by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
All the symbols and emblems for modern medicine have one thing in common: a serpent.
Some, like the Caduceus, have two serpents around a staff, while others, like the rod of Asclepius, have only one serpent.
There are various interpretations as to the difference in meaning between the two, as well as the history of their origins, but the oldest reference to the serpent and its role in human suffering or healing, is contained in the earliest records of the Bible, in the writings of Moses, who is credited with writing most of the first 5 books of the Old Testament portion of the Bible around 3500 years ago.
Since these writings pre-date anything written in Greek mythology by almost 1000 years, I am going to base this article on the Bible, the oldest and the most widely circulated and most frequently translated collection of ancient writings in the world, by far, with no serious competitors in ancient or modern literature.
If that bothers you, no need to read further.
We will see from the ancient wisdom of the Bible, that the serpent representing Satan is the ultimate anti-Christ, that he is weaker than Jesus Christ who is portrayed in the Bible as both the Son of Man and the Son of God, and that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ broke the power of Satan over sickness and death.
Satan has yet to be judged and sent to his eternal punishment in a place called Hell, and there awaits a final battle between Jesus Christ, the ruler of the Kingdom of God, and Satan, the current ruler of the World System.
The Kingdom of God originates in Heaven, but also extends to earth and exists in the lives of the true believers of Jesus Christ.
In addition to the physical world, there exists a spiritual world (or universe), and every living human being currently inhabiting the planet either resides in the spiritual Kingdom of Darkness ruled by Satan, or in the spiritual Kingdom of Light ruled by Jesus Christ. (For more on this topic, see: Re-Creation: The Rebirth.)
Revelation Chapter 13 talks about the “mark of the beast,” where “beast” could also be translated into the English word “serpent.”
He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
I am not going to delve into the controversial topics of prophecy or theology in this article. Instead, I am going to show just what the image of the “serpent” represents, its place in modern medicine, and how if one wants to resist being part of the Satanic system that may require everyone to accept some kind of “mark,” then you are probably going to need to prepare yourself to stop using the medical system completely.
I realize that we have been conditioned to believe that we cannot survive without pharmaceutical drugs and the medical system, but I assure you it is possible. I have not used the medical system in many years, and have not carried health insurance (by choice) for over 20 years, and I have survived!
It is my belief after many years of research and teaching on this subject, that for every patented pharmaceutical drug making billions of dollars for the medical system, that there are natural remedies created by God found in nature that are actually more effective, especially if we stop believing in the allopathic germ-theory of disease, and realize that health is much more than just the condition of our physical bodies.
The Serpent Represents Satan
From the earliest record in the Bible in the opening chapters of the book of Genesis, to the closing chapters in the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, the serpent is identified as Satan, or the Devil.
The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
He first appears in the 3rd chapter of Genesis, where he deceives Adam and Eve, which results in sin entering the human race. One of the key passages of this chapter is verses 14 and 15, which basically lays out a prophetic blueprint for human history, and the cosmic struggle between good and evil:
So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. (Genesis 3:14-15)
The key event in human history that saw the culmination of this prophecy, was the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, and his triumphal rising from the dead and walking out of the grave, defeating the power of sin and death that the serpent caused in the Garden of Eden.
One of the best summaries of this event is found in the letter that the apostle Peter wrote:
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:21-25)
But this was not yet the end of Satan. To understand the events unfolding before us today, we need to review the history of the seed of the woman, and the seed of the serpent.
Moses’ Bronze Serpent Hung from a Pole
One of the next places we see the serpent appear is in the Bible is in the life of Moses.
The “seed of the woman” is traced through the Patriarch Abraham, the father of the Hebrews. To escape years of famine God had led Abraham’s descendants, the Hebrew people, to take up residence in Egypt. There they became too numerous and were seen as a threat to the Egyptian culture, and we see one of the first recorded instances of infanticide, the destruction of children being born to the Hebrew women.
This will become a common theme throughout human history, as Satan works hard to reduce human population by killing children.
Moses was spared being killed and was actually raised in the royal palace, but soon is banished from Egypt for trying to deliver the Hebrews.
He spends 40 years in the wilderness where he settled down, got married, and started raising his family.
But the time had come for God to deliver his people from the oppression of the Egyptians, and he chose Moses to lead them, by appearing to him in a burning bush that did not burn up.
Moses is reluctant and fearful. Satan is thoroughly entrenched in Egyptian culture by this time, and a common shepherd like Moses figured he didn’t have a chance to lead a revolution, so God gave him some help.
Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?”
Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A staff,” he replied.
The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.”
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it.
Then the LORD said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.”
So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.
“This,” said the LORD, “is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”
Here we have the rod of Moses that miraculously turns into a serpent at the command of God.
It was something the magicians of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, also had the power to do. But God was clearly demonstrating his power over Satan, and changing the course of human history.
Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country.
But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”
Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD commanded them. Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ then say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,’ and it will become a snake.”
So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake.
Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake.
But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. (Exodus 7:1-13)
As the story unfolds in the Book of Exodus, Moses continues to perform miracles where plagues afflicted the Egyptians who were under the domain of Satan, until finally, after the first-born of all the Egyptians died while none of the first-born among the Hebrews died during what was called “The Passover,” the Hebrews looted the wealth of the Egyptians and took off for the desert.
In the desert God gave them the Law, represented by the Ten Commandments, in order to start a new life as God’s chosen people, freed from the bondage of Satan.
But the slave mentality was thoroughly entrenched in these Hebrews who grew up in Egypt, and even though they had seen the miracles of God inflicting plagues against their enemies the Egyptians, they complained to God about their condition in the desert, which leads us to the next occurrence of Satan being represented in the image of the serpent, and the roots to that symbol in modern medicine.
They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom.
But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.
The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.”
So Moses prayed for the people.
The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. (Numbers 21:4-9)
This passage has been greatly misinterpreted throughout history, because most of the medical images you see today, such as the Caduceus or the rod of Asclepius, really have their origins from this historical event.
Modern medicine views the image of the snake in this passage as having curative, or medical properties.
But a bronze snake hanging from what this English translation I chose says “pole,” which in the original language is some kind of “standard” or “banner,” is not what cured the people.
It was their “looking” to it, presumably in faith that God would do what he said he would do, which was to heal them.
God healed them, not an inanimate man-made metal object fashioned in the image of a snake.
And remember the prophecy God proclaimed on the serpent in Genesis 3: “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.”
By lifting an image of the serpent high up into the air, God was signifying his power over the serpent, just as the staff of Moses and Aaron also did, when it became a serpent and consumed the serpents of Pharaoh’s magicians.
It was a symbol of defeat for Satan, by being lifted up where he himself could not go.
It took me a while to locate an artist’s interpretation of this that I believed was close to what really happened, like the one above that is at the beginning of this section. Because most of the images of Moses and the bronze serpent lifted up in the desert had something more similar to a living snake slithering up a pole, as we see in the medical symbols, suggesting that the serpent had power to do this on his own.
But this “pole” in reality had to display a dead snake, not a live one, so some kind of cross beam was necessary to drape the image of the dead snake over it, making the “pole” probably look more like a cross.
Also, we find out later that this remedy for the Hebrews in the desert was apparently specific to that time and place in history, before they entered the “Promised land.”
The bronze serpent was kept for several generations after they left the desert, and eventually took on the opposite meaning of what it was originally intended, representing some kind of demon that was named Nehushtan.
This is recorded during the days of King Hezekiah, who was a good king and led the people back to worshiping God instead of demonic images, which included the bronze serpent crafted during the days of Moses in the desert.
He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)
(2 Kings 18:4)
The name “Nehushtan” is only used here, and its history is not known. The etymology of the Hebrew word means “bronze” or possibly a derivation of the Hebrew word for “serpent,” but it was definitely a proper noun referring to some entity, probably demonic.
The bronze serpent that God had the Hebrews construct was a symbol of Satan’s defeat, not his curative powers.
Only God heals, and he clearly demonstrated that when he delivered the Hebrews from Egypt, by inflicting plagues on the people of Satan, while the people of God were not affected.
Jesus Replaced the Serpent in the Desert for Healing
But if there was ever any doubt as to the meaning of serpent and its place in healing, the words of Jesus erase all doubt:
I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?
No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God. (John 3:11-21)
Therefore, the use of the image of a serpent to represent healing is in direct contradiction to the words of God and of Jesus.
The image in the desert was a sign of the defeat of Satan, but that sign was ultimately fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Jesus, and to trust in anyone else for healing today, is idolatry.
What is “Idolatry?”
I have been writing on the idolatry of modern medicine for over 13 years now, with articles that expose the evil and corruption in pharmaceutical industry on the Created4Health.org website.
An article I wrote about 5 years ago and is a bit dated now, but is probably more relevant today than it ever has been, is: