(Ver 1.3) This is “Part 1” in a series of lessons on the subject of “Spiritual Warfare”. This is a new subject for me and a lesson designed for the benefit of those who have been attacked by Satan and do not understand why it has occurred or what to do about it to keep it from happeing again. Many new Christians are immediately attacked and persecuted because Satan wants to stop God’s Word from developing in their spirits and becoming mature and fruitful. New Christians are the most vulnerable and usually do not know what to do about this and do not generally understand why God even allows this to even happen to them. There are many complex factors involved in understanding this problem and I will attempt to at least give you an overview of what is happening in the spiritual realm and why it can occur and what you can do to overcome it.
Within any battle that we face it is always best to first recognize that we are in a battle. Not knowing that we are in spiritual battle is the number one reason why Christians do not fight the enemy. This is the basic fact that allows us to prepare and face this enemy that we cannot see with our physical eyes. Since we are born physical beings on this planet and we grow up dominated by our flesh realm senses we are forced to learn about the reality of spiritual things in order to become effective in this hidden unseen realm. Too often we find that our senses rule our world and guide our lives. If something hurts you physically you learn not to do that anymore. If something feels good or tastes good you learn to do that again. However there is an unseen part of you that is the real you and this being is your spirit inside your physical body. If you are a Christian this is where God resides also. The spirit world is more real than the natural world the Bible says. God tells us that the natural world is “temporary” and the things that are unseen in spiritual world are those that will be eternal (2 Cor 4:18). One of the first things that you need to understand is that we are in a spiritual battle and not a physical battle. People many times want to protest abortion clinics or homosexual events and act like this is doing some good. These people who are doing these ungodly things are just deceived individuals who are being guided by spiritual forces that are behind them. Therefore, your picket signs and protests are not doing anything to solve the real spiritual problem. It is like a doctor who is treating the symptoms and ignoring the cause of the disease. Your focus is on the wrong things.
2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
You can clearly see that God tells us that we are in a war. However God does not tell us that it is a physical war with guns and swords. We as Christians should be fighting this war differently than people in the world fight wars. This is the greatest deception that Satan has over many Christians, they are focused on external things and ignoring internal things. God tells us in this verse that “terrorism” is not our war as Christians. The United States has been in a war against terrorism for almost 10 years now. We will never win that war with guns. If you go and kill a few terrorist, there are soon 10 more to take their place. This is because of the spiritual forces that are backing them.
2Co 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;
God tells us that we have spiritual weapons of war at our disposal. However, God tells us that these weapons are clearly NOT physical weapons like guns. Your gun will not do you any good against a spiritual enemy that you cannot see. Satan has too many ways of fighting you supernaturally and no physical weapon will do you any good against these spiritual war techniques used by Satan. I recently heard about a man in the U.S. that was obtaining natural guns and weapons to help Jesus fight the devil when Jesus returns. This man’s ignorance of spiritual things will only make Christians appear as extremist fools to the world. Let me give you a scripture that informs us when this spiritual battle that I have been talking about begins.
Heb 10:32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
God tells us a key battle technique of Satan. Satan attacks you when you are the weakest and most vulnerable. Sometimes it appears to you to be seemingly overwhelming opposition and this is by design. Since new Christians do not understand why they are being attacked many times they give up and turn back to their old life styles and ways of thinking and then Satan has won. This verse in Hebrews tells us that a new Christian when first given “illumination” is attacked the hardest. This is when they are the weakest, simply because they do not know how to fight this enemy. Jesus tells us in Mark 4 that Satan comes immediately to steal the word of God from the hearts of people who have just heard the good news (gospel) of Jesus. By attacking them early and often with overwhelming force they are many times easily overcome. Mature Christians should be smart enough to know this and help new Christians overcome these attacks, but many Christians are too self-centered to see what is going on beyond their four walls. Ignorance is a Christian’s greatest weakness. Keep Christians ignorant and they will be no threat to Satan. Let’s research the spiritual weapons at our disposal in this battle that I mentioned earlier. I’ll begin with a verse Romans 13:
Rom 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
One of the other most important things to know is that there are two kingdoms of operation in our world today. This is the root of all spiritual battles that we face. There is the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. These are the kingdoms of Satan and God respectively. As you can see God tells us in Romans 13:12 to put on the armor of light. Light is of the Day and darkness is of the night. I wrote a series of lessons on the subject of “Understanding Night and Day” and if you do not understand these spiritual kingdom concepts you should go and read them quickly. The weapons of Light are the spiritual weapons of our warfare being spoken of in this passage. It is important to realize that Christians are no longer within Satan’s kingdom of darkness, but yet we still war against this spiritual kingdom daily. When this transfer of spiritual kingdoms occurred was when you believed in Jesus Christ and confessed Him as your Lord as it stated in Romans 10:9-10. Because of the transfer of kingdoms we have a new ruler and Satan no longer rules our life unless we permit him or allow him to do so either intentionally or unintentionally. Being in the Kingdom of Light gives you new power over the kingdom of darkness. Light always conquers darkness in the natural realm but you need to learn how this works in the spiritual realm. We fight this kingdom of darkness in the spiritual realm by taking up God’s spiritual weapons of light which we will now get into in more depth:
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
God again commands us (Christians) to put on His armor so that we can fight and win this spiritual battle that we are clearly in ALL together. I want you to go and read 1 John 1:5. This verse declares that God is Light and in Him is no darkness. Therefore when we put on God’s armor we are putting on the armor of Light. Do you understand this? Satan is the devil and the lord of the darkness that we are arrayed against and it is clearly not the people of this world that we fight against. However Satan does use people to get to us and we may talk about that in more depth in the future. This verse in Ephesians teaches s me why killing terrorist is not the complete answer to our evil problem in this world. You see God wiped out everyone in the world 4500 years ago in the flood of Noah except for 8 righteous people and because we still have Satan in the world, evil and wickedness is almost as great as it was in the days of Noah. However, do not make me out as a pacifist either. I believe that we must defend our country with guns and weapons at the same time that we use these spiritual weapons of God to attack the root causes of the problem. If you want to be a pacifist you will soon discover that evil doers will not be afraid of coming to your city to do you harm.
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.
Again God tells us very clearly that people are not the root cause of the evil problems that we face on the earth. God again tells us that the rulers of the darkness of this world are those that we are at spiritual war with. These are clearly spiritual enemies and not physical ones that we can perceive with our 5 senses. If you notice this verse says that we fight against the rulers of the darkness of this world. Those are simply Satan, his demons and the fallen angels that rule kingdom of darkness. I would also like you to notice the Greek word “powers”. This Greek word is G1849 and it literally means superhuman force or power. This is obviously not any natural or physical strength or power and must be considered to be a spiritual power of great ability. Not knowing that your spiritual enemy has any spiritual power is probably a good reason why Christian people are not fighting against him. If we keep reading in this chapter we find out what these spiritual weapons of light consist of that we are to put on to use against our spiritual enemy Satan:
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness
The first weapon is the weapon of truth. This means you are at least required to learn the truth. Only by you knowing the truth, will you not be easily deceived. To know the truth is more involved than you just reading your Bible. It requires you studying the Bible and you digging into the deep things of God’s Word. You can very easily know some basic truths and not understand the more advanced things that will get you out of the jams that you are in right now. Learning always starts with reading, but study is necessary to gain understanding. Only by you gaining understanding can Satan never steal the truth that is in you. The next weapon on the list is called the “breastplate of Righteousness”. This first involves you knowing who you are in Christ. You need to go through your Bible and read the New Testament letters written to the church and see what you have and what you are in Christ. Christ is your Righteousness! It is only by His Righteousness that we have any righteousness. Go through the letters written to the church and learn and memorize the words that say “In Christ”, “In Whom” and similar words of association. This will help to identify your position and the free gifts of association being given to you as an heir of salvation.
Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Every weapon of our warfare if you haven’t noticed goes back to the Word of God in some form or fashion. God’s Words are always at the root of everything that we do, say and live. I think I said this already, but the spiritual battle is over the Word of God being resident in you. Look at this verse speaking of your feet. God says put the “Gospel of Peace” on your feet. The Bible tells me that God waits for His enemies to be made His footstool (Heb 1:13, Heb 10:13). Where are God’s feet in the earth today? These feet are in the Body of Christ who is the church and the spirit of God is within us. So if God is going to “bruise the head of the serpent Satan” with someone’s feet today, how is God going to do that?
Rom 16:20 And the God of Peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
This verse written to the Church informs us that it is our feet that God will use to bruise Satan’s head before Jesus returns for us. This implies we are to go out from this world as victorious. How is the God of Peace going to do this? Only by us putting the Gospel of Peace upon our feet will He do this. You can see that we are back to the Word of God again. The Gospel of Peace is certainly the Word of God being preached to the world. The message of salvation, the message of deliverance, the message of emotional and physical healing and the message of safety. These are key definitions of the Greek word “Sozo” (G2982) that is translated as “make whole”, “save”, “deliver” and “heal”.
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
The next weapon in the Armor of Light is the shield of Faith. This is supposedly the most important weapon to defend off the satanic attacks. Faith is probably one of the top three subjects to study in the Bible in my opinion. But, what is Faith? Faith is based upon believing the Word of God. So we are again back to reading and studying the Bible. The Bible tells us that “Faith” comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God” (Rom 10:17). When the devil attacks you God says you should be firmly grounded in the Word of God for all of your defensive armor of God. We can now look at the final two items found in the Armor of Light and one of these is the only offensive weapons we possess if you exclude the Gospel of Peace on our feet.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
To take the helmet of Salvation means to “receive” salvation which was freely given to us. I’ve aready told you the definition of “salvation” from the Greek. Again we are back to the basics of the Word of God. You heard the Gospel which was the Word of God preached for Salvation and you accepted it and believed the truth and now you are saved. Finally, the last weapon is called the Sword of the Spirit and this is plainly called the “Word of God”. You have to study the Bible to figure out what this means. Jesus said the “Words that I speak they are Spirit and they are Life” (John 6:63). So the words that Jesus spoke were the Sword of the Spirit from his mouth. In Revelation 1:16, 2:16, 19:15 and 19:21 Jesus is described as having a sword coming from His mouth that He uses to eliminate those that oppose Him in the end of the world. We can clearly understand that this symbolic sword represents the Words of God being spoken. To take the Sword of the Spirit in our armor means to speak what God has written in His book called the Bible. When you speak the Word of God your words carry the same power as if God spoke them. For example, if someone is coming against you in an attack, you could say “No weapon formed against me will prosper” (Isa 54:17). This is putting the Word of God in your mouth to counter what Satan is trying to do against you. You do not go up and say this to a human being, remember they are not your problem. You say this in the privacy of your home to Satan who is the root cause of the attack. Do you understand this?
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
The very next verse in this context is also a key part to the successful spiritual fight that you are in. When immersing yourself in the Word of God you also pray the Word to get God’s wisdom and assistance on the matter you are facing. This next verse in Ephesians says “Praying Always”. That means never ceasing to pray. Pray when you study the Bible, and pray when you are not studying the Bible. There should not be a time during the day when you are not open to pray to God or open to hear from God. I have been doing a series of lesson on Angels and today I stopped that to answer a reader who was being attacked by Satan. But, there are multiple times in the Bible, where God sent angels only after people prayed. This means that if they had not prayed, there would have been no angels sent. I believe prayer is an essential part of your continuing relationship with God. This verse also places special emphasis on a particular type of prayer that is called “Praying in the Spirit”. This of course is not a popular subject in some churches in America and they have no clue what this even means. Some think it is just an extra praying with added emphasis, ability or time. However, this is not what it means. Praying in the Spirit is praying in tongues and if you have never done this you are missing out on one of the most powerful ways that God has to communicate through you the perfect will of God. You see God is smarter than you are and since you do not know everything and do not know how to pray perfectly in every situation that you face, God gives us a method that will never fail. You of course have the choice to not believe me and do it your way and remain at the level that you are at right now. However, if you want more of God and to know Him better, then ask Him to fill you with His Spirit and see if it does not radically change your life, like it did mine.
I guess that is enough for one day on how to counter the attacks of Satan. I know I did not cover everything in complete detail and I did not include everything that you should learn. However, I try to do the best that I can in the limited time and length format that I have. Please allow me to quickly recap the spiritual weapons of your warfare:
- The Belt of Truth (The Word of God is truth John 17:17)
- The Breastplate of Righteousness (Jesus the Word of God is our Righteousness)
- Gospel of Peace upon our feet (the Word of God given for our salvation)
- The Shield of Faith (Rom 10:17 Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, there get faith in God’s to build your shield).
- Helmet of Salvation (By grace ye are saved through faith Eph 2:8 again pointing us back to hearing God’s Word).
- Sword of the Spirit (plainly defined to be the Word of God).
- Praying in the Spirit.
Understanding that you are in a spiritual war is the first place that you need to arrive at. Understanding who your enemy is, is the next place to step up to. The next thing is for you to take up the armor of God that you has been given to you and make good use of it. The next thing that you should clearly understand is that the Battle is all about the Word of God. Satan is attacking you to take the Word of God from you. If he allows the Word of God to get in you, then you are an extremely dangerous person that can use this Word to come against him. Therefore, spiritual warfare is fought with spiritual weapons against a spiritual enemy. Finally praying is another key element to the spiritual fight that will allow you to be successful in life. I hope and pray that I have given someone out there some level of help in what they are facing in life today. It would be the greatest testimony of all if I can do that alone. God Bless!
(ver 1.7) This Part 1 in a series of Bible lessons about things that Satan does not want you know about him. Satan in the Bible is called by so many different names, titles, characteristics, symbols and descriptions. Each one of these that were given to us by God reveal Satan in a new way for us to learn from. For example, in Revelation 12:9 the name Satan is given to us and it is directly linked to be the symbolic “Great Red Dragon” in the book of Revelation. Satan is then further revealed as the “ancient serpent” in Genesis 3:1 in the same verse. Since Satan is called both the serpent in the garden in Genesis and now the Great Dragon in Revelation we learn from these two symbolic titles that he has gained significant power and strength. But maybe you did not know that and learned something brand new. In other places in the Bible Satan is also called the “deceiver” and the “father of lies” by God. If you wold like to see a more complete list of these Names, Titles, Descriptions and Symbols for Satan in the Bible you can go read that reference document and find those that I have been shown by God up until this point in time. Satan has had an explicit evil agenda in place ever since he deceived Eve and caused Adam to sin in the garden. Satan has implemented this plan based upon misconceptions and misdirection that diverts your attntion away from you finding or knowing the truth. There are a number of major things that Satan doesn’t want you to know about him. He tries very hard to keep these truths secret from you because they will cause you to think differently about your abilities and position in Christ Jesus. Today I’m going to tell you some of these guarded secrets that were revealed in the Bible for our benefit placed there by our wise and mighty God to help teach us the truth about our enemy.
