1Cor 10:9                              The Serpent on a Pole                               6/20/2010      ßą   

 

 

 

 

#1.                  Fiery Serpents (Num 21:4-9, Gal 1:17)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.      The Brass Serpent (2King 18:1-5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.      Mankind Bitten By Fiery Serpents (Eph 2:1-3, Num 11:5, Acts 26:14)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please turn in your Bibles to the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 10:1 (2X). The title of this sermon is The Serpent on a Pole (2X), based on 1Cor 10:9 and Num 21:9. In the past few weeks we have been progressing slowly through this NT prophecy of 1Corinthians chapter 10, and we are discovering all kinds of wonderful spiritual applications that make the OT really come to life. And we are not forcing spiritual applications on these passages, for God says in 1Cor 10:11 that these “are written for our admonition”. In other words God says that we must look for the spiritual applications in these passages so that they become profitable for our admonition. And God says in Rom 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” If we read the OT as just a history book, there would not be much comfort and hope there. But we are discovering that many of the OT passages are speaking of Christ and of the church of Christ in a NT setting. We read in 1Cor 10:9,

What is this tempting of Christ referring to? Well, tempting Christ means that we challenge Him to the utmost, like with apostacy, and then the answer from Christ is that He is not as patient with us as we had thought He would be. But when we turn to Him in repentance, He is faithful and just to forgive the sins of those whom He calls His children. That is how He showed His mercy again and again on the children of Israel when they rebelled against Him. Let us now read 1Cor 10:1-9,

1Co 10:1-9  Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.  Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

Almost every verse relates to a passage in the Prophecy of Numbers, where we are introduced to many different idolatries of the children of Israel, for it is in the Prophecy of Numbers where all the sordid sins of Israel are listed. In 1Cor 10:9 we read, “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.” What event is this referring to? Please put a sticker here in 1Cor 10:9, and please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Numbers, Num 21:4 (2X).

#1.                  Fiery Serpents (Num 21:4-9, Gal 1:17)

When we read about the Red Sea in the Bible, we should remember that it is only in recent years that parts of the Red Sea were given different names. The upper part of the Red Sea branches into two large arms; one is called the Gulf of Suez and the other part is called the Gulf of Aqabah. But in Biblical times all the waters were called Red Sea. Since Mount Horeb is east of the Gulf of Aqabah, in Arabia according to Gal 1:17, not west in the Sinai Peninsula where most churches believe Mount Horeb is, we get a better idea of the difficult terrain that the children of Israel had to travel on foot. And so, when we read the words “by the way of the Red Sea” we should realize that this means they had to pass again along the shores of the Gulf of Aqabah in order to go around the land of Edom. We read in Num 21:4-9,

Nu 21:4-9 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. (referring to the manna) And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 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. 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.

What is God saying here? Remember God’s words in 1Cor 10:9, “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted.” How were they tempting Christ? Num 21:5 says they were tempting Him by speaking against God and against Moses. They were loudly complaining about the rough road and about their shortage of water and food. And then they said in Num 21:5, “and our soul loatheth this light bread.” This light bread referred to the manna, which was bread from heaven and which was a shadow of Christ who said of Himself that He was “the true Bread from heaven.” This was a great insult of Christ. This was open rebellion against God. They did not appreciate what God has done for them thus far in their life. This was not the rebellious bunch that just came out of Egypt. Most of those had already died. But here in Numbers 21 this was the 40th year after they had left Egypt. This was the younger generation who rebelled against God and against Moses, just like their fathers have done. Paraphrased they were saying: O, why does God take us through all this suffering? We do not deserve this. Why has God taken us out of Egypt? There is no other bread here than this "light bread" And what they were referring to was the manna from Heaven that God provided for them every morning, six days per week. In the KJV their words are translated "light bread", but the Hebrew word actually means "contemptible”, or “worthless bread". They called the manna “worthless bread.” But, did you notice that this is what people still do today? Haven't you heard people say: "O, why does this happen to me? I do not deserve this. Why did God do this to me?" What they are actually saying in their heart is: "This is unfair! God did this to me, but God could have prevented this. This providence of God is like worthless bread.”

