The Beast, The Old & Young Lion, and The Fiery Flying Serpent

AndersThe End Game

In the annals of prophetic end times revelation there are many metaphors employed by the prophets which are difficult to understand if you’re not used to the cadence and symbolism of prophecy. In the Blog Topic, “The Arch Tyrants of the Isaiah Story,” we introduced the Assyrian and the Root of the Assyrian to the reader. In this post, we want to expand your ability to recognize more of the imagery used by the prophets and apostles in scripture as they describe this man known as the Anti-Christ in New Testament parlance.  The point is to make you aware that these metaphors are describing this man and his work that will bring so much havoc and destruction upon the earth.

The Beast

1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. 3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. 4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months (or 3 ½ years). 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9 If any man have an ear, let him hear. 10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. 11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. (Notice John is describing another beast which will arise. This is the Root of the Assyrian who will stand up after the Assyrian is killed.) 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Revelations Chapter 13.)

Daniel also describes this beast comprised of a lion, a bear, and a leopard. Daniel describes them as three separate beasts whereas John described them as a single beast or entity. Both descriptions are correct. It’s just a matter of perspective. And just as John described another beast which stood up after the Assyrian is killed, Daniel tells us this also with his fourth beast who is the root of the Assyrian. The Assyrian is killed but stands back up more powerful and capable than before. Both Daniel and John write of a 3 ½ year timeframe for the GMW which we have explored elsewhere on this blog.

1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. 5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. 6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. (This is the Assyrian’s Root who stands up after the Assyrian is killed.) 8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. 9 ¶I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. 15 ¶I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; 20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. 21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time (or 3 ½ years). 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart. (Daniel chapter 7.)

What else have the prophets had to say about beasts? Read these verses as metaphor about the great beast.

5 For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches.  6 They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth: and the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them. 7 ¶In that time shall the present be brought unto the Lord of hosts of a people scattered and peeled, and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the mount Zion. (Old Testament, Isaiah, Chapter 18)

9 ¶All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest. 10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. 11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. (Old Testament, Isaiah, Chapter 56)

1 Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth. 2 And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the Lord; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity. 3 And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the Lord: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy. (Old Testament, Jeremiah, Chapter 15)

7 And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth. 8 And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof. (Old Testament, Jeremiah, Chapter 19)

17 So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the Lord have spoken it. (Old Testament, Ezekiel, Chapter 5)

15 ¶If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts: (Old Testament, Ezekiel, Chapter 14)

27 Say thou thus unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; As I live, surely they that are in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence. 28 For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through. (Old Testament, Ezekiel, Chapter 33)

25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. (Old Testament, Ezekiel, Chapter 34)

The Old and Young Lion

The identity of the old and young lions came forcefully as we studied Hosea chapter 5. All the pieces fell in place to understand this prophecy about the old and young lion of which Jesus, Isaiah, and many of the prophets have spoken. The young lion then of course had to be the Assyrian’s Root.  

14 For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him. (Hosea chapter 5)

12 And my people who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi, Chapter 21. This is Jesus quoting Micah.) So this proves there is more than one definition to the word “remnant” because we know it’s the Assyrian’s army which will tear and tread down the people.

5 ¶O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. 6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. (Isaiah chapter 10)

28 Whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent, their horses’ hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind:  29 Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it. (Old Testament, Isaiah, Chapter 5)

8 And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights: (Old Testament, Isaiah, Chapter 21)

6 The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them. (Old Testament, Isaiah, Chapter 30)

4 For thus hath the Lord spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof. (Old Testament, Isaiah, Chapter 31)

15 The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste: his cities are burned without inhabitant. (Old Testament, Jeremiah, Chapter 2)

6 Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction. 7 The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant. (Old Testament, Jeremiah, Chapter 4)

6 Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased. (Old Testament, Jeremiah, Chapter 5)

19 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan against the habitation of the strong: but I will suddenly make him run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me? (Old Testament, Jeremiah, Chapter 49)

41 Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.  42 They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not shew mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, every one put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon. 43 The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail. 44 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me? (Old Testament, Jeremiah, Chapter 50)

Next Ezekiel provides this insightful prophecy about the lions:

1 Moreover take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, 2 And say, What is thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps among young lions. 3 And she brought up one of her whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men. 4 The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt. 5 Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her whelps, and made him a young lion. 6 And he went up and down among the lions, he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey, and devoured men. 7 And he knew their desolate palaces, and he laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and the fulness thereof, by the noise of his roaring. 8 Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces, and spread their net over him: he was taken in their pit. 9 And they put him in ward in chains, and brought him to the king of Babylon: they brought him into holds, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel. 10 ¶Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.

11 And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches. 12 But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them. 13 And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground. 14 And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation. (Old Testament, Ezekiel, Chapter 19)

King David had this to say about the lions:

8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; 10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. 13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. 14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. 15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. (Old Testament, Psalms, Psalm 91)

20 Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. 21 The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. (Old Testament, Psalms, Psalm 104)

From Job:

10 The roaring of the lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, and the teeth of the young lions, are broken. 11 The old lion perisheth for lack of prey, and the stout lion’s whelps are scattered abroad. (Old Testament, Job, Chapter 4)

Going back to the lion, leopard, and bear for a moment, Hosea tells us that God will use the beast to destroy Ephraim:

1 When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died………. 7 Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them: 8 I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them. 9 ¶O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. (Old Testament, Hosea, Chapter 13)

From John:

16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, (with the mouth of a lion in Rev 13) these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. (New Testament, Revelation, Chapter 17)

From Peter:

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (New Testament, 1 Peter, Chapter 5)

The Fiery Flying Serpent

The genesis for the concept of the fiery flying serpent comes from Isaiah who uses this metaphor quite effectively.

29 ¶Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent. (Isaiah 6:29) This verse tells us that when the Assyrian is broken, a cockatrice will stand in his place. This man will have unusual powers and will be much more dangerous than the Assyrian. A dictionary definition for a cockatrice is a two-legged dragon or monster that can kill with a glance. Isaiah used this symbolic reference for the Root of the Assyrian.

6 The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them. (Isa 30:6) Here Isaiah links the lions with the viper and fiery flying serpent. We will have more to say about the iconography of vipers and serpents in a future post.

So with this background in mind, let’s see what else the scriptures can teach us.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. (Old Testament, Psalms, Psalm 91)

Notice the old lion is a serpent and the young lion is a dragon or the cockatrice. Those are both metaphors for men who are devils. Then we saw this huge link….. The dragon comes out of the Assyrian’s Root.

29 Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken; for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent. (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi, Chapter 24)

And what does this dragon do? Can you see it?  Read it again. What does the cockatrice do? He flies! These servants of the devil will have tremendous powers. Isaiah was brilliant. Of course, he will be a flying serpent or devil. The holy prophets teach us with similitudes. Now you can see why the prophets speak of their evil sorcery and magic. If we’re not studying the Word of God we will be unprepared when these events come.

2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (New Testament, Ephesians, Chapter 2)

Now let’s look at the prophet Nephi’s use of this provocative phrase:

41 And he did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they hardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished. (1Nep 17.)

So what were these “fiery flying serpents” that were sent among the people? Were magicians or sorcerers, with the power to fly, the real cause of such a mysterious verse written by Nephi? Remember these people had just come out of Egypt where the magicians of pharaoh’s court displayed great power. Were these fiery flying serpents men who taught false doctrine and lies to the people who were then “bitten” by satanic things?

20 And now, my brethren, I have spoken plainly that ye cannot err. And as the Lord God liveth that brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt, and gave unto Moses power that he should heal the nations after they had been bitten by the poisonous serpents, if they would cast their eyes unto the serpent which he did raise up before them, and also gave him power that he should smite the rock and the water should come forth; yea, behold I say unto you, that as these things are true, and as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved. (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi, Chapter 25)

So what did Moses actually raise up before the people which could heal them? The brazen serpent was raised on a rod. Is it symbolic? What does it really mean? We seem to be too many centuries away from the events to fully understand how a brass serpent can represent God. The meaning is obscured from our view but we can look into the mystery and make an educated guess. Moses’ rod is a representation of the Word of God. The Word of God teaches about the Father’s work. Could it mean they were taught the truth and only had to look at the Word of God and it would save them from the false teachings of the devils among them? Did Moses have scriptures recorded on brass that he held aloft to the people? In the courts of Pharaoh we are told that Moses’ rod was more powerful than the rods of the magicians. Perhaps this symbol of a brazen serpent was tied to the mysteries of Egypt in the same way the Mesoamerican people represented their deity Quetzalcoatl as a feathered serpent?

In Hebrew gematria the words Messiah and serpent have the same numerical sum so the metaphor of Moses’ rod representing the Messiah and its vastly greater power over the serpent-rods of the sorcerers is clearly demonstrated in the book of Exodus. Regardless of what Moses held aloft to the people and whether or not it was an actual brazen serpent is immaterial. It was something those people could understand living in their paradigm even if the full meaning escapes us today. One thing is for certain, Moses is used as a type for the “One like unto Moses” who will be given power during the GMW to destroy the Assyrian’s Root just as Moses had power over Egypt and power to heal the people from the bite of the fiery flying serpents.

