the actions of all in His creation are under His direction or ‘cover’ (Heb 12:9, Eph 1:11, Eze 28:14). If we cannot see the inward spiritual application of all the physical kings mentioned in Scripture and where their kingdoms are, then we have also not been given the eyes to see who the King of those kings is, and where His kingdom is:

Luk 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

The first Adam was a type and shadow of the ‘son of the morning’ – the negative application of the ‘morning star’ (Luk 3:38, Rom 5:14, Rev 1:8, Rev 2:28, Rev 22:16). Jesus is indeed the only true ‘son of the morning’ and the only “bright and morning star”, and no other creature can make claims to that position:

Rev 2:28 And I will give him [the spiritual overcomer] the morning star.

Rev 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

Satan was never a good angel, and He never had a proper name ‘Lucifer’ which, for example, the King James and the Latin Vulgate translations have ‘christened’ as such. Yet this error of a ‘fallen’ angel has taken a massive stronghold in the minds of many. Satan or devils ‘falling’ from heaven is very confusing and impossible for the natural mind to understand. Evil and carnal things cannot “fall” because they occupy the lowest point in God’s creation – it is called ‘death’ or ‘the pit’ (Rom 8:6, Psa 30:3, Rev 9:2). Many are also confused when they read in the Scriptures that Satan and other evil spirits operate (even making war) in the heavens:

Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Rev 12:8 And [the dragon and his angels] prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
Rev 12:9 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.

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

Satan and his angels deceive the whole [carnal] world and its heavens. This domain of deception and spiritual blindness is the initial spiritual position of Adam and his generation from the hand of the Potter (Eze 18:4, Rom 8:20, Psa 51:5). From birth our thinking and our wisdom are ‘earthly, sensual, devilish’ (Gen 2:7, 1Co 15:48-49, Jas 3:15-16). This domain is not surrendered without a ‘war in heaven’. Everyone who hears and stands for the words of truth (symbolised also by Michael and his angels) knows about this war on an intimate level (Mat 13:18-23). The parable of the sower shows the spiritual war (of words) will be won by those who fight on the side of the Word of truth, Jesus Christ. The natural man has not been equipped with spiritual weapons to make war or resist the devil. That is why the first man Adam and his generation cannot ‘stand’ against the deception or ‘rule’ of the serpent. To resist this “old serpent” takes the ‘faith of Jesus Christ’, and that only came in the ‘last Adam’ by God’s original design, “before the foundation of the world” (Joh 17:24, 1Pe 1:19-21). Only by this last Adam can we submit to God:

Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

We only overcome Satan’s wiles with spiritual weapons supplied by God through His Word which is His spirit (Joh 6:63):

2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles [Greek: ‘methodeia‘ – cunningness, trickery, deceit, craftiness] of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

The residents of the city of Capernaum in Galilee (a type of spiritual Babylon in us), were also high-minded when they saw the physical miracles in their ‘region and shadow of death’ (Mat 4:13-25). All will see that all fleshly things link with death:

Luk 10:15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell [Greek: hades = grave].

God looks at the hearts (the invisible heavens), and a new heart (new heaven) is what He is working toward. A changed heart is scriptural talk of how Satan ‘falls’ from heaven (2Co 5:17, Eze 11:19, Rom 12:1-2). This is how we use the ‘Name of Jesus’ to cast out devils as we abide in or do His doctrine:

Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

This ‘new heaven’ comes through a humbling process of fiery judgment:

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.
Rev 12:4 And his tail drew the third [the number three symbolizes the process of judgment] part of the stars [messengers/angels] 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.

At one time Jesus sent out seventy disciples, and when they returned with joy, they reported to Jesus that they have subjected devils (‘the dragon and his angels’) in His Name. Jesus affirmed them and acknowledged what they did when they proclaimed the truth of His Word:

Luk 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils [Greek: daimonion] are subject unto us through thy name.

Luk 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Luk 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions [false doctrines], and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

The subjection of Satan and his angels [Greek: daimonion] is indeed wonderful to experience, but Jesus gives a warning about that, too. This ‘fall from heaven’ of Satan is not a historic event, but should be happening daily until the end (1Co 15:31, Act 17:10-13, Act 14:22, Php 3:10-15, Rev 17:14). This links with being seated with Christ in heaven and knowing His mind which is also not a once-off occasion (1Co 2:16):

Luk 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice [now in the present], because your names are written [this verb ‘written’ is grapho and is in the Greek aorist tense] in heaven.

Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together [this verbal phrase ‘sit together’ is sugkathizo and is in the Greek aorist tense] in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

‘Names written in heaven’ is not only referring to having His mind and His ‘seat’, but it is also referring to the spiritual gift called “faith of Jesus Christ” by which we grow through trials (Eph 2:8, Rom 3:21, Gal 2:16, Gal 3:22). Through tried faith the fasting and praying is done when we ‘loose the bands’ or ‘bind on earth’. The so-called ‘binding’ of Satan has no scriptural foundation. Fasting is when we are being starved of evil and false doctrines by replacing them with the true doctrine of Christ. Then we rejoice in the trials because the trials are God’s way of giving us our ‘seat’ in heaven (Mat 6:16-18, Mat 9:14-15):

Isa 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Isa 58:7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

Mat 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Luk 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
Luk 10:34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

It is all done in heaven first before it is done on earth (Mat 6:10). Because God caused or worked all things in our heavens first, this enables us to work out our own salvation as we bind the spiritual wounds left by false teachings with His Word and true doctrine, also in others (Php 1:27, Php 3:20, 1Ti 4:12, Heb 13:5, Jas 3:15, 1Pe 3:1):

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

God will eventually destroy Satan in the lake of fire, and that is where all those with a carnal mind will be saved through God’s fiery words (Isa 65:25, Jer 5:14, Rom 8:6, 1Co 3:13-15). Satan, like all in the first man Adam, has a carnal mind which is death (Rom 8:6). All death will be “swallowed up in victory”, even taken up in the spiritual life of Jesus Christ (1Co 15:54-55). There will certainly be “no more death”:

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever [for the eons of the eons].

Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

That is why the last Adam was appointed by God to destroy ALL the works of the devil when they have concluded their purposes eventually:

1Jn 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.


[Detailed studies and emails written by Mike Vinson relating to this foundational theme in Scripture concerning the subtle serpent can be found at under the heading called ‘Satan’. Other themes referred to in this study are also available on the website, including:]

The beasts ‘in the midst… and round about the throne’ of God:

Animals In Scripture – “The Four Beasts Around God’s Throne”

The salvation of all God’s spiritual beings:

Will Satan and his Angels be Saved?

The spiritual meaning of brass (copper):

“Base Metals In Scripture – Copper (Carnal Babes In Christ)” – Part 1

“Base Metals In Scripture – Copper (The Best Flesh Has To Offer – The Judgment Of The Flesh) – Part 2

“Base Metals In Scripture – Copper (The Necessity Of Copper In Bringing Us To Christ)” – Part 3

Other related posts