A Serpent Shall Bite Him

A Serpent Shall Bite Him explains why Yahweh creates and allows evil on earth. For every transgression of His perfect Law there is a consequence thus Satan (that “serpent” of old) was foreordained as part of God’s Will for Israel. The Buddhists consider it karma, the godless call it luck, Christ says we reap what we sow but one thing’s certain – “Whoso breaks a hedge, a serpent shall bite him!”

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  1. Doubtless many have been much surprised when told that Satan is not in some far-off place stoking fires and torturing human or other victims, but that he is present amongst men, an invisible angel of evil, ably supported in his work as an Adversary of God by legions of other fallen angels, of whom he is master a “Prince of Demons,” either because of his superiority of nature, or because of belonging to a higher rank or grade than the ordinary angel. It is a surprise many to learn that Satan, so far from being ill favored, is beautiful, according to the Scriptures, and that he is supervising the work directly and through the fallen angels, his servants, to mislead and to deceive humanity putting light for darkness and darkness for light, error for truth, etc.

    The time was not long ago when intelligent people made light of everything in the Scriptures respecting invisible spirit beings, good and bad the messengers of God and the messengers of Satan. This, however, can no longer be done. Under the increasing light of the New Dispensation man himself today can do things which but a short time ago would have been considered impossible. Can we not speak with our friends over hundreds of miles with a telephone and recognize each other’s voices? Yet there is no pipe, no tube to convey the sounds and nothing, seemingly, carries it over the wire. We speak into a hole in the wall and our friends hundreds of miles away hear plainly.

    Still more marvelous is wireless telegraphy and wireless telephony. If man can accomplish these things, what cannot the Almighty accomplish? Who can deny the possibility of the invisible presence of spirit beings and yet admit the possibility of wireless telegraphy? We are safe, dear friends, in guiding our judgments directly by the Word of God and reasoning inside and not outside of its boundaries.

    THE BIBLE IN PERFECT ACCORD

    The Bible, and it alone, explains certain phenomena, and all of the Bible explanations, although written, some of them centuries apart, are in most perfect accord. Thus in Genesis the Bible tells us respecting Satan’s deflection, and the book of Revelation, written more than three thousand years later, tells us of his binding for a thousand years, of Messiah’s reign and Satan’s ultimate destruction. Isaiah and Ezekiel tell us of his being at one time in full harmony with God, and that then he was the “covering cherub,” glorious, grand, beautiful, and that his name was Lucifer, which signifies the Morning Star.

    All of the angelic, heavenly hosts are termed stars, bright ones; but Lucifer, being of a higher order, was styled the Morning Star, the Brightest Star. It was at that time, while in Divine favor, that Satan permitted the lodgment in his mind of a disloyal thought of how, indirectly, by being in higher responsibility, he could work some wonders and do some things better than the Almighty. He craved the opportunity to make a demonstration of what he could do. But the Scriptures declare that, first of all, he said this merely in his heart and uttered it not. “He said in his heart, I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God (still farther above his angelic associates), I will be as the Most High” a ruler.

    THE OPPORTUNE TIME CAME

    Never had there been sin in heaven. Satan was the first of all its inhabitants to cherish, to entertain, a rebellious thought and to bring it to a consummation. He held the thought in abeyance until the opportunity afforded, and God Himself afforded the opportunity, with full knowledge of the consequences, and with the desire that this test of the entire heavenly host, and of a human race as well, should be effected, because God seeketh not the worship of constraint, but “seeketh such for worshipers as worship Him in spirit and in truth,” voluntarily, joyfully.

    It was when Satan beheld our first parents, in the image and likeness of God, yet not spirit but flesh, earthly, that he perceived the opportunity of gaining the coveted power for an empire, separate from that of Jehovah. In the first pair the Adversary beheld a new thing, a creature of Godlike qualities and possessed of the power to propagate his own species. Satan realized that the conquest of this pair and the bringing of them into subjection to himself would signify the capture of a world full of people eventually that the enslavement of the parents would signify the enslavement eventually of the race.

