Animals, Colors, Metals, Numbers and Signs in Scripture.








Frequently in the scriptures animals are used to represent specific bible subjects or to teach spiritual lessons. In the scriptures, the serpent is frequently associated with sin and Satan. The words serpent or serpents appear 48 times in the scriptures. Also, the words, viper, adder, cockatrice, etc. appear several times in the scriptures. The serpent is mostly presented in the scriptures as a evil or harmful creature. In this series of studies on the serpent we will consider the following episodes in the scriptures:

1. The serpent as Satan in Genesis chapter 3.
2. The rod of God turned into a serpent at the hand of Moses.
3. The fiery serpents in the wilderness and the brazen serpent.
4. The Pharisees as serpents.
5. The Old Serpent in Revelations chapter 12.

The Serpent as Satan in Gen. Chapter 3

After God had given the commandment to Adam in Gen. Chapter 2, we read of the serpent in beginning in the 3rd Chapter of Genesis: Gen. 3:1 “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which 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?” According to Rev. 12:9 Satan is referred as the old serpent: Rev. 12:9 “And the great dragon was cast out, that 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.” When the serpent or Satan deceived Adam and Eve in the garden, he deceived the whole world.


There are several things said about Satan in the form of the serpent in Gen. Chapter 3:

    1. 3:1 “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which 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?” The serpent or Satan is extremely subtle. He is a deceiver. Moreover, he calls in question the word of God and attempts to get man to question the word of God.

    2. 3:4, 5 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Satan through the serpent called God a liar when he said to the woman, “Ye shall not surely die:” Moreover, Satan enticed the woman by telling her that great things would be hers if she disobeyed the commandment of God: “and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

    3. Moreover, Satan through the serpent appealed with his enticement to the natural desires of the woman: Gen. 3:6 “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” It is a natural desire to want food, to look upon the beauty of an object, and to desire to gain wisdom and understanding. Satan did this with his enticement and subtlety and the woman with her husband did sin by eating of the forbidden fruit. Sin, therefore, entered into the world and death by sin.

    4. God promised to destroy the poison of the serpent through the seed of the woman in Gen. 3:15 “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” The poison of the serpent is in the head of the serpent. In this verse God promised that there would be a seed of the woman which would bruise the head of the serpent. Of course, Christ is the seed of the woman and through his death on the cross, he destroyed the poison of the serpent. That is, sin is the poison of Satan, and Christ died to redeem his elect family from their sins, thus, destroying the poison of the serpent.

The Rod of God turned into a Serpent at the hand of Moses

When God called Moses to go and deliver the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, Moses asked God for a sign whereby the children of Israel would know that God had sent him. The Lord gave Moses three signs. One of the signs involved the rod in Moses hand that God turned into a serpent, and then turned back into a rod: Ex. 4:3-5 “And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.”

There is significance to the above sign that can be easily overlooked. The rod that Moses cast to the ground is used frequently in the book of Exodus to represent the authority or commandment of God. When God’s commandment is cast to the ground by man, it becomes sin to the man and like the serpent chased Moses so our sins chase us in judgment. In contrast to the rod being cast down and becoming a serpent by man, we see the serpent being taken up by one and it becoming a mighty rod in the hands of a man. Christ is the man who was without sin and lived without sin and at the appropriate time, took up the serpent (sins of the elect) and suffered on the cross God’s judgment of the sins of the elect and delivered the elect from their sins. Thus the great authority and commandment of God was fulfilled by the atoning work of Christ and God’s elect family now appear in the presence of a just and holy God as being altogether righteous.

This picture of Christ is further portrayed at the confrontation of the magicians: Ex. 7:9 “When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Show a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent. 10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. 12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.” The serpents (sins of God’s elect people) are swallowed up by the obedience and sacrificial atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. His rod swallowed up our sins.

The Fiery Serpents in the Wilderness and the Brazen Serpent

When the children of Israel murmured against God in the wilderness God sent fiery serpents amongst them:

Num. 21:6 “And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.” Then the children of Israel acknowledged their sin and prayed that God would take away the fiery serpents: Num. 21:7 “Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.” God did not take away the fiery serpents, but he gave a remedy to the children of Israel: Num 21:8, 9 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.”

In the New Testament, the Lord showed us that this was a figure or representation of the work of Christ on the cross: John 3:14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Several things stand out for us in the above passages of scripture:

    1. Obviously the fiery serpents are symbolic of the sins of God’s people.
    2. The serpent of brass placed on a pole was symbolic of Christ’s sufferings on the cross.
    3. The benefit of the serpent of brass was only for the living and was of no benefit to those who were already dead. Likewise, the benefit of Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross is for those who have spiritual life and not to the spiritually dead.
    4. Those that would have had an interest in the brazen serpent would have been those who felt themselves to have been bitten of a fiery serpent. Likewise, the people who have an interest in the crucifixion of Christ are those who believe themselves to be sinners and believe themselves to have been condemned of God because of their sins. This belief is evidence of their having spiritual life.
    5. Those that were bitten of the fiery serpents when they looked upon the brazen serpent on a pole saw that it was the brazen serpent that delivered them from their certain death. Likewise, those that felt the condemnation of sin when they look upon the sacrificial atonement of Christ know that it is Christ who has delivered them from eternal condemnation and has given them eternal life.

The Pharisees as serpents

Generally speaking, the Pharisees in Christ’s day were religious people. They believed they were righteous through the keeping of the law. Moreover, they believed themselves to be better than others because they were strong advocates of the law and knowledgeable of the law. On at least three occasions they are called serpents or vipers. While they were outwardly righteous they were inwardly wicked. The scriptural tie to them of being vipers shows us their wicked nature.

The following passages tie the Pharisees to being called vipers:

    1. Matt. 3:7 “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:” The Pharisees desire to be baptized of John was not for the reason that they believed in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, but rather it was a belief in a legal concept that through their actions they could become right with God and thus escape the eternal wrath of God. John called them a generation of vipers. They had no fruits of a repentant nature, but only self-righteousness.


    2. Matt. 12:34 “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” The Pharisees had accused Jesus of casting out devils by the power of Beelzebub. They had blasphemed the Holy Ghost. Jesus points out the wicked nature of these Pharisees as he calls them a generation of vipers, who are evil and speak evil and bring forth evil things.

    3. Matt. 23:23


“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24 ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.”

In this scathing accusation against the Pharisees, Jesus calls them serpents and a generation of vipers. The nature was altogether evil and poisonous just like a den of snakes. Although they outwardly appeared righteous, their inward nature was altogether wicked. We are warned not to judge based on the outward appearance, but to inspect their fruit. A good man brings forth that which is good, whereas, the evil man brings forth that which is evil. The Pharisees which the Lord condemned obviously had not been born of the Spirit of God and therefore had no inwardly good nature.

The Old Serpent in Revelations chapter 12

Rev. 12:9 "And the great dragon was cast out, that 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."

Four different names are used to describe Satan in the above verse. Each of the words has a meaning and describes part of the character of Satan. The word, dragon, has reference to a sea monster and as such is a devourer. As such he seeks to devour God's people: 1 Pet. 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." The second name is "that old serpent" and has reference to the serpent in the garden of Eden. The serpent used the technique of deception to deceive Eve and ultimately to get at Adam. Thus the serpent is a deceiver: 1 Tim. 2:14 "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." The serpent is also an enticer as he enticed the woman to sin through the fruit of the tree of knowledge and evil and the concept that by eating thereof she would become as God:" The name devil refers to Satan as a possessor: Matt. 9:32 "As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil." This is the same as the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. It is that spirit that possesses and leads them prior to the new birth. The name Satan means accuser. He is the accuser of God's people. For instance he said of Job, "Doth Job fear God for nought."

Under the old law covenant (first heaven) Satan accused the children of God of sin according to the law. As long as that law was not fulfilled and the redemption priced paid Satan would continue to accuse the Lord's people before God. However, we find in Rom. 8: 33 "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.34 Who is he that con demneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." Because Michael (Christ) represented us and paid the redemption price (his blood), he won the war and now Satan can no longer accuse us before God. There is no charge that can be made against God's elect. Not even the devil can now make a charge. Thus Satan has no more place under the fulfilled law covenant. He has been cast out. All he is capable of doing now is dealing misery to the elect people of God. To do this he must attack their flesh nature (earth) for he has no power to attack us in the inner man.

Rev. 12:15 "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth."

