That Old Serpent

"And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years." (Revelation 20:2)

This prophetic vision given to John leaves no doubt as to the identity of the serpent in the Garden of Eden. That "old serpent" (literally, "that primeval serpent") who deceived our first parents into rebelling against the word of God is none other than the Devil, or Satan, often viewed in Scripture as typified by a "great dragon" (Revelation 12:9), the fearsome animal of ancient times; probably the dinosaur.

His ultimate doom is sure—he will be bound a thousand years, then finally be "cast into the lake of fire . . . tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Revelation 20:10). At present, however, he is not bound, for "your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). We must be sober and vigilant, "lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11).

His devices are manifold, but all are deceptive (he was the most "subtle" of all God's creatures, Genesis 3:1), malevolent, and designed to turn us away from the true Christ. "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:3).

He is a great deceiver. He can appear as a fire-breathing dragon or a roaring lion, deceiving us into fearing and obeying him instead of God. He can also be "transformed into an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14), deceiving us into trusting the "feigned words" of his "false teachers" (2 Peter 2:3, 1) instead of the Holy Scriptures of the God of creation. Our recourse against his deceptions is to "put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11). HMM


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