Jesus once called the Pharisees a brood of vipers!
“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore, I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.” (Matthew 23:33)
Another meaning for viper is a treacherous or spiteful person. The Lord saw the snakes within these religious leaders of the day. He saw their hypocrisy and lack of love. He compared them to whitewashed tombs which appeared clean on the outside but inside they were dirty, dry and wicked.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” (Matthew 23:27)
I had a dream recently where I was walking along a sandy beach and I began to see half covered snakes within the sand. They appeared to be trying to hide themselves beneath the sand, but they were partially exposed. I was surprised by how many of them were in the sand. I looked up the meaning of snake in Ira Milligan’s biblical dream interpretation book and found the following:
Snake equals curse, demon, deception, threat, danger, hatred, unclean, witchcraft, critical spirit, and slander. Sand may also symbolize the church or flesh, improper foundation. The seacoast can signify the boundary of the heart or the limits of man’s flesh. Sand also conveys Abraham’s seed which would be multiplied and blessed.
Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice. (Genesis 22:17)
The Word of God speaks of treacherous times when we will need the Holy Spirit to protect and guide us. Comparing evil men and women to snakes with viperous venom dripping from their lips in the form of slander, gossip, and witchcraft.
O Lord, rescue me from evil people. Protect me from those who are violent, those who plot evil in their hearts and stir up trouble all day long. Their tongues sting like a snake; the venom of a viper drips from their lips. O Lord, keep me out of the hands of the wicked. Protect me from those who are violent, for they are plotting against me. The proud have set a trap to catch me; they have stretched out a net; they have placed traps all along the way. (Psalm 140: 1-5)
The Critical Spirit
Have you ever been around someone with a critical spirit? It’s very oppressive and discouraging because no matter what you do, it will never be enough. A critical spirit constantly berates and nitpicks. You feel as if you will never measure up to their demands and hostility. This is an example of a snake in the sand.
Another snake in the sand is slander. The definition of slander is to make false and damaging statements about someone. Gossiping and speaking negatively about someone to try and ruin their reputation is very destructive.
Practices such as sorcery and spell casting fall under the category of witchcraft. The Bible says rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. (1 Samuel 15:23) Trying to attain supernatural knowledge through a source other than God. Examples of modern day witchcraft would be: psychic readings, necromancy, tera card readings and the like. Cursing others is also equal to witchcraft, because the power of life and death are in the tongue.
The enemy of our souls is a liar and the Father of all lies. There is no truth in him so all he can do is lie and use deception to try and defeat us. Lying spirits, mimicking spirits, and tormenting spirits/demons operate by bringing confusion into our life. It’s so important to stay rooted and grounded in the Word to stand against the enemy’s lies.
In the last days, the Bible says the love of many will grow cold. There will be such great wickedness that many will fall away from the faith, betray and hate each other.
Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time, many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24: 9-14)
Deliverance and Authority
The good news is that the Lord has given us the believers authority to tread on serpents and scorpions. The meaning of the word tread is to trample under our feet or subdue the enemy. The Bible says we have authority over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall hurt us. (Luke 10:19) In Luke 13:11 there was a daughter of Abraham who had a “spirit of infirmity” for eighteen years which caused her to be bowed over and she could not lift herself up. Jesus laid his hands on this woman and she was immediately delivered and then glorified God.
The deliverance ministry was an important part in the Lord’s ministry. He regularly encountered people who were oppressed by demons and needed both physical and spiritual healing. The church today is lacking this ministry, but it is time to root out the snakes in the sand so that people can walk in freedom and glorify God.
He is our Protector
But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; Suddenly they shall be wounded. So He will make them stumble over their own tongue; All who see them shall flee away. All men shall fear, And shall declare the work of God; For they shall wisely consider His doing. The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and trust in Him. And all the upright in heart shall glory. (Psalm 64:7)