As the Lord tarries, and this apostasy continues its inevitable growth, the battle for the Bible (to borrow the title of Lindsell’s fine book) is going to intensify. More and more Evangelical scholars will buy the Serpent’s lie of the neo-orthodox view of Holy Scripture, and the truth of God will be turned into mythology. While there’s still time, and some people left who might still actually believe what the Bible says, we examine the Devil’s two oldest–and most effective–lies.

The Ambiguity Of The Scriptures

In the latest issue of Christianity Today we read yet another ridiculous thing coming to us in the name of Christianity:

Leaders of the 4.9-million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ECLA) came to Orlando in August for their biennial Churchwide Assembly determined not to let differences on homosexuality divide them, as they have other mainline Protestant denominations.

“I do not believe for us as Lutherans, human sexuality is a church-defining or church-dividing issue,” ECLA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson said, “We can live with some ambiguity about these questions.”

“Some ambiguity?” It is written: You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination… If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13, KJV). And those who would pervert God’s creation are not even able to run for the New Testament to hide – Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women… Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders (Romans 1:26b-27a; 1 Corinthians 6:9).

Pardon me “Bishop” Hanson, but that doesn’t really sound too ambiguous to me; but this is just how absurd things are becoming within the Evangelical Christian community in this One Nation Under Delusion. And I have a couple of other verses of Scripture that “brother” Hanson should consider as well, since he decided to accept the position of “Presiding Bishop” over this ECLA travesty in the glorious Name of Christ. James 3:1 – Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. And Jesus Himself said – “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves.” (Luke 17:1-3a)

The Worship Of The Snake

To find out how a once Christian denomination can fall so far–yet another indication of this growing apostasy– we must begin in Genesis 3. And here we’re going to see Satan’s two oldest lies to mankind; sadly, as you can plainly see above, he is still getting away with them. So as we focus the ultra-precision laser-beam light of God the Holy Spirit on the Devil’s two oldest lies, let‘s also be looking at how we might be able to put this information to use. Ask ourselves: What can we learn for our own edification; and what can we learn to enlighten others as we share our faith in Christ with them?

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the other wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the Garden?’” The women said to the serpent, “We may eat from the trees in the Garden, but God did say, “You must not eat from the tree that is in the middle of the Garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-5)

We now know all too well the misery that would be brought into God’s “good” creation when Eve disobeyed God, and her knucklehead of a husband would follow suit. Now obviously I say that in jest. For I am fully aware that neither I–nor you–would have been any kind of match for the Devil either. And we all have the track record of “knuckleheaded” decisions to prove it! There’s a quick point I’d like to make concerning this passage of Genesis 3, so that no one gets stuck on this idea that Satan spoke through the snake here.

You may hear comments like – “You Christians believe that a snake talked; what a ridiculous kind of faith.” I suggest that you might say something like the following in return – “Really now, you skeptical postmoderns believe that this universe suddenly popped out of nowhere–all by itself–and that non-life became life. It sure looks to me like you need faith either way mon ami. If I were you, I’d check out the claims of Jesus Christ of Nazareth in the New Testament because the Master said that He was there when all these things occurred.”

While commenting on this passage on Genesis 3 Dr. Allen Ross brings out this salient idea:

there may well be a polemical element here, for the serpent [would later end up being] worshipped by pagans. Their symbol of life was in fact the [very] cause of death [entering God’s creation.] Divinity is not achieved (the promise of Satan here [in Genesis] 3:5) by following pagan beliefs and symbols. That is [actually] the way of death, not of life” (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, OT, p.32, emphasis added).

Let me share a little more insight into this matter from my own experience in dealing with those in non-Christian cults. We can see all around us that there are peoples today who still worship the serpent/snake. So let’s stop and think about this, the very fact that the snake was originally being worshipped by the pagan cultures all around the ancient tribes of Israel is actually a very strong indication that this account of the fall of man is to be taken literally.

We should also remember that Moses didn’t write Genesis until many years after this event had taken place. Now this account may have been given to him by direct revelation from the Lord, but more likely God the Holy Spirit oversaw Moses as he compiled and edited other writings–possibly on tablets written by Adam himself. The discovery of clay tablets at Ebla that date from before the time of Moses does raise this as a very real possibility.

That aside, the fact is that as time rolled on and mankind spread out over the earth and reproduced, the harmful effects of God’s curse against man’s sin would eventually take its unavoidable root. And as mankind became more debased by the sinful nature they began to lose the truths concerning Who God really is; and what is generally missed in this discussion is that the human race, we also have forgotten just who our bitter enemy–Satan–really is. This knowledge–which Adam and Eve obviously possessed–was corrupted over time by their progeny as sin would darken their natures even further. Can you see how this would be?

Now, the very idea that pagan man would choose a serpent as a symbol of worship–out of all of the animals in the world he could have chosen–should not be dismissed lightly. For the Word of God tells us this about Satan – You said in your heart, I will raise my throne above the [angels] of God; I will make myself like the Most High (Isaiah 14:13,14). Do you see here, the Devil desires to be worshipped. And, this is exactly what has happened after he offered his able assist as mankind fell.

A Spirit Of A Python

As a matter of historic record, let’s fast forward to the Book of Acts chapter 16. Here Luke–who has demonstrated himself to be an historian of the first caliber–tells us about an incident that happened to Paul and Silas. Acts 16:16 – Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. The King James Version says she was – possessed with a spirit of divination. If you do a little homework, you will find that the Greek text actually reads – a certain maid having a spirit of a python. The word Luke used there is puthon. And puthon is where we get our own word “python,” which is of course, a type of serpent–a snake.

Also, I did a little further digging and uncovered some information that I think is very relevant to our discussion. Thayer’s Greek–English Lexicon gives us background on puthon – “in Greek mythology [this is] the name of the Pythian serpent or dragon…[which] was said to have guarded the oracle of Delphi” (p.557). Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary adds that this Pythian serpent was “slain by Apollo. Thence the name was transferred to Apollo himself. Later the word was applied to diviners and soothsayers…” (p.178) just as Luke uses it here in Acts 16. In The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible George S. Cansdale further points out that in “Hel. belief, the Python was a spirit of divination that possessed certain persons” (Vol. 4, p.964). And Dr. Richard Longenecker informs us “the word python came to mean a demon-possessed person through whom the Python spoke—even a ventriloquist was thought to have such a spirit living in his or her belly…” (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Acts 16:16, CD Rom).

This explains why the KJV would translate puthon as divination here in Acts 16:16. And the Encyclopedia Of Wicca & Witchcraft also corroborates all of the above information where we read:

In many cultures the serpent and the dragon are [thought to be] the guardians of…temples, treasures, esoteric knowledge, and all lunar deities” (p.319). And it also informs us that the serpent/snake is connected with the so-called Odic Force. This “force” is said to be “an occult energy…generated in Nature… In ancient times this [occultic] force” – [which we Christians know is actually Satan and/or his demons] – “this [occultic] force was symbolized by – [surprise] – the serpent and specifically by the Great Python” (p.269).

You also might find it interesting to know that those familiar with occultic philosophy know that the “Occult Serpent, as a force, is symbolically divided into the twin serpents of the caduceus, [said to be] the magical staff of Hermes/Mercury…” (p.269). And that same encyclopedia also informs us that the caduceus is “a symbol of harmony, peace, balance, and reconciliation” – which is the exact opposite of the person who “inspired” this false worship–Satan himself! Now let’s look carefully at what this symbol looks like. The caduceus is “the composite image [that] depicts a winged orb mounted on a staff that is entwined by two serpents… The serpents spiraling around it indicate communication moving back and forth from the Underworld to the Overworld” (p.54).

Now, if this occultic symbol seems oddly familiar to you, then look carefully at this. From the unofficial Web-page of M.S. Ramaiah Medical College – “Recognized internationally as the symbol of Medicine, the “Caduceus” [has] reached [the] symbolism of healing the body, mind and soul.” As a matter of fact, the insignia of the American Medical Association is a modified version of the caduceus, only with one serpent instead of two. I find that this Scripture comes to mind – for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light – 2 Corinthians 11:14. And finally, on this subject of the snake being used as an occultic symbol, in the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology Dr. Ron Enroth points out – “All forms of occultic philosophy proclaim that the true or ‘real’ self of man is synonymous with–[and equal to]–God. Such views are all patterned after the [classic] lie of the serpent in Genesis 3:4, ‘You will be as gods’” (p.852, emphasis added).

Did God Really Say?

Which now brings us around full circle in our discussion concerning Satan’s two oldest lies found back in Genesis 3, and further serves to remind us of the truth of Solomon’s wisdom. What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9, KJV). As mentioned previously, the fact that the symbols of serpents–snakes–became the object of worship among mankind is convincing proof that the Genesis 3 account of the fall of man is to be taken as a literal history. In other words, it’s not just a metaphor or a “word picture” of what happened as the neo-orthodox view of the Bible would have us believe. And this is very important in this generation, as more and more Evangelical scholars themselves have been prepared by the Devil to fall for the two oldest lies of the serpent all over again.

Sadly, there isn’t much I can agree on with Christian apologist Dr. Norman Geisler anymore, but he is right here:

Satan’s strategy does not change. He begins by casting doubt on God’s Word. ‘Did God really say?’ he questioned Eve. ‘Are you sure it really means that?’ For generations Christians accepted the simple statements of the Bible about itself (the written Word of God) and about Christ (the living Word of God). The devil’s device, however, has been to challenge God’s authority in both areas…Satan’s double-barreled attack is on the inspiration and [the] interpretation of the Bible. The first strategy worked with the theological liberals. The second strategy is aimed at evangelicals (The Battle For The Resurrection, p. 21).

Sadly, the insight God has given Dr. Geisler in this case is all too true, and let us pray he also awakens from his bad dream about reconciliation with Rome. For this is exactly why we find ourselves in such a crazy world. Truthfully, it feels as if almost everything we see around us is absolutely backward, and it is all traced right back to our text in Genesis 3 verse 1. Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made.

Let’s stop here and sum this up as we have exposed the two oldest lies that Satan has used to entrap man. Verse 1 of Genesis 3; Did God really say? Lie number one. Satan says to Eve – “God didn’t really speak to you; you don’t know what He said.” You need to understand that the Devil is still lying to us today – “God didn’t really speak to you in the Bible; so how does anybody really know what He has said?” Watch for it in the teachings of the leaders of the Emergent Church.

Now you will recognize that the mortal enemy of men’s souls is really not very original. And here is lie number two. Verse 4 – “You will not surely die” Satan tells Eve, thus changing the interpretation, or the plain meaning of what Yahweh Elohim had clearly said. And this he continues to do with this lie number two today. If the Devil can’t get someone to doubt that the Bible is God’s Word with lie number one, then he immediately shifts to the second lie, and attempts to get people entrapped in wrong understandings about what the Bible teaches.

The battle remains the same today, as it was in the garden, the serpent keeps on trying to confuse the clear meaning of what Yahweh Elohim – the LORD God – has actually said; and as he does he endeavors to then ensnare people in one of his many false religious systems–such as the non-Christian cult of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–or the very apple of Satan’s eye and his own pride and joy, the long apostate Church of Rome. You see all of this rubbish from the Devil slithers up quietly and then entwines mankind–just as the serpents entwine around the staff of the caduceus. And the unyielding stone cold truth of Ecclesiastes 1:9 comes home once again – What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again. Those of us who are familiar with the often-sordid history of the Church can certainly attest to that.

How A Baked Clay Pot Glorifies God

Speaking once again of the caduceus, we also learned that the use of snakes as religious idols by mankind–even to this day–actually gives us good reason to believe the accuracy of the Bible! As where else would man have become so warped as to use the serpent as a symbol of worship? Because it was none other than Satan himself who was thrown out of Heaven for desiring worship who originated this idea. And our mortal enemy was the one who came to Eve through the serpent and played a major role in bringing about the fall of mankind in the first place. Coincidence; I think not.

What we repeatedly hear today–as the satanic mantra – “there is just no need to place so much emphasis on proper doctrine.” Can you take a wild guess as to who it is that might benefit more from this warped and serpentine idea? “Could it be…Satan?” I tell you in the Lord: As this generation progresses it becomes more and more important that the Christian Church rediscovers the beautiful truth that theology isn’t a bad word at all. No, by definition, it is the study of our great Lord and Savior in Heaven–Father, Son and Holy Spirit – “God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.”

Beloved, let us not fall for these lies of the Devil; the more we understand about the awesome and majestic God of the Bible, the closer we grow to Him. And the closer we grow to Him, the more comfortable we become sharing Him with others; and the more He will empower our witness as we talk with them about Christ. We need to remember that it is by His grace that God the Father chose to save us. The Bible says – In [Christ] we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him Who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will – Ephesians 1:11.

As we share Jesus with others we should always have this in mind: The Lord has chosen to use us as His voice to reach those who are eternally lost; forever condemned to eternal conscious torment in an actual place that Jesus Christ of Nazareth called “Hell.” So let’s just focus on this idea for a moment that Yahweh El Shaddai– the LORD God Almighty–has chosen to use you, and He has chosen to use me, as the instruments to rescue those who are presently doomed to an eternity in torment unless they come to Jesus Christ of Nazareth as their Lord and Savior. Do you find that a sobering thought? I know I sure do. What an awesome responsibility he has given us, and just think of how vulnerable God has made Himself to man.

Let me close with this, here is the message that the historic orthodox Christian Church–all of us who are the holy and catholic Body of Christ–has for the world in our generation. The Bible tells us:

And even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age – [this would be Satan with his two oldest lies] – The [so-called] god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God. For we [Christians] do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as [Yahweh Elohim], and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake For God, Who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:3-6).

And then we learn this incredible truth in verse 7 – But we have this [incredible] treasure – [of God’s revelation of His only plan of salvation] – we have this treasure in jars of clay – [the King James Version says “earthen vessels,” the Greek here is ostrakinos, which–as Dr. John MacArthur has brought out–carries the meaning of a plain old “baked clay” pot. So, Paul says – we have this treasure –[of God’s revelation] – in jars of clay – [earthen vessels – ostrakinos – plain old clay pots. Why?] – to show that this all-surpassing power – [to convert people to Christ] – is from God and not from us.

So now we know why the Devil has aimed his serpentine lies about the truth of what God has said in Holy Scripture square at the pride of fallen man. And, the next time we go to share our faith in Christ with another person – this passage of God’s Word should cause us to stand in awe, and to marvel that Yahweh Elohim–the LORD God–Creator of the very universe itself has chosen to make Himself known to mankind through you, and through me. Men and women, life just doesn’t get any more real than this. And, that’s no lie.