I had a brief vision brought back to my memory of something I saw in 1980. It is so pertinent today. I was driving back to where I lived in East Hampton, Connecticut from the neighboring town of Colchester on Route 16. I approached the bottom of an incline and I saw a rattle snake that had been run over. Part of its lower body was stuck to the road, making it unable to move away. Yet it was doing its best to strike at cars as they went over it. Even as the snake’s end approached, it was still trying to bite and sink its fangs into the approaching vehicles and inject venom to maim or kill. This memory reminded me of Revelation 12:12, “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows his time is short.” So many are aware of this scripture yet act no differently than those who seek to show their knowledge of God by misinterpreting scripture and handling those very snakes that seek to kill.

The venom from snakes and many scorpions is quite dangerous. Serious snake bites are filled with neurotoxins that can cause arrhythmia, heart failure, musculoskeletal disorders, psychological distress, severe kidney problems, vision problems, brain damage, amputations and death. Yet people seem oblivious to the inherent dangers of embracing that great vile serpent Satan. Great lies proceed from his mouth and when the liar speaks, “he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies. I arrive on the scene, tell you the plain truth, and you refuse to have a thing to do with me.” (John 8 – Message Bible) In John 10:10, Jesus says, “I have come that you would have life, and that you would have it more abundantly.” Yet so many follow a god of their own making. They have become like those that seek to charm snakes. They believe they can have that cobra be charmed by one’s own power and play music that calms them. They are unaware that many of those snakes have had their venom sacs or fangs removed. Or their mouths sewn shut. This snake is attracted by vibrations and swaying motion of the charmer. Venomous snakes and scorpions cannot be pets. And Satan cannot be lured by music and motion. No matter the light show or volume of the music. Satan comes only to rob, kill, and destroy.

Ecclesiastes 10:11 says, “If the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer.” And this is what is happening so often. Words can bite and leave grievous wounds. So can false doctrine, which is like a twisted serpent leading you astray. As Paul warned in 2 Corinthians 11, many will come and preach a doctrine that has a different spirit than that which Jesus spoke. They become lured by the craftiness of the enemy that may sound close to what is correct, but causes us to stray from the simplicity of that which is in Christ. If we ask that our spiritual eyes and understanding be opened, we will see that no one calls for justice and they trust in empty words. They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity. They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web. He who eats of this dies. (Isaiah 59). Adam and Eve ate of those words in the Garden of Eden. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 16 that the God of peace will crush satan under our feet. But we must take this authority. We cannot attempt to handle that which is poison or follow those who embrace a doctrine that does not line up with what Christ taught. Paul warned us in 1 Timothy 6 to avoid any such false doctrine. The one who presumes to teach such false theology is “puffed up with pride and stupefied with conceit; is woefully ignorant. He has a morbid fondness for controversy and disputes and strife about words, which result in envy and jealousy, quarrels and dissension, abuse and insults, and base suspicions, and protracted wrangling and wearing discussion and perpetual friction among who are corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, who believe that godliness is a source of profit.” (Amplified Bible) From such, withdraw. We cannot be ignorant of satan’s devices. His words and ways are filled with venom. And man, having handled this serpent, seeks to spread this venom under the guise of the word of the Lord.

Venom like this always kills. Even handling a dead serpent or scorpion can cause one to be bit. The venom is still just as deadly. Many still follow a serpent that was hit but no death blow was delivered. So that viper is still around and millions seek to handle it or be charmed by its evil allure. And beware of the young snakes out there.  Their venom can be more deadly, as they have no control of the amount of venom they release when they bite. Many today believe because one once spoke a gospel that aligned with the word of the Lord that they remain constant in their righteousness and teaching. We must examine every word to see it lines up with Christ. When you see nationalism and bible teaching being presented as one and the same, realize that it’s incumbent upon you to know the truth. When you see politics and the church on the same page it’s time to step back. When you see what Jesus spoke in Matthew 5-7 taught as just another story, one not to take to heart, then realize that the viper’s venom has adversely affected that false teacher. When prophecy often seems to  fall short, or is proven false, and the one who proclaims to be a prophet has not repented, realize that their handling of serpents has infected their hearts and minds. When racism, anti-semitism, and practices like voter suppression and passing laws that encourages them, realize that same venom has revealed itself. These are the ones that seek to deceive, and venom of asps is under their lips. (Romans 3:13) No matter how these venomous practices seek to disguise themselves, “In the end it will bite like a serpent and sting like an adder.” (Proverbs 23:32)

I remember as a young boy in Norfolk, Virginia, there was a warning of a rattle snake in a copse of trees near my house. Three women went out armed just with brooms and a rake and killed it. I’m sure the brooms stunned it and the rake killed it. We need the spiritual brooms and rakes today. These snakes aren’t hiding, they walk among us with no fear. They inject venom filled with hate, malice, spite and jealousy. They use weapons of the enemy yet speak soothing words to entice. The same God who said in Deuteronomy 8 that He has led you through the wilderness filled with fiery serpents and scorpions is still here to guide us today. We must understand that when the Apostle John stated in John 3 that just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, that those who looked upon it would be healed from the venom of serpents, we too must look upon Christ who was pierced for our transgressions. Those that seek to spread their venom are of the world and the world hears and embraces them. But if you say you are of God, you will be overcomers, as He has supplied the anti-venom for all that pertains to life. Keep yourselves from that which seeks to take God’s place in your heart. Blessings.

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