1. Satan DOES NOT Want You To Know That He Exists
I know now as a Christian that Satan is a real spiritual being, but there was a time that I did not believe in his existence. Many people are in the exact same ignorant boat as I was when I did not believe in the existence of spiritual things. Unsaved people and even many new carnal Christians are generally very oblivious to spiritual realities, because they are consumed with natural things like drugs, alcohol, sex, money, power, fame, sports, food, music, and etc. Not only do most people in the kingdom of darkness not know that Satan, evil spirits, fallen angels and demons exist, they also do not understand that they themselves are also a spirit being that is simply living here on the earth in a natural physical body. Oh, sure there is a fascination in the world with the supernatural and spirits on TV, in movies and in video games. But these are generally put out by Satan as a distraction to the truth to keep people from finding out that he is real and to learn how he operates with them daily. Satan promotes these fictional TV shows, entertainments and activities to gain access into the minds of people to deceive them further from the truth. As long as you do not know that there is a real spiritual enemy in this world named Satan, you will never know that you need to resist him or fight against what he is doing in your life. We learn of the existence of Satan by reading the Bible and that is our only reliable source of any proof or evidence for his existence. If you do not believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God then you are in serious trouble looking for invalid sources of truth in the other books of the world. You can read about Satan’s existence and activities like in Mark 4:15, Luke 4:8, Luke 13:16 and Acts 26:18 to name only a few verses that teach of his existence. I pray that you learn to study this subject in order to learn that Satan does exist and that he is your enemy.
2. Satan DOES NOT Want You To Know How He Operates
Recently I wrote a Bible lesson on the subject Was There a Physical Talking Snake in the Garden of Eden that deceived Eve. If you read that lesson then you know that there was not a literal talking serpent in the garden. It is illegal for Satan to tempt people supernaturally and that is not how he generally operates because of the spiritual laws created by God. TV shows and movies that promote supernatural activity are created by Satan to be pure distractions to how he normally comes to us to operate. Satan uses, mostly mental thoughts, ideas and suggestions to influence and control your behavior. For example, if you have been having thoughts or ideas about suicide these are demonically inspired to try to get you to do what he is suggesting. The source of evil thoughts and these bad influential ideas are coming from Satan. Satan can even place strong desires within you to help guide you into doing wrong. These are very common ways of how spirit beings interact with any natural human being. I hope that you understand this because it will be the same for you.
The main emphasis from this section is to teach you to watch your thoughts. What I have been trying to say is that these evil thoughts in your mind to hurt someone are coming from Satan to attempt to get you do something that you shouldn’t. Have you ever considered how much people talk after a school shooting occurs about the factor of mental illness? Every crazy school shooter was caused by Satan’s barrage of evil thoughts to kill people. Every shooter was tormented by these thoughts until they finally gave into them. That is how Satan works and if you do not know this then you are at risk of the same. Satan comes to humans with thoughts of evil and these will always be very subtle attempts to control you to do what he wants you to do. I’ll say this again, every thought that you have is not from God or comes from your own mind. Let me give you a Bible verse that will help confirm this truth if you can see it:
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;
Why would God tell a Christian to guard their thoughts if none of these came from Satan? That would not make any logical sense. Why does anyone guard something? Guarding the President is normally done to keep evil from coming near him to do him harm. This is the exact same concept that God is speaking of here in this verse. You see I once had a man leave me a comment on my Bible lesson about homosexuality and he said he had these thoughts for other boys and men since he was a young child and he said that this proved that God created him this way. I tried to tell him that these were Satan’ thoughts that were given to him to try to steer him away from the truth but he refused to listen to me. Any thought that is contrary to the Bible is from the devil. If you are standing on the top ledge of the Grand Canyon and you suddenly get the thought to jump off then it would be really stupid if you didn’t realize that this thought was from Satan and you did it and went to hell. Learn to do what God teaches about your negative thoughts of influence and cast them down.
3. Satan DOES NOT Want You to Know that He Can’t Be Everywhere At Once
In the Old Testament we have a greatly misunderstood book of the Bible called the Book of Job. I will not attempt to teach this book today, but I will draw out some valuable information that we can learn from it about Satan. In this story, Satan is said to appear before God in heaven. God asks Satan, where have you been? Right there that question teaches us an extremely critical fact about Satan. Perhaps you missed it? Satan’s reply to God was that he has been going to and fro across the earth and from walking up and down in it (Job 1:7). From the presence of God’s question and Satan’s reply we can learn so very much about our enemy. The first thing to learn is that Satan is not on the earth when he said this. The second thing to learn is that Satan is not everywhere all at once. In theological terms Satan is not omnipresent and cannot be everywhere at the same time like God can. If Satan has to travel from place to place on the earth then he can only be in one place at a time. That is interesting isn’t it? In the New Testament we get some further confirmation of this fact by reading:
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour;
You can see the same basic information being given to us in this verse. Satan is stalking about the earth looking for someone that he can attack. The statement implications being given to us is that he can’t attack everybody at the same time. You also see that he has to walk from place to place in order to seek for someone to attack. We can conclude from these two verses that Satan is not everywhere at once. Therefore Satan is NOT omnipresent like God is. Now having said all of that we don’t know how many demons and fallen angels that Satan has under his control. Revelation 12:4 tells us that 1/3 of the angels fell with him. But, we don’t know how many total angels there were to start with. From information found in Hebrews there seems to be a bunch of them and it calls their number innumerable. There is also a story in the Gospels where Jesus casts out a legion of demons from just one man. This shows us that one man can have hundreds of spirits in him at once. Therefore while the devil cannot be present with everyone at the same time, he can still send his demons to them and this makes him appear like he is everywhere at the same time. This is just some good information to learn about your enemy.
4. Satan DOES NOT Want You To Know That His Time Is Short
Revelation 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens and ye that dwell in them, Woe to the inhabitants 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.
This verse informs us that Satan is very angry with something or someone. Why? Because he knows his time is very short. Satan is aware of an end time. You did realize that, didn’t you? Many people in the world are oblivious that the end is near. They think everything has happened the same way from the beginning and everything will just continue on like this for ever (2 Peter 3:4). However, Satan and the demons are aware that their time is so very short. Here is a Bible verse that will help to see that the devils knew there was coming an end time even when Jesus was present on the earth:
Matthew 8:29 And behold, they cried out saying What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? are thou come hither to torment us before the time?
These are the words of the demons that possessed a man where Jesus was going. These demons exclaimed who exactly Jesus was. Why were they questioning Jesus’ right to be there? Then they ask him have you come to torment us before the time. What time are they talking about? It is amazing that these spiritual beings are aware that there is coming a time of torment. All of this occurs still today, men walk about clueless to the times and the seasons while Satan and his forces know that they are almost done.
5. Satan DOES NOT Want You To Know He Was Defeated
Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
We can see that Satan was defeated by what Jesus did on the cross. The blood of Jesus not only forgave our sins, it caused the defeat of Satan. The term spoiled is a military term when an army would take a city, they would take the wealth of the enemy and leave them with nothing of value. Genghis Kahn, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Hitler, etc. we can go on and on, but the conquering army would always walk away with the wealth of those that were conquered. Here is an informative verse of scripture that also helps us to see what Jesus has done:
1 Corinthians 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
You see from this verse we can clearly see that Satan now has a major problem. Something that Jesus did, caused his status to change. Something that Jesus did in His death has doomed Satan and his followers and has set their destiny. Many Christians today have only seen a fraction of the things that Jesus accomplished on the cross. This is just another example of the fact that there are many things found in the Bible that we do not have the complete story on as of yet. We can make a broad conclusion, that based upon this verse that the death of Jesus Christ sealed Satan’s future.
So why if Satan was defeated, wasn’t he just thrown into the pit and that was the end of it? It is an interesting question, that most have never tried to answer. Satan has a right to be here as long as descendants of Adam have the right to be here. The world was given to Adam (Gen 1:26) and Adam gave it to Satan (Luke 4:5-6). So we in effect see a sub-lease being established. As long as Adam’s lease or time period is valid, Satan’s time period is valid. However, we also now know that this time period is now growing very short. If you have been reading my other Bible lesson you will already understand that the time period of human history was prophesied by God Genesis 1 to be approximately 6000 years. We can calculate that we are very, very close to the end of that time period right now. If you learned anything today, learn that Satan is a loser and if you are following him your time is very short to change your mind.
6. Satan DOES NOT Want You To Know That You Have Authority Over Him
Did you notice that earlier I quoted a scripture that said Satan was going about, seeking those who he could devour? Apparently he cannot come into your house and take everything from you unless you let him or permit him to do something to cause it to happen. If you could just find out what opens the door for the enemy to come in, I bet you would stop it. I don’t think I have a complete answer to that question, but I have seen at least part of the answer. We know sin, allows Satan access into our lives. Then in Hosea 4:6 it tells us that God’s people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. So in effect we can see that ignorance or not knowing the right things, can allow Satan access into our lives. What else opens the door to the enemy? I believe that not knowing that you have been given authority over Satan will also allow him to come into your life to attempt to work his evil works. Here is what Jesus told us:
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.
If you don’t understand Biblical symbolism you will immediately get the wrong idea that you should be able to walk in a viper pit and not get bitten. But that is not what Jesus was talking about in this statement. Jesus is talking about the symbolic “serpent” that deceived Eve and that was literally Satan. The symbolic scorpions in this verse refers to the demons or evil spirits that are under Satan’s power. Understanding these symbolic references are essential to understanding the Bible correctly. Not everything in the Bible is literal. This verse tells us that Jesus gave us power over these evil spiritual forces. This word for “power” actually means “authority” or “legal jurisdiction” over these powers. The term translated as “power” of the enemy is a completely different Greek word that means “miraculous ability”. You learn from this verse that Satan still has ability to do some amazing things in the earth, but Jesus said I give you my authority over what he can do to you. You might not be able to stop what he does to your neighbor, but you can certainly stop what he does to you and your family. This spiritual authority must be exercised by your choice either during the attack or before the attack takes place. How do you do that? Maybe I’ll get into that in another lesson. Thanks for taking the time to read and study the Bible to learn about our enemy Satan. Share this spiritual knowledge with the poeple that you know and continue to walk in your new found knowledge from God. God Bless you!
If you would like to continue reading in this series, please go to “Part 2“.