    SATAN’S METHODS WERE SUCCESSFUL

    We cannot deny that Satan’s plans were logical and that he has carried them out with great success so that the Scriptures declare him “the Prince of this world” (John 14:30); and again, “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4). Nevertheless, his victory was not so great a one as he doubtless expected it to be.

    No doubt he expected that he was capturing an immortal race. Quite probably he believed the falsehood he told mother Eve, when he contradicted the Word of God that sin, that disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit, would bring upon them the penalty of death, “dying thou shalt die.”

    Satan’s charge was that God had misrepresented the facts for the purpose of holding His creatures in mental slavery to Himself; that He did not wish them to be wise, therefore He forbade the eating of this particular kind of fruit and declared the penalty of death for the transgression of His Law. “I, Satan, assure you that you need not be afraid of the fruit; I assure you that it will do you good, and that you will not surely die from the eating of it.”

    Alas! Mother Eve believed the Adversary and disbelieved her God, and then enticed her husband, still thinking, no doubt, that she would not die and that the serpent had told her the truth and that God had been the deceiver. St. Paul tells us that father Adam knew better and ate the fruit, knowing that it would cause his death, willing thus to disobey in order to maintain the fellowship of his wife, whose life, he realized, was already forfeited.

    When the Divine sentence began to go into execution, when our first parents were driven out of Eden to battle with the thorns and thistles until they should return to the dust, no doubt Satan was disappointed. He would rather be the Prince of a noble, living family of angels or of humans than the Emperor of a weak and dying race. However, from that day to the present time he has been fighting upon the same line; he has been contending with mankind that the Word of God is false when it declares that “the wages of sin is death,” and that “the soul that sinneth it shall die.” From that day to this he has been using this falsehood to the injury of our race, and surely he has succeeded wonderfully.

    Today, not only in heathen lands, but amongst the most civilized, it is freely believed (and by many Christians considered Scriptural to believe the nonsensical) that a dead man is more alive than before he died. People of good, sound, reasoning faculties on ordinary subjects seem to be “hoodooed” by this falsehood of Satan, “ye shall not surely die.” So true is this, that it seems not inconsistent to them to say that a man hit over the head with a stick and knocked senseless knows nothing, but a man hit over the head harder and killed, knows everything.

    THE FALLEN ANGELS

    It was sometime after the fall of Satan and the fall of man that the Lord permitted the great test to come upon the angels of heaven, under which test a host of them fell into sin, disobedience, etc. and since then are known in the Scriptures as the fallen angels, and as devils more properly demons. These fallen angels, demons, are under Satan as their great Prince and they have been his active agents for long centuries in deceiving mankind and opposing the Divine Program.

    SATAN THE GREAT MURDERER

    No less an authority than our great Lord and Redeemer tells us that Satan is a murderer and a liar. He declares that “He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth; when he speaketh a lie he speaketh of his own, for he is the father of lies.” (John 8:44) It is well that we keep this Divine testimony in our minds. It is well that we note just what the first great lie was, namely, Satan’s misrepresentation saying, “Ye shall not surely die.” It is important that we notice this, because so thoroughly has Satan accomplished his deceptive work that practically everybody, heathen and civilized, accepts Satan’s version of the matter and discredits that of the Almighty.

    Let us notice that Satan is a murderer; that he murdered Father Adam and Mother Eve, and that his lie is still murdering our race, under the just laws of heredity. The error of believing Satan instead of God has gotten many into the confused situation of disclaiming that God proposed that man should live forever on earth in a Paradise, and, as his family would increase and continue in harmony with His wise regulations, the boundaries of his Paradise would be enlarged and be a Paradise filled with the knowledge of God and the home of a perfect humanity, in accord with God, privileged to maintain everlasting life here. And, says this theory, by Satan’s lie and our first parents’ fall, we die and by dying become more alive and some of us go to heaven and the mass to some eternal, fiery hell, of which we have no knowledge.

    THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE

    (Rom. 6:23)

    God, while permitting Satan and sin and depravity and death to take their course, has not been idle. He has had, and still has, a great plan for human salvation a plan for recovering man from sin and from death and from all of his fallen conditions, a plan of restitution to human perfection, a plan by which the Seed of the woman shall yet, literally, crush the Serpent’s head, and undo Satan’s great original misdeed recover man from his murdered condition and from his fallen estate to all that he had at first plus the knowledge and experiences of the present life and plus the experience incidental to his uplift, during the reign of Messiah, for which we pray, “Thy Kingdom come.”

    The Scriptures clearly show us that all of this recovery is to be accomplished through the merit of Jesus” sacrifice—” the just for the unjust.” That the work has not yet begun is evident. We are still living under the reign of sin and death. The Messianic Kingdom must come in power and great glory and be established, the Scriptures tell us, in a great time of trouble. Then the earth will be made to blossom as the rose, and the wilderness and the solitary places will be made glad, and all mankind will receive Divine blessing and opportunity to return to Divine favor and eternal life as human beings. And the willfully disobedient and the negligent of those opportunities will die the Second Death, from which there will be no recovery, no resurrection, no hope.

    THE SAINTS SHALL JUDGE THE WORLD (1 Cor. 6:2)

    These great blessings of restitution, for which Israel and the whole world are waiting, cannot be brought about until first the special salvation of a special class, the salvation of the very elect not to human nature, but to a heavenly nature, as the Bride of Christ shall be accomplished. The selecting of these has progressed for nearly nineteen centuries and, apparently, is about complete. The Divine blessing and work then to be inaugurated will be restitution to earthy nature and perfection—” to the Jew first.”

    SATAN SERVES THE SAINTS

    During all these centuries, while Satan has been the Prince of ruler amongst the children of this world, and while he has blinded them with his sophistries and falsehoods, he has also done another work for the saintly few now being called to the heavenly places. For these he has, so to speak, turned a polishing grindstone to prepare them for the riches of the heavenly glory as New Creatures, as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord. Quite unwittingly, we may be sure, he has served the Creator’s purposes and helped to prepare, through trials, this class for the glorious things which God has in reservation for those that love Him.

    SATAN AS AN ANGEL OF LIGHT

    St. Paul declares of Satan, “We are not ignorant of his devices,” and he tells us that Satan and his servants transform themselves into servants of righteousness, etc. We see this principle in operation as we read Church history. Satan, all through this Age, has sought to pervert Christian hopes and distort Christian doctrines by presenting counterfeits of Bible truths. Thus, for instance, the Scriptures tell us that eventually the Church, “a little flock,” will be associated with Messiah in His Kingdom of glory, to reign a thousand years. It was Satan’s method to counterfeit this hope, to suggest to men the establishment of an earthly Kingdom with an earthly little flock, an earthly glory, an earthly reign. This was set forth as the fulfillment of the second Psalm.

    And when later on some of Satan’s dupes began to get free from some of his snares, he became their leader in an opposite direction, called them Reformers and led them to claim that all the civilized kingdoms of the earth are the kingdoms of Christ.

    This is the status of affairs today. The world in general believes that Christ’s Kingdom has come, even through they are still praying, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Satan has led them away from careful attention to making their own calling and election sure by Christian character development, into the various reform movements of the world, whose trial time has not yet come. Thus Christians of all denominations have been bewildered, confused by the artful wiles of our enemy. Now, however, as the morning of the New Dispensation dawns, our eyes of understanding are opening. We perceive that our Adversary has but a short time until he must be bound for a thousand years; that the Messianic Kingdom must prevail that all the families of the earth may be blessed through the Seed of Abraham. Finally, at the close of that reign of righteousness, the Scriptures declare, Satan shall be destroyed.

    The Church is the Body of Christ, of Messiah. Hence the Apostle’s words of our text apply to the Church in glory—” The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly”.

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