5 And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men. (Micah, Chapter 5)

20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things. (Old Testament, Joel, Chapter 2)

25 That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. (Old Testament, Isaiah, Chapter 14)

26 And the Lord of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt. 27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing. (Old Testament, Isaiah, Chapter 10)

19 So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. 20 ¶And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. (Old Testament, Isaiah, Chapter 59)

The Serpents Bite

There are several interesting bite verses to consider, but this one in Ecclesiastes provides an interesting thought.

6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place. 7 I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth. 8 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him. 9 Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby. 10 If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct. 11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better. 12 The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. (Eccl 10)

Here the serpents bite seems to be in his cunning and being caught up in a snare by him in some way. Notice the prince here is walking on the earth, and this isn’t his normal mode of transportation (he flies).   

15 We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble! 16 The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones; for they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; the city, and those that dwell therein. 17 For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the Lord. (Jeremiah 8)

Paul’s type immediately below gives us an idea that there is something literal and physical to the bite.  Though he was bitten, he did not die and frustrated the plan of the serpent.  

2 And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. 3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. 5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. 6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god. (Acts 28.)

In Galatians 5, again the bite is of the cunning in the law to take advantage of one another.  This is the mahan principle in action.

14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (Gal 5.)

20 And now, my brethren, I have spoken plainly that ye cannot err. And as the Lord God liveth that brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt, and gave unto Moses power that he should heal the nations after they had been bitten by the poisonous serpents, if they would cast their eyes unto the serpent which he did raise up before them, and also gave him power that he should smite the rock and the water should come forth; yea, behold I say unto you, that as these things are true, and as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved. (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi, Chapter 25)

19 Behold, he was spoken of by Moses; yea, and behold a type was raised up in the wilderness, that whosoever would look upon it might live. And many did look and live. 20 But few understood the meaning of those things, and this because of the hardness of their hearts. But there were many who were so hardened that they would not look, therefore they perished. Now the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would heal them. 21 O my brethren, if ye could be healed by merely casting about your eyes that ye might be healed, would ye not behold quickly, or would ye rather harden your hearts in unbelief, and be slothful, that ye would not cast about your eyes, that ye might perish? 22 If so, wo shall come upon you; but if not so, then cast about your eyes and begin to believe in the Son of God, that he will come to redeem his people, and that he shall suffer and die to atone for their sins; and that he shall rise again from the dead, which shall bring to pass the resurrection, that all men shall stand before him, to be judged at the last and judgment day, according to their works. 23 And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become a tree, springing up in you unto everlasting life. And then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye will. Amen. (Book of Mormon, Alma, Chapter 33)

14 Yea, did he not bear record that the Son of God should come? And as he lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness, even so shall he be lifted up who should come. 15 And as many as should look upon that serpent should live, even so as many as should look upon the Son of God with faith, having a contrite spirit, might live, even unto that life which is eternal. (Book of Mormon, Helaman, Chapter 8)

When a serpent bites you, what is the effect?  You are poisoned. Paul was bitten but he was able to shake off the effects of it. We have all been able to do that ourselves through the Word of God which teaches us the true points of God’s doctrine. The scales of darkness have fallen off our eyes and we can see into the serpents lies.

8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (New Testament, 1 John, Chapter 3)

24 And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover; (Book of Mormon, Mormon, Chapter 9)

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (New Testament, Mark, Chapter 16)

24 And he knoweth their prayers, that they were in behalf of their brethren. And he knoweth their faith, for in his name could they remove mountains; and in his name could they cause the earth to shake; and by the power of his word did they cause prisons to tumble to the earth; yea, even the fiery furnace could not harm them, neither wild beasts nor poisonous serpents, because of the power of his word. (Book of Mormon, Mormon, Chapter 8)

We always used to view these verses about the serpents literally as we saw with Paul in Acts 28— the serpent’s bite would have no harm over the true servants. But now these verses mean much more than strictly a literal interpretation and the use of these serpent verses has a dual meaning. God’s servants won’t be influenced by the false precepts and ordinances administered by the devil or his henchmen, nor will they have any physical power over the servants until their work is done.  

18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 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. (New Testament, Luke, Chapter 10)

 

 

 

Men like Sherem will be Snuffed Out
O Ye Nations