(ver 2.6) This is “Part 1” in a series of advanced Bible lessons on the study of hidden spiritual subjects found in Genesis 3. In this lesson I am going to confront a popular misconception and misunderstanding found in the chapter. Was there a literal talking natural snake in the Garden of Eden? Did a naturally created snake approach, walk up to, or slither up to Adam and Eve and start a conversation with them to deceive them? I’m sure most of you have seen the paintings of the temptation, the naked man and woman holding an apple with the snake creature nearby. We’ve all heard this story taught this way in Sunday School as a child. However, is this what the Bible really says? Must we take every scripture, verse and word literally in the Bible? What if God intended the verse to hide a greater spiritual meaning? If so, then how would we know when to take something inspired by the most intelligent Spirit literally in the Bible and when to view it as only a symbolic reference, a figurative expression or even as a figure of speech? Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. There are literal statements and stories in the Bible. The Genesis 3:1 account is a very true and real story of what actually happened during the fall of man. We just need to begin to understand what was actually given to us to read.
Too many Christians want to take everything written by God completely and totally as if the Bible was written in a school text book style with every truth obviously presented in a straightforward and plain ordered bullet point or numbered manner. But the problem is that the Bible is not a textbook and it contains many, many hidden mysteries, puzzles and concealed truths that are not self-evident on a surface only reading of the text. You can also find there are truths written on the same subject anywhere in the Bible from front to back, cover to cover, Genesis to Revelation. The Holy Bible is written in a multitude of literary styles by around 40 different men that were given the words by God to write for us to read, study and learn from. God purposely hid many of these truths, not from us, but for us to find (Prov 25:2). So here is the divine challenge, how does God encode secrets for someone to find without using a standard encryption system that makes the text totally useless? The government encrypts information to keep it out of the hands of other enemy governments. Web sites encrypt credit card and customer information to keep it out of the hands of hackers and criminals. What we can learn from this principle is that God obviously had an enemy that was trying to steal information and use it against us. Therefore, I believe based upon scripture that God has encoded within the natural text message a spiritual message within so that He could reveal it by His Spirit in us His people at the appropriate time, which I believe is now. I call this technique, God hiding the truth in plain sight.
THE CREATED SET CALLED BEASTS OF THE FIELD!
So the question remains was there a literal physical talking snake in the garden of Eden? I’ll have to tell you right now that there is absolutely no way based upon rightly understanding scriptures that I have found in the Bible that there was a physical talking snake in the garden. You can clearly see where I stand upon this issue so let’s find out why I am a firm believer in this. Here is what the beginning of Genesis 3:1 says to us, read it very carefully and then I’ll explain it.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field that 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?
I am only going to be focusing on the first phrase of the verse in this Bible lesson. But I did give the entire verse to help avoid criticism from those that would like to criticize and find fault. Let’s begin by doing some close analysis of the exact wording or phrasing of this initial statement “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field that the Lord God had made”. You should be able to understand from reading the entire verse that the primary subject of the verse is a “serpent”. This Hebrew word is H5175 and does mean “a snake” in the literal definition and this is why people begin to believe that God is speaking of a literal talking snake in Genesis 3. This Hebrew word being translated as “serpent” is used 31 times in the Old Testament and is found in 28 verses with 5 references being found within 5 verses of Genesis 3. But let’s change the perspective in order to see the characteristics of this “serpent” being described by God and maybe this new knowledge will begin to change how we think.
Now observe that this “serpent” is stated to be more subtle than “any beast” of the field that the Lord God had created. I want to focus upon the Hebrew word H6175 which is translated as “subtle” in Genesis 3:1. The Hebrew word translated as subtle means “cunning” in an evil, negative or bad manner. The ESV and NASB versions of the Bible translated this word as “crafty”. The CEV Bible translated it as “sneaky”. The Young’s Literal Bible translate it as “subtile”. This Hebrew word is clearly represents an evil connotation being applied to this class of being labeled or named as the “serpent”. Right there that should raise some red flags in our minds to teach us something that is very important. How did God create every beast (living) animal on this planet? Didn’t God create the beast of the field and say that they were all “good” in Genesis 1:25 and “very good” in Genesis 1:31? Good is not evil and very good is definitely not anything that is bad. There were no evil connotations placed upon any of the created beings found in Genesis 1, so that is something brand new for us to consider and learn from. It would contradict with Genesis 1 if this was a created literal snake in the Garden of Eden. I hope and pray that you can see that but we also need to learn what else this verse is saying or should I say is not saying.
This is what the Holy Spirit said to me when I studied the verse and it changed my entire perspective dramatically when I saw it and fully understood it. I read this verse and suddenly the still small voice of the Holy Spirit asked me this question, “Did you notice that didn’t say ‘other‘?”. Almost immediately I knew what He was asking me because of divine revelation. When I studied Geometry in High School, I remember a part of the class dealt with the subject of mathematical “sets” and “set theory”. Do you understand what a “set” is? A set is a grouping of related items. Let me give you a more complete definition of a set. A set is “a well defined collection of distinct objects. The objects that make up a set (also known as the elements or members of a set) can be anything: numbers, people, letters of the alphabet, other sets, and so on.” Within mathematical sets you can also have subsets. Then you can have multiple sets with some common or overlapping members that are in more than one set. For example, a set could be Animals, under that set could be a subset of mammals, under that set could be a subset of birds, fish, land animals and on and on. Each set or subset is a grouping of related items. In other words every member of the set has the same characteristics and can be easily identified as belonging to the group. So why did I just spend so much time going through all of that math explanation and set theory overview? Do you see it? Was the primary noun serpent of this sentence a created beast of the field that the Lord God declared a member of the set of created beings of the field defined by God to be very good? I’d like to ask you a question and I want you to consider it with great thought. What would change if God would have added the word “other” to the verse? Read this modified verse with the word other added and observe what changes:
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any ‘OTHER’ beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
Now do you see it? What comprises the set “beasts of the field”? What are the members of that set? Beasts of the field would be the superset of all created animals, birds, reptiles, etc. Isn’t a natural and physical snake one of those beasts of the field that the Lord God has made? So what happens when you take out the word “other” like the verse really says. The logical conclusion has to be that the serpent was not a member of that category of the made or created creatures of the field. Let me teach it to you like this, if the adjective “any” is placed before the noun “Beasts” we have to conclude that there are no beasts omitted from this grouping. The Hebrew term (H3605) translated as the English word”Any” is an “all inclusive” statement that omits none of them. The Hebrew word translated as “Any” literally means “All” or “EVERY”. By God NOT putting the word “Other” after the word “any” we know concretely that the referenced “serpent” in the beginning of the statement was not a member of that set of created living creatures. In other words, there was no physical literal created talking snake based just upon the correct reading, understanding and interpretation of this verse. I hope and pray that you understand basic logic and math laws and how they apply to the correct interpretation of the Word of God. God is a highly intelligent being and has designed and implemented the Bible using Laws that we must follow in order to correctly understand what is written.
NATURAL OR SUPERNATURAL TEMPTATION?
So let’s find some other scriptures that help us to confirm what God has just taught you by the omission of the word “other”. Here is one verse that I know most don’t immediately associate with Genesis, but it is related even though you’ve never seen it or applied it to what we have just read in Genesis 3:1.
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation overtaken you but such as is common to man:
What is God’s primary subject that is occurring in the beginning of Genesis 3? What is the initial theme of Genesis 3? Some say that Genesis 3 is about the fall of Man, but what happened before that. Before the fall there was a state of everything being created good without sin on the earth. Then Satan appears and does what? Of course we are talking about the “temptation” of Adam and Eve by the serpent or Satan, right? So what did God just teach us about the subject of human “temptation” in 1 Corinthians? This is another law or principle of correct Bible interpretation, the Bible always interprets itself. So you must go and search the Bible for related scriptures that help to explain what is written in the Old Testament.
In 1 Corinthians God says every time we (humans) are tempted by the enemy (Satan) it is a common human occurrence. The Greek word that was translated as “common to man” is G442 and it means “after the manner of men”. In other words any satanic temptation is one that is a natural temptation, meaning it is NOT a supernatural temptation. Did you realize that according to what God has just written in His word that it is illegal for Satan to tempt you supernaturally? What is a supernatural temptation? That would be any temptation that did not occur naturally by created design or created laws or any temptation of a non-created material substance or nature. Have you ever seen a talking snake? If you can find me one I would love to see it and this would provide the evidence to support a literal talking snake in the garden being the tempter. Seeing talking snakes in the past and today would make this type of temptation a common occurrence for man. However, I’ve been to many zoos and if there were any talking snakes, I didn’t see them. No you see a talking snake would be a supernatural temptation, a non-common human temptation occurrence and that would cause God’s word in 1 Corinthians 10:13 to become a lie. Since God does not lie I have to conclude there was still no literal talking snake in the garden.
We can therefore reason with great confidence that a talking snake being a tempter would be an illegal supernatural act and if Satan can’t tempt you this way, then he can’t tempt Eve that way either. This scripture is an example of a universal truth. In other words this scripture applies across the board to every person in the human race at any given time within human history. There are some scriptures that only apply to the natural nation of Israel; there are some scriptures that only apply to men; there are some that written to only women; there are some that are written only to the church and others that are written to other groups or sets of people. However, there are also those scriptures like this one that will apply to everyone equally. This is a verse that is in the Universal set of Truth. These represent spiritual laws and God enforces these. The Bible says God watches over His words to perform them and this would be an example.
HOW DOES SATAN TEMPT SOMEONE TODAY?
