In the Gospel of Philip, an early Gnostic writing, and in the Zohar, the main literary source for the teachings of Kabbalah, there is found a teaching that is commonly referred to as “the serpent seed doctrine.” This doctrine purports that Eve was impregnated by the serpent/Satan (or sometimes another being named Samael), when she was tempted in the Garden of Eden. This doctrine treats the Biblical account of Eve’s temptation as a mystical teaching whose actual meaning is that the serpent had sexual intercourse with the mother of all living and this resulted in a corrupt race of men. Following are quotations from the Gospel of Philip and the Zohar.
Adultery occurred first, then murder. And (Cain) was begotten in adultery, for he was the son of the serpent. Therefore he became a manslayer just like his other father (the serpent), and he killed his brother (Abel).
[Source: Gospel of Philip, verse 46]
Two beings [Adam and Nachash] had intercourse with Eve, and she conceived from both and bore two children. Each followed one of the male parents, and their spirits parted, one to this side and one to the other, and similarly their characters. On the side of Cain are all the haunts of the evil species; from the side of Abel comes a more merciful class, yet not wholly beneficial - good wine mixed with bad.
[Source: Zohar Bereshith, 36b]
A single ancient copy of the Gnostic Gospel of Philip written in the Coptic language of Egypt exists. It was discovered in a cave at Nag Hammadi, Egypt. It has been dated to the 3rd century A.D.. This book was bound into a single codex (book) along with the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas. The Gnostics were/are considered a heretical sect of Christianity. They believed that knowledge (Greek “Gnosis”) was the key to becoming a perfected man. The Gnostics departed from Biblical truth in many of their teachings. In this same copy of the Gospel of Philip, we find that Mary Magdalene is declared to be the consort, or wife, of Jesus, and that He loved her more than all of His disciples. Following is an English translation of one of the passages from this Gnostic writing.
As for the Wisdom who is called 'the barren,' she is the mother of the angels. And the companion of [the saviour was Mar]y Ma[gda]lene. [Christ loved] M[ary] more than [all] the disci[ples, and used to] kiss her [softly] on her [hand]. The rest of [the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval]. They said to him "Why do you love her more than all of us?" The Saviour answered and said to them, "Why do I not love you like her? When a blind man and one who sees are both together in darkness, they are no different from one another. When the light comes, then he who sees will see the light, and he who is blind will remain in darkness.
The words in brackets denote where there are gaps in the text of this ancient manuscript due to it suffering some decay over the centuries. Some others have translated this passage to read that Jesus used to kiss Mary Magdalene on the lips. Whatever the missing words were, this is clearly a false and heretical teaching. Other passages in this false Gospel identify without question that it was Mary Magdalene who is being written of here, for she is called the “koinonos” of Christ, a word that is used elsewhere in this writing to indicate a wife.
There were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary, his mother, and her sister, and Magdalene, the one who was called his companion. His sister and his mother and his (koinonos) were each a Mary.
The Gospel of Philip uses cognates of koinônos and Coptic equivalents to refer to the literal pairing of men and women in marriage and sexual intercourse, but also metaphorically, referring to a spiritual partnership...
The Zohar is similarly a source of much deviant Biblical teaching. It is actually a set of books that provide commentary on the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament. Along with the text from the Torah the Zohar supplies many mystical interpretations of the Scripture passages. The claimed origin of this Kabbalist writing is one of intentional deception and false attribution.
The Zohar first appeared in Spain in the 13th century, and was published by a Jewish writer named Moses de Leon. De Leon ascribed the work to Shimon bar Yochai ("Rashbi"), a rabbi of the 2nd century during the Roman persecution who, according to Jewish legend, hid in a cave for thirteen years studying the Torah and was inspired by the Prophet Elijah to write the Zohar...
Modern academic analysis of the Zohar, such as that by the 20th century religious historian Gershom Scholem, has theorized that De Leon was the actual author. The view of non-Orthodox Jewish denominations generally conforms to this latter view, and as such, most non-Orthodox Jews have long viewed the Zohar as pseudepigraphy and apocrypha while sometimes accepting that its contents may have meaning for modern Judaism.
The fact that the Zohar was found by one lone individual, Moses de Leon, taken together with the circumstance that it refers to historical events of the post-Talmudical period, caused the authenticity of the work to be questioned from the outset. There is a story told about how after the death of Moses de Leon, a rich man of Avila, named Joseph, offered the widow, who had been left without means, a large sum of money for the original from which her husband had made the copy; and she then confessed that her husband himself was the author of the work. She had asked him several times, she said, why he had chosen to credit his own teachings to another, and he had always answered that doctrines put into the mouth of the miracle-working Simeon ben Yohai would be a rich source of profit. Incredible as this story seems, it at least proves that shortly after its appearance the work was believed by some to have been written entirely by Moses de Leon.
The claim that Shimon bar Yochai was inspired by the prophet Elijah to write the Zohar is not one that any Christian should take seriously. Furthermore, the Zohar contains many unorthodox and heretical interpretations of the Scriptures. Kabbalists (initiates into the mystical teachings of Judaism) accept the Zohar as being of divine origin. The word “Kaballah” means “tradition.” However, when applied to those who are students of the Zohar and other Jewish mystical writings, the term is generally understood to mean alternative, or unorthodox tradition.
It is worth noting that each of these writings that serve as sources for the serpent seed doctrine are of very doubtful and deceptive origin. Neither the Gnostic Gospel of Philip, or the Gospel of Thomas, were written by the New Testament men that their names refer to. Similarly, the Zohar, which was unknown until the 13th century when a Spanish Jew had it published, was not written by a Rabbi of the 2nd century, nor was it inspired by Elijah. It has been, and continues to be, a common practice of deceivers to supply false and lying attributions to the origins of literary works. Even as Joseph Smith claimed that the angel Moroni led him to the golden plates upon which were written the Book of Mormon, so too have men from antiquity sought to ascribe legitimacy to deceiving texts by lying about their original authorship. This brings all that is taught in these pseudepigraphal (falsely attributed) writings into reproach. That these books abound with false and heretical teachings does not commend them as sources for Biblical understanding. The honest man should not look to the company of liars and deceivers to receive insight into the word of God.
What is the Serpent Seed Doctrine?
The serpent seed doctrine exists in variant forms today. It remains a foundational doctrine of Jewish Kabbalists, and has crossed over into an increasing extent in recent years into Christianity. The teachings of Jewish mysticism have gained some traction in recent years as numerous celebrities have embraced this system of belief. Among those are/were Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Paris Hilton (who has now evidently returned to the Roman Catholic faith), Britney Spears, Mick Jagger, Rosie O’Donnell, and others. The influence of so many celebrities embracing the teachings of Kaballah has helped open a doorway for its beliefs and doctrines to become more widely known.
Not all Christians who have embraced doctrines found among the Gnostics and Kabbalists have directly studied the writings that serve as source texts for these ideas. Over time as ideas become promulgated, people lose connection with the source from which these teachings derived. They may have heard of the serpent seed doctrine from another Christian, who heard it from another Christian, but the trail eventually leads back to Gnostic or Kabbalist teachings.
In my ministry I have noted an increase of Christians who have embraced, or are considering, the serpent seed doctrine. William Branham, a Pentecostal minister who was very active in the 1940's up until his death in a car crash in 1965, was one of the better known men who promoted this doctrine. Since Branham’s death, Arnold Murray of Shepherd’s Chapel has become one of the leading advocates of this doctrine. There are additionally, many lesser known teachers of this doctrine, many of whom have websites where this teaching is disseminated. One of these men whom people often mention when writing to me is Bob Schlenker who has The Open Scroll website and blog.
What all of these teachings share in common is the belief that the Serpent/Satan/Samael had sexual intercourse with Eve in the Garden of Eden and that shortly thereafter Adam also had sexual intercourse with Eve. She became pregnant by both beings simultaneously, a rare occurrence that is known as heteropaternal superfecundation, and she consequently gave birth to twins. This alters the traditional Biblical narrative significantly, for no longer are Cain and Abel understood to be brothers born consecutively through the union of Adam and Eve. Cain is declared to be the seed of the serpent and Abel the seed of Adam.
Anyone familiar with the account of Adam and Eve’s temptation by the serpent in the Garden of Eden will recognize that the serpent seed doctrine is at great variance with what is recorded in the book of Genesis. To persuade someone to accept this doctrine, the person promoting it must convince another person that the meaning of various words in the Genesis account mean something other than the normal sense that a reader would derive from the text. For example, when the Bible says that the serpent “beguiled,” or “deceived” Eve, the teacher of the serpent seed doctrine suggests that the word should actually be understood to mean “sexually seduced.” When Eve admits that she “did eat” the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we are to understand that she actually was saying that she “had sexual intercourse.”
In some versions of this doctrine, the tree of knowledge is taken to be a symbol of Satan, and that Eve eating of the tree is merely a mystical way of describing her having intimate relations with the serpent/Satan. In other versions of this doctrine, some suggest that Eve’s transgression was two fold, that when she said “the serpent beguiled me and I did eat,” that she is saying, “the serpent sexually seduced me and afterward I also ate of the forbidden fruit.” This latter version is offered to defend against the argument that if eating of the fruit means having sex with Satan, then Adam must have had sex with the serpent too, for we are told that Eve gave of the fruit to her husband and he did also eat. Some with scruples about suggesting that Adam engaged in sex with the serpent being find it expedient to disassociate the act of eating with sex. Others, however, such as Bob Schlenker, teach that after Eve committed gross sexual sin with the serpent that Adam then engaged in anal sex with the same being.
Depending upon whether the individual identifies the serpent in the garden as a beast, or as the cherub known as the devil and Satan, another angel, or a human precursor to Adam, humanity’s first forebears are charged with committing bestiality, or gross immorality with a being of “strange flesh” (Jude 7). This is just one reason that anyone contemplating this doctrine should be very cautious, testing it patiently and with the utmost care. Adam and Eve are actual historical people. They are your forebears and mine. To charge them with gross immorality of the most vile and wicked nature is slanderous if in fact the charges are not true. Yahweh takes a very dim view on slander.
You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people...
A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends.
O Yahweh, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor...
You let your mouth loose in evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; You slander your own mother's son.
He who conceals hatred has lying lips, and he who spreads slander is a fool.
"For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man."
The word “devil” in the New Testament is translated from the Greek “diabolos” which means “slanderer.” Slander is of the devil. Everyone who aspires to be found pleasing to God must have no part in it. Can there be a more serious slander than to accuse a man or woman of adultery, bestiality, homosexuality, or some other gross form of immorality when they in fact did not commit such a wicked deed? For this reason, every Christian should tremble at the thought of errantly embracing and disseminating a doctrine that constitutes an egregious form of slander.
A good place to begin in seeking to establish the correct understanding of what took place in the Garden of Eden is to look at the Biblical passage that we might have in mind a coherent image of what is being described. I will not cite the entirety of the first three chapters of Genesis, but will list those verses that have direct bearing upon the fall of the man and woman in the Garden of Eden and the birth of their sons.
Genesis 1:26 - 4:3
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you...”
And Yahweh God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground Yahweh God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil...
Then Yahweh God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. And Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.”
And Yahweh God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which Yahweh God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.’” And the serpent said to the woman, “You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
And they heard the sound of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh God among the trees of the garden. Then Yahweh God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” And the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then Yahweh God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
And Yahweh God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; On your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life; And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”
To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you shall bring forth children; Yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you shall eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, til you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Now the man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. And Yahweh God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Then Yahweh God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” - therefore Yahweh God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Now Adam had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of Yahweh.” And again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Here is the crux of the account of the creation of man, the beasts, the Garden of Eden, the man and woman’s temptation by the serpent, their transgression, and the resulting consequences. There is nothing on the surface of this writing that would suggest that any transgression occurred other than the man and woman eating that which Yahweh had forbidden to them. The Bible, however, does very often teach through parables and figurative language, so it is appropriate to examine the passage to see if there is some other meaning suggested. It is also quite appropriate to look to the rest of the Scriptures to see if there exists testimony, patterns, or various revelations that would confirm or refute either the traditional view, or the serpent seed view of this passage.
There are a great many patterns that repeat throughout the Bible. Approximately 3,000 years ago Yahweh granted wisdom and understanding to a son of David that surpassed the wisdom of every other man save the Son of God Himself. This wise man, and king of the 12 tribes of Israel, was Solomon. Solomon wrote three books of the Old Testament, and contributed to a fourth. He spoke many proverbs, and shared the wisdom he had been granted with others. Among the revelations that Yahweh granted to Solomon was the following:
That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So, there is nothing new under the sun.
There are many events throughout the ages of the creation of God that repeat. The apostle Paul demonstrates a parallel between two creations of man that he refers to as “the first Adam,” and “the last Adam.”
I Corinthians 15:45-49
So also it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
Here we see a divine pattern. There are differences between the first Adam, and the last Adam (Christ),” but there are also great similarities. For example, Yahweh caused a deep sleep to fall upon the first Adam and then removed a remnant portion from his body to fashion a bride for Adam. As a parallel to this, we observe that the church is called “the body of Christ.” In a spiritual sense, a deep sleep has fallen over the body of the last Adam, and during this time of slumber the Father is removing a choice portion from the body of Christ to form a bride for His Son. The bride of Christ is not formed from His entire body. It will be formed of a remnant portion who will then be presented to Christ as His bride, “for many are called, but few are chosen.”
We can look for other parallels between the first Adam and the last Adam. One profound parallel is that both Adams were tempted by Satan. The temptation for both involved eating something that God had either expressly forbid them to eat, or had not given permission to eat. God told the first Adam, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” This was the precise thing that Satan tempted Adam to do. Similarly, at the beginning of Christ’s ministry He was led of the Spirit into a wilderness where He fasted for forty days and nights. At the end of forty days the Son of God hungered. At this time Satan came to Yahshua, the last Adam, tempting Him to eat.
And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
Where the first Adam failed, the last Adam triumphed. The first Adam chose to put his soulish and fleshly desires above the word of God. The last Adam chose the word of God above His desires. It is significant that the first recorded encounter of both men with Satan saw them facing a similar test. Those who embrace the interpretation set forth by the serpent seed doctrine do violence to this divine pattern.
We find a pattern again between the bride of the first Adam and that of the second. Of Eve we read:
And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
IF we agree with the common understanding that the serpent “deceived” Eve, rather than having had sexual intercourse with her, we find a clear parallel in the New Testament among those who are espoused to Christ.
II Corinthians 11:2-4
For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Yahshua whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.
The apostle Paul in this passage uses the phrase “your minds... be led astray” to give definition to what occurred with Eve when she was “deceived.” Eve had been delivered a word of instruction from God, but the serpent beguiled her. He deceived the woman so that she believed the lie that came from his tongue, rather than manifesting a simple and pure faith in God.
We find a direct parallel to what we have just observed between the two Adams. The first Adam failed, while the last Adam triumphed. Similarly, the first bride failed, falling into deception, but there will be a choice portion of the body of the last Adam that will triumph, having overcome the deceiver.
“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.”
(For more on this subject, see the book titled The Remnant Bride.”) Once, more, if we embrace the serpent seed doctrine, we do violence to this pattern for Satan is not attempting to have sex with the bride of Christ. He is seeking to deceive her.
“For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.”
Over and over we find the apostles exhorting the body of Christ with the words “Do not be deceived” (I Corinthians 6:9, 15:33, Galatians 6:7, James 1:16, etc.). Satan would attempt to deceive the bride of the last Adam in the same way that he deceived the bride of the first Adam. He appealed to the same weakness in Eve as he does with the church.
I John 2:16
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food (the lust of the flesh), and that it was a delight to the eyes (the lust of the eyes), and that the tree was desirable to make one wise (the boastful pride of life), she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
As Solomon stated, there are many events that repeat in the ages of the creation. In essence, Yahweh continues to take men around the same mountain until they respond correctly to some trial or temptation. The same tempter, comes with the same temptation and deception, until Yahweh finds a perfect (spiritually mature) response from His creation. Where the first Adam failed, the last Adam has triumphed. Where that remnant portion taken from the body of the first Adam to form his bride fell to deception, the remnant portion of the body of the last Adam will walk in truth and obedience.
The pattern continues as we look at Adam’s firstborn son. In the 4th chapter of Genesis we are told that Cain became jealous of his brother Abel for God had regard for Abel’s offering, but not for Cain’s. In his anger, Cain slew his brother Abel, becoming the first murderer.
When the last Adam came, the firstborn of the Father, He demonstrated an entirely different mind and behavior. The last Adam did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them (Luke 9:56). The son of the first Adam, when asked by God where his brother Abel was, responded by saying, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The last Adam demonstrated that humanity was called to be their brother’s keeper. It was Christ who uttered the golden rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” He also declared that the two greatest commandments were “to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.”
The Son of God laid down His life on the cross that others might live, whereas Cain murdered his brother. There can be no more extreme opposites that are bound up in the words “murderer” and “Savior.”
To fit the pattern, however, we must not compare Christ to Cain, for the last Adam is a parallel/opposite of the first Adam. We must compare the firstborn sons of the last Adam (Christ) to the firstborn son of the first Adam. The firstborn sons of Christ are the overcomers who will attain to the first resurrection. These will be the first to enter into resurrection life in Christ.
Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
What will be the character of the firstborn sons of the last Adam? There character will be the same as their Father, from whose seed they issued forth.
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son...
Christ is not only called our brother, but He is called our Father.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
I Peter 1:23
For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding Word of God.
The Word of God is the Son. John tells us that “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” By His seed we are made sons.
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied...
Isaiah prophesied that Yahshua, the last Adam, would see His seed and be satisfied by that which the travail of His soul had produced.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
Those born again of the Spirit of Christ are His seed. They have His nature within them. His nature is that of a selfless Savior. All who walk after His Spirit will lay down their lives for others. They will not be manslayers. They will be man-savers.
And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.”
Through the first man Adam, came transgression resulting in death to all men. Through the last Adam came obedience resulting in life for all men. The bride of the first Adam was deceived and led astray from truth and faith in God. The bride of the last Adam will walk in truth and manifest a sincere and pure faith in God. The firstborn of the first Adam was a murderer, a man-slayer, but the firstborn of the last Adam will be man-savers. They will lay down their lives that others might live.
II Corinthians 4:11-12
For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Yahshua’s sake, that the life of Yahshua also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.
Once more we see that if we adopt the serpent seed doctrine the divine pattern is broken. If Cain, the man-slayer, is not the firstborn son of the first Adam, then he cannot serve as a counterpart to the firstborn sons of the last Adam who lay down their lives that others may live.
Another pattern we observe in the opening chapters of Genesis reveals the goodness of God as a Father. Yahweh cannot be charged with negligence, inattentiveness, or an absence of care and love toward His creation, especially toward man. The Bible reveals that Yahweh takes no delight in sin, or in punishing mankind. His heart is that mankind would walk in righteousness in order that they would not suffer the just penalty that results from evil behavior.
“Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares Yahweh God, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?”
For the Lord will not reject forever, for if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness. For He does not afflict willingly, or grieve the sons of men.
We see throughout the Bible that Satan must get permission to tempt, or afflict the people of God. Satan had to request permission from God to sift Peter as wheat (Luke 22:31). Had God not granted permission, Satan could not have tested Peter. Similarly, we observe that God had placed protection around Job, and Satan had to get permission to touch the man. In granting permission, Yahweh always set limits to what Satan could do.
So Satan answered Yahweh and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" And Yahweh said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person." So Satan went out from the presence of Yahweh.
In Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth, he declares a very precious truth to the people of God. He shares with them that God will never permit them to be tempted or tested beyond their ability to walk through the trial victoriously. Yahweh always sets limits on the testing of His people, for He does not desire that they fail in obedience to Him.
I Corinthians 10:13
For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.
It would be contrary to the nature and character of God for Him to grant Satan permission to tempt the first man and woman, His offspring, without first forewarning them of the test and what obedience was required of them. The Bible reveals that God was not deficient in this regard, unless one accepts the serpent seed doctrine. On the first two occasions of temptation and sin in the Bible, we find that Yahweh spoke to mankind, declaring to them His will, and the danger of their falling short of it.
And Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.”
Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then Yahweh said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
In the first instance Yahweh declared to the man that eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was forbidden to him and would cause grievous harm if he transgressed. In the second He spoke to the firstborn son of Adam and warned him about his need to rule over anger. Yahweh did not want mankind to transgress. He did not want them to be caught unaware by temptation. He was careful to speak to them before they sinned about the temptation they would face.
If the serpent seed doctrine be true, then Yahweh has been very negligent. Nowhere is it recorded that He warned either the man or the woman that Satan would enter into the garden and attempt to sexually seduce Eve, or to commit gross sexual immorality with the man. Surely Satan had to get permission to tempt the man and woman just as he was required to do with Job and with Peter. God, knowing what trial Adam and Eve would face would have spoken to them, making plainly known to them what constituted obedience and disobedience. There is no mention anywhere of Yahweh warning Adam and Eve of the sin of adultery, bestiality, or gross sexual immorality with another being. This itself protests loudly against the notion that they were tempted, and sinned, in this way.
Evidence From Context
The next argument that I would set forth in refutation of the serpent seed doctrine is that of context. Much of the doctrine rests upon a specific interpretation of words. These are interpretations that the context does not support.
For example, it is argued that the word used to describe the serpent having “deceived,” or “beguiled” Eve may also convey the meaning of “to seduce.” In the Genesis account the Hebrew word used is “nasha.” Strong’s Concordance provides the following definition.
nasha' (naw-shaw'); a primitive root; to lead astray, i.e. (mentally) to delude, or (morally) to seduce:
We see that one of the possible meanings of this words is “(morally) to seduce.” This word appears 16 times in the Old Testament, and it is never used in the sense of sexually seducing someone. Examples of its common usage are found in the following verses.
II Kings 18:29
Thus says the king: 'Do not let Hezekiah deceive (nasha) you, for he shall not be able to deliver you from his hand...
The princes of Zoan have become fools; The princes of Noph are deceived (nasha); They have also deluded Egypt...
Thus says Yahweh: “Do not deceive (nasha) yourselves, saying, ‘The Chaldeans will surely depart from us,’ for they will not depart.”
In none of these occurrences, or any of the other Bible verses in which this Hebrew word occurs, is the idea of sexually seducing someone the appropriate meaning. Therefore, if one concludes that the word means sexually seduced in Genesis 3:13, they cannot argue that the word itself demands such an interpretation. Those who seek an understanding of the meaning of this word would do far better to look to the context of the passage in which it is found. The natural sense of the statement “the serpent deceived me and I did eat” is that the action of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the result of the serpent misleading Eve. The serpent led Eve astray. To “lead astray” is the first definition that James Strong gives for this word, and it is the sense in which the word is used throughout the Old Testament.
In the New Testament, the Greek word used to describe the serpent’s actions toward Eve in deceiving her is exapatao.
exapatao (ex-ap-at-ah'-o); from NT:1537 and NT:538; to seduce wholly:
KJV - beguile, deceive.
It should be noted, that the word “seduce” does not imply sexual seduction. The word seduce means “to persuade to do something inadvisable.” People can be seduced to a great variety of inadvisable actions. People can be seduced sexually, but this is not the only activity to which people are seduced. In the New Testament, this word occurs only seven times in six verses. If we do not embrace the notion that Eve was sexually seduced by the serpent, there are no instances in which this word is employed to mean “sexually seduced.” Following are all seven occurrences of the word.
For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived (exapatao) me, and by it killed me.
or those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive (exapatao) the hearts of the simple.
I Corinthians 3:18
Let no one deceive (exapatao) himself.
II Corinthians 11:3
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived (exapatao) Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
II Thessalonians 2:3
Let no one deceive (exapatao) you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed...
I Timothy 2:14
And Adam was not deceived (exapatao), but the woman being deceived (exapatao), fell into transgression.
It should be noted that those who suggest that the word means “to seduce sexually,” and who teach that Adam also had sex with the serpent, will be faced with a great contradiction in their employment of this word. In the last verse above we are told that “Adam was not exapatao.” If the word means “sexually seduced” then this should end the argument at once, for Paul states that “Adam was not exapatao.”
We have further contextual evidence from the last verse above that argues for the proper understanding of this word meaning “deceived,” rather than “sexually seduced.” We have to look at the preceding verses to see why the apostle Paul has made this statement. It is observed that he is giving evidence and arguments to support the apostolic instruction that women are not to teach men.
I Timothy 2:12-14
And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
There is a logical link between a woman being more prone to deception than man and her being charged to restrain herself from attempting to teach or usurp authority over a man. It would not be prudent to make teachers of those who are the most susceptible to deception. If we interpret this word to mean sexual seduction, then the passage loses its meaning.
Again, those who teach the serpent seed doctrine have often argued that the act of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is a metaphor for having sex. They point to verses such as the following to support this claim.
This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, and says, "I have done no wrong."
In another place Solomon writes the following about the adulterous woman and those who are enticed by her.
Stolen water is sweet; And bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
We do see that there are a few instances in the Bible where eating and drinking are used as metaphors of sexual intercourse. That they are so linked is not unexpected, for even as a man has an appetite for food, he has an appetite for sex. Both may be abused, being satiated in unrighteous ways. We would be quite wrong, however, to assume that all Biblical references to eating, or even the majority of them, are intended as metaphors of sexual gratification. The Hebrew word “akal” that is rendered as “eats” in Proverbs 30:20 and as “eat” in Genesis chapter 3, is used predominantly throughout the Old Testament to speak of the consumption of food, the consuming nature of fire, or something similar. Doing a quick perusal of the occurrences of this Hebrew word, it appears that in less than a dozen of its 809 occurrences is the word used in a metaphorical sense to speak of sexual intercourse. Therefore, there can be no argument for its being used in Genesis chapter 3 in this way based upon its most common meaning. Again, we would do better to look to the context of Genesis to determine its meaning.
Following is every occurrence of the Hebrew work “akal” up to and including Adam and Eve’s confession of eating of the forbidden fruit.
And Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat (akal); but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat (akal), for in the day that you eat (akal) of it you shall surely die.”
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat (akal) of every tree of the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat (akal) the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat (akal) it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'" Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat (akal) of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate (akal). She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate (akal).
When we look at the context of the first chapters of Genesis, we can see plainly that the trees in the Garden of Eden were given to man for food. Yahweh instructed the man to eat freely of all of the trees, except one. Yahweh was not using a figure of speech to instruct them about sexual intercourse. He was plainly speaking of the trees being provided to them for a source of food.
Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you...”
And out of the ground Yahweh God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The context of these passages does not support a metaphorical understanding of eating as a symbol of sexual intercourse. If we understand that eating of the tree denotes sexual intercourse, then what did God mean when He told the man and woman that they could eat of every tree, save one? Surely, He was not giving them license to fornicate.
Some who have not encountered the arguments of those who promote the serpent seed doctrine may declare, “Does not Genesis 4:1 clearly settle the matter? How has the serpent seed doctrine gotten by this very plain statement of Cain’s paternity?”
Now Adam had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of Yahweh.”
How can anyone possibly conclude that Cain is the offspring of Eve having intercourse with the serpent if the Bible plainly states that “Adam had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain”? Indeed, this is a question I asked myself when I first encountered this doctrine. Yet, those who espouse the serpent seed doctrine have an alterative explanation for this verse. They concatenate the verse above with the verse that follows.
And again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Although the natural understanding of this verse is that after Eve gave birth to Cain, she had relations with her husband again and gave birth to a second son, those who teach the serpent seed doctrine see something else in these words. They suggest that verse two can be understood to mean that after birthing Cain Eve continued to bear and brought forth his twin brother Abel.
To those familiar with the importance the Bible places upon the firstborn, and the way the Scriptures speak of twin sons in other passages, the claim that Cain and Abel were twins is difficult to embrace. When twins are born to important Bible characters, the fact is clearly noted.
And Isaac prayed to Yahweh on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and Yahweh answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of Yahweh. And Yahweh said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples shall be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger.” When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau. And afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau's heel, so his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them.
Those who teach the serpent seed doctrine envision a struggle between the serpent’s seed born of Eve and Adam’seed born of Eve that is far greater and enduring than the struggle between Jacob and Esau. If this doctrine were true, and Cain and Abel were born as twins by two different fathers, I do not doubt that there would be much more spoken of it than we find recorded about Jacob and Esau. Yet, there is not even the mention that Cain and Abel were born as twins. There is no wrestling in the womb. There is no battle for ascendancy to see who would be the first one born.
Again, in the same book of Genesis we read of Tamar, the daughter-in-law of Judah giving birth to twin sons.
And it came about at the time she was giving birth, that behold, there were twins in her womb. Moreover, it took place while she was giving birth, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” But it came about as he drew back his hand, that behold, his brother came out. Then she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” So he was named Perez. And afterward his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand; and he was named Zerah.
The only argument given in favor of Cain and Abel being twins is that the Bible does not explicitly say they were not. This is an argument from silence, and it is extremely weak. The silence itself speaks against the fact that they were twins, for twin sons have garnered much comment in the pages of the Scriptures. This is a fact that the apostles of the New Testament have not overlooked.
And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God's purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
Surely, if Eve had given birth to twin sons, and they had different fathers, one of whom was Satan, there would be abundant testimony in both the Old and New Testaments to corroborate this fact. Yet there is not a word.
Scriptures that Stand Against the Serpent Seed Doctrine
Let me move on to address a number of Scriptures that argue against the claims of the serpent seed doctrine. A key passage is found in Paul’s discourse to the Romans about the origins of sin. Paul argues that all mankind were made sinners through the transgression of the one man Adam. Because all humanity was in Adam’s loins as his seed when he sinned, all men were made sinners. This apostolic argument is null and void if Eve gave birth to two lines of men that arose from two distinct paternal lines. Instead of all being made sinners by the one man Adam, the argument would have to be stated that all were made sinners through Adam and the serpent/Satan. This, however, is NOT what the apostle wrote.
Through one man sin entered into the world...
For on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression...
By the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one...
Through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men...
Through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners...
If you do not understand how this teaching of the apostle Paul completely refutes the serpent seed doctrine, I encourage you to not hasten over these words. The serpent seed doctrine claims that Eve had sexual intercourse with the serpent in the garden. This doctrine suggests that Adam had intercourse with his wife soon after the serpent, when no more than a few days had passed. Both the seed of the serpent and the seed of Adam bore fruit, producing Cain from the serpent and Abel from Adam. If Cain indeed came from the serpent, and not from Adam, then Cain’s descendants were not made sinners through the transgression of Adam, for they are not of Adam’s seed. Consequently, the apostle Paul would be mistaken to declare that through one transgression and the one man’s disobedience there resulted condemnation to all men.
One of the arguments put forth to support the serpent seed doctrine is that Genesis chapter 6 describes fallen angels (bene ha elohim - sons of God), cohabiting with the daughters of men (Adam), and giving birth to great men of renown.
Now it came about, when men (ha adam) began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men (ha adam) were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose... The Nephilim (fallen ones) were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men (ha adam), and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men (ha giborim) who were of old, men (iysh) of renown.
The serpent seed argument suggests that since other fallen angels could procreate with women, that Satan could certainly procreate with Eve. I certainly do not dispute that Satan could procreate with a woman, but the Bible does not say that He did. It particularly does not say that he consorted with Eve. Again, the argument for Satan and Eve cohabiting is made from silence. Because the Bible does not specifically say that Satan cannot procreate with a woman, and because it does not say he did not procreate with Eve, then those promoting this doctrine say that it must be allowed that it could have happened. I disagree wholeheartedly. We cannot derive doctrines from the silence of the Bible. The Bible contains no statement that the earth is not made of jelly beans, but this does not mean that we must allow that it may be made of jelly beans. We could create doctrines from every vain, profane, obscene, or ridiculous thing that entered our minds if we used the silence of the Bible to argue for what may have occurred.
Those who suggest that Satan committed the same transgression as the angels in Genesis chapter 6 also have another hurdle to overcome. The Bible declares that Yahweh considered the transgression of the angels who sinned in this manner to be of such an egregious nature that He did not wait until the day of judgment to punish them. We are told that He has bound them in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day.
And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of age-lasting fire.
II Peter 2:4-10
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment... and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter... then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.
The testimony of the Bible declares that the angels who sinned in this manner committed gross immorality. They went after “strange flesh” even as the men of Sodom and Gomorrah committed indecent acts. These were beings of corrupt desires who despised authority, and they have reaped the consequences of their wicked deeds. How then would Satan have escaped the same judgment had he done the same thing? Indeed, Satan’s action would have been the most egregious of all, for the serpent seed doctrine suggests that he was the first angelic being to sexually cohabit with a woman, and his action would have corrupted the entire human race, for Eve is the mother of all living.
The Bible tells us that God is no respecter of persons. He would not pass over Satan for such an egregious offense while casting other angels into pits of darkness. No! Satan would be there right along with them had he committed such an offense. Additionally, if the angels cohabiting with women produced giants and men of renown, would not Cain be named among the Nephilim? Would he not have been the greatest of all? Yet, there is no testimony of Cain being anything other than an ordinary man.
The advocates of the serpent seed doctrine also have to arrive at some explanation to support their contention that the descendants of Satan and Eve exist to this day. How did they survive the flood of Noah’s day? Some who teach the serpent seed doctrine argue that the flood of Noah’s day was local, not global. They suggest that in saying the whole world was destroyed in the flood that God meant the world of man, but not the descendants of Satan. This belief is easily refuted.
Genesis 6:13, 17
Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth... And behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish.”
And all flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.
These verses are quite clear. No possibility is allowed for any living creature on the earth to have survived other than Noah, and those with him on the ark. This, of course, is a difficult Scriptural obstacle to get around, so some suggest that the bloodline of Satan was carried in the wives of Noah’s daughter-in laws. This too does not stand up to scrutiny, for Yahweh made a covenant with Noah and his descendants. He pronounced a blessing and fruitfulness on the children brought forth by those who found safety in the ark. Yahweh would not speak a blessing upon the descendants of Satan.
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth... And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.” Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, “Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you...”
It hardly seems coincidental that Noah was instructed to take seven of every clean kind of animal with him on the ark, and that Noah carried seven people with him (his wife, his three sons, and their three wives). Of the unclean animals he was commanded to take them by twos (Genesis 7:2). This fact does not support the contention that Noah took the unclean descendants of Satan with him on the ark. It is unreasonable to suggest that God would begin over with mankind by populating the earth with the descendants of the Nephilim, or of the serpent’s seed.
Some who hold to the serpent’s seed doctrine have used it to justify racial prejudice. Arnold Murray claims that the Jews, or those masquerading as Jews, are the descendants of the serpent and Eve, a people he calls “the Kenites.” Murray has a television and radio broadcast and is heard on 225 stations, an audience that some have numbered in the millions. Murray has links to the Christian Identity movement, a loose affiliation of churches and organizations with a white supremacy agenda. His 1958 minister’s license was signed by two white supremacists (Murray is in his 80s). Among adherents of the Christian Identity movement, Cain is viewed as the first Jew, which according to their doctrine means he, and the Jews, are descended from Satan.
I am not suggesting that Arnold Murray is a white supremacist (he does have a small number of black members in his church). He disavows racism, other than demonizing Kenites. Murray will not come right out and say Kenites are Jews, though he has made many statements that demonstrate this to be his belief. Murray says it was the Kenites that crucified Christ, and in one audiotape sermon titled Demons he says of the Kenites, “Why do you think their own Talmud is the filthiest piece of literature ever written? Because they're at home with it. They love it. It's their cup of tea. It's Satan's cup of tea.” Such statements link the Jews with those he calls Kenites, the seed of Satan.
The Aryan Nations, and the Ku Klux Klan, both white supremacy groups, also hold to the serpent seed doctrine. This by itself does not disprove the doctrine, but it should cause Christians to carefully scrutinize what is being taught and why it holds an appeal to the soul of some men.
The claim that the Jews are the offspring of Satan cohabiting with Eve is usually based upon a misapprehension of certain Scriptures where men of evil hearts and actions are accused of being sons of Satan. Rather, than understanding the statements in the spiritual sense in which they were intended, adherents of the serpent seed doctrine claim they are to be understood in the literal sense. They neglect the passages where the matter is plainly explained.
“I know that you are Abraham's offspring; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.” They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Yahshua said to them, “If you are Abraham's children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.” Yahshua said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.”
Christ’s meaning is very well established from the context. He acknowledged that the Jews were the natural offspring of Abraham, yet their actions were not those of Abraham, for he was a righteous man of faith. Their actions were those of Satan. When Christ testified that the Jews’ were children of the devil, He was speaking words that were spiritual.
The Jews often misconstrued Yahshua’s words in this way, for their hearts were darkened, and they were spiritually dull of hearing. We can compare this passage to another one found in the Gospels where the Jews were equally offended at Christ’s words, taking them in a literal sense when His meaning was spiritual.
Yahshua therefore said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate, and died, he who eats this bread shall live forever.” These things He said in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” But Yahshua, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you should behold the Son of Man ascending where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
If we fail to discern when a statement is intended to be understood literally, and when its meaning is spiritual, we will err greatly. Have not the Roman Catholics greatly erred in their understanding of the words above as they hold to the doctrine of transubstantiation? They believe that in the sacrament of the Eucharist that the wafer and wine are more than a symbol of Christ, but become the real, living flesh and blood of the Savior. This is how heresies are established. Men, failing to “rightly divide the word of truth,” fall short of identifying accurately that which is spiritual speech, and that which is literal.
One day all men will have an opportunity to meet their first forebears. The lives of Adam and Eve are often viewed as some distant myth. Even those who recognize them as historical figures often see only the brief account of their transgression in the garden. Yahweh did not demonize them. Quite the contrary. He provided coverings for their nakedness, and He promised that a seed would come forth from the woman who would one day crush the serpent’s head. Eve bore many more children than Cain, Abel, and Seth, for we read in Genesis the following:
Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.
We are not provided any further Biblical account of the life of Adam and Eve, but we are given glimpses of their character. When Eve bore her firstborn son Cain, she declared, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of Yahweh.” Such a statement is insightful. There is no hint of Adam and Eve being angry, bitter, or rebellious at the judgment that befell them when they sinned. Although Eve surely knew great pain in childbirth, for that was part of the curse spoken upon her, she gave praise to Yahweh for helping her to bring forth a man into the world. It seems quite reasonable that she continued bearing children for hundreds of years, and had vast experience as a mother, a wife, and a homemaker.
It is difficult to imagine what a man could accomplish, and learn, when his lifespan exceeds nine centuries. I think the primitive ideas that many hold in their minds about Adam and his life and attainments is quite deficient. I am sure we could all learn much from this man who experienced the pristine creation before the fall, and knew so well the loss suffered when all things fell under the curse of sin. We should guard against uttering reproaches, reviling, or slandering those to whom honor is due.
It is difficult for many to comprehend, but we were “in Adam” when he sinned. The claim that we would have acted differently if faced with the same temptation is unjustly made and indefensible. We were present when Adam sinned. We are in a very real sense Adam. This is the seed principle that Paul spoke of in the following passage.
And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.
Abraham was the father of Isaac who was the father of Jacob who was the father of Levi. Yet Paul states that what Abraham did, Levi did, for he was in the loins of his great grandfather when he paid tithes to Melchizedek. It is by virtue of this same seed principle that the righteousness of Christ, His death on the cross, and resurrection to new life are credited to those who are born of His seed. Because we were “in Christ” as His seed, all His works are credited to us. Similarly, because we were “in Adam” his works are also our works.
Those who defame their first forebears with profane and obscene charges of gross immorality and going after strange flesh are in fact slandering themselves. This is the point that Christ was making to the Jews when He said:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Consequently you bear witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.”
Brothers and sisters, we were there when Adam and Eve transgressed in the garden. Their sin was our sin, and it was serious, for they turned away from God to become servants to their appetites and to the beast nature. Yet, we can be thankful that they did not do the things that the advocates of the serpent seed doctrine charge them with. Let us not add to our shame by slandering our own parents, and charging them with vile wickedness that they did not commit.
Note: If you made it this far, I pray it has been profitable to your understanding. Because this is a much longer blog post than most, it has taken me some time to write it, and I will allow readers a few days to read it before I post again. This chapter of the Foundations series is not in the order it will appear in the book. I have been studying and conversing on this subject much of late which is why I chose to post it now while the subject matter is fresh in my mind.
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