If God does not love us, He leaves us alone, and we go on through life angry and complaining about everything, but we will find out that Hell is far worse than this life on earth ever was. God says of those people in Isa 57:20-21, “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” On the other hand if God loves us, He will bring chastening into our lives to help straighten us out. God had a remnant within this congregation of Israelites and that is why He chose to bring them into the Promised Land. But this younger generation of Israelites was no better than their fathers, and we are no better than they were 3 ½ thousand years ago. But is it not remarkable that for most of us God brought chastening in our lives in order to draw us to Himself and to Christ. God says in Heb 12:5-6, “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” This is what God did for the children of Israel. God's chastening sometimes resembles surgery. God cuts away that which is rotten or gangrene, or God cuts away that which would hinder us from following Christ with all our heart. Here in Num 21, God sent fiery serpents among the people, and many of the complainers died. Was this a chastening or a Judgment from God? For those who survived it was clearly a chastening from God, because they saw their beloved family members die, but they realized their sin, and they begged the Lord for forgiveness. For those who died it was clearly a Judgment. They would soon appear before God the Judge. We can see this when we study the Hebrew word for "fiery" that God uses. In verse 6, the "fiery serpents" are two Hebrew words which actually say: "saraph serpents". The word "saraph" means "a burning one". Historically, these saraph serpents were poisonous serpents with a burning sting to their bite. God could have used another word for this burning sting to their bite, for every poisonous bite is a burning sting, but God uses the word "saraph" in the singular, and "Seraphim" in the plural. You may have heard that the Seraphim are an order of angels. Well, you have heard wrong! Angels were created to be ministering spirits to those who shall be heirs of salvation. Seraphim do not fit this category. The Seraphim means "The Burning Ones" and they were a manifestation of God burning in His anger for the sins of the people of Judah and Israel. The only place where the Seraphim appear is in Isa 6:2,6, and if we check the context of Isa 5 and 6 we see that this was indeed a time when the Lord was burning in His anger.

God is angry about more things than just a misunderstanding of the word seraph in Num 21:8-9. God is angry at preachers who have twisted this entire passage of Num 21:4-9. The Lord Jesus quoted this event right after He had told Nicodemus that we have no control over becoming Born Again, because we must be Born of God. God does the entire transaction. But this passage of Num 21:4-9 has been a favorite passage of those who peddle a "Free Will gospel", or a “Do it yourself salvation.” Perhaps you remember the hymn where the refrain goes: "Look and live". More than once have I heard a sermon of that title: "Look and live". What those preachers claim is this: In order to save their lives, the Israelites who were bitten by the serpents had to look toward the serpent on the pole, which foreshadowed Christ on the cross. So they looked, and therefore they lived. So they say: We must look to the cross in faith, and then we receive eternal life. We must take that action. But that is altogether a works gospel. Is that really what this passage is saying? Here again we must look carefully at the Hebrew words, because in verses 8 and 9 the translators could have done a better job. When we work out the Hebrew tenses, we find what Num 21:8-9 actually says literally. In the Hebrew the past tense is called the perfect tense.

Num 21:8  And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent (a saraph 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 lived (Lit: and he has seen it, he lived)            (not the future tense, but the past tense).

Num 21:9  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 (and) he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived         (past tense).

He Has Seen It, He Lived. That is the common denominator of verses 8 and 9. "He lived" is in the past tense in both verses. In other words: He has seen it because he lived. The way it stands in the KJV, it reads as if: "He lived because he has seen it". But that is a twist of the Word of God that does not harmonize with the grammar or with the explanation, which the Lord Jesus gave in John, chapter 3. This entire story in Num 21:4-9 is a picture of salvation. That is how the Lord Jesus used this reference. Those who have been bitten by the saraph serpents have come under the wrath of God, and are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins. They are dead, until God makes them alive so that they can look. He has seen the brass serpent, because he lived. That is also what we read in Eph 2:1,3, where we read that WE ALL were dead in trespasses and sins and under the wrath of God, until the day that we by God's mercy have been made alive, by becoming Born Again by God the Holy Spirit. That is why we read in John 3:15, "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life". Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Second Kings, 2King 18:1 (2X). Who will believe of their own accord? No one! Only those will believe whom God chose to give the Gift of life. And who will see, or who will look at the brass serpent? No one! Only those will look whom God has given the gift of life.

#2.      The Brass Serpent (2King 18:1-5)

What has Hezekiah to do with the serpent on a pole? Just think of it. Moses made the brass serpent in the year that the children of Israel entered the Promised Land. Hezekiah became king of Judah 700 years after the children of Israel entered the Promised Land. And for all those 700 years the children of Israel worshipped the brass serpent that Moses made. We read in 2King 18:1-5,

2Kings 18:1-5 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves (better: he cut down the Asherah), and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan (N@chushtan) He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.

Hezekiah was a good king. Look at God's commendation of him in verse 5, “He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.” Wow. Hezekiah trusted in God more than any of the kings of Judah. Who gave him such great faith? It was God only who must receive this credit. Not his father Ahaz. His father Ahaz was a very wicked king. But God in His providence gave Hezekiah a God fearing mother by the name of Abi, here in 2Kings 18:2, but she is called Abijah in 2Chron 29:1. Abijah means My Father is Jehovah. Hezekiah's trust in God was not some secret burning in his bosom, like the Mormons explain it today. His trust in God was also seen in his actions: He kept the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses. He knew whom to fear, but he had no fear of men, and he did not serve the king of Assyria, which had destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel and was threatening to destroy also the kingdom of Judah. And then we read in 2King 18:4, “He brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made.” How dare he do that? But you see, the children of Israel had come to look at this "Serpent on a Pole" as something that had magical powers. It had become a sacred thing, and no one dared to challenge this. And for about 700 years the children of Israel had been burning incense before that statue and worshipping it. What idolatry! And God had been patiently bearing this insult year after year, for almost 700 years, until He raised up Hezekiah. In all the previous years no other king realized what idolatry this was. But God made Hezekiah see what idolatry this was, and Hezekiah smashed it to pieces and called it contemptuously: Nehushtan (N@chushtan), meaning: “Just a piece of brass.” This "Serpent on a Pole" had been kept at one of those "High places", which were the sacred places where people worshipped all kinds of idols. You see, the people were never asked to make an offering to the Serpent on the Pole. God did not ask any payment from them in return for their healing. Grace ceases to be Grace if any price has to be paid for it, no matter how small. But how frequently is the Gospel perverted at this point. For example, when preachers are asking their congregations "to give their hearts to Jesus", it is another miserable perversion of God's Grace. God does not ask the sinner to give anything in exchange for his salvation. We receive Christ freely, without price. The people were never asked to pray to the "Serpent on a Pole". God does not ask people to pray to a crucifix, no matter how beautiful or elaborate it looks. The Lord Jesus said in John 4: "God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth". How do we apply this? Let me give some examples: When preachers urge poor sinners to accept the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Savior, or when they urge them to go to the "mourners bench", or when they urge people to pray the "sinner's prayer" and then their sins would be forgiven, people are led to believe that God has heard them for their much speaking. They feel happy because this is a gospel that makes them feel good, and for a while with a light heart they continue treading on the clean side of the broad way that leads to Hell. But almost always the consequence is that their last state is worse than the first. All these are works gospels and they do not bring salvation to anyone, because when we want to mix our works with Christ's work on the cross, we have committed the abomination of making the atonement of Christ: "Just a piece of brass". Then the cross of Christ becomes something we burn incense to, something that we say our prayers to, but we have emptied the cross of its power. That is not how we worship God in Spirit and in truth. When we worship the true God, we are never done worshipping Him, and we are never done reading His Word, and we are never done praying to Him. God says in 1Thess 5:17: "Pray without ceasing". And thus we must watch out for creating another Nehushtan (N@chushtan), which is just a piece of brass.

2Kings 18:4  He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan (N@chushtan), (just a piece of brass).

“And the Lord was with him, and he prospered whithersoever he went.” What do all these high places have in common? They sacrificed animals as burnt offerings on altars as God commanded to Moses. And what were all these bloody sacrifices a picture of? The N.T. says that all the animals slain in legitimate ceremonial offerings were signs and shadows of the one and only sacrifice that could take away sins: It is the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. But if the altar is not legitimate then the sacrifice is a fake. Then the worship at the high places has become identical to idolatry. The brass serpent on a pole was at one time a true shadow of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, and that was God glorifying. But when people began to burn incense to it, it became an idol, and God was no longer pleased with it. But God patiently endured it for 700 years. Why does God give us this information? One reason God gave us the O.T. is to give us a good birdseye view of how God deals with the N.T. church. For example, take a good look at Rom 15:4, which I have already mentioned earlier, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Does this verse not admonish us to read and study the O.T. Scriptures like the saints of the first century AD used to do, and were edified because they saw Christ in the Scriptures. But false concepts of God are idolatrous high places. These are thoughts that come out of man's sinful mind that become altars of worship. These high places are man made doctrines that a church will die for, but that are actually against the knowledge of God. Think for example of how many people have died in the crusades to recover the “holy lands.” After the cross there is no more holy real estate on this earth. These are among the strongholds that must be pulled down. Please turn to the Epistle to First Timothy, 1Tim 3:16 (2X). When we turn to the last verse in this chapter of 1Tim 3 we have here the clearest statement that the Lord Jesus is fully God. God says in 1Tim 3:16, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” Clearly the words, “God was manifest in the flesh” refer to the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, the Lord Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God, but He is God the Son, and thus He is fully God. But just one verse earlier has been the source of much idolatry in the church. We read in 1Tim 3:15 (2X),

1Tim 3:15  “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

What is God warning us for in this verse? Most churches have elected to believe that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth. That is a trap. This would lead to the doctrine that the church decides what Scriptures are inspired by God, and this has led many denominations to believe that the Apocrypha belong in the Bible. That is false, and it is a heresy that violates Rev 22:18. The correct way to interpret 1Tim 3:15 is that the living God is the pillar and ground of the truth. There are many more of such traps.

Most churches believe that Christ has promised: I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. They refuse to consider the language that Christ has used in Rev 2 and 3. Christ has indeed made this promise, but He promised it only to His elect, the eternal Church, not to the externally visible corporate church. Most churches have adopted rules that there can be divorce and remarriage for fornication. That is not true. If marriage is patterned after Christ and the church, then certainly we would not want Christ to divorce us for every single violation of the Law of God. Most churches now teach that we must accept Christ before we can be saved. That is absolutely false. The pivotal question is: Has He accepted us? Most churches now believe that Christ paid for the sins of every human being. That is not true. This would make Christ a failure, for if that were true then most people for whom Christ died would end up in Hell, and Hell would be filled with people for whom Christ has suffered and died. That would make the blood of Christ an unholy thing. God warns us in Heb 10:29 that those who have counted the blood of the covenant an unholy thing shall be punished severely. Most churches do not dare to take a stand against the charismatic movement. That is why they will be taken over by those who speak in tongues, and who have dreams and visions, and who will display signs and wonders, and healing miracles, and other supernatural manifestations. It is in this way that the church shall become the harlot Babylon. Do we see any High Places in our personal lives? Yes, of course! These are called snares and traps that we have left in our lives after we have entered the kingdom of God. God said to the children of Israel (paraphrased): When you come in the land of Canaan you must destroy all the Canaanites and you must destroy all their images and their high places. But Israel did not do that, therefore these images and high places became snares and traps to them. How does that apply to us? When God saved us and we maintain the friends we had from before we were saved, then those friends become snares and traps to us. These friends snare us into sin like before we were saved, because they still live in the kingdom of Satan. When we carry over certain bad habits from the time before we were saved, then those bad habits become snares and traps to us. For example, we may have been pursuing earthly things, or we had fits of anger, or we used to take home pens from the office, or when someone did something to us we had to get even, or we had an unforgiving spirit, and so the list gets longer and longer. All these are snares and traps that should have been destroyed when we entered the land of Canaan, but they were not. And now we find out that these snares and traps are pricks in our eyes and thorns in our sides. After we have become saved we continue to be in the Word of God and we desire to lead a life to be pleasing to God, but on the other hand we are often snared by those things that the world has to offer. We all are subject to these temptations. That is why God says in 1Cor 10:12, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

#3.      Mankind Bitten By Fiery Serpents (Eph 2:1-3, Num 11:5, Acts 26:14)

Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 2:1 (2X). I have already hinted at the spiritual meaning of the event whereby the children of Israel were bitten by poisonous snakes in Num 21:4-9. The spiritual meaning is that we all have been bitten by the most poisonous snake, Satan, and in God’s sight we all have died spiritually. We read in Eph 2:1-3,

Eph 2:1-3 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 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: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

We all were dead in trespasses and sins, and we were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. God does not loosely use those words. It means that we were spiritually dead, and thus we were incapable of doing anything that pleases God. We were not capable of looking up with eyes of faith to the brass serpent on a pole, or looking up with eyes of faith to the Lord Jesus on the cross. We could not be healed from the poisonous bite of the serpent unless the Lord Jesus would make us alive first. This is the essential part of the process of salvation: We must be made alive first. When Lazarus was in the tomb, before anything else the Lord must make Lazarus alive first before he could hear his Savior call. And when we turn to the event in Num 21:4-9 this is indeed what the Hebrew text tells us: We were first made alive before we could look or see the serpent on a pole. In the historical sense we should realize that there were 2 million people camped around Moses. How much is 2 million people? Well, if you stand on the pulpit, as far as the eye can see, you will see people all the way to the horizon. There were some who were walking close to Moses, and they certainly could see the serpent on a pole, but most of them were too far away, and they died before they could get close enough to see the serpent on a pole.

What was the reason why the children of Israel were bitten by the fiery serpents? It was because they rebelled against God and against Moses. But does this not also apply to us? We read in Eph 2:2, “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.” We too did rebel against God, and we too did rebel against Moses, for we hated God’s commandments. And what was the most grievous sin of the children of Israel? They wanted to return to Egypt. They wanted to return to the house of bondage. And why did they want to go back to Egypt? They wanted to feel good in their belly. We read in Num 11:5, “We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick.” Now what is the spiritual meaning of this? Is it not so that the churches like to drift into feel-good gospels? They like to believe that man has a free will to determine his own destiny. They like to believe that God is a gentleman who will honor our self-worth and our high self-esteem, and who will let us make the decision whether we would serve Him or not. We are not robots, and we are not drafted into His service kicking and screaming? Or are we?

According to the Bible we are indeed drafted into the service of the Lord kicking and screaming. Just thing of the anguish of the apostle Paul when he finally realized who was prodding him with the stings of a goad. A goad is a pointed tool with which the farmer is prodding the ox to keep on plowing the field. And the Lord Jesus said to Saul of Tarsus in Acts 26:14, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” And so, the tendency to go back to Egypt is equivalent to the tendency to drift into free will gospels or other feel good gospels, but they all lead to bondage to Satan.

To many it is a mystery why the Lord Jesus compared Himself to a serpent, for we read in John 3:14, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:” The Lord was referring to the serpent on a pole, and also to His crucifixion whereby He would be nailed to the cross lying down, and then the cross would be lifted up. The disciples understood what Jesus meant when He spoke of being lifted up. For example the Lord Jesus said in John 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” It is understandable that the cross with Christ nailed on it must be lifted up, for that was the Roman method of execution. But why did the Lord Jesus compare Himself with the serpent that was lifted up on a pole? Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Galatians, Gal 3:13 (2X). The serpent is symbolic for Satan. The law handed down to Moses tells us that anyone who is hanged on a tree is cursed by God. Moses lifted up the brass serpent on a wooden pole to indicate that Satan would be defeated and would be cursed by God, because he is hanged on a tree. The Israelites who saw in here the symbol of a defeated enemy were healed of their snake bite. This was the purpose of God’s command to make a serpent on a pole. They that knew the law, also knew what it meant. Therefore when the Lord Jesus said that He would be hanged on a tree, they knew what He meant. God says in Gal 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:” And so, here is the similarity between Christ and the serpent, but here is where it ends. Christ is not as vile and evil as the serpent is, for Christ is the unspotted Lamb of God, and He must remain undefiled by sin, for any sin would have the effect that He would be disqualified as our Redeemer. But praise God that Christ did qualify to be our Kinsman-Redeemer, our Avenger and Protector.  AMEN.           Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.