Have you ever been tempted by Satan? Sure you have whether you admit it or not. How did he come to you and try to tempt you? Did Satan have to manifest himself in the body of an animal to tempt you? Of course he didn’t. Satan when he comes he speaks in your mind, by using your thought life to tempt you to do something that you shouldn’t, or to say something you that you shouldn’t, or whatever. If Satan tempted you this way, then he tempted Eve this way also. Do you think we can find any scripture to confirm this? Of course we can if we look:
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty , so your minds be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
It is amazing what the Bible says when you look for it, understand it and apply it to Genesis 3 interpretation correctly. You see this verse is written to the church and it said Eve was deceived by the serpent, because of his trickery. But did you notice how he did it? This temptation occurred in Eve’s mind and it was not carried out by a talking supernatural snake in the garden. How can we further confirm this? Ask yourself was there ever any mention in Genesis 3 of Adam hearing the snakes voice? If you read closely you will observe that God rebukes Adam for hearkening to the voice of his wife and never mentions the voice of the serpent to Adam. Was not Adam standing next to Eve in the garden? If there was a literal talking snake present then there would have been an audible voice for Adam to also hear. I really believe that Bible need to learn to read and see what is there and what is not there and quit adding tot he words to make them say something that they do not say. We have just learned from God’s commentary on the story of Genesis 3 that whatever Satan said to Eve was a thought in her mind and this caused her to be deceived. Satan is still the same subtle deceiver today and he works and operates in the exact same way that he has always worked. He tries to deceive you through the same avenues of your mind. This verse clearly warns the church to watch their thoughts in order to keep Satan from corrupting their minds. That is why we are instructed in the Bible in this way:
2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imagination and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
Apparently our minds are still the battle ground for the attacks of the enemy and we are responsible to police this mental realm and exercise our authority to keep the enemy out of there. Because preachers and teachers believe that Satan had to borrow the body of a physical snake in order to manifest himself in the earth, they think this is the only way he can communicate to you. We have clearly seen that this is not the case using the Bible. Eve was clearly deceived in her mind; you can also be deceived in your mind if you let him operate there. God tells us what to think on in the Bible, perhaps you should go and search for them and learn to keep only those things in your mind.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF SATAN ENTERED AN ANIMAL’S BODY?
I think now would be a good time to introduce you to another set of scriptures that is certainly related to our subject study. If Satan had to borrow the body of a literal physical snake in order to manifest himself to Adam and Eve, what would happen if he actually did this? According to the Bible it is not a positive outcome for the natural snake. You can see in the Gospel where Jesus when He walked the face of the earth and came across a man who was possessed of devils in Matthew 8. The devils started to talk to Jesus and asked Jesus if they could go into the bodies of the herd of swine that were nearby. Jesus said Go! The devils went out of the men and went into the nearby natural animals. Then what happened to the animals?
Mat 8:32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
Apparently animals are aware when evil spirits enter into them. Did you see this? The animals were driven mad and committed suicide. After the suicide the evil spirits had no living bodies to possess, so they went about looking for another human to deceive. Did you learn anything from this story? Did you see how it applies to Genesis 3:1? Yes it is confirmed that a spirit being can enter into a body of even a snake but we must conclude from what was just presented that the snake would not have been a willing participant to the possession. God gives us clues like this in the Bible and we are required to put the clues together in order to understand what is being said. What we have learned is that even animals have a sensitivity to spiritual beings. Sometimes I think that animals are more sensitive than many people about pending disasters. Cats and dogs can sense earthquakes before they happen. Animals around the coast line ran to higher ground before the tsunami killed so many people a few years ago. Do not assume or think that any animal will just allow a devil to come into them and use them without them knowing about it. This is just another reason I do not believe there was a physical talking snake in the garden.
IS THE SERPENT LITERAL OR SYMBOLIC?
Now there is a major problem being presented for those who want to take every scripture literally. You see the problem is that the serpent must be a purely symbolic reference for a spiritual being that was not directly named or identified in the book of Genesis at all. You see I have been talking like you already knew that they serpent was Satan throughout this Bible study, but I have offered no Biblical proof to confirm this fact. How do we know that the “serpent” was Satan and not a literal talking created snake? I state the serpent was Satan based upon where else the serpent is mentioned in scriptures. God gives us the definition of the serpent in the last book of the Bible. You do understand that God is the author of the entire Bible, don’t you? You do understand that God can give new information for the same subject found in Genesis wherever He desires to, don’t you? You see God uses a symbolic serpent to describe Satan in several places in the Bible but I will only give you two verses that identifies the serpents real name to us very clearly:
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, the 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.
Rev 20:2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,
We can see from these verses in Revelation the true identity of the symbolic “old serpent” is revealed to us to be Satan, the deceiver. These verses also contain another symbolic reference and calls Satan the “great dragon”. Apparently Satan’s strength and ability has increased substantially as the symbolic dragon at the end to a level greater than he possessed at the beginning as the symbolic serpent. You can clearly see why God selected to use symbolic references in both places of the Bible. By comparing these two symbolic references we can gain additional information about this unseen spiritual enemy named Satan. What I am doing is attempting to teach you that God reveals the true identity of the symbolic “serpent” found in Genesis 3:1. You can see two times in Revelation 12:9 and Revelation 20:2 that the “serpent” is a symbolic reference for the devil called Satan. If the “serpent” is not literal here in these verses there is NO legitimate way for the “serpent” to be literal in Genesis either. So we just learned a valuable lesson, of why we can’t take everything in the Bible literally. We have also learned that we can’t study any book of the Bible independently in a vacuum. We must always use the Bible to interpret the Bible! We must see what God’s says about the subject we are studying in the Old Testament in the other places of the New Testament, because He always provides additional information, explanations and definitions that are critical for us to see in order to correctly understand what was being taught.
I have just given you at least 4 good reasons why the Bible says there was no literal physical talking snake in Genesis 3:1. These are not all of the reasons that I could have presented but there were enough reasons why I can say with great confidence that there was no physical talking snake in the Garden of Eden! I thank you for you time and comments. Be blessed in the Lord and continue in the pursuit of the knowledge of His Word. Until the next lesson please tell your friends about what you have learned from God.
If you would like to continue to read Genesis 3 “Part 2 – Does Eating Fruit Kill You” please click.