The Serpent seed, a teaching "from the Serpent"
One of the most deceptive doctrines that has slithered into the church is the serpent seed teaching. First popularized by William Branham and currently held by Arnold Murray of the shepherds chapel and his followers that have adjusted some of its meanings.
WilliamBranham - "But it was a sex act. ... The serpent was an upright handsome creature. He was, in fact, `the missing link’ that science even in their unspiritual wisdom, can see is missing `between man and monkey.’ ... Satan used this creature to get himself into the Human race.” (Was it an Apple? (Lima, Oh: Bible Believers of Lima).
We are told that eating of fruit is a sexual sin, adultery on Eve’s part with the devil. One would think this departure from Scripture would be an obvious scheme of the Devil, but for many who are blinded by this teaching it is not.
William Branham may not have been the first to preach the serpent seed doctrine, but he has become known as one of the major proponents of this doctrine in our modern times.Now that he is gone Murray holds onto this dishonor.
"When you look for the in-depth meaning of "men as trees, walking", you are able to see that Christ wants us to understand there are plantings of God and plantings of the devil. The plantings of that wicked one began in the garden of Eden with the conception of Cain and follow down through his progeny, the Kenites." (Newsletter #195, Jan, 1995 and #202, August 1995). Murray teaches these Kenites survived the flood along with Noah, which is a complete departure from what the Scripture actually says. So what does that matter? It matters a lot!
We will first look at the Bibles teaching of Eve's eating of the fruit before we get to the more serious distortions that are assumed from this unsettling teaching.
In Eve’s conversation with the Devil she responds, Gen.3:2-3 ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”
First: Eve is aware of their liberty (her and Adam) to eat from any of the trees and the prohibition of eating from the one tree. She fully understood its meaning to eat (ingest). But serpent seed advocates change this meaning, just as the Gnostics and mystics have before them.
“We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden.” The plain words of the text should be sufficient to explain the meaning of it not being any sexual act, but an act of disobedience to the command of eating from the one tree God put off limits. For if this meant having sexual intercourse then both she and Adam were allowed to have it with the other trees by eating their fruit.
The Bible is consistent in its use of words, tree, fruit, eating; these do not have a hidden meaning; representing something else. Some make this literal event symbolic, when the Bible says it was literal. She saw it was good for food. The trees did have fruit and that is what Eve gave to her husband to eat. Her seeing the fruit, touching the fruit did not bring death; but eating it.
Gen. 3:6 “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. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate."
Clearly this is about eating.The Bible makes it clear that fall of man came from the eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge, it had nothing to do with intercourse? These men accuse Eve of being an adulterous woman. Adam and Eve both ate of the fruit of this tree. In fact it says Eve handed the fruit to Adam; then Adam is an adulterer as well. You can't get a more distorted teaching from Scripture unless Satan himself teaches you.
Eating of the Fruit
God instructed '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." (Genesis 2:16-17). Notice also what Adam and Eve's sin was -"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." (Genesis 3:6)
In her dialogue with the Serpent "but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'" (Gen 3:3). The fruit, the tree were literal. She saw it was good for food. Her seeing the fruit, touching the fruit did not bring death; but eating it. The trees did have fruit and that is what Eve gave to her husband to eat.
Even the Serpent says he wants her to EAT the FRUIT. V.5 ‘For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ The very same desired goal Satan had for himself, to be like God. He wanted Eve to enter into his fallen state (Isa.14:12-14 Satan’s five I wills, his 5th I will, I will make myself like the most high). The Devil challenges the prohibition —“For God knows...your eyes shall be opened, you will be like god...” insinuating God is holding back to keep them from being like him. Satan’s appeal was that the knowledge of good and evil is what makes God who He is. If she eats from this tree she too will have this knowledge and it will make her like God (knowledge is power). The temptation to disobedience came from one who already fell the same way in heaven.
The Hebrew word for “desired” is nechmad, the same root as “to covet.” Eve coveted God's knowledge and ability. Convinced by the speech of the Serpent that by eating the fruit it would give her this. Also the same 3 areas of temptation found in Gen.3:6 are mentioned for the believer in I Jn. 2:16: “For all that is in the world-- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life”
1. She saw the eye: it was good for food - the fruit was physically appealing - lust of the flesh
2. Delight to the eyes - The lust of the eyes it looked good
3. Desirable to make one wise –to be like their maker- the pride of life. Desire in Hebrew comes from the same Hebrew root to covet, she wanted something that was not hers to have.
These are same temptations offered to the second Adam, Jesus, in desert. They were to make him sin and disqualify him from his purpose (Mt.4:3-4).
Gen. 3:6-7: “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. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked.”
The Bible is consistent in its use of words, tree, fruit, eating; these do not have a hidden meaning, representative of something else. What some do is make this literal event symbolic, when the Bible says it was literal. She saw it was good for food. The trees did have fruit and that is what Eve gave to her husband to eat. Her seeing the fruit, touching the fruit did not bring death; but eating it.
God said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?" Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate" (Gen. 3:11-12). The Lord had nothing to say about a sexual relationship, but about eating a fruit from a tree. If one changes this meaning here they must change it everywhere else, which would cause more confusion. This is a mystical interpretation that is like the Gnostics. To insist that Cain is the offspring of the Serpent, (Satan) by Eve’s eating of the tree (symbolic of her intercourse). When intercourse is described the phrase “knew her” is used. This is completely missing in describing the sin of Eve. If one turns the eating of the fruit into promiscuity on Eve’s part – than what of Adam?
God says it is fruit from a tree: Then to Adam He said, Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.” Gen 3:17 is referring to Gen 2:16-17 where “the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
All the other trees they were already eating from. If eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil was intercourse then eating from the other tree was as well. But the Bible says he did not know his wife until after he was out of the garden; the fall and Adam knowing his wife clearly are not the same events.
This whole theory is in jeopardy if one reads the word of God carefully. As it is known, the “serpent seed doctrine” indicates that Adam did not know Eve intimately during the time of their stay in the garden but Satan did. The conception of Cain took place after Adam and Eve were put out of the garden from the fall. Whereas the sin of eating the tree which caused the fall took place in the garden. One has to do some doctrinal gymnastics to try and connect the conception to the encounter with Satan at the tree. This changes the literal descriptions in Genesis to an allegorical (symbolic) in nature. This is a literal event - literal trees, literal fruit and literal people. It is mentioned several times in the New Testament (Rom. 5:21, 16:20; 1 Cor.15:21; 2 Cor.11:3-4; 1 Tim. 2:14)Much like Darwin's theory of evolution, theorists of this Bible doctrine connect the dots in whatever way they can. Only if these are not interpreted as a literal trees or fruit, can one make seduction by the Devil on Eve as the original sin. Than every herb that yields seed or any other tree or fruit cannot be taken literally. God gave the trees fruit as food for man. There is no need to interpret it in an allegorical manner, or find some hidden meaning; the tree was used in a simple test. The tree of knowledge was a representation to impose a restraint on man, it was there to keep him dependent on God. What kind of fruit was it? It does not matter, since the Bible does not make mention of it. This fruit may or may not still exist. What mattered was the consequence of disobeying and eating from the one tree God said NOT to eat from.
Eve is recorded as saying, "The serpent deceived (beguiled) me, and I ate.”
SeducedOT:5377 nasha'; a primitive root; to lead astray, i.e. (mentally) to delude, or (morally) to seduce: The word "beguiled" they translate as being "seduced sexually." That Satan and Eve engaged in an adulterous affair which Cain was born.
The question that should be asked is “ate what?” God says the fruit, but these who are also beguiled say God is incorrect. In other words she was seduced from keeping the command to not eat. It means to remove one from the point of origin.
God says it was fruit from a tree.
Either words mean what they are or one can use their secret knowledge to manipulate and change them.
All the other trees they were already eating from. If eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil was intercourse then eating from the other tree was as well.
They were monogamous: If one was unfaithful Jesus could not refer to their marriage event in Mt.19:5 as the standard, especially in child bearing (1 Cor.6:16). To make Eve a harlot is a demonic teaching.
Gen. 3:8-21 the woman said, "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat."
The Bibles says she fell into deception not into adultery. It tells us “she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked” (Gen. 3:6-7). The knowledge of evil had affected them both. They both ate and they both had the same fruit and it affect them, it was shared. So if one is going to say Eve eating of the tree was sexual in nature then it needs to be applied to Adam as well.
The problem is that this Hebrew word is consistently used for physically eating- not for sex.
Gen. 3:19: “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground.”
Gen 9:4: “But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood."
Gen. 24:33: “Food was set before him to eat, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told about my errand.”
Exod.2:20: So he said to his daughters, “And where is he? Why is it that you have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.”
So the whole argument is based on the word deceive is misused, it is really understood as being deceived into disobeying God and eating from the tree.
TEACHINGS of the PAST
Where do these teachings come from? The Zohar draws upon early mystical texts such as the Sefer Yetzirah and the Bahir, and the early medieval writings of the Hasidei Ashkenaz. The Zohar is a Jewish Mystical book that has alternate explanations of the Bible, much of it is done from a non Biblical interpretation, but a mystical one. The Zohar is to illuminate the deep and secret meanings, the idea that mans soul and spirit is tied into the spiritual realm where our higher level of existence resides.
The Zohar (Soncino translation) in Bereishis 36b says "When they begat children, the first born was the son of the (serpent's) slime. For two beings 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."
Rabbi David Max Eichhorn traces the idea back through early Jewish Midrashic texts in his book Cain: Son of the Serpent. He identifies rabbis who taught that Cain was the son of the union between the Serpent and Eve.
Some Kabbalist rabbis in their theory of origins believe that Cain and Abel were from a different genetic makeup than Seth. A theory that God created two "Adams"(two men). To one he gave a soul and to the other he did not give a soul. The one without a soul is the creature known as the serpent.
This theory is even more ancient than what is found in the Kabbalah. One of the Gnostic Gospels, from the third century, the Gospel of Philip states: “First, adultery came into being, afterward murder. And he was begotten in adultery, for he was the child of the Serpent. So he became a murderer, just like his father, and he killed his brother. Indeed, every act of sexual intercourse which has occurred between those unlike one another is adultery.”
The Apocryphon of John begins by saying” The teaching of the savior, and the revelation of the mysteries and the things hidden in silence, even these things which he taught John, his disciple.”… And to I said to the savior, "Lord, was it not the serpent that taught Adam to eat?" The savior smiled and said, "The serpent taught them to eat from wickedness of begetting, lust, (and) destruction, that he (Adam) might be useful to him. And he (Adam) knew that he was disobedient to him (the chief archon) due to light of the Epinoia which is in him, which made him more correct in his thinking than the chief archon. (The Apocryphon of John, The Secret Revelation of John).
“And when she saw (the consequences of) her desire, it changed into a form of a lion-faced serpent. And its eyes were like lightning fires which flash. She cast it away from her, outside that place, that no one of the immortal ones might see it, for she had created it in ignorance." (The Secret Book of John (long version), Nag Hammadi Library, Codex II, trans. Frederik Wisse.
Jewish Midrash texts from the 9th century and in the Kaballah both have this concept mentioned. The Serpent Seed idea appears with third century Gnostics and then in a 9th century book called Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer. Who on Genesis 1 Ch. xii.-xxiii. Identifies the serpent with Samael who is an archangel in Talmudic writings, a accuser, seducer and destroyer, regarded as both good and evil.
This serpent seed belief is also held by some adherents of Christian Identity. They claim that the Jews are the descendants of Cain, who are also descended from the serpent.
the Aryan Nations Web site states: WE BELIEVE that there are literal children of Satan in the world today. These children are the descendants of Cain, who was the result of Eve’s original sin, her physical seduction by Satan (Quoted in Christian Identity http://www.watchman.org/profile/identitypro.htm#10 The ARYAN NATIONS website [Online]. URL http: //www.nidlink.com/~aryanvic/index-E.html.
No question that this is an insidious doctrine that can be misused. The further we go into it the worse it gets.