A glimpse of this picture is shown to us in the Garden of Eden when the serpent cast out of his mouth a flood of false doctrine in order to deceive the woman in the garden. He told Eve, "Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." This false doctrine came from the mouth of the serpent. He set forth the principle that man by an act of man can attain to Godhood. This same doctrine and the many various forms of this are still in the world today and being taught to God's people in the "earthly" assemblies (those who teach for doctrine the commandments of men). This doctrine was used to carry away the woman in the garden. It was used by Cain in an attempt to get favor with God. The Israelites had used this doctrine in their efforts to get right with God and Paul prayed for their deliverance from it in Rom. 10:1 "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."


They had swallowed the flood of false doctrine that man through keeping the law could establish his own righteousness and thus get right with God. This is in direct opposition to the fact that Christ is the end (completion) of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. The false requires the act of the creature whereas the true is by grace through the atoning blood of Christ. There are multiple variations in the worldly teaching today as to what man must do in order to get right with God. But every one of them requires man to do something in order to get right with God. Man in the very pride of his fleshly nature (earth) wants to think he can do something in order to get right with God. The truth is that he cannot do anything to get right with God, but Jesus Christ through the covenant of redemption has made his elect right with God and no man can lay anything to the charge of God's elect. The earth and the earthly assemblies swallow up the flood of false doctrines and false practices that flow forth from the serpent’s mouth and his self-made ministers: 2 Cor. 11:14 "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." The scriptures also teach of these earthly assemblies: 2 Tim. 4:3 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." The Lord warned of those in Mark 7:7 "Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." The earth is full of assemblies who hold to the doctrines and commandments of men that originated with the serpent in the garden of Eden. The earth has swallowed up this flood and this is really a help to the Lord's true church as she feeds from the manna of God's word and worships him in Spirit and in truth to His name's honor and glory.

Rev.12:17 "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

The covenant of redemption is completely contrary to Satan's goals and all he promotes. What can the dragon do to the covenant of redemption? He cannot alter God's eternal purpose and stop what God has purposed from coming to pass. Christ's death on the cross to justify his people has already come to pass. The new birth is a work that cannot be stopped. The resurrection is sure. The dragon's goal is to wipe from the mind all belief in the covenant of redemption that all the elect may worship the beast and his image and ultimately worship the dragon. In order to accomplish his purpose the dragon attempts to change people's perception of what the word of God really is. All the attempts to introduce new so-called bibles are attempts to change the doctrine of God to the doctrine of Satan. It is an attempt to eradicate the possibility that people might believe in God's covenant of redemption. In so doing he would replace Christ with a false Christ in the minds and hearts of God's people and have them worship the false Christ, which really holds and promotes Satan's doctrine. He allures through the pride of the flesh the idea that man is instrumental in procuring his own salvation from sin.


The second part of the dragon's attack is to make war with the remnant of the woman's seed which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. If he could disrupt and destroy the Lord's church, then he would be well on his way of accomplishing his goal of universal worship from God's elect. The Lord's church is made up of disciples who believe in the grace of God and believe that their salvation from sin was accomplished by the grace of God through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. They also believe that God is sovereign in bringing about the new spiritual birth and that by the grace of God. They also believe in the resurrection of the dead. Subsequently, they believe in God's covenant of redemption that he made with himself before the foundation of the world.

The statement that he went to make war with the remnant of the woman's seed that keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ is evidence that not all the seed of the woman keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. The idea of a remnant is taught throughout the scriptures. When God chose Israel to make a covenant with and be his people under the law dispensation, it is stated, "The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people."

Out of the 12 tribes of Israel, the Lord chose the tribe of Levi to serve the tabernacle. When he chose the priesthood, he chose the family of Aaron to be the priests. Notice that the Lord chooses a remnant. First it was the remnant of all mankind when he chose Israel, then it was a remnant of the 12 tribes when he chose Levi, then it was a remnant of the tribe of Levi when he chose the family of Aaron. The following verses of scripture point to a remnant serving the Lord in this New Testament age:

    1. Jere. 23:3 "And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. 4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. 5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."


    2. Joel 2:32 "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call."


    3. Mic. 4:7 "And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever."


    4. Rom. 9:27 "Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: 28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